01-30-2012, 09:01 PM
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Here's a picture of my daughter on a farm in Norway, declaring "Mamma, when (not if) I get my horse, it's going to be a fjord. OK, Mamma? Did you hear me, Mamma?"
I grew up riding Fjord horses as lesson horses for years and years. Sweetest temperaments ever. Willing to please. Eager to try anything. We used them for jumping and dressage. We would have 15 horses in the arena, including the resident stallion - never had an issue. I love their names. Agilulf was my favorite lesson-horse.
Yes, they will carry a full-grown man, no problem. In Norway, we often call them the mount of the Vikings. In reality, it's likely that the modern Fjord evolved from the horses used by the vikings, and is likely notably different today than 1500 years ago.
I've seen them in the typical draft conformation, and occasionally in a sleeker version. The sleeker version does very well in jumping. I always jumped the stockier version, and they did well and had great fun. My Mom's neighbor competes in jumping, and last year won the national championship on her Fjord (unknown which class), knocking out the sleeker breeds. They make excellent trail horses. If you've ever seen the Norwegian countryside and wilderness, you know it's very rough and more or less impassable. The fjords were the favored horses on the rough West coast for farmwork, travel, and transporting goods, because they were so strong, willing, and surefooted. They were also a favorite of the farms, because the farms were generally quite poor, and couldn't afford to feed a hungry horse. The fjords were compact, efficient, strong easy-keepers - lots of bang for the buck.
Today, if you take a riding vacation in the Norwegian mountains (highly recommended), you'll likely end up on a Fjord or Døle Gudbrandsdal, also a stocky, strong mount, but often more spirited.'
So I would love to do as my daughter says and get a Fjord. Why are they so blasted expensive in the US?