The Norwegian Fjord Horse is one of the most easily recognized horses in the world. From his distinct compact body to his creamy coat color, (and of course that insane mane!) you can tell a Fjord from a single glance. But how well do you know this adorable equine? Take a look at these interesting facts about the Norwegian Fjord Horse.
#1 – One of the oldest breeds
According to the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry, they are one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. It is believed the breed migrated to Norway over 4,000 years ago and was domesticated then. (nfhr.com)
#2 – They are not all brown duns
While the striking “brown” dun color with his primitive markings it what makes a Fjord stand out, they can be other shades. 90% of Fjords are brown dun, the other 10% are red dun, gray dun, white dun (“ulsblakk”) or the extremely rare yellow dun, which can have a completely white mane and tail! (nfhr.com)
#3 – They rarely have white markings
While almost every other breed of horse has some form of white markings, they are extremely rare in the Fjord horse. A small star is the only acceptable mark (due to one being present in a foundation stallion). If a horse has more than this, he or she is not acceptable for breeding.
#4 – One of the purest breeds
Although Arabians have been carefully bred for generations, the Fjord horse has one of the longest history of pure breedings - they have found evidence of over 2,000 years of selective breeding while excavating Viking burial sites – without crossbreeding from other horses.
#5 – An Emblem
Use as an emblem on the coat of arms of two municipalities in Nordfjord – Gloppen and Eid.
#6 – A strange standard
Most horse breeds have an easy to understand standard that involves things like body composition, movement and even disposition. The Norwegian Fjord Horse does have these, but it’s definitely not “black and white.”
“The breed standard is difficult to express in precise terminology. The Norwegians describe their impression as ‘got mote’ which means a horse should have a nice and pleasant appearance.” (nfhr.com)