Skyrian Horses are believed to have been brought to Skyros by Athenian settlers in the 5th century BC, as a Greek native pony that ranged freely over the country. However, eventually the Skyrian was only to be found on Skyros. Their conformation (meaning their physical appearance) is more similar to that of a horse than a pony, despite their small stature. For this reason the Skyrian has been designated Equus Caballus Skyros Poni or Equus Caballus Skyriano.
As an ancient breed of Greek horse, many theories have been put forward about the history of the Skyrian. They have been compared to the horses depicted on the Parthenon frieze. In The Iliad, Achilles spends many years on the island of Skyros, so it has been not unreasonably suggested that they may have been the horses that pulled his chariot at Troy.
The small-bodied species of the Skyrian horse is one of the rarest horse breeds in the world. It is native to Greece, and in ancient times lived throughout the country, but now is only found in the wild in Skyros and in breeding and welfare farms on the island of Skyros.
The Skyrian horse is a protected species.
Fun facts about everyday life in Ancient Greece are part of the Live Interactive Murder Mystery Game ‘Who Killed Callimachos?’, one of the top things to do in Athens.