Bridle the Horse, Rein in the Man: Free-Ranging Horse-Control Measures and Contests for Authority in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake




Nubbe, Adam

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



From the introduction: ...The man is Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, and the gun he carries is loaded with an immunocontraceptive vaccine dart that will render the mare sterile for about a year. She lives on a wildlife refuge on Assateague Island and, as one of the Chesapeake’s feral horses, is part of a herd that has become a beloved cultural icon. To protect the refuge’s natural resources, without which the two herds that live on the island could not sustain themselves, the National Park Service and the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company carefully manage Assateague’s horse population. They work to ensure that the herds remain large enough to be genetically viable but small enough so that they do not disrupt their island habitat. Their population- control efforts are designed to protect the horses, which might otherwise eat themselves out of a home.



Horses, Chesapeake