Information about light horse breeds, backgrounds and history of hot-blooded and warmblood light horses with horse class, equestrian discipline, and horse training by body types: stock type, hunter type, saddle type and others.
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The Norwegian Fjord Horse, or Fjord Horse, is a very old Breed and thought to be one of the world's oldest breed of horse. It developed in the inaccessible mountainous regions of Norway where it is known as the Fjording. Selective breeding and isolation has kept the breed extremely pure over the centuries. Archeological records show that these horses were used by the Vikings and accompanied them in their explorations and conquests as early as 2000 years ago.
Though small, the Norwegian Fjord horses are strong and extremely hardy. For hundreds of years they were used for riding and working farms in a harsh environment. The Norwegian Fjord is a versatile and hardy breed whose attractive dun color is complemented by a distinctive two toned mane.
Intelligent and affectionate, Fjords have a kind but sometimes obstinate disposition. Their versatility and hardiness makes them a suitable choice for children and adults alike looking for a pleasure horse or a competitive sport horse in many disciplines. They are known to be durable. long-lived, and relatively easy to maintain.
The National Fjord Horse Registry (NFHR) does not allow outbreeding, therefore registered Fjords are a very pure breed with a detailed ancestry going back many generations. There are many reputable breeders throughout the United States and the Norwegian Fjord horse registry maintains a list of breeders.
The Norwegian Fjord Horse is a light horse breed. Light horse breeds generally weigh under 1,500 pounds. They are typically used as riding horses for leisure and trail riding. Being agile and swift, many are also used on the racetrack, in the show ring, and for work on the ranch.
Light horses are grouped in a couple of different ways, one being the continent or country where they originated from. They are also grouped according to training, classified as either a stock type, hunter type, saddle type, or 'other'. A body type is generally attributed to each class, with the 'other' classification being a bit of an odd ball. It includes those that are color breeds or those that may fit a body type of one of the training classes, but not be used for that type of training. The 'other' types can also include those that may fit into more than one of the type groups.
The Norwegian Fjord Horse fits into the 'other' type class. It is a strong durable horse developed for farm work, and make excellent driving horses. Their grace and power can also make them competitive in dressage, show jumping, and the cross country course.
The Norwegian Fjord Horse is a very old Breed developed in the inaccessible mountainous regions of Norway. It is thought to be one of the world's oldest breed of horse. Selective breeding and isolation has kept the breed extremely pure over the centuries. Archeological records show that these horses were used by the Vikings and accompanied them in their explorations and conquests as early as 2000 years ago.
This breed shares many of the characteristics of the wild Przewalski's horse to whom it was once speculated to be descended from. Used for riding and working the farms in a harsh environment, Fjord horses are extremely hardy and relatively easy to maintain.
This breed ranges from 13 to 14.2 hands high and weighs 900 to 1200 pounds. They are dun in color with a dorsal stripe running along the midline of the back. 90 percent are brown duns, with the other acceptable colors being red, grey, white or yellow dun.
They are known for their distinctive two toned mane which is black in the center, sandwiched between shorter, lighter hair. It is usually cut short enough to stand upright, with the center black hairs left longer to display the black stripe. Fjords are long lived, and it is not unusual for them to live into their late 30's.
Horse Care and Feeding
Fjords are "easy keepers", with a tendency to become overweight if fed an unrestricted diet and not exercised. Grass hay supplemented by no more than 2 to 4 percent of their body weight with a medium to low protein grain is recommended. Because of their hardy nature do not require excessive grain or supplements.
Their keen intelligence demands that they be kept in a stimulated environment. They do not do well when confined to a stall 24 hours a day. They thrive in pasture or turn out.
Grooming is essential, especially in winter when if left unclipped they will grow a thick and wooly coat. They tend to have excellent, well balanced feet and are often left unshod.
Horse Training and Activities
The versatility of the Fjord makes them useful in many disciplines. They are good on the trail and make ideal pleasure horses. If properly trained, their grace and power can also make them competitive in the dressage arena, the show jumping arena, and the cross country course. They make excellent driving horses whose good bone and hardy stature facilitate their great strength and willingness to work.
Common Health Problems
Fjords are known for their hardy nature and common equine ailments such as colic and laminitis are relatively rare in this breed. If the feet are neglected and the coat is not groomed regularly, skin and coat conditions such as rain rot and thrush may become a problem.
The Norwegian Fjord Horse is available throughout the United States. Prices begin at about $2,000 dollars and up depending on their bloodlines and training
Jesper - 2015-11-02 hi i was wondering if any one could tell me what would be old enough to start to ride a norwegian fjord horse for there a norwegian fjord horse thats 3 years old that i want to buy but am not sure if hes old enough to hold my weight I weigh 160 lbs and I don’t want to hurt the little guy
Cortney - 2016-05-26 You can't hurt this breed. They are very strong animals. Even Ponies can hold 2-3x their weight, so there would be no problem in you riding him. Only ride bareback on some occasions though, because direct pressure on their back can cause some slight pain once in a while. Otherwise, GO FOR IT! You'll have fun and so will your horse! :)
julie - 2015-10-05 We are considering buying a Norwegian Fjord that is very sweet & even (somewhat) broken but has foundered in the past. Should this cause some concern? Is he ruined? He is probably close to 7 & hasn't been ridden in five years, so how much would be a fair price to offer?
Kelly Hoffman Patterson - 2014-07-14 I have a 5-6 yr old Fjord, shy of 15 hands and about 1100lbs. Just moved him to Florida from Nebraska. Everyone that sees him says he is fat. He does not have a belly and to me, looks good. Only thing I notice, but thought it a Fjord thing, is his crested neck. He is in a large paddock but does need some exercise, which starts this weekend with the round pen. He is only on hay, from Nebraska, right now. Should I be feeding anything else? supplements, etc?
Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22 Sounds like you have a wonderful horse. Hay is very good and should be the main component of a horses diet as it provides roughage. There are also many specialized supplements for coat, joints, and hooves that can be fed for extra nutrition. However, I would talk to an equine veterinarian in the area about his diet before adding supplementation. You can learn more diet in the horse feeding section on the 'Horse Care Page'... here: http://horses.animal-world.com/information/horse-care.php#Horse Feeding
LL - 2012-05-04 Hi, can someone give me some input on feeding of fyord horse, located in florida, how much food does it need .. really....... it gets no grazing and only gets minimal hay, one to two flakes coastal hay, bored to death, only gets 1/4 of scoop twice a day. very depressed horse......
Jim Smith - 2013-04-22 Sounds like he needs a job, put him to work. Horses do not make good lawn ornaments. It is your job as a responsible horse owner to keep him fit, which means exercise, which in turn will stimulate his mind.
Dream Giver - 2013-08-21 I see this all the time running a rescue. People talk about fat unmanageable horses. Horses need jobs and interaction. Don't try to manage weight with feed alone. They need exercise and socialization. Give them direction and love or please people don't get animals!