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.
1. Scientific & Common Names
4. Present Status
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.