Meet the small horses of Rhodes
All horses we know as the horses of Rhodes, belong to the zoological family equus cavallus cavallus. First appeared 54 million years ago i.e. shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs. They had the size of small dog living in the forests. After thousands of years, many things have changed. The horses grew in size and came out of the woods to live in plains and steppes always trying to adapt to the environment in which they lived and evolved to many types of horses, some of them survived others were lost over the centuries.
After the last ice age about 10,000 years ago there were 4 types of horses. These species domesticated by humans and they created all the horse races known to us.
Two of these species originally believed to be the ancestors of the Rhodian horse. The horse is a remnant of a large family spread throughout the Greek mainland, the islands and the coasts of Minor Asia and reached up to the Caspian Sea and North Africa.
The reason for the large geographical spread is his good character, his great strength and minimal nutritional needs.The horse was the right hand of the Greeks for all jobs from the most humble to the most glamorous, from plowing and transport to competitions and festivals. It is significant that the pediments of the Parthenon describing the celebrationof "Panathenaic" Phidias did not carve normal sized war horses but small horse like ours here.
The horse remained companion of a man forthousands of years. With the industrial revolution man put aside his companionthat served him so many years. The result is the collapse of the horsepopulation. 200 years ago on the island every family had at least one horse in1975 that number was only 60 and now only 8.
The horses of Rhodian race have a particularity that makes them unique being the smallest horses in the world, as their cousins of Skyros. The point that makes our horse more precious is is that the small sized body is the result of natural selection and with out human intervention.
The horses height is about 110 cm and unlike most small breeds of horses in our horse body is elegant and harmonious proportions reminding you shape of large horses, their head has a broad or ehead large intelligent eyes and medium sized ears, the neck is muscularmane is dense and rich away.
His body is harmonious and the shouldersare on the same level with the croup and the body length is slightly longerthan the height of the horse. The legs are strong and muscular minutes andresult in small hard hooves and the tail is very thick and reaches almost toground.
The coat color is a deep brown and some horses have white spots on forehead
The small sized horse of Rhodes i.e. our horse is a living symbol of Rhodes natural heritage which played a key role in human life, tirelessly offering his services for many centuries and has to continue to a brilliant path which it deserves in the future.
Everyone individually and all together let's do something for our horse, it deserves it and we owe it to them.
The history of the small sized horse Rhodes comes from far away and we are confident that with your help and support, along with the members and friends of "Phaethon", the future belongs to them.
About the Faethon Assosiation
In what averred it self to be a manifestation of maturity, stemming out of the historically decisive role played by the community of the township of Archangelos, on the island of Rhodes, in theacknowledgment and the protection of the local horse breed of the Rhodian Pony, a group of young people went on to launch the “PHAETHON” Association. The yearwas 2001 and the objective on which such association forthwith embarked has since then been the protection of the environment, the promotion and the fostering of volunteerism and horse-riding.
The Association’s statutory offices are seated in the Rhodian township of Archangelos whereas its actual focus is placed on the preservation, the protection, the scientific approach of and the diffusion of knowledge on this exceptional pony breed of the island of Rhodes.
The culture of the horse-riding spirit amongst membersof the Association and the development of all kinds of activities afferent tohorses also ascribe the scope of objectives pursued, together with the protection of the Environment of our land, through volunteering fostered and initiatives undertaken amongst everyday people.
In pursuit of such objectives, the Association has launched seen to the development of and is actually maintaining a series of stables destined to accommodate those horses while at the same time catering to their alimentation and medical follow-up. A detailed record is being kept ofthe lineage and health history of the members of this particular small horsebreed. Moreover, a valuable partnership has been established with scientistsspecializing in the domain of animal health and reproduction. Simultaneously, the Association has beenquite active in enhancing visibility of its activities by hosting orparticipating in scientific seminars and conferences on the ponies of Rhodes.
Very active in the domain of the Environment as it hasvowed to remain, the Association has been engaging in a wide array ofactivities aimed at the protection of the fauna and flora of our land.
Many have, therefore, been the events which, embarkingon appropriately diversified themes, are meant to entertain as well assensitize its members and a wider local audience: from horseback outings tosport events, our Association never misses an opportunity to reach out toeveryone and particularly the young as well as to the numerous visitors of ourarea, in order to trigger interest into alternative actions which we feel couldhave a longer-term impact on, amongst other, the development of a moreeco-friendly tourism.
From the outset, our Association has been relentlesslyendeavoring to create awareness amongst the local community and indeed provide informationon the protection of the Environment, with a particular focus on the local ponybreed and a predilection, as far as our target groups are concerned, for theyounger generations, by, among other, hosting visits on our premises of schoolsend education establishments.
Mindful to have the concept of the enhancement of theprotection of the local breeds of domestic animals, our Association has made apoint of actively participating in national conferences on relevant themes,which opportunities we have been utilizing to exchange ideas and experienceswith members of several other associations as well as with specialistsentertaining the same concerns and aspirations as “PHAETHON”.
For more info you can visit their website : http://www.faethon2001.com.gr/