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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.