The Norwegian Fjord
The Fjord is one of the world’s oldest breeds of horses. It is believed to have been in western Norway for more than 4,000 years and domesticated as early as 2000 B.C. Evidence shows that Vikings developed the Fjord as a as early as 2,000 years ago. Norwegian hill farmers used the horses as little draft animals.
Early farmers used the ponies for plowing, carriage driving and riding. Leisure pursuits are much the same throughout the world—dressage, jumping, eventing, trail riding, competitive driving and hobby farming.
All Fjords are dun in color. Yellow dun is rare; gray dun and buckskin are more common. Many horses have primitive zebra striping on the legs and withers; most have a dorsal stripe. The breed stands from 13.2 to 14.2 hands high. Although it is considered a mini draft horse, the Fjord has smooth gaits, with movement similar to a riding horse, rather than high knee action like many draft horses. The mane is black in the center and white on the outside. Breed enthusiasts clip the mane in a crescent shape so it stands up.
For more information:
Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry, www.nfhr.com