Talk:Chincoteague Pony

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Good article Chincoteague Pony has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
February 11, 2011 Good article nominee Listed


We need sources here! If the breed reports and the National Geographic article can be properly referenced, that would be awesome. If you're unsure of how to reference them, leave a message here and we can arrange something

ManicParroT 21:20, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

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Virginia vs. Maryland[edit]

The way this article is currently written, it does not seem to make it clear that there are two groups of ponies on Assateague that do not intermingle (there is a fence at the state line), that only the Virginia group is referred to as Chincoteague Ponies, and that only the Virginia group is rounded up for Pony Penning. I am going to make some attempt at clarifying this, but I think additional clarification will still be needed. AtxApril (talk) 18:57, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Please feel free to be bold. This article is one of many equine articles that have unfortunately languished without attention on WP. Please just remember to add references as you go, and make sure your references are reliable. Some breed articles that haven't been quite as neglected, and that you may want to check for ideas on layout, are Haflinger (horse), Suffolk Punch and Banker horse. The last one is probably especially relevant, as it deals with a population of feral horses on the barrier islands. If you have any questions, I'm available here or on my talk page! Dana boomer (talk) 20:50, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Changes so far work for me. But do include good footnotes. If the Maryland herd are not "Chincoteague" ponies, then what are they called? And yes, ask Dana if you need help! (I'm a bit too busy in real life at the moment to be more than the peanut gallery) She's a great editor with multiple featured articles to her credit! Montanabw(talk) 06:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
According to the NPS source that is cited, the Maryland herd apparently are just known as "Assateague wild horses" and do not have a formal proper name as the Chincoteague Ponies do. I've revised the description in the opening paragraph to (hopefully) better reflect this.AtxApril (talk) 01:14, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Hm. Interesting. Well, if the people who put in the Maryland material want it restored, I guess we can discuss it again when it happens. Montanabw(talk) 00:37, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Article upgrade[edit]

Hey Dana, nice job adding all the great new material. I did go back in and restore some of my earlier material that got dumped and did a little rearranging of everything. Overall, I hope that my edits to your work were helpful and that I didn't misalign any citations in the process or otherwise screw things up too much. A couple of my edit summaries may have been a little grumpy-sounding, if so mea culpa. I threw in some stuff I had researched on Assateague Island, and I also restored some of the stuff that came out of the Maryland side's info. Quite some time back someone was kind of unhappy that MD wasn't getting a fair shake. Incidentally, I deleted phrasing that suggested that the population co-arose on both islands. if we are going to discuss the domesticated ponies on Chincoteague, we'll need some more specific info, as most sources I've seen suggest most of the foundation stock came from the feral animals on Assateague. Montanabw(talk) 06:10, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Chincoteague Pony/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sasata (talk) 18:21, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I'm claiming this review. Will have comments up by the weekend. Sasata (talk) 18:21, 4 February 2011 (UTC)


  • "All solid solid colors are found in the breed" can this be reworded to avoid "solid solid"?
  • Accidently duplicated word; fixed.
  • throatlatch?
  • Linked. It's the point at which the windpipe meets the head at the underside of the jaw.
  • 1,000 miles - convert
  • Done.
  • "a load that in total weighed"
  • Done.
  • I'm not fond of how the opening sentence of the "History" section starts out with saying the history of this horse is similar to another horse, as it assumes that the reader has this knowledge that would help him put give things context; would rather see this mention placed later in the section.
  • You are quite correct - I don't know how this sentence got there. I put it at the end of the second paragraph, where I think it fits better. Or did you have somewhere else you would like to see it?
  • "Legend states that Chincoteague ponies descend from Spanish horses shipwrecked off the Virginia coast on their way to Peru in the 16th century." I didn't know that horses knew how to sail ships. Perhaps they belonged to explorers who were making these journeys?
  • They did belong to the explorers. However, I am not completely sure that horses themselves can't be shipwrecked. Unless I'm mistaken (which I very well could be), to be shipwrecked means to survive a shipwreck but to be marooned in an uninhabited area - this is equally applicable to people and horses.
  • as I read more of this article, the more the feeling grows that a map showing the location of Assateague Island would be useful
  • I've looked for one and haven't been able to find one. Did you have a particular one in mind?
  • Is there a good site for public domain maps? Can we use stuff from the NPS as "free because it's from the US Gov't??" -- MTBW
  • Hmmm, nothing particular in mind, I just assumed there would be one somewhere. I think NPC stuff is public domain... something to invesstigate further should you take this to FAC. Sasata (talk) 17:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
  • "Another story, that they descend from horses left on the island by pirates, is also unlikely to be true." Any reasoning for this, or we just have to take his word for it?
  • I've rearranged this paragraph a bit. Basically, the fact that no-one actually saw horses on the island is a problem with all of the theories that hold that horses were brought to the island in the 16th century - either by pirates or Spanish conquistadors.
  • link National Park Service?
  • It's linked in the lead and again in the management section. Do you want it linked in another section too?
  • … holds to the theory that the horses were brought to the island in the 17th century," can we replace "holds to the theory" with "suggests"?
  • The problem being that they don't "suggest" it - they just promote the theory suggested by someone else. However, I say a couple sentences later that someone else "promotes" another theory, and I'm trying to not be repetitive. Thoughts?
  • What Dana's too nice to say (though the source article says it) is that the Chincoteague VFD likes that story better even though it's probably romanticised nonsense. (grin)
  • "and a lack of substance plagued the breed" I suppose "lack of substance" is a euphemism for something, but I don't know what.
  • It's weight, size, bone, heft... Do you have a better way to reword this?
  • It's a euphemism for "skinny, weedy and inbred." We can't say that, though, 'cause it's mean. "Substance" is a very handy horse lingo word...
  • "This was partially due to the limited and poor quality feed found on the islands, although this harsh climate also allowed only the hardiest and most adaptable ponies survive." "poor quality" needs hyphen; mention of "this harsh climate" stands out oddly, as it hasn't been mentioned before; "also" seems awkward; missing"to"
  • Hyphen and "to" added. Changed to "this harsh habitat", as the "climate" we are talking about is actually the stuff discussed in the previous clause of the sentence. Does it read better now?
  • "and horses with pinto coloring introduced to give the herd" missing word?
  • Fixed.
  • 'Twenty Mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management" Did they work there? Or were they owned by the bureau?
  • Fixed.
  • link jetty
  • Done.
  • "As a result, the island has drifted considerably westward" As a result of the artificial jetties being built?
  • Clarified.
  • I think the first sentence of the "pony penning" subsection would clearly indicate what it is. Currently, I get the idea that it's to do with rounding up livestock, but is there more to it than that? I guess it's explained sufficiently well later, but it seems like it could be arranged more optimally… I'll let you think about it.
  • "two days worth of horse and sheep roundups" any meaning lost by eliminating "worth"?
  • Done.
  • "Chincoteague Island was discovered as a tourism and sport haven" "discovered" doesn't seem like the most appropriate verb here, how about "established"?
  • Done.
  • "usually are not made to make the swim" make-> perform or similar to avoid repetition
  • Done.
  • "The Chincoteague Pony Association appears defunct as of 2011." source?
  • Just that I can't find any mention of it today. It appears that it existed as of 2005, when the Dutson book was written, but there is no website, no contact information or anything else that I can find as of today.
  • Strictly speaking though, it's OR. I'd call you on it if this were FAC. Sasata (talk) 17:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
  • "Chincoteague Island is located fully within Virginia state lines"
  • I'm trying to make the distinction between Chincoteague being all in one state and Assateague being in two different states. Do you have a better way to word this, or do you think that emphasizing the distinction is not necessary?
  • "The contraceptive, which began to be used at a management level in 1995 although it was used in smaller amounts as early as 1989," Reads awkwardly. What does "used at a management level mean"?
  • Basically, in 1989 it began to be used in small amounts for testing - to make sure it worked, there were no adverse effects, etc. They began to use it on a large scale to actually effectively manage the entire herd in 1995. Don't really have any ideas as to how to reword this...
  • link abscess
  • Done.
  • "well represented" hyphen
  • Done.
  • should probably spell out mtDNA
  • Done.

possible extra sources:

Title: Chincoteague pony swim poses unique challenges for local veterinarian
Author(s): Osborne, M
Source: JAVMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Volume: 233 Issue: 9 Page: 1377 Published: 2008
  • The first JSTOR article doesn't look to have too much that's new. We already have a more recent study on genetic variation included in the article, and the idea of reducing the herd discussed in the article has already been implemented over the past 20 years. The second article is also over 15 years old and discusses a contraception technique that has already been implemented over a relatively long period of time. I can't see even a preview of the third article, but if you think it holds useful information I would like to see a copy of it. The 2008 JAVMA article looks interesting - do you have access to it?
  • Sent x 2. Sasata (talk) 22:43, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Cool, thanks! I've integrated a couple of bits and pieces from the two refs...see what you think. Dana boomer (talk) 00:37, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Seems there's a book about this horse
  • It's targeted towards a juvenile audience, and those sorts of books usually have lots of romanticized history, pretty pictures and vague descriptions. I doubt there is much of use in it. However, my local library holds a copy, and I'm considering taking this article to FAC, so I will definitely take a look at it before the article goes past GA.
  • The first doesn't have anything that's not already in the article. There was some good information on the early years of pony penning in the second, which I have added.
  • This source mentions that some yearlings are sold yearly at a fall festival at Grayson Highlands State Park
  • If I'm reading that source correctly, that auction is actually of a herd of unrelated feral ponies that live on Mount Rogers in western Virginia. The source compares it to the more famous Chincoteague auctions, but they're different horses.
  • the article doesn't discuss the apparently distinctive missing vertebrae mentioned in this source
  • Not really that distinctive. The source neglects to mention that other breeds, including the Arabian and others, also have one fewer vertebrae (17 instead of 18), and so it's not just a Spanish characteristic. The source doesn't say when the skeletons were unearthed - it's quite possible that it was after the Arabian and Mustang blood was added, and so it would be quite natural for there to be one fewer vertebrae in some of the skeletons. I can't find any reliable sources giving further information on this - if I could find a study on the skeletons: number unearthed, date, number with 18 vs 17 vertebrae, etc., I think the information would be quite interesting to add to the article. However, the source appears to be using a common phenomena to try to explain a theory that has been fairly well discredited.
  • And even breeds prone to have fewer vertebrae, such as the Arabian, do not universally do so, and thus I think it's kind of a red herring. --MTBW
  • Pretty much any horse that you leave outside year-round in a chilly climate is going to have a long, shaggy coat. I don't think it's distinctive enough to mention in this article, especially since any Chincoteague that's brought into a barn, groomed regularly, blanketed, etc, is going to have a short, pretty coat, just like any other breed.
  • I've only seen them live on Assateague one time (was there once the week prior to pony penning when they had then rounded up on Assateague waiting in holding corrals), but in the middle of summer they had short coats that had some summer shine, obviously ungroomed, but definitely not shaggy and long. What I mostly noticed was how pot-bellied a lot of them were and that they were slimmer, taller and more horse-like than I thought they'd be.)--MTBW

Hi Sasata, and thanks for the review! I've left some replies above, and will probably finish tomorrow. It's mainly source stuff that's left, which takes a bit more time to analyze. Thanks again for the awesome review! Dana boomer (talk) 00:45, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I popped in a couple of thoughts that may help explain things, Sasata. Thanks for your thoughtful insights and helpful comments! Montanabw(talk) 08:10, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

We're close to the end, but I read through it again and have some suggestions that might help tighten up the prose: Sasata (talk) 05:49, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

  • "While phenotypically horse-like, they are commonly called "ponies" due in part to the limits on growth created by their habitat." Not quite, they aren't called ponies because of the limits imposed on them, but rather, because these limits cause them to be smaller, and being smaller leads people to call them ponies. Right?
  • I reworded this a bit. See what you think?
  • link salt marsh in lead
  • Done.
  • "Ponies from the Maryland herd, referred to in literature of the National Park Service as Assateague horses, live within Assateague Island National Seashore and are generally treated as wild animals, given no more or less assistance than other species on the island, other than to be treated with contraceptives to prevent overpopulation." Sentence seems overly long and slightly awkward
  • Split this into two sentences. Does it need additional rewording?
  • Both the "Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company" and "pony penning" is linked twice and mentioned twice in the lead.
  • Removed excess linking and some redundancy.
  • "While only around 300 ponies live on Assateague Island, around 1,000 more live off-island after being purchased or bred by private breeders." Would it sound better to replace "after being" with "having been"? (this avoids the noun plus -ing construction)
  • Changed.
  • Two consecutive sentences in "Characteristics" start with "They are"
  • Changed.
  • Two nearby sentences in the last paragraph of "History" start conspicuously with "However"
  • Played around with the layout of this paragraph.
  • "However, in the early 1920s, large amounts of Assateague…" large amounts of -> many? (and than change the following many to numerous or something)
  • Tweaked.
  • "In 1924, the first official Pony Penning Day was held, auctioning ponies at $25–50 each to raise money for fire equipment." -> "In 1924, the first official Pony Penning Day was held, where ponies were auctioned at $25–50 each to raise money for fire equipment." better?
  • Done.
  • "0.2 percent rate" other instances use the % symbol
  • Per MOS, it's supposed to be "percent", rather than "%", so I've changed all instances to the former.
  • "The treatment plan includes mares 2–4 years old, with treatment then being withdrawn until they produce a foal, then, after they are well-represented genetically within the herd, being placed back on the yearly treatment plan until their death." Somewhat inelegant sentence, imho. Note the nasty noun +ing construction appears twice :)
  • Reworded this. Better?
  • "they are effectively quarantined however, by allowing no riding or camping with privately owned horses" -> "… quarantined, however, by forbidding riding and camping" better?
  • Done.
  • "the National Park Service increased implemented new measures" ? did they increase or implement? The sentence later has some some noun +ings you might wanna tweak out.
  • Implement - oops. I tweaked the later sentence, but may have just made it worse.
  • "Such intervention is needed due to the fact that" -> because
  • Done.
  • "… 40 surviving descendants of Misty living worldwide." surviving and living redundant
  • Done.

I think I've taken care of everything above. Please let me know if there is more to do. Dana boomer (talk) 02:33, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Ok, I think we're mostly done here. I'll leave you to fix up the four dablinks. I've left a couple comments above, but consider everything else dealt with. Article otherwise meets GA criteria, passing now. Sasata (talk) 17:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Dablinks fixed. This is definitely on my list to go to FAC, though probably not for a while, so I'll poke along on your final comments above. Thanks again for the review. Dana boomer (talk) 22:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


New study, needs additional verification: Montanabw(talk) 23:12, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

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