The Fjord Horse is a small horse breed that is easy to recognize. The Norwegian Fjord Horse, the Fjording, or the Fjord came from Norway. It’s a compact draft breed that is quite powerful. The Fjord Horse is one of the oldest breeds in the world. And it’s still very popular for its kind temperament.
The Fjord horses were typically used for pulling and working on a farm. But now they are also popular in riding and driving. The breed features light color shades as well as having cut mane that stands up.
Let’s get all the nuts and bolts about Fjord Horses.
Fjord Horse History
Fjords are one of the oldest breeds in the world. They are believed to have a bond with the Przewalski Horse – the wild horse from Asia. The researchers claim the horse breed has existed since the last ice age. There are cave paintings exhibiting the Fjord Horse ancestors.
The Norwegian Fjord Horse was domesticated around 4,000 years ago. Viking burials showed the Fjord Horse has been as a war mount. The breed has been actively used as a farm animal as it’s hardy and durable.
The pure breeding history has been recorded in the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. It was founded in the mid of the 20th century. The association aims to preserve the purity of the horse breed. The selective breeding practices have been taking place for more than 2,000 years.
Fjord Horse Temperament
The Norwegian Fjord Horse is loved for its friendly temperament. These are cold-blooded equines. Horses stand out with their gentle and calm behavior. They are not easily spooked animals, which is a plus.
Fjord Horses are willing to work and please their owner. They are great learners due to their high levels of intelligence. Horse trainers enjoy having time with such equines. As the Fjord Horse is a small breed with a calm tempo, it’s perfect for children.
Fjords are highly sociable animals. They will look for their owner’s attention. Such equines prefer daily communication with their peers. The horse can get bored quickly when being alone kept in a stall. Keep in mind the Fjord may express aggressiveness if it feels a lack of your attention.
Because of the breed’s gentle temperament, the Fjord Horse is often used as a service companion. The equine assists children and adults with disabilities. That’s a great family pet too. You children will be entertained with such a horse for sure.
Fjord Horse Characteristics
The Norwegian Fjord Horse has its distinctive features. The Fjord is a dun horse that is easy to distinguish from other horse breeds. The Fjord Horse is one of the oldest horse breeds that has been used in draft work, driving, and riding.
The Norwegian Fjord has a small body with short limbs. The arched neck and body are muscular, the head is of medium size. The ears are small, the eyes are big, the forehead is flat. In winter, the hair coat becomes thick and heavy.
In fact, Fjord Horses have long hair that is thick and heavy. But it’s usually cut down to 1-2 inches long. So the hair stands up and replicates the shape of the muscular neck. Such mane is easier to groom. Fjord Horses have feathering on their lower legs. But the breed standard doesn’t allow excessive feathering.
Despite the compact size, the breed is highly agile and capable of carrying heavy weight. It’s a great equine for farm work. It can be the best friend for your children too.
The Fjord Horse life expectancy is 30 years that makes them long-livers.
Fjord Horse Height and Weight
The Fjord Horse is 13.1 to 14.3 hands tall at the withers. Even though the animal can be shorter than 14.2, it’s not referred to as a pony. The Fjord is a horse breed.
As for the Fjord Horse weight, the equine goes somewhere from 880 to 1,100 pounds. That’s an average weight for a horse breed.
Fjord Horse Colors
Fjord Horses are of a dun color. Dun horses typically have yellow hues of a coat as well as goldish, tannish tints are also presented. The tips of the ears are usually dark. Moreover, the mane and tail are black or brown. Sometimes these parts have light hairs that are called frosting.
Dun horses feature a dorsal stripe – a dark line on the horse’s back. Another distinctive feature is that Fjord Horses have zebra stripes on their legs. In other cases, the points of the legs are black. In addition, some dun horses may have shoulder striping or shadow as well. Besides, a cobwebbing may occur on the coat which is dark rings or stripes on the forehead of the horse.
There’s a big array of color shades including:
- the bay dun (which is called zebra dun),
- the red dun (having reddish tail and mane),
- and the blue dun (which is called grulla).
Some Fjord Horses have brown markings on their body. These are called Njal marks after the foundation sire. Another feature is a pangare coat found in some equines. These are lighter hairs around the horse’s eyes, muzzle, belly, and inner legs.
You may face creme Fjord Horses that carry the cream gene. They result in occurring horses with lighter color shades.
Fjord Horse Mane Cutting
Howrse owners like cutting the horse’s mane so it looks neat. As for the traditional cut, the mane must be upstanding. There’s a convex form that follows the top line of the equine. The tradition traces back to the Vikings. History shows the Fjord Horses manes have been cut since that time. It was probably done to show the boldness of horses when they were used as war mounts. Perhaps, the short mane was a more comfortable option. The bridle was easily tacked up on a horse with short standing hair.
To slay Fjord Horse mane cutting, use roaching. That’s a cutting technique that allows you to keep the black center hair longer. Cut the hairs leaving a few inches. It will regrow over time so you can maintain it again. The point is to cut the white layers 2 inches lower than the black layer. To master the cuts, you need practice, practice, and more practice.
Fjord Horse Facts Revealed
The Fjord Horse breed is a tremendous equine that is versatile in use. Horse owners and breeders love the horse for its gentle traits and personality. Fjords are great companions for kids and adults. Their calm and outgoing behavior is beneficial for therapy sessions.
Fjord Horses are powerful draft horses that are suitable for riding and driving. They’re used in farm work. Some equestrians perform with the Fjord Horse. It’s used in the tourist industry as well. Lots of activities fit the horse breed well.