Come and help care for a critically endangered breed of pony via an equine centered approach on Skyros Island, Greece

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  • Last activity: 20 Apr 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description


    Hi Potential Volunteer

    We are now fully booked with volunteers until the end of July . But are taking volunteers for August onward. Thank you .
    We are Stathis and Amanda, dedicated to helping to protect and save the critically endangered small Skyrian horse - via conservation, education, and welfare initiatives on our small, completely non-profit, farm on the wild but beautiful island of Skyros. We follow an equine centred approach and are committed to doing our very best for our equines in relation to equine management, and care , within the context of a small , remote, Greek island with limited resources. In joining us to volunteer you will be helping a genuine cause that is based on service to animals rather than to self... If this appeals to you, drop us a line. ****Please note we only accept volunteers who can stay for at least 6 weeks.....*****

    ******This Spring / Summer we are looking for volunteers who have real practical experience with equines (preferably ponies) and equine care particularly around the needs and health of older ponies, and are also interested in equine centred methods, equine enrichment, track systems OR have an experience and enthusiasm for vegetable gardening / DIY/ painting / maintenance skills ******.

    Maybe you are someone who is looking at settling in for a spring / summer stay or Summer/Autumn, offering you the opportunity to immerse yourself in our project alongside of rural Greek life, in a traditional agricultural Greek Island area - getting involved and engaged in either our equine enrichment ideas and care of our rare breed ponies who are super intelligent and a joy to work with or maybe you are interested in supporting us with some day to day tasks such as pruning and clearing fence lines helping and growing some veg and helping us maintain our spring into summer vegetable patches just for farms use or helping out with the daily tasks with our herd of charismatic endangered breed Skyrian ponies.

    Please do read all our info below before applying to join us.... Thank you.

    We are a totally non profit based project, dedicated to the care , ethical training, ( we feel we are here to serve our equines, they are not here to serve us), welfare, conservation, and education, of and about the critically endangered Skyrian small horse situated on the rugged but beautiful island of Skyros .

    You will be helping to care for our herd of 34 charismatic, highly intelligent, friendly Skyrian small ponies ( who range in age from 2 years old to 32 years old, 10 of whom are rescues) in an environment that can be at times be challenging, extremely hot in the summer and very wet ,cold and windy in the winter. You will also help us care for 18 cats ( all feral rescues) and 3 larger rescue ponies - 4 dogs ( 3 rescue) 1 rescue goat and quite a few chickens.

    We love volunteers who are practical, can listen and follow directions and are also able to problem solve, enjoy simple down to earth tasks, are mature, intelligent, positive, open minded, flexible, enjoy quiet time, are dedicated, enjoy outside physical dirty farm work and have experience with horses/ponies or farmwork and are happy with the basic pleasures of life, away from the world of social media and ringing telephones. .

    We prioritise volunteers who have experience with equines particularly those people who are interested in developing their ground skills or learning more about the ways equines communicate and /or horse care and who are also open to understanding that we are on an island with limited resources meaning we have to think out side of the box in terms of best methods of horse care eg Track systems, non pasture land, etc.
    We also accept people who have experience with farm animals or farm work or have good handyman /DIY skills or veg gardening skills and can stay for at least 6 weeks or more.

    We love hosting volunteers who are interested in long term volunteering stays ( and people doing internships) as our animals appreciate getting to know people over a period of time to be able to trust them and it allows the farm to run more effectively and efficiently.

    So if you are seeking to have a meaningful, authentic, interesting, adventurous experience please do get in touch. We frequently form long term friendships with our volunteers and have a good few past volunteers who return on a bi annual basis ( this last year we have had 4 past returnee volunteers come back to support us from as far back as 2013!)

    Our project started in 2006 and since 2009, we have enjoyed hosting over 350 volunteers , not just from Workaway but also internships, independent travellers, people via horsemanship networks, and other volunteer sites, we frequently have long stay and returnee volunteers .

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️We are sorry but we are unable to accept people with children as our accommodation is just not set up for this nor do we host volunteers under 19 years old . *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️( Please note the ponies are small, 10.2 to 11 hands, so we are a non riding project ( there is the occasional exception to this)

    Our base is a rustic, basic, old small working farm, based in a remote and traditional Greek farming area which is near the sea, an archaeological site and pine forest, on a traditional and beautiful Greek island.

    If you want to be part of a genuine charity/non profit project, and help us care for our herd to the best of our abilities , then please do get in touch and we will send you detailed information about our project and a volunteer application form.
    We really look forward to hearing from you and thank you.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Volunteers get the chance to be in close contact to nature, the sea and forest / Greek culture. It is a simple basic life far away from the modern world .

    You will support a genuine project that is all conserving a rare breed and about protecting and understanding equines way of thinking and behaviour and very much aiming at what we can do to support them and putting their needs first rather than them fulfilling our needs.

    You will get to understand the challenges of looking after many animals 24/7 and 365 days of the year .

    Skyros is an incredibly safe place gteat for walking and exploring . Houses and cars doors are left open and their is still a real sense of community.We have incredible night skies with no light pollution, and an overwhelming quietness of nature and it is an extremely safe space to walk hike around. It is a great place to put away your mobile phone and get reconnected to nature and her rhythm.

    You will have the opportunity to learn about horse management and we will offer one ethical horsemanship ground skills training during your stay.

  • Help


    Most of the tasks are centered around our herd of friendly Skyrian ponies , watering, yard work, sweeping, pooh picking their fields, moving hay, filling hay nets, making up and giving our at need ponies their supplements, developing enrichment ideas for our track system, unloading hay deliveries, handling the ponies, grooming , picking out feet , mending fences etc .

    Depending on the time of the year also supporting occasional horsemanship projects and showing visitors around and possibly painting walls and stables etc. Sometimes there are some very specific projects like fencing , or fruit picking ( we have orange, lemon, apricot, fig trees), and pruning and if enough olives- olive picking in late autumn. We also have some creative projects going on at times.

    For volunteers with real experience and who are staying for an extended length of time and have skills with ponies their are opportunities to get involved with a positive reinforcement approach to training, ground skills, liberty work, etc .

    The work is usually a split shift with approx 3 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the evening but this changes a little between the summer and winter months.

    Their is always a good amount of time free to explore the island , take a walk, rest, sit in a hammock, go to the nearby beach, explore the paths and walks nearby, read a book etc.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Greek: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    In the winter and colder months the accommodation is a very basic simple shared room with its own basic bathroom ( we do have hot water ) a small kitchen area ( fridge toaster kettle sink , and one small camping gas ring) and a woodburning stove . In summer and warmer months there is the possibility to camp in our small olive grove . This year we also have two new Wooden huts that we are trialing as volunteer accommodation in spring summer and Autumn.

    We provide a do it yourself breakfast ( muesli, porridge, eggs if our chickens are laying, cheese on toast, peanut butter, tahini, milk,) and a good healthy home cooked lunch. We can cater for vegetarian and non vegetarian people BUT WE can't cater for Vegans, lactose intolerant , gluten free etc its just too challenging , expensive and time consuming to cook for so many different types of diet . Thank you .

    The volunteers room is painted once a year and deep cleaned but it is then up to the volunteers who live in it to keep it clean.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Skyros island is still very traditional, with an unspoilt wild beauty whilst also being very safe as everyone knows everyone, possibly one of the last places in the world where doors are left unlocked and one can walk day or night as a woman and feel safe. Farm life is basic, rustic, simple and far far away from modern conveniences. The farm is in a traditional farming area close to the beach and pine forest. There is a taverna in easy walking distance , and a wonderful ancient archaeological site next to the sea in 10 mins walking distance. There are other beautiful beaches about 1 hour away by foot or with a bike 20 minutes away.
    The main village ( 16km away from our farm), is vibrant and very beautiful and traditionally Greek and has good access to internet, two museums and many good cafes and bars. There is limited public transport and if you want to explore the island especially off season the best way is walking , borrowing a bike , hitching or hiring a moped or car. We will also gives you lifts when we are going into the village etc.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4.5 hours sometimes less... sometimes a bit more, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 18279957924e

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