Norwegian Fjord Breed Description
|Height||13 to 15 hands high|
|Weight||1000 to 1400 pounds.|
|Name||Fjord (pronounced fee-ord)|
|Colour||The Fjord has maintained its original colour, “the wild colour”, which is dun (or buckskin). The real “wild colours” are brown dun, red dun and grey. Two colours, Ulsdun (very light) and yellow, are brought out by a combination of the wild colour and the basic dun colour. All these main colours will appear in lighter and darker shades. The most common colour is brown dun.|
|Markings||The Fjord exhibits primitive markings and offcolours. These are the dark colour in the forelock, mane and tail, dark dorsal stripe along the back, and “zebra stripes” on the legs. Occasionally stripes are to be found across the neck as well. The markings or offcolours on the brown dun are black or dark brown. Red dun horses have reddish-brown offcolours, never black. In some cases they can also have a completely white forelock mane and tail. Grey horses have black or dark grey offcolours. White horses have very light bodycolour and black or grey offcolours. Also, the legs can be dark up to the knees. Yellow dun horses can have darker yellow offcolours, never black. Forelock, mane and tail can be completely white. Offcolours on this type are usually indistinct.|
|Head and Neck||The Fjord has large, dark, gentle and wide set eyes. Its head is small, neat, well-shaped and concave. The profile is never convex. The Fjord has small alert ears, a broad forehead and large jaws. The head is set on a powerful neck.|
|Body||The shoulders are heavy. The Fjord is very well muscled and has a powerful, broad chest. There is no discernible wither. The withers are deep in the girth. The Fjord has no great slope to shoulders, and is rounded in the barrel.|
|Mane and Tail||The mane is usually trimmed in the traditional style that is short, straight, erect with the dark center slightly higher than the outside silver hairs. The tail is set fairly low, mane|
|Limbs||The Fjord has short legs with lots of good, dense bone and short cannons,, making them sure-footed and hard to blemish. There is a small amount of feather on heel. The outstanding features of the Fjord’s limbs are excellent joints.|
|Body||The chest has good depth and width. The back is short, broad and well-muscled. The loin is wide, muscular and closely coupled. The barrel is large and somewhat round. The ribs are well-sprung and closely joined. The flank is full and deep.|
Norwegian Fjord Breed History
The Norwegian Fjord is one of the few breeds of horses that has kept its original characteristics. It is widely held that the Norwegian Fjord is related to the Przewalski, a Central Asian wild horse breed, which had migrated to Norway from Asia. It is believed that by 2000 B.C. these horses were domesticated. Vikings kept and bred ponies of this type. When the Vikings raided Scotland, they brought the ponies along. As a result, the Highland Pony breed was influenced by infusions of Fjord blood. The Fjord also influenced the development of the Icelandic Horse.
Nowegian Fjords are still fairly rare, but the breed is becoming more popular. People are discovering the many positive attributes of these wonderful, all purpose horses. The Fjord is bred all over Norway, from Telemark to Finnmark, and can be found throughout Scandinavia. The Fjord is used for agricultural jobs, riding, driving, and as pack ponies.
The official name of the breed is Fjordhorse, in daily speech referred to as “Fjording”. At one time it was known as the “Westlandhorse” and before that as the “Northfjordhorse” or “Northfjording”.
From times of old, the Fjord horse has been renowned for its tremendous stamina, its amazing ability to pull and carry, its excellent trotting action, and a very gentle temperament.
It is not easily frightened, and it keeps calm in difficult situations. The Fjord is also very energetic.
The Fjord is known for being agile and sure-footed in difficult terrain. This makes it an ideal horse for riding and mountain packing. The Fjord is a very good keeper, and usually does very well on hay alone.
All Fjords have a charming, kind temperament with lots of personality. They love people. Even the newborn foal exhibits this friendly disposition, and loves to have children or adults pet it. Fjords are ideal for those with little horse experience wishing to buy a good, gentle natured horse.
The gait of a Fjord is relatively smooth with a good walk or trot that will eat up the distance you ride or drive them.