Have you driven a Fjord lately?
Well, I can't say that I have but now, more than ever I sure would like to! I have long been interested in this facinating breed. They were the horses the vikings rode back in Norway and Sweden - how cool is THAT??? I mean, honestly - a viking horse? And they generally come in fantastic scandinavian names - Bjorn, Brita, Sven, Runar, Sverre, and, one of my faves - Uff da. Yes, there is a handsome stallion in South Dakota named Uffda. I love that. It makes me want to buy one of his foals post haste. But his friend, and farm mate Runar is much more handsomer.
Of course, we are not in the market for another horse - not really. This is pure pleasureable research. My husband has half heartedly said he wants to trail ride with me - and that, of course is good enough for me to start dreaming of 'his' next horse. Let me give you some much needed background on this one. You must understand.
Several years ago, Larry first mentioned he'd like to trail ride with me. GREAT! I started looking for a horse, I had found several fine prospects when he says he needed a 'man's horse' whatever that is. Turns out a 'manly' horse is one that LOOKS manly. O.K. got it. So, voila - we found an incredible Belgian draft gelding. Great guy - sweet as sweet can be. They got along great - until Larry decided to trail him. All was fine, except he hadn't practiced enough, and when Samson spooked, he didn't have the muscle memory to haul him around into an emergency stop. OH BOY. That ended with Larry taking a nasty dive off a 17.2hh Belgian at a full on canter. Not fun.
This happened a few times, and ended with Larry giving up on BIG horses. Next was a shorter, finer, Paint. That horse pulled his back somehow, and nearly put me in the hospital, so goodbye, Paint. Larry more or less swore off horses until he realized how much time I spend at the barn given half a chance (or so HE says.)
Now, he says he wants to ride, but it has to be a VERY even tempered SHORT horse. AH HA!
Enter, the Norwegian Fjord.
Incredible age old breed dating back PRE-Viking era. Selectively bred for centuries for their incredible (draft) temprament, laid back attitude, willingness, friendliness to people, and incredibly easy to train to boot. These horses have a reputation. The kind of reputation you WANT a horse to have. AND, they're short, averaging at 14.2 hands, (that's around 56" - at the withers, for you non-horsey folks) but, very stocky. Uncommonly kind, and easy to deal with, not to mention cute as a button with their manes roached to enhance their thick neck.
They excel at : driving, hauling logs, police work, trail riding, hunter jumper, and dressage, among other things. Oh, and stealing my heart. That's what else.
They are an honest to God, National Treasure in Norway, and they are hard to come by in this part of the country. But, I have yet to talk to someone who's owned/owns one that has had a problem with them. Which is why I think Larry would do well with them. Such a great rep, good personality, ugh. I could go on for days. Anyhow, Add this to the breeds I love list. They were there before, but now, they are cemented. Right next to Quarters. Yep. I can picture it now. Pretty little brown dun fjord dressed up in black leather harness, with jingle bells all over, hooked up to a shiny black laquer cutter sleigh. Jingle, jingle. Or, Skijorring through some open, fresh powder.... ooh baby.
Oh, and Larry likes them too. That's a good thing, right?