Wild Horses Dragged Me Away

3 Min read

Wild horses

Assateague Island

Estancia Alta Vista, Patagonia

1 Book, children’s classic

AVAILABLE ON PODCAST

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iTunes

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Wild horses dragged me away.*

In earnest. My road trip last weekend had a detour to Assateague Island off the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, just 10 miles off my route. They were ponies actually, at 12 to 13 hands tall, just shy of the size of a horse.

I’d grown up in Maryland hearing about the horses made famous in the children’s book, Misty of Chincoteague, so it was a good to see them after all these years. Their heads were down, eating the grasses, stationary for the most part, like cows. They reminded me of painted ponies, pintos, one or two were solid brown. Cars were parked along the marsh with people watching and taking photos.

Make the time to visit if you are near. I don’t think you will regret it. As I was leaving, I pulled up behind a stopped car on the main road. The occupants were outside with hands up to slow traffic. Crossing the road was a turtle, the size of a small helmet. It may well have been the first terrapin I’ve seen. They live in the coastal, brackish waters.

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Last time I saw wild horses was in Patagonia. It was the thrill of a lifetime that trail ride all those years ago, seeing the sillouettes against a purple dusk, horses unencumbered by bridles or saddles.

The wind whipped across the steppe and I could hear the flap of my son’s slicker. That wide open space and the brisk air had a vastly different effect than the marsh had on the island ponies. This band was moving, tossing back their manes after they saw us, heading out to join the herd.

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Patagonia and Estancia Anita with wild horses on a trail ride

El Calafate, Patagonia and a band of wild horses

Wild horses in Patagonia

First encounter the horses are curious when they see us, then toss about and gallop off.

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My niece in Virginia said her school took a field trip this spring to see the Assateague ponies. And recently, my best friend sent me a video of the famous Pony Penning, a roundup to cull and manage the herd.

Back in the Tree House I reminisce about the animals. I travel the length of the world and discover wild horses, when I could have found them across the bay from home.

They are different and both herds are beautiful.

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FOOTNOTES

*True, I’ve been on the road away from the TreeHouse and my website needed a theme renewal. So wild horses dragged me away and the site needed updating! Glad to be back, dear reader. If you visit the page, it should be improved and faster.

* The Estancia Alta Vista is a 160,000 acre working sheep ranch in the Southern Cone of Argentina by the Perito Moreno Glacier. My family encountered the wild band of horses on a trail ride.

*Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (Aladdin, 1947) After the dedication page is this note: “All the incidents in this story are real. They did not happen in just the order they are recorded, but they all hapened at one time or another on the little island of Chincoteague.”

*The title is a play on Rolling Stone lyrics for Wild Horses

Wild horses
Couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses
We’ll ride them some day

[Last stanza / Chorus]

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Apr 28, 2023

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About the Author

Mylinh Shattan is a writer who has lived on three continents, served in the Army, worked in corporate America, and taught in college. She loves adventures, in the world and in the mind. Literature is relevant and learning is a lifelong pursuit, so you might as well have a bit of fun along the way.

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