The Fjord is a small breed of horse, native to the mountainous regions of Norway.
A strong and agile breed, the Fjord horse has the build of a light draught horse and is one of the world’s oldest breeds, having been used as a farm horse in Norway for centuries. It is thought that ancestors of the Fjord horse were domesticated over 4,000 years ago, having migrated to the country.
Excavations on a Viking burial site indicated that the breed hade been selectively bred for over 2,000 years. They are also one of the world’s purest breeds, with no crossbreeding from other sources having occurred to maintain the breed.
Picture above - Cowgirlmagazine
Characteristics and Uses -
The breed has historically been used in Norway for heavy-duty farm work, such as hauling and ploughing.
They are also steady-footed, making them suitable for work in their native mountainous lands. The Fjord breed are also used as a, sports, riding and driving horse. The breed is the most popular in Norway for use in riding and therapeutic schools. The breed is famed for its driving abilities and is used extensively for such purposes in Norway.
Although relatively small, the Fjord breed is also very strong and agile. They have excellent temperament, which is why they are chosen for work with kids and disabled people. The breed has a distinct appearance and differs from other breeds in that it has a blend of muscling and bone structure seen in draught horses and yet it remains quite small in size.
The Fjord breed have strong legs and feet, with a muscular, compact body. They also have small ears and large eyes. The breed has a long thick mane, whilst it also grows a heavier coat in winter months.
Colourwise, it is standard that all forms of the Fjord breed are dun in colour, which is similar to ran or gold colours. The breed standard, however, recognises five dun variations. White markings are discouraged, though a small star is acceptable. White markings on Fjord horses are rare, however.
These colour variations include Brown Dun (pale yellow-brown), Red Dun (pale golden colour with red or red/brown markings), Grey (Grey or silver body), White/uls dun (Cream body, with black or off-black markings) and Yellow dun (red dun, but diluted to make a cream colour). The Yellow dun variation is the rarest of them all and is caused by the creme gene.
Although a smaller than usual breed, there is no upper or lower height limit for Fjord horses and they usually reach up to 14.3hands tall. At full maturity, the breed can weigh anything up to 500kgs in total.
One of the world’s purest and oldest breed, dating back thousands of years, the small but powerful, Fjord horse.
Picture Credit - Top Animals TV.