The Fjord Horse

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Where am I today and what have I been doing?  As most of you know I am living in Galena, Illinois and working my fingers to the bone with my son at his delicious coffee and sandwich shop…

Big Bill’s

Days off are far and few between, lying on the couch is a thing of the past, and keeping up with my camera skills proves to be a challenge … BUT!  I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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So, how have I been honing my talents?  Horses!  Horses are one of my newest interests, but not just any horse….

Close to my home here in Galena, Illinois is

The Green Valley Farm.

This farm is a well known Norwegian Fjord horse farm with some of their horses among the top highest scoring Fjords in the United States.

Pretty impressive!

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I knew of this farm and I just had to try …. so I gave them a call.  The owner, Sophie, and her right hand gal, MeMe, gave me the presidential tour.  Lucky me!

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The Fjord horse has a distinct appearance. The breed’s conformation differs from many other breeds. They are a blend of a draught horse with muscle and bone, but are of a smaller stature with greater agility. They have a strong arched neck, sturdy legs, good feet, and a compact muscular body.

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Their head is medium-sized and well defined. They have a broad and flat forehead and a straight or slightly dished face with small ears and large eyes. Despite its size, the breed is fully capable of carrying an adult human and pulling heavy loads.

The Fjords natural mane is long, thick, and heavy, but it is usually clipped in a distinctive crescent shape between two to four inches so that it stands straight up and emphasizes the shape of the neck. This roached mane is thought to make for easier grooming. It also accentuates the horse’s strong neck and full-length dorsal stripe.

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Some feathering is allowed on the lower legs, however, the breed standard discourages profuse feathering.

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The Fjord horse is one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. These horses were known to exist in Norway at the end of the last ice age.  It is believed that the ancestors of the modern Fjord horse migrated to Norway and were domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at Viking burial sites indicate that the Fjord horse type has been selectively bred for at least 2,000 years. The Fjord horse has been used for hundreds of years as farm animals in western Norway. Even as late as WWII they were useful for work in mountainous terrain. The Fjord horse also has a long recorded history of pure lineage without crossbreeding from other sources.

(wiki… and a bit of me)

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I fell in love with these people pleasing animals.  They watched my every move and seemed to have posed for my camera,  knowing instinctively what I was looking for.  I am anticipating my next visit to Green Valley Farm to improving my camera skills and ‘eye’ while I mingle with my new 4 legged friends. The Fall has now slipped away but I’m sure the Winter will be pretty spectacular!

  Thank you Sophie and MeMe for a very fun Summer morning!

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7 thoughts on “The Fjord Horse

  1. Majestic shots and interesting attributes of the breed with dark line in mane and down the spine.
    What a fun surprise to find in your area (and a new subject to show your vision prowess)!

  2. Very interesting Michelle, those horses are so lucky to have you as their friend. I am half Norwegian and didn’t know about these beautiful horses, my brother raised Morgans for many yrs, if he was still alive, he would be the first person I would tell, thank you so much for including me!!!!!

  3. Incredible photos, I feel like I can reach out and touch these beautiful horses. No need to worry about loosing your skills.

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