About Assateague Pony and the Assateague Wild Horses

Tell me about the Assateague Wild Horses.

Assateague Pony – the Assateague Wild Horses – is a new project of Bill Swartwout Photography. Bill created AssateaguePony.com to supplement his online Gallery, AssateagueWildHorses .com, with articles and additional pictures.

Assateague Pony Mieke's Noe'lani.The Wild Horses of Assateague Island are loved by nearly everyone who sees them and Bill is no exception. The horses are often elusive and many people visit the park without ever seeing them – not one. This will be a chance to see the ponies that Bill has been able to find and photograph.

What this website is not: We are not connected to the Assateague State Park, the Assateague Island National Seashore or the Assateague Island Alliance.  We have no official relationship with any of the local organizations. Bill is a local landscape and nature photographer simply “plying his trade.” We have, however, contributed a small amount to the AIA by “Adopting a Pony” and participating in the Assateague Foster Horse Program. The Foster Horse program helps to raise funds for the AIA and to help support the goals of the AINS.

Why Assateague Pony and not Assateague Wild Horse?

If local fauna are really Wild Horses, why is the name of this website Assateague Pony? It seems that more people refer to the horses with the term Pony or Assateague Ponies. Hopefully, the site name will make it a bit easier to find (in the search engines) and we can help to correct the misnomer/misconception. Here is a brief article about the Assateague ponies really being wild horses.

Assateague Wild Horses"OK, tell me all about it - just whisper in my ear."

Assateague Island Alliance – AIA

The Assateague Island Alliance is a “Friends Group” for the Assateague Island National Seashore.

Assateague Island Alliance AIA

“Created by Congress in 1965, Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) was established to preserve the outstanding Mid-Atlantic coastal resources of Assateague Island and its adjacent waters and the natural processes upon which they depend, and to provide high quality resource-compatible recreational opportunities. Just over a decade ago the Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) was formed as a “friends group” to help support the AINS.” *

Park friends groups assist parks in supporting park programs and projects.

“In the fall of 2007 a group of interested individuals met with staff from Assateague Island National Seashore. They created the first and only friends group. This group is dedicated solely to the purpose of supporting the preservation, education, stewardship, and recreational opportunities of the National Seashore.” * Hence, the Assateague Island Alliance** was formed in 2008. The AIA performs as a benevolent association supplementing, or augmenting, the many services of the Park.

Assateague Island Alliance Pony on a Button

Adopt a Pony! One of the programs that is quite popular is the Assateague Foster Horse Program, which is administered by the AIA. We recently became proud “foster parents” of Assateague Wild Horse, Mieke’s Noe’lani, a Sorrel filly born in 2016.  The idea of telling friends we adopted an Assatague Pony is very sool but we like, even more, the fact that we were able to contribute to a good cause.

Our Mieke’s Noe’lani photo has even been put onto a button – because she is as cute as a button. There is also a coffee mug and a greeting card with an original picture at our home.

Before the AIA

Before 2008, the National Park Service at Assteague Island National Seashore had no specific “friends group” to help with the management objectives of the NPS and the AINS. Such goals include recreational, educational, interpretive, preservation, ecologic and scientific objectives. Now the Assateague Island Alliance helps the park staff meet those objectives.

More to come…meanwhile browse Pony Photographs at http://www.assateaguewildhorses.com.


* Quotes are from the National Park Service website: https://www.nps.gov.

** AIA website: http://www.assateagueislandalliance.org/

Getting Started at Assateague Island

It’s time to get serious about sharing some of the Natural Beauty of the Assateague Island National Seashore. Of course, the wild horses of Assateague Island will be a (the) main focus of this photography website.

Miata at Assateague Island National Seashore