The Fjord Pony is one of the oldest breeds of equids. It bears a striking resemblance to the horses painted on cave walls by ice age artists some 30,000 years ago. The Fjord has earned a reputation as a strong, durable and pleasant-natured pony. It is used by the farmers of Norway as a general purpose pony to pull loads on their hilly farms. In addition to its strength, the breed is also noted for its light and smooth action. The Fjord pony has a thick coat so that is can endure rough winters with minimal care. The combined qualities of the breed have led to its exportation to many other countries in Europe, particularly Denmark, where it has been widely used for light draft work.
Of the characteristics which typify the Fjord Pony, color is the most predominant. It is predominantly dun and varying shades of that color. Occasionally bay and black Fjord ponies are seen. A Dorsal stripe runs from the tail along the back to the forelock. The legs are usually dark, and frequently have zebra stripes. The head is small with broadly placed and expressive eyes. The neck is thick and muscular, and the mane stands up as it is usually clipped to 4 to 5 inches. The back, like the rest of the body, is quite muscular. The legs are clean, short and there is some feather. The Fjord Pony typically stands around 14 hands.
The Fjord Pony is native to Norway. There are two different types of Fjord Ponies: the Fjord-Hest northern Norway and the Doele-Hest from the valley regions. As a breed, this pony is descended from the pre-historic ponies of Asia.
The Fjord Pony’s ancestors were used by the Vikings as their primary mount. Therefore, it may be assumed that it affected the breeds indigenous to other countries, notably the “mountain and moorland” ponies of Great Britain, and the Icelandic Horse. Considerable numbers of the Fjord Ponies were exported to Denmark at the turn of the century. There, the breed has been used on farms, especially in the northern area known as Jutland.
For more information, contact:
Norwegian Fjord Association of North America
24570 W. Chardon Road
Grayslake, Illinois 60030
Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry
1203 Appian Dr.
Webster, NY 14580