Fjord

Category: Horses

The Fjord horse is a work horse and riding horse. Originating in Norway, this breed is small but stout. The Fjord has a calm and gentle disposition despite its muscular appearance, which makes it a great horse for first-time riders to learn with and train.

Fjord

Fjord

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Perissodactyla

Family - Equidae

Genus – Equus

Species – Equus ferus caballus

Common Names – Fjord Horse, Norwegian Fjord Horse

Characteristics

This is a fairly small breed, but what Fjords lack in size, they make up for in personality. Most Fjords have a "dun" coat, which is a grayish gold or tan coloration. There are shade variations that can lean more toward red, yellow, brown, gray, or white. There are also cream colored versions referred to as "Kvit" (white) in Norwegian. The manes of Fjords are often cut short so they stay upright and erect, usually in a crescent shape to accentuate the horse's neck.

Breeding

The breed standard is somewhat vague, and Norwegians use the term "got mote" which basically means the horse is pleasing to look at. The horse should have the traditional markings associated with the "dun" gene, and the neck should have a strong curve on the upper edge, which the mane is often trimmed to accentuate.

Behavior

The easy going, good temperament of Fjords makes them well-suited for a lot of different uses. They are sure-footed and strong, yet agile and light due to their small size. This makes them great workhorses, as well as great riding horses.

History

The Fjord is one of the oldest, purest horse breeds. These horses were first domesticated and bred over 4,000 years ago from wild horses that existed in the Nordic regions as far back as the Ice Age. Vikings are known to have selectively bred Fjords over 2,000 years ago. Through all this time they have remained a very pure breed, undiluted by cross breeding.

Present Status

In addition to being a workhorse and riding horse, the Fjord is often used at riding and therapeutic schools to accommodate untrained and disabled riders since it's both small and good-natured.