Many visitors and even some guidebooks talk about the wild horses of Vieques. In fact, these horses are not wild. They all have owners. Well, sort of.
The way it was explained to me was that if a horse upsets your garden or damages your car, that horse may very well not have an owner. On the other hand, if instead you were to take that same horse home, you can bet that its rightful owners would show up at your door demanding that you give them back their horse.
A Horse Story
A longtime resident of Vieques told me an interesting anecdote about horses and their owners.
Once upon a time, when the Marines were in Vieques, they decided that the horses grazing the fields inside the Camp Garcia gate were trespassing on government land.
The horses were rounded up, arrested, so to speak, and then put in a corral to be used for the horseback riding pleasure of the Marine brass.
One day, during a visit by the British Marines to Camp Garcia, a British Sergeant Major, passing by the corral, asked an American Sergeant Major about the horses in the camp. It was soon discovered that they both loved riding and the American Sergeant Major invited the British Sergeant Major out for a ride.
Late that afternoon the two Sergeant Majors saddled up two of the finest horses in the camp and rode out towards Esperanza. When they passed the Don Q Bar on the way into town, the two Sergeant Majors developed a keen thirst and decided to go into the bar for a few drinks.
The two officers tied up the horses to a tree and walked into the bar where they sat down and very knowledgeably discussed horses, horsemanship and their favorite places to ride.
The American Sergeant Major described to the British Sergeant Major every detail of the trail that the two men would take as soon as they had satiated their thirst. This being accomplished, they got off of their barstools and walked out onto the street.
When the two Sergeant Majors looked over at the tree where they had left the horses tied, they saw a pair of fancy saddles, a pair of bridles, and a pair of saddle blankets, in effect, all their riding paraphernalia, but there were no horses. The owner of the horses had recognized them and had taken them back.
There was too much gear to walk back to the camp. So they sat down at the bar and tossed down a series of stiff drinks, while they waited for transportation to take them and their equipment back to the base.