norwegian fjord

Norwegian Fjord

Equus caballus caballus Norwegian fjord


Description

A Norwegian Fjord is a small but strong breed of horse. Ninety percent of Norwegian Fjords are brown dun in color. "Dun" refers to an animal that has dilute coloration with a darker line down the center of the back and faint zebra-like striping on the legs. The other ten percent of Norwegian Fjords also have the dun markings but a different base color. This breed also has a distinctly colored mane, with light-colored hair on the edges and darker hair in the center. The mane is typically cut short, with the outside hair cut slightly shorter, so that it will stand up straight and the coloration can be seen.

Size

An adult Norwegian Fjord measures 13-14 hands (one hand equals 4 inches) tall at the withers (shoulders) and weighs between 900 and 1,200 pounds.

Adaptations

As prey animals, horses have many features that help to protect them.

Other adaptations specific to the Norwegian Fjord breed are their muscular bodies that allowed them to pull loads and perform other work on farms, and their agility which helped them to navigate Norway's rocky hillsides.

Diet

Gretchen's diet consists of grain and hay.

Reproduction

Horses have an 11-month gestation period, after which they give birth to one foal (baby horse). Twins are rare and undesirable due to their weakness and smaller size.

Shelter and Space Needs

Although they can tolerate cold weather fairly well, horses do need shelter from the wind and rain. During the day, Cosley Zoo's Norwegian Fjord shares an outdoor yard with our Shetland Pony. Each evening she is led into her stall inside the barn, where she spends the night. The horses are only brought indoors during the day in the case of extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or lightning.

Life Expectancy

Horses can live to be up to 30 years old, with an average life expectancy of 20-25 years.

Importance to Man

Traditionally, Norwegian Fjords performed work on Norwegian farms. They have a reputation for their calm and gentle temperament, and for being easy to train. They make good family horses and can be ridden or driven.

Fun Facts