The horse of the Vikings is greater than a cute face—they will additionally do all of it.
The home horse has modified so much over the previous a number of thousand years. The small, dun-colored equines seen in prehistoric work have been largely changed with smooth, fine-boned steeds that stand a number of arms taller than their ancestors. However some horses have retained a handful of these historic equine traits. Take for instance the Norwegian Fjord, one of many world’s oldest horse breeds.
The Viking Previous of the Norwegian Fjord Horse
Historians imagine the ancestors of in the present day’s Norwegian Fjord Horse first appeared in Norway throughout the Ice Age. These horses had been domesticated about 4,000 years in the past and went on to turn out to be the horse of the Vikings. Archaeological excavations at Viking burial websites present that Fjord Horses had been usually buried alongside Vikings of excessive standing.
Over the centuries that adopted, the Fjord was utilized in Norway largely as a draft horse, working the fields and clearing the countryside of timber to make room for farms and villages. The Fjord was additionally used as a saddle and pack horse and was identified for its hardworking temperament.
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In the midst of the nineteenth century, an organized breeding program was established for the Fjord in Norway. Farmers with Fjord Horses started conserving data of the homeowners and colours of assorted Fjords born throughout this era. In 1910, an official studbook was revealed to make record-keeping extra exact. The primary stallion listed within the ebook was Rosendalsblakken 1, a horse born in 1857.
Within the Fifties, People found the sweetness and sturdiness of the Norwegian Fjord and imported 22 high quality Fjords into the nation. American aficionados of this powerful little horse started breeding them, and in 1978, the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry (NFHR) was fashioned within the states. The group’s aim was to register the Fjord and protect its purity and authentic kind in America.
Immediately, round 6,900 Norwegian Fjords are registered in the USA with the NFHR. The breed is rising in recognition—not solely within the U.S., but additionally across the globe. Fjord registries will be discovered all through the world, and proper now, round 6,000 Fjords stay within the breed’s native nation.
Immediately’s Fjord within the U.S.
Norwegian Fjord Horses have a novel look that harkens again to their prehistoric ancestry. Along with their keen temperament, their look is their most well-known attribute. Almost 90 % of all Fjord Horses are brown dun in shade, with the opposite 10 % being pink dun, grey, white or the very uncommon yellow dun.
The Fjord’s “wild” dun shade comes with primitive markings like zebra stripes on the legs, and a dorsal stripe that runs from the forelock down the neck and again and into the tail. Some Fjords even have darkish stripes over the withers.
Norwegian Fjords even have a novel mane. The middle hair of the mane is darkish—normally black—whereas the outer hair is white. Many Fjord homeowners lower the mane brief so it should stand erect, and trim it in a attribute crescent form to emphasise the swish curve of the horse’s neck. The white outer hair is then trimmed barely shorter than the darkish interior hair to show the dramatic darkish stripe.
Norwegian Fjords do extra than simply look good. They’re hardy mounts and simple keepers and might work for hours on finish if correctly conditioned. Fjords are at present excelling in lots of disciplines, together with western using, cattle work, leaping, eventing, dressage, mixed driving and vaulting. Fjords are common as path mounts and are utilized in aggressive path using. Though they’re small, they’re a good selection for riders of all ages.
The NFHR holds periodic evaluations for the breed, the place particular person horses are in comparison with the breed commonplace and given efficiency checks. Qualities comparable to disposition, character and willingness to work are evaluated. The analysis is voluntary and designed to be an informational and academic software for homeowners, breeders, consumers and handlers of the Norwegian Fjord.
By the analysis program, the NFHR hopes to protect all 5 colours of the Fjord Horse breed in addition to the variety within the breed’s conformation; some Fjords have a heavier physique whereas others are lighter-framed.
With its considerably prehistoric look, fascinating historical past and delicate temperament, the Norwegian Fjord is a really distinctive breed that can proceed to develop in numbers. As time goes on, much more equestrians are certain to find the fun of this particular little horse.
Norwegian Fjord Quick Information Peak: 13.1-14.3 arms Coloration: Brown dun, white dun, grey, pink dun, and yellow dun Total Look: Head is medium-sized and well-defined with a broad, flat brow and straight or barely dished face. The eyes are giant. Ears are small and alert. the neck is properly muscled and crested. The physique is short-coupled with good depth, giant coronary heart and girth, and well-developed muscle groups. The legs are highly effective, with substancial bone. Study extra by visiting the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry.
This text in regards to the Norwegian Fjord initially appeared within the September 2021 problem of Horse Illustrated journal. Click on right here to subscribe!