These tiny horses may have once taken Achilles to Troy

These tiny horses may have once taken Achilles to Troy

National Geographic

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

  • Small horse breed
  • They adapted to the local conditions
  • No white markings of any kind
  • A thicker mane and tail
  • A non-domesticated horse
  • Strong hard hooves
  • Expressive eyes
  • A handsome head
  • A much larger population
  • They were used in agriculture
  • The welfare of the Skyrian horses
  • A definable breed
  • From a conservation perspective but also form a welfare perspective
  • An education perspective to change local people’s opinion
  • Reconstruct the pedigrees
  • That was our main concern
  • From the horses that we bread
  • Has value in a contemporary society
  • Not a long history of equine  activity
  • Go off into the big wide world
  • To promote the Skyrian pony
  • To produce better quality Skyrian  horses

 

The Skyrian horse

Existing primarily on the secluded island of Skyros, the Skyrian horse, or Skyros pony, looks as if it were meant for a child. Although it shares many of the proportions of larger horses, the breed stands at a mere 100 to 110 cm (3.2to 3.6 ft). Some legends connect the small but mighty Skyrian horse with those that Achilles took to Troy, while other theories link the breed to the small horses that appear on the frieze of the Parthenon temple in Athens. There is no concrete proof for these claims, but evidence suggests that the breed has survived relatively isolated in Greece for several thousand years.

Due to declining use of horsepower, overgrazing of livestock on Skyros, and interbreeding with donkeys on the island, the number of Skyrian horses has decreased. Only about 300 horses are left. To preserve the rare breed, organizations such as the Skyros Island Horse Trust working to increase the population and encourage locals to protect the horses. The hope is to increase the genetic pool of Skyrian horses on the island to prevent their numbers from dwindling. [national geographic]

Read more about the Skyrian horse HERE

skyros

 

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