Fjord horse: features, origin and history

Horse Fjord is one of the oldest in the world and its pure lineage dates back at least 4,000 years. Historians believe that the race emigrated to Norway thousands of years ago, where it was domesticated. Fjord horse breeding has occurred for over 2000 years, the Fjord horse has one of the longest stories of any breed without crossing with other types of horses. An attempt was made to cross the fjord with another Norwegian breed, the Le, but in 1907 it was decided that this experiment had been a failure and his blood was soon removed from the fjord lines.

🐴Fjord Horse

The Norwegian Fjord is considered one of the oldest purebred horse breeds. While they bear a striking resemblance to the Asian wild horse or the Przewalski horse, they are in fact more closely related to the European wild horse, the tarpan, as the przewalski horse has 66 chromosomes, while both the fjord and the tarpan have 64 .

The original fjord horse is believed to have migrated to Norway and was domesticated more than 4000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests that the fjord horse was bred selectively for over 2000 years, first by the Vikings around 1200 BC. C. Runic stone carvings in Norway, many of fighting stallions, show images of horses recognizable as fjords. The Vikings took their fjords, which they used as war mounts, on their travels to Scotland, Iceland, and elsewhere. In these lands, the fjord influenced the highland pony and the Icelandic horse.

Fjord horse
Characteristics of the fjord

From the Viking war horses, the fjord became a working farm horse for Norwegian farmers in the western mountainous district of Vestlandet. Working on the farms on the slopes, the fjord became safe, agile, thrifty and hardworking, qualities they maintain to this day.


The Norwegian fjord is one of the oldest and purest horse breeds in the world. Hundreds of herds of wild fjords existed in Norway after the last glaciation, where they migrated and were domesticated more than 4,000 years ago. At Viking burial sites, archaeological excavations indicate that the fjord has been selectively bred for at least 2000 years. Having lived in a small, isolated region for so long, the Norwegian fjord is a relatively unknown breed to most people in the world.

The fjord is a multi-purpose horse that is extremely versatile and can work well in a variety of work situations including: agricultural or shooting work; packaging; driving light wagons; riding for pleasure; executant; demonstration; and equine-assisted therapy.

Due to a variety of unique breed types, some fjords will excel in one discipline over another. We believe it is important to preserve versatility within individuals of the race because genetic diversity is very important within an unusually small population.

Uses of the fjord


Although often used as draft horses, the Norwegian fjord is much smaller as a breed. The average fjord is below 14.2 hands and will weigh 1,200 pounds or less. It’s a size that’s not very intimidating to most people, but they’re strong enough to accommodate just about anyone under the seat. Add the calm temperament that most fjords have and are a suitable horse for children interested in the equine world.

The modern Norwegian fjord is also a robust and resilient horse, many within this breed are still very active until well into their 30s. There are three good steps in a purebred fjord, which offers balance, cadence and energy to the horse’s temperament. Many fjords seem to define themselves by the quality of their passage. If done right, you can see a natural pride, with a noticeably taller step and neck than if the horse thinks it’s not working well.

Most fjords like to experience a variety of activities so they can stay entertained. An inactive fjord is one that has a higher risk of developing behavior problems in the future. The versatility of this breed allows it to do whatever it takes, from farm work to horseback riding in general, to competitive sports and racing.

Fjord temperament

⭐Colors of the fjord

The basic wild colors are brown brown, brown red (chestnut) and gray, in addition, ULS dun and yellow dun are genuine colors of the breed. At the annual general meeting of Norges Fjordhestlag in 1980, it was agreed and decided that these five colors should be recognized as the genuine and typical colors of the Fjordhorse. This decision is also supported by scientific facts.

In some countries there is confusion as to what genuine and accepted colors of fjordhorse are and what the correct terms should be. In the homeland of the race, Norway over the years has established fixed names of different colors. These names have been official since 1922, it would certainly be an advantage if these Norwegian terms could be used in all countries where there are fjordhorses, either directly or by adjusting the terms of the different countries to the Norwegian terms.

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Nature of the fjord


Horse fjord has several characteristics that physically distinguish it from other equine breeds.

The neck of a fjord horse 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.

it offers a flat front and a flat or slightly curved profile. The eyes of the fjord are large and expressive; the ears are small and always alert. The deep barrel of the breed is made more notable by its shorter back. The wide rump should be well muscled and tilted. Harmonious body proportions are generally favored, and the legs are typically clean but powerful, with light feathers and secure feet.

Feeding the fjord horse


Most horses in Norwegian fjords have a cold-blooded temperament. They are calm and friendly, not easily frightened by changing circumstances. There are some Fjord horses that were crossed with them and these tend to have a poorer and more aggressive temperament.


If you are ready to buy a Fjord, be prepared to pay around $ 10,000 for a well-trained horse at its best, as this breed and horse is less common than other popular breeds.

Fjord style


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 windbreaker, trees), regardless of breed, but fjords generally prefer to be outdoors.

Eating a vitamin and mineral supplement is an easy way to ensure that your nutritional requirements are met. Pregnant, lactating, or fast-growing fjord horses may need to slightly increase the grain ration.

Fjords are “easy to care for” and horses that gain weight easily may need restricted access to food or pasture to prevent metabolic problems such as colic and laminitis. Each horse must be considered as an individual.

Colors of the fjord


Fjord horses are very flexible and adapt to a variety of situations. They are often considered a draft or workhorse, but their quality of movement makes them suitable for virtually any circumstance. This is due to his high level of intelligence, which can be seen in his large, expressive eyes.

The story of being with humans has led Fjord horses to seek human attention as well. They have a kind and gentle nature that is quite sensitive to loneliness. If you leave a Fjord horse to its fate during the day, one can expect to have a “curled horse” tonight. Fjords have a lot of charm and a willingness to work, but this tends to be relegated to social interactions.

Fjords like to get attention first and then get to work.

This breed is also generally quiet and cooperative. They tend to think before they react, which makes most of them very difficult to roll. This makes them a reliable vehicle for anyone of any age or skill level.

Fjord training

Fjords are also quite sensitive to the needs of the people who work with them. This makes the breed an ideal horse for therapeutic riding and experimental work. Some of the horses are so kind and willing, in fact, that some people think they don’t need to be trained at all. It is called “being born bankrupt.”

Fjord horses are generally not a threat, but they have the same instincts as any other horse. Their sensitivity can also create long-term feelings that can lead to unwanted behaviors, especially if the horse feels that it is being mistreated in some way.

Good, consistent training is the key to unlocking the full potential of this breed. This will help you to have a horse that is friendly and willing, especially if you are looking for a horse to ride or ride.

Fjord horse
Fjord care

The strength of the Fjord, the clean lines and the exceptionally adaptable nature have made them equally suitable for harnesses or mounts. They can be ridden in English or Western, hunted or driven in shows, parades and country roads, their placid manner makes them an ideal family horse.

Before you go take a look at this information:

Curious facts about the fjord

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