The Famous Skyrian Horses
The unique, world-wide, small horse of the breed of Eguus Cabalus Skyriano lives in the natural environment of Skyros, in the area of the "Mountain" which is in the south-east part of the island.
It's an old breed of semi-savage horses, with roots in the Classic period, or even the Prehistoric period, the origin of which can be lost in the depths of the Geological centuries.
It's a small horse from 0,9 m. to 1,1 m tall. The small horses of Skyros pass the winter in the areas of the mountain, from the first rains in autumn to the spring when the earth on the mountain parches.
They are in small herds; each herd has its own hideout; they feed on weeds and wild herbs, thyme, bushes and scrubs as well as leaves from oleasters, maple-trees and oak-trees.
The site called "Nyfi" or "the fountain of the Nymphs" and the cool spring are the last stop of the horses in order to quench their thirst before they take their way to the mountain where they will spend the winter period.
The small horses go once again in "Nyfi" in order to quench their thirst when the spring comes for good, the rains stop and the small lakes on the "Mountain" dry up.
The people of Skyros waited them, in these days, in "Nyfi" in order to get them and use them during the threshing.
In August, when the threshing was over and the horses had to leave and go back to the mountain, there were several horse-races, a custom which did not keep up to these days.
Just outside the village of Skyros, the Municipal Racetrack runs, during the summer period, and the visitors can look closely the famous small horses and go for a ride with them.