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Get to know the Norwegian Fjord Horse

Norwegian national horse

Fjord horse in Nordfjord .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord / Maja Skarpsno
Fjord horse in Nordfjord .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord / Maja Skarpsno

We were born here in Fjord Norway, in the middle of high mountains and deep fjords.

And that is how we got our name.

Fjord horse in Nordfjord .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord / Maja Skarpsno
Fjord horse in Nordfjord .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord / Maja Skarpsno

We are one of the oldest horse breeds in the world and one of three breeds that have their origins in Norway.

And we have trotted stably around in the mountain hillsides for hundreds of years!

Fjord horses in Nordfjord .
Photo: Vegard Samestad Hansen – Televindu
Fjord horses in Gloppen .
Photo: Vegard Samestad Hansen – Televindu

We are quite small, but strong enough to carry a grown man.

Riding a Fjord horse .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord
Riding a Fjord horse .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord

We are both sharp-witted and mild-tempered, which makes us calm and reliable – and popular with young and old riders alike.

And did you know that we are also used for therapeutic riding?

A couple of Fjord horses in Norway .
Photo: Ine Herstad
Fjord horse from Norway .
Photo: Emma Midthjell

We can pull our fair share of heavy loads and carriages, which in former times made us the ideal workhorse for mountain farms.

A couple of Fjord horses in Norway .
Photo: Ine Herstad
Fjord horses .
Photo: Ine Herstad

And we are easy to recognize. Just look at our cool hairstyle!

This must be the most punk rock hair in the whole stable, right?

The characteristic black dorsal stripe really stands out when our bristle mane is cut short ...

Fjord horses in a field .
Photo: Ine Herstad
Fjord horses in a field .
Photo: Ine Herstad

We are also easily spotted by our dun-coloured coat and dark markings on our legs.

Some of us even sport zebra stripes on our knees and hocks!

Fjord horse from Norway .
Photo: Emma Midthjell
Fjord horse from Norway .
Photo: Emma Midthjell

Our steady gait will carry you safely through any riding adventure.

Horseback riding in the forest in Norway .
Photo: Andres Duran
Horseback riding in the forest in Norway .
Photo: Andres Duran

But despite our unique qualities, our species are endangered. By now, there are only 5500 of us left in Norway.

There are just not enough foals being born each year.

Fjord horse in Norway .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord
Fjord horse in Norway .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord

You will find fjord horses in countries like Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany, but Norway oversees our preservation breeding.

The yearly stallion show in Nordfjordeid is a popular attraction. Once there, you can drop by the Norwegian Fjord Horse Centre as well.

Fjord horse in Norway .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord
Fjord horse in Norway .
Photo: Visit Nordfjord

Even though we originate in Nordfjord in Fjord Norway, you can come to meet us in several places around the country.

Like in Langedrag Nature Park, which houses a friendly herd of us and runs a breeding program for our conservation. Once there, you can also go trail riding or even try out vaulting – which is gymnastics performed on horseback!

Fjord horses at Langedrag in Eastern Norway .
Photo: CH/visitnorway.com
Fjord horses at Langedrag in Eastern Norway .
Photo: CH/visitnorway.com

Come join us for a ride!

Read more about horseback riding or see our list of riding tours in Norway.

A Fjord horse from Norway .
Photo: Ine Herstad
A Fjord horse from Norway .
Photo: Ine Herstad

Horse riding in Norway

From horse riding in the mountains to sleigh rides through snow-covered forests – find the offer that suits you best.

Horseback riding in Norway
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Raubergstulen | Horseback riding
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Horseback riding in the mountains
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