Horses and mules are vital to Hydra functioning at all levels. As the island's status as a preserved national monument dictates there are no motorised vehicles allowed on the island. So everything from deliveries of household goods, supplies for the shops and luggage transfers to hotels and homes on Hydra island is managed by a huge number of horses and mules. Contrary to what is commonly mentioned, there aren't that many working donkeys because they are just too small to cope with the weight and size of the loads!
As soon as you arrive in Hydra you will see equines of all sizes and colours. The number you will see on the corner of the harbour is just a tiny fraction of Hydra's horse and mule population.
The horsemen who 'park' their horses in the corner of the harbour tend to specialise in taking luggage to hotels, guest houses and holiday accommodation with them all jostling for attention when the flying cats, dolphins and passenger ferries arrive. When they aren't doing luggage transfers, the same horses and mules stand in the same place to greet visitors in the port who want a quick 10 minute novelty ride about the lower town. The saddles are the traditional wooden variety. There is no such thing as a donkey ride in Hydra anymore - all rides are with horses and mules.
For horse treks in Hydra to explore the Hydra countryside, to visit Hydra's monasteries or to reach some of Hydra's less accessible beaches, there is Harriet's Hydra Horses. Harriet is English and speaks Greek like a Hydriot having been educated on the island from the age of 10. Before coming to Hydra, Harriet had been riding horses from the age of 3, she brings a different approach to horse riding and horse care than you would normally find in Greece. Harriet is the only operator who has BS safety helments for all riders including children's sizes. For most horse rides Harriet kits her horses with comfortable western style leather saddles and stirrups (with additional stirrups for children) but sometimes has to use the larger wooden saddles when for example a child wants to ride with a parent. Harriet is happy to take just one person for a horse ride or she can arrange group horse treks for up to 100 people (pre-arranged obviously) but normally she takes groups of friends or a family of 4-6 people at a time on a horse trek that can last from 45 mins to a full day. See www.HarrietsHydraHorses.com for full details of all the horse treks in Hydra that she offers at very competitive prices.