||Seven years old|
||Norwegian Fjord Horse|
||St. Paul, Minnesota, USA|
is a lot of horsepower in a small package! I have owned him for
three years and we train together for dressage every Friday with an
instructor. Bjorne is the perfect horse for the Minnesota climate - his
coat is fabulously thick from October to April, and this picture was
taken when it was zero degrees F outside in December - he loves the
As he is categorized as a "cold-blood" breed, he is both calm and
somewhat stubborn - but one look from those brown eyes and all is
forgiven. I call Bjorne my "equine SUV", as he is capable of learning
dressage gaits, pulling loads and negotiating trails with equal skill.
I hope to enjoy him for many years to come.
I always joke that like all full-blood Norwegians, he is the strong,
silent type. He's pretty independent but will comply with most requests
when a treat is involved. You have to be pretty careful about
disciplining his treats, as he can get rather pushy and actually knocked
my friend over when she offered carrots to his corral-mate! I would
have to say his favorite pastime is grazing in pasture.
I board him at a ranch where he is in the company mainly of Arabian
horses, his alter-ego. He is a big teddy bear - very quiet most of the
time, but when he gets an idea that he's tired of training, he can
really act up! The young girls who ride at the ranch just adore him as
he's quite small (14.3 hands, just about a pony) and so round when his
coat is full.
Bjorne is my "mid-life crisis" horse. About ten years ago I saw a
special on Public TV about a farm in Wisconsin that raises Norwegian
Fjords. I had never heard of the breed before and was absolutely
enchanted with their temperaments and versatility. As I had ridden
(hunter-jumper) from ages 10 to 17, I said to myself that if I ever got
back into riding, I'd get a Fjord. A few years ago a friend mentioned
that her sister-in-law had just purchased a Fjord for her niece (my
Bjorne). It didn't work out (Bjorne was too headstrong for a young
rider) and my friend said she was selling Bjorne. I said I'd take him!
An impetuous decision, but no regrets. It is such fun to be riding
Fjords are not at all common in the US and many live in Wisconsin and
Minnesota (how appropriate). My understanding is that there are only
about 4500 Fjords in the US. Bjorne is registered with the Norwegian
Fjord Horse registry and his line can be traced back many generations.