Since this January my herd has ‘grown’ – I can say it now has 4 and 1/2 members. The 1/2 stands for Sammy, a Skyrian foal of (at his arrival) 9 months old. Sammy has come to my group to be a companion for Simba, who sometimes last year felt a little bit left behind and lonely when I rode out with the rest of the horses.
Skyrian horses are an old Greek breed. Some think they go back as far as 1200 BC and that Achilles, who according to the myth lived on the island of Skyros, had these horses to pull his chariot. Anyway, the Skyrian horse is a small breed, about 1.20m high but with the proportions of horses rather than ponies – hence its name. Their character though is 100% pony-like!
An other characteristic for pure-breds is that large white markings are not allowed…..and there starts the story of Sammy coming my way. With his large white blaze on his head Sammy was expelled from the breeding programme and will be gelded. But he found a new home and I must admit – I can’t imagine life without the little rascal anymore!
From day one Sammy seemed to be quite relaxed in his new group. Shakira protects him, Shiva and Zina compete amongst each other who can be his second mum and slowly but certainly Simba opens his heart for this little buddy. As all Skyrians, Sammy is also very confident towards humans and will always look for my company. He is playful, intelligent, spirited and Mr. Cool at the same time. Everyday we move forward in the big learning process of understanding what we want or mean and of connecting. It’s nice to feel how quick Sammy acts on the tiniest of directions from my side but I will leave him to learn the most from my horses – as a human I will never be able to teach him in a better way. What we do in ‘training’ now has more to do with playing – ‘serious’ ground work will come when he is some months older.
For now we are all waiting impatiently for the rains to stop AND for the olive-nets to go! Looking forward to canter over the fields instead of slippin’ and slidin’! Horses eating the lush grass that lies waiting under the nets. But this is wintertime on Corfu. This is why this island is so wonderfully green in springtime with thousands of flowers. This is why we endure the rains. The sun, when there, shows his power already with 17oC at noon. Eastern is on its way, in its own special Corfu-style. The horses cope the best they can with Sammy as their new shiny center of attention!
(look in the photo-gallery for more pictures of Sammy)