Carriage horses of Spetses

On Μay 8th and 9th 2022, the GAWF/Animal Action Hellas team paid a two-day visit to the island of Spetses to provide veterinary, dental and farriery care to the islands’ equines.

Spetses is one of the Argo-Saronic islands that played an important role during the Greek Revolution of 1821. Here, history meets nature and tradition.

Veterinarian Kostas, dental technician Alkis, and farrier Aris offered their services to 36 equines in order to address and record their problems, so that there is continuity in their management.

In Spetses, horse drawn carriages are used for taking tourists on tours around the island. At least four horses are needed for each carriage; alternating the two horses used each day, so they all have the chance to rest. The vast majority of the animals the team handled were carriage horses and a few riding horses, and all were in good condition. Many animals had sharp edges on their teeth which were trimmed as part of their annual preventive dental care or dental treatment, and three horses required remedial shoeing, during which some of their owners had the chance to practice as well. It was interesting to see that the carriage horse owners in Spetses are open-minded and try themselves to find ways to help their animals! They use a plastic industrial horseshoe to prevent the horses from slipping on the roads, therefore not injuring their legs; we can certainly be proud, when thinking that our farriery seminar on the island more than 10 years ago certainly played an important role, where equine owners had the chance to discuss and practice with our professional farriers and become receptive to correct farriery techniques and new farriery equipment. Extensive instructions for proper nutrition and first aid help in emergency cases were also given to the owners by the veterinarian, as there is no other permanent veterinarian on the island.

Electronic microchipping was also delivered by our team for the first time in Spetses, for 12 equines, in order to be ready to register to the under-construction platform of the Ministry.

The cost of the boat transportation, accommodation and food for our team was paid for by the owners of the horses, whom we thanked and renewed our appointment with for next year!

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