Volunteering in Greece

This Spring, I'm going spend a month and a half working with The Silva Project on the Greek island of Corfu (Kerkyra.) The Silva Project has as it's primary goal the preservation of the Skyrian horse.

Ancestors of the Skyrian horses originated in North America around 100,000 years ago. They migrated over the frozen Bering Strait and dispersed into Asia and Europe.

During the 5th-8th centuries BC, Athenian colonists introduced horses to the island of Skyros. The Skyrian horse is small, their back (withers) being only about 10 to 11 hands (40 to 44 inches) high. They are really a pony, but there is no word for pony in Greek. They are beautifully conformed and adapted well to the rough dry terrain of Skyros. Their non-aggressive demeanor enabled farmers to use them for agricultural work. They worked in this roll until the 1960's when the mechanization of farms retired the horses.

The breed was almost lost in the 1970's. Fortunately efforts were made to preserve the breed. But without the formation of The Silva Project in 1996, their critically-maintained status would be in jeopardy.

The primary ex-situ breeding site maintained by Silva is located at their equestrian center near the village of Kalafationes about six kilometers inland from the Silva headquarters in Kerkyra.

The Skyrian horses work wonderfully with children and The Project offers riding lessons, including lessons for children with disabilities. Their riding program includes full size horses, including Icelandic and there is a Equine Therapy program being developed.
The Silva Project also run a dog shelter and even an organic kiwi farm.

I'll be arriving in Greece May 1st and I'm primarily going to be assisting in the various horse programs.

I will post my experiences on the blog along with pictures. I am totally excited about this experience.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dave! I can't wait!
    I will check up on your blog often!
    I love horses and small ones are even more fun!
    We are getting our chickens in the next few days
    so I will be blogging about that!
    Be sure to check up on me too at