Fjord Horse

The Fjord horse can be easily recognized for his small size and robust complexion. His origin are the mountains located in the western area of Norway. At first sight they look like smaller draft horses, and due to their agility are useful for many labors.The breed standard of Fjord Norwegian horses accepts 5 shades of dun color, being saddle and harness jobs the main purposes that are used for.Besides the characteristic colors, the breed shows horses with strong neck and leg appearance.

Normally we see that most of the Fjord horses stand between 13.1 and 14.3 hands and the weight that is regularly seen is in a range between 880 to 1,100 pounds. Even tough for someone these horses can look similar to a pony; the breed is fully regarded as a horse.

Talking about temperament the fjords are known because they are tranquil and easy to relate to .

Fjord Horses In The Past

Being one of the most ancient breeds in the world, there is knowledge of its existence from the end of the last ice age. There is evidence coming from early Viking graveyards locations, showing that the breed was bred in a selective way for nearly 20 centuries.

Western Norway has been witness of the use of these horses for several hundreds of years, mostly in agriculture and other labors that were required in the mountainous environment in which they lived.

Plowing fields and works related with lumber has been the most common uses that inhabitants of western Norway have made of them, but due to their low weight and nimbleness can be easily use as a saddle horse or even pulling carriages.

Nowadays because their peaceful temperament and small size the breed is also one of the favorites in riding schools and therapeutic institutions. Another situations that the fjord horse can be seen, is in equestrian shows, competitions, tourism related activities and a series of labors that required their sturdiness and agility.

Fjord Horse Colors And Appearance

The dark color of the hair that populates the center of the mane in combination with the lighter hair of the outer side are  the most recognized features of the Fjord horse look.

The classical short and crescent shape trimming has become in a trademark that identifies the breed across the whole world. The purpose of this kind of cut is intended to call the attention to observe the strong and aesthetically beauty of the neck of the horse, which is emphasized by cutting the outer side of the mane shorter than the inner one.

From the 5 recognized colors, the most common is the “brown dun” which counts for 90% of the registered horses.

Brown Dun

Between variations of light chestnut and cream color, normally the brown duns are kind of yellow brown, and their distinctive markings can go from dark brown to black color. Nevertheless a certain amount of horses shows dark tails and mane, the majority of them display lighter colors .

Red Dun

With a body in several shades of gold this horse shows mostly cream color tail and mane, being the markings of red color. The responsibility of the pale color is called dun factor which contributes to the dilution of the original chestnut shade.

Gray Dun

To be considered Gray dun a fjord horse should have a body that goes from a smooth shade of gray to a dark shade of cyan. Also this horses show some hair in the middle of the tail, a stripe of hair in the middle of the mane and hair coat markings of deep gray color or simply black.Other parts of their body are of an even lighter color and in some cases can be extremely pale.

White Dun

Beside the main cream color of these horses, they show a stripe of hair in the middle of the mane, hair in the middle of the tail and hair coat markings of straight black color. The name used for this color in some horses of another breeds is buckskin dun, which is a dilution made by a mutated gene of the cream color.

Yellow Dun

These is the color of Fjord Horse which  is the most difficult to find.The color is originated from an extra dilution of the red dun, which results in a lighter shade of cream body color, the rest of the body normally is white, with the exception of the primitive markings that are randomly founded.


Conclusion

We believe that the fjord horse is one of the loveliest and useful of the breeds that we have review.

Their medium size and elegance make them a very singular kind of horses.

Known for most horse lovers, the breed had spread all around the world and can be seen in exhibitions all over the planet. These exposure has made their popularity skyrocket, showing the singularity of the Norwegian culture in many kind of outlets and media, making us enjoy the generous input that they can give to the international community.

Draft Horse Explained

Consisted of many breeds, the draft horse is a big one, that has been bred to perform mostly farm tasks, like for example plowing and heavy loads hauling. These breeds have all their own characteristics, but also have in common that are heavy weighed, very strong, soft nature and very tolerant, features that are crucial for the labors that are required to develop in the country and for the horse to have a longer live.

Because of its portentous appealing draft horses are often shown in exhibitions and recreation festivals.Also the draft horse is a type of horse that is preferred for crossbreeding, doing it especially with less powerful horses, in order to get individuals that are able to perform in sports activities.

Draft Horse History

Even though some modern heavy horses bloodlines could have some influence from the medieval Destrier, contemporary Draft Horses are visibly bigger than the horse that the knights used to ride, and even bigger that the ancient Draft Horses. Back in the day stronger ordinary farm working horses were destined to do the hardest work and over time the crossing of these individual give origin to the modern Draft Horse breeds.

In the 1900s the demand for powerful horses increased significantly, and with the arriving of the railway, were still more needed. People started to ask for muscular, larger and developed hindquarters horses that would be used to move passenger carts, managing cargo and pulling logs.

Later in the 20th century before that engine vehicles were available and trustworthy, these great specimens participated even in the First World War, and also were used for a variety of everyday jobs, resulting in the importation of a huge amount of draft horses from Europe to the USA.Belgians, Percherons, Clydesdales and Shires arrived to the country causing the appearance of many American Draft horse registries, becoming the Percheron the most popular breed of these kinds of horses.The most notorious  Draft Horse breed  developed in the USA was the American Cream and his stud book was founded around 1930.

The increasing mechanization that characterized the initial decades of the 20 century contributed dramatically to the decline in popularity of the draft horses breeds and in present days these types of horses are seen mostly in exhibitions, contests, and shows.

Breed a Draft Horse is not cheap

Most draft horses not necessarily have to use shoes but the owner of one that does it, has to spend much than the owner of a smaller horse, because they required special equipment, and the bigger effort that the farrier has to release to finish the labor.

It is also not difficult to understand that feed a ton horse will be quite onerous, no matter that these horses have a slower metabolism than other horses.

Draft Horse Today

Thanks to the rebirth in popularity that the breeding of this horses have presented, the care of them also has evolved significantly,being now the feeding and diagnosis of their individual characteristics the focus of the activity.Nowadays the draft horses are divided in 3 types Hitch, Farm, and Pulling.

Hitch Horse

The Hitch horses are draft horses that are destined to perform in shows pulling carts individually or in groups. The average height of them is approx. 17 hands and their weigh about 1800 lbs.

Farm Horse

A multipurpose horse, the farm Horse is used normally for tasks related to agriculture, nevertheless the can also be ridden and utilized to pull carts.They stand at less of 16 hands and weigh nearly 1500 lbs.

Pulling Horse

Seen usually in weigh pulling competitions, the pulling draft horses are also utilized in logging operations that are difficult for machines to be used .Their weight is normally around 1700 lbs.

The Care

Feeding

A Draft Horse must be fed properly, and to achieve this goal is important to understand the factors that are influential in the development of a healthy and strong Heavy Horse. The most important issues to take in consideration are: Size, the work that the horse is intended to do and age.

Other aspect that modern breeders consider when planing their feeding is also the climate and environment in which the Draft Horse live.Warmer and cooler weathers will require different kinds of nurturing.Working horses normally are fed early in the day and then after the working day has finished.

Never mind they are light horses or heavy horse ,always they are fed with a mix of grain, hey, grass , vitamins and nutrient supplements that have to designed according to the aforementioned factors. If the Draft horse is desired to do his job and a greater speed, his energy consumption will be absolutely different that the one that works at a less demanding rhythm, and of course he will need a bigger intake of energy.

The best way to asses if a horse is fed adequately is to visually observe his condition and act in a way that the possible harm can be prevented.

Conclusion

The Draft Horse was in the past crucial for the development of many activities and his powerful and courageous appearance impressed not only the horse’s lovers,but everybody that have the opportunity to watch them.

Nowadays even though they are nos so utilized in practical labors they contribute to a series of entertainment activities ,and they are still very admired for plenty of persons.For the fans of this awesome kind of horse they will be always present in their minds and in their hearts.