I still can’t believe it happened – I spent a week in Chincoteague, VA, photographing and experiencing the 2023 Pony Penning Week! I have so many images to share from the experience, so I’m going to do 3 posts so check back if you miss one!
A little backstory – A local Chincoteague Breeder named Rebekah (Chincoteague Ponies at Hart’s Island Pony Ranch) won an incredible all-inclusive trip of a lifetime to experience the Pony Penning week, where horses are gathered from Assateague Island, swam across to the mainland, where their foals are auctioned off (some get sent back, I’ll explain that more in Part 3).
She emailed me and asked if I would want to join her and two others on this amazing trip, and of course, I said YES! I had never met Rebekah, but after visiting her, I felt like we had always been friends! She is GOOD PEOPLE, and we had so much fun together, along with her friend Bonnie and my friend Jill, who I was able to invite at the last minute. Having one of my best friends along for the ride was an extra blessing! ❤️
I arrived Sunday night of the penning week, and we hit the ground running very early Monday morning to get to the beach where they bring the horses from holding pens up north to holding pens closer to where they swim to the mainland.
It was incredibly exciting to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with so many pony lovers, waiting for the Saltwater Cowboys to escort the horses down the beach!
Also in this post are photos of a special stallion named Riptide, who we were able to get close to during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Carnival Grounds with a Saltwater Cowboy named Hunter. Riptide and his mares came to the Carnival grounds early because he was causing trouble in the holding pens.
On Tuesday afternoon, we went to Kerkaken Acres, home of the Chincoteague Pony Drill Team, and watched all the fun things fully-trained ponies can do, and got to see a 5-week-old Chincoteague filly do zoomies around the arena!