Norwegian Fjord: The Fjord is one of the world’s oldest breeds, believed to have been in western Norway for more than 4,000 years. Archaeological excavations at Viking burial sites indicate that the Fjord Horse has been selectively bred for at least 2,000 years. Although initially bred as a war horse, as with so many ancient breeds the Fjord was also used for farming and general transportation purposes.
The Fjord horse is strong enough for heavy work, such as plowing fields or pulling timber, yet light and agile enough to be a good riding and driving horse. They are also surefooted in the mountains.
Today, the Fjord horse is a favorite at Norwegian riding and therapeutic schools, as its generally mild temperament and small size make it suitable for children and disabled individuals. They are considered very good driving horses, and are commonly used in everything from competitions to tourist transport in Norway. They are also used as a sport horse, particularly in combined driving.
Approximately 90% of all Norwegian Fjord's are brown dun in color. The other 10% are either red dun, gray, white or "uls" dun, or yellow dun. Strongly resembling the asian wild horse of the ice age the Fjord displays what are known as primitive markings, which include a dorsal stripe that runs from the forelock to their tail. They have also retained the zebra bars on the lower half of their legs.
Another trademark feature of the Fjord's unique coloration are the mane and tail, which grow with dark hair in the centre and white hairs on either side. The mane is trimmed in a crescent shape to emphasize the graceful curve of the neck and the white outside hairs are often cut one centimetre shorter so the black stripe is visible. Fjords generally range in size from 13.2 to 14.2 Hands
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