Horses are intertwined throughout the whole of Greek mythology. They are linked from beginning to end with both the gods and the heroes. So loved were they, that it was common, when praising the virtues of a god or goddess, to refer to their excellent horse skills or even to compare them to the noble creatures. Aphrodite, for instance, was described as “golden-reined” by the writer, Aischylosas. Common also was the practice of presenting horse votives (small horse statues) to the gods as offerings. This love and admiration of horses came, in part, from the content of the myths, which were filled with stories of the gods riding horses, being pulled in horse-drawn chariots, or giving horses as gifts to mortals. Poseidon (God of the sea) was always associated with horses. He was pictured being pulled (in the water) in a chariot pulled by golden seahorses. He was also the father of Pegasus. Mortals who were given special horses by the gods knew they were much loved. Such a man was Bellerophon who was given the key to catching the famous winged horse Pegasus by the goddess Athena. Xanthus and Balius are yet another example of horses given as a gift from a god. The two were immortal horses given by Zeus to Achilles. These and other Greek myths about horses were told over and over to the people, until they began to associate horses with the gods and heroes they adored.