Horse fjord is a medium-sized draft horse from Scandinavia. It is easily distinguished from others with a similar appearance due to some distinctive features: all fjords are brown with pangaré and many have black and white hair of vertical cut.
The fjord horse is an ancient breed native to Norway and resembles the Asian wild horse depicted in prehistoric cave paintings. The fjord was used by the Vikings in battle, for plowing and as a pack horse. It has been used for agricultural work, being able to access areas where it is not possible to use tractors, and was also used by the Norwegian army as a pack horse.
According to the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry, they are one of the oldest and purest breeds in the world. The breed is believed to have emigrated to Norway more than 4,000 years ago and was domesticated then. While the striking “brown” brown color with its primitive marks is what makes a fjord stand out, it can be other shades. 90% of the fjords are brown, the other 10% are red brown, gray brown, white brown or extremely rare yellow brown, which may have a completely white hair and tail.
Although the Arabs have been carefully bred for generations, the fjord horse has one of the longest stories of purebred breeding, they have found evidence of over 2,000 years of selective breeding while digging Viking cemeteries, without crossing with other horses. Most horse breeds have an easy-to-understand standard that involves things like body composition, movement, and even disposition.
📌Fjord horse breed
The fjord is an extremely popular breed of Norwegian horse that developed in the past. This horse is a mixture of the musculature and bone of draft horses, but they come in a relatively smaller size. However, despite their size, they are very agile horses and are quite capable of pulling heavy loads and carrying an adult human. As pets, they have a reputation for having a generally good temperament.
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It is believed that, about 4000 years ago, the fjord horse ancestors had emigrated to Norway, where they were domesticated for different purposes. These horses were bred selectively for 2000 years which is evidenced in the various archaeological excavations that were carried out in the various Viking cemeteries. Most likely his ancestors came to Norway from the east. Historically, these Norwegian horses had appeared in various body shapes or types, depending on the different requirements of the time. It is from this vivid genetic heritage that the current versatile fjord horse has evolved.
In western Norway, these horses and their ancestors have been used for agricultural work for many centuries. This active and energetic breed had also been used during World War II, as they proved to be very useful while working in mountainous terrain. These horses still show strong survival instincts and remain healthy and useful throughout life.
🐴Horse fjord features
The fjord horse has several characteristics that physically distinguish it from other equine breeds. The head is of medium size and has a flat, wide forehead and a slightly curved or straight profile. In addition, the ears are broad, truncated, and small, while the eyes are round, large, expressive, and dark.
The neck of a fjord is flexible and forms a natural arc. In addition, the lower line is shorter than the upper line and the shoulders are muscular, while the cross is long and moderately defined as they extend towards the back.
The chest of this horse will be wide and the circumference will be deep, while the back will be wide, muscular and short to moderately long. Also, a fjord will have hooves that are large, round, and dense, and the tail will be a little high.
⚔Fjord horse with history
Before 1860, the roads and general infrastructure of the western part of Norway were very bad. The Westland horse (the name of the horse at this time) was of great importance in making transport possible through the mountains and along the fjords.
On the steep and rugged terrain, the Westland horse was light, agile and well equipped. The historical protocols of 1750 tell us that more colors were common in the Fiardo, as we know from the Islandic horse. An important part of breeding was to keep the color brown, as it was considered a symbol of the purity of the fjord. The first genealogical book was published in 1910.
Today, the fiardo is still used for heavy agricultural work and is a unique packhorse, given its ability to handle rugged, rocky terrain. Most horses are used for lighter work, such as riding and riding, for sports and recreation. The fjord horse is also popular outside Norway; there are more fjords in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands than in Norway. There is also great interest in the fjord in Sweden and the United States.
📍Care of the fjord horse
The fjords do very well in pastures and do not need to be kept in the stable, even in fairly severe climates. All grazing horses should have free access to the shelter (run over, simple windbreaks, trees), regardless of breed, but fjords generally prefer to be outdoors, clean grazing hay is a better option than l ‘alfalfa. Even for workhorses, a small supplement with cereal is needed, feeding with a vitamin and mineral supplement is an easy way to ensure that nutritional requirements are met.
Pregnant, lactating, or fast-growing fjord horses may need the grain ration to increase slightly. To avoid digestive discomfort or excessive weight gain, homeowners should consciously resist the temptation to respond to pretty faces and attractive expressions by overfeeding or giving too many goodies.
As with any horse, owners must control the weight of each animal and regulate the diet as needed to maintain the condition and energy levels. Fjords are “easy to care for” and horses that gain weight easily may need to be restricted from access to food or pasture to prevent metabolic problems such as colic and laminitis.
💵Horse fjord price
The average purchase price of a fjord horse is from $ 8,000 to $ 1200, if they are imported and of the highest quality represent a great investment in time and money.
Brownish brown (“brunblakk” in Norwegian) is the most common color. It can be found in lighter or darker shades. Body color is pale yellowish brown and can range from cream yellow to almost brown. The “midtstol” (the darkest strip of hair in the middle of the hair), the dorsal stripe and the “halefjær” (darker hair in the middle of the tail) are black or dark brown. Light-colored horses have white foreheads and white hairs on the outside of the mane. In darker individuals, these hairs are also darker.
Of a red
In some cases, it can be difficult to differentiate between a brown or reddish brown. In reddish browns, the “midtstol”, dorsal stripe, and “halefjær” are red or reddish brown, always darker than body color, but never black. The mane and tail are mostly very light or yellowish. In lighter shades of brown, the flake, hair, and tail may be completely white. When they are born, the red browns may have white hooves, but the hooves will darken as they grow.
Grays (“Grain”) have a body color that can range from light silver gray to dark slate gray. “Midtstol”, dorsal stripe and “halefjær” are darker than the main color. The area of the flock and snout are dark in contrast to the browns and reds which mostly have a clear area of the flock and snout. In darker individuals, the hair and tail may be very dark. If the same pattern has been used to name this color as for the others, gray should be called brown black, but this term has never been used.
The fiardo Norwegian horse is known for his gentle temperament, willingness to work, endurance and vigor. Used for shooting, mounting and driving work, individuals vary in size and weight depending on use.
Although the fjord horse has existed for thousands of years, it has been selectively and carefully bred, making it a largely purebred with little influence from other horse breeds. This breed is still highly valued in Norway for its historical importance and its remarkable contributions to Norwegian life.
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