Norwegian Fjord Horses - the beautiful dun horses of the far north

There is hardly anyone who does not like the look of the compact ponies. The little Norwegians with their cheeky standing mane are actually more popular than ever.

Among the horse breeds, this pony in particular has a high recognition value. But this is not the only reason why the Fjord horse has mutated into a popular leisure horse. Its origin and past ultimately made this animal a robust and reliable partner. And that is what equestrian sport is all about.

Thank goodness that open stabling has become the be-all and end-all of species-appropriate animal husbandry. Since this positive influence for equids, the demand for robust horses is immense. Here the Fjord horse is clearly in the lead. Far ahead of the other horse breeds. The beautiful dun horses do not feel uncomfortable in the freezing cold and their social strength is also convincing.

You want to know more about the proud "Viking horses"? La oss gå!

Origin and breeding history

Yes, the name Norwegian already gives away a little of the pony's area of origin. One suspects that the Fjord Horse could have descended from Asian ancestral horses because of its outward appearance. The black eel markings, the dark stripes on the legs and the typical body shape prove this theory. Thus, the pony even counts among the oldest European horse breeds. In the end, however, the coastal areas of Norway can already be described as the animals' home.

Even before the Vikings settled down, they crossed their captured horses with Asian animals. Later, they used the more powerful pony form to cultivate their farmland and to carry loads.

Until about 1876, crossbreeding with Dole horses (Norwegian cold blood) took place. Reason: The Fjordis should gain in size and mass. Dissatisfaction about the character traits of the animals caused that since 1886 no more cross-breeding was allowed. There was a breed purge.

The actual breeding began with the original stallion NJÅL N 166, from which three main lines developed. These founding stallions were called BERGFAST N 635, HÅKON JARL N and ØYARBLAKKEN N 819. They all had different merits, which were later combined.

1883 was the year in which the Fjord Horse was presented for the first time at an agricultural show in Germany. The Norwegian Pony was not consolidated until 1907, when pure breeding became an integral part of the Norwegian breeding organisations. As with many horse breeds, the population declined significantly due to mechanisation.

In Germany, pure breeding did not occur until 1954. The animals were "discovered" as ideal leisure horses and the lighter, rideable type of Norwegian was carefully selected. The pretty Fjord horse was no longer just a commercial horse.

The Norwegian association Norsk Hestesenter keeps the original studbook. Their breeding regulations are also binding for German breeding facilities.


In terms of size, the Fjord Horse is in the pony size range at approx. 135 - 150 cm. An expressive, pretty head with large eyes and relatively wide-set ears betray his good nature.

The neck is beautifully accentuated by the traditional standing mane. The mane and the full tail have an interesting two-tone colouring due to the eel line running from the mop of hair to the tail rump. This eel line really makes these horses a striking feature.

The build is compact with a broad chest, broad rump, sloping shoulder and a well muscled back and loin. Strong limbs and well formed hooves of very good quality are another eye catcher and indicate an overall sound foundation.

Colour shades

The Fjordi is only available as dun. However, there is room for manoeuvre. This varies in red, brown and grey dun. Rarer are light dun or so called yellow dun. The light-coloured mouth is unmistakable. This flour or milk mouth, as it is often called, is typical for the breed, as is the standing mane.

White markings are not very desirable. However, some horses have zebra stripes on their legs, which clearly characterise their wild horse origins that go far back.


The smart little ones convince with a calm, balanced character. They are always sociable, uncomplicated, extremely undemanding and willing to perform. The ponies are also persevering and prove to be courageous and fearless in the field. Their reliable temperament makes them a loyal partner.

Suitability of the dun

As just described, this breed proves to be a top suitable leisure horse. Their sure-footedness in the countryside is much sought after. The manageable size makes it especially interesting for smaller adults, youngsters and children. As cuddly cuddly bears, they are a hit with the little ones anyway. The fluffy ponies can also express their peace of mind well during riding lessons.

Particularly noteworthy is the suitability of the little ones as driving horses. There they are not only visually a feast for the eyes. Anyone who has seen these driving horses knows what we are talking about. Without exception, the driver benefits from their courage, their enormous willingness to perform and their reliability.

In addition to their qualification as safe driving horses, the stable dun horses also present themselves from their best side in the riding arena. Although the Fjordi has little freedom of gait, they still find their way in the dressage arena. They learn quickly and show with confidence what they have been taught in a solid training. Circus lessons? But logical!

Things to know about husbandry

The undemanding, social Norwegian should be allowed to live in a group environment. The open stable is therefore exactly the right place for him. Careful feeding is essential! Several portions spread out over the day and paddocks for a few hours are usually better than hay and pasture ad libitum. Otherwise the horses will eat too much, like a pony. Otherwise prosperity diseases such as EMS, laminitis etc... would be the result.

Conclusion: Nordic cold - not with Norwegians!

Whoever can call a Fjord horse his own will surely agree. The beautiful bears are unique. Their gentleness warms every heart. They make few demands and yet give so much in return. In any case, a chic, lovable leisure horse with a future.

Animalons brush recommendation for the fjord horse:

For the daily care of the fjord horse we recommend our Care Flex currycomb, as the horse's coat only has an insulating effect when clean.

After the grooming session, the Care Flex card brush effortlessly removes loose dust and dirt from the coat and at the same time conjures up an even shine on the horse's coat.