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Sleeping with Horses

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

You know how most people have a favorite vacation destination? Some people go to the mountains while others go to the beach. John and I and the kids have been traveling back to Maryland's Beach for years and years. We go to Assateague Island on the tip of Maryland.

As mentioned. we've been coming back here for years. we started tent camping here probably 30 years ago. as the boys grew so did our needs. My mom, God Bless her heart even tent camped with us just a few months prior to dying from lung cancer. It rained so hard on that trip.

We no longer tent camp (Thank God!) but the boys and their families still come along. As I've gotten older I need more creature comforts - like electricity, but Assateague is the one place I'll go where there is no electricity, no water, no nothing - completely dry camping and here's why...

Assateague Island State and Federal Parks have miles of beautiful beach and you don’t have to crawl over anyone to find the sand. It’s like having a private beach no matter when you go. We’ve gone in the heart of summer, in the fall, in the spring and have even gone to the island in the winter, but we didn’t stay there that year. We stay in motel/hotels sometimes. That November we went to Ocean Cite for my birthday. Got extremely cheap rates because it was the week before Thanksgiving. It was 65 degrees during the day and again, no one was there! LOVED IT!

Back to Assateague. Many people have heard about the ponies on Assateague. But here are some up close stories and pictures.

The Assateague Ponies are not the same ponies that the fire company rounds up every July in Chincoteague, Virginia. It’s the same barrier island, but there’s about 40 miles between the two places. There is a fence at the state line that keeps the two herds separated. Assateague is in Maryland and this barrier island has it’s own ponies that the National Park system regulates. Each mare is permitted to only have one baby in her lifetime. Once she’s given birth she is given a contraceptive to prevent her from having anymore. This may sound a little harsh, but if the herd gets too big, they will starve. The herd size stays right around 160.

One year while tent camping, my oldest son chose not to stay in the tent with the rest of us, stating something about snoring...he instead chose to sleep under the roof of the screen house we brought along. He put his sleeping bag on the picnic table and went to sleep. Early the next morning he was awoken to the sound of crunching. He woke to see a horse face, right next to his, with it’s nose securely in the potato chip bag. My son laid completely still because startling the horse could have brought down the entire tent. You see, the horse had come up from underneath. The horse finished it’s breakfast and backed out. Lesson to be learned here is that these horse are wild. Just like bears or deer they forage for the easy meal. If you’re camping on Assateague or anywhere else for that matter, be sure to keep your food secure.

On our most recent trip to Assateague we were fortunate enough to have both sons and their families join us. One son and his wife camped in a tent in a site next to ours, the other son and his wife camped at a motel. The grand babies stayed with us in the camper. One morning my granddaughter said, Mimi, there are horses outside. There were, right next to the window. That my friends is an experience you cannot replace, and that’s why we go back year after year.

Hope you can visit sometime to visit the ponies.

Have a great place you like to go back to year after year? Drop us a line! We love to hear about fun and amazing places And would love to hear about your vacation experiences.

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