The Fjord horse is originating from the mountainous areas in Western Norway. The alternative names of the Fjord horse are Norwegian Dun, Norwegian Pony, West Norwegian, Northern Dun, and Westland. Each of these names has their own meanings, which we will explain in the following text.
The Fjord is an ancient breed and one of the purest breeds in the world, retaining many of its original characteristics. It is developed from the Viking animals that existed in Norway at the end of the last ice age.
They were domesticated 4000 years ago and were used as farm working animals and war mounts. The Fjord horse was spread throughout Europe thus had influence and now most drafts horse breeds are considered to carry Fjord horse blood. They are marked as an emblem on the coat of the Nordfjord arms of Gloppen and Eid. The average height of the breed is approximately 13-14.1 hands and they can weight from 400 to 500 kg. Although some individuals by their height are in the group of ponies, they still are considered to be horses.
Their coat color is always dun with primitive markings and the hair coat is becoming particularly thick and heavy in winter. By the stud book, there are recognized five variations in shade, which wasn`t an issue until the end of the 19th century when a breed standard was formed in 1922 and all crossbreeding stopped.
Dun is a coat color and the dun gene has ability to affect the appearance of a black, bay, chestnut based horses, by lightening their body coat and suppressing the base color to the mane, tail, legs and primitive markings, such as the dorsal stripe, horizontal stripe on the back of the forearms etc. White markings can appear on the face and the legs, but they are undesirable, accept a small star.
Most of the Fjord horses are brown dun, even 90 percents and the remaining 10 percents are either red dun grey white dun and yellow dun. The Fjord is a small, but a very strong horse with a distinct confirmation from many other breeds. It is a well-muscled draft horse with strong bones and great agility.
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