Feral Ponies of Virginia
(Eastern U.S.)

TheVirginia ponies are in what is known as the Mount Rogers High Country. The Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (NRA), a part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, covers over 140,000 acres of high mountain lands in southwest Virginia.  The high country, the heart of the NRA, contains over 25,000 acres of the highest lands in Virginia, and the Mount Rogers NRA manages approximately 20,000 acres of the high country (while the Grayson Highlands State Park manages the remaining 5,000 acres). The high country consists of three areas which include the Lewis Fork Wilderness, the Little Wilson Creek Wilderness, and the Crest Zone.

The Lewis Fork and Little Wilson Creek Wilderness are two federally designated wildernesses that total about 10,000 acres of primitive backcountry.  These two areas are forested in northern hardwoods with red spruce and Fraser Fir at the highest elevations.

<>The Crest Zone includes the open areas on Brier Ridge, Cabin Ridge, Wilburn Ridge, Stone Mountain, and Pine Mountain which total about 2,000 acres.  The views here are spectacular, with rocky ridges and grassy areas.  The area was once heavily forested, but heavy logging by private companies during the early 1900’s and wildfires created the balds.  The grazing by domestic livestock kept them open, and The USDA Forest Service acquired the property during the 1960’s.  Today the balds are kept open through prescribed burning and regulated cattle grazing by private farmers who lease grazing rights.  Two herds of free-roaming ponies make their home in the high country, and also help to keep the balds clear.  A private association manages the herds, one of which is in Grayson Highlands State Park.  The other lives within the Crest Zone of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. There are many theories of their origin, but no one really knows. The ponies were there long before the park was established in 1965. 

These Pictures were taken in the Crest Zone very near to Rhododendron Gap, just off the Appalachian Trail, September 27, 2005.

The images on this page were submitted by Marie and Senter Jackson, both AANHCP Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioners  bucksnortfarms04@yahoo.com

Copyrite Notice: All images on this page are the property of Tribe Equus and Marie and Senter Jackson. They may be reproduced for educational purposes only with appropriate credits given. They may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

The Wilburn Ridge Wild Ponies

Where the Wild Ponies Roam

Pony Prints - note the size reference of the film canister...

Meet the ponies

A glimpse of pony feet...

With subsequent trips, Marie and Senter will hopefully get more information and shots of the ponies and their feet and we will add them here.

Barrier Island Wild Horses Eastern U.S.  -  Prairie Wild Horses  -   Wild Horses on the Moor, U.K.  New Zealand Wild Horses - Virginia Wild Ponies 
Wild Burros   -  Wild Horses of Central Asia