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4 Norwegian Horse Breeds (with Pictures)

Oliver Jones

There has been a significant influence from horse breeds hailing from Norway. The country’s capable, hardy breeds all have different purposes, holding skill sets in several areas. You might notice how muscular and stocky these breeds can be. They are excellent workers with formidable strength—despite the fact that some of them are relatively small.

Let’s take a look at these beauties to appreciate all Norway has to offer the equine world.

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1. Norwegian Coldblood Trotter

The gorgeous Norwegian Coldblood Trotter is a splendid mix of muscle and elegance.

History

The Norwegian Coldblood Trotter is a developed horse breed that takes the heavy body of other coldblooded breeds, combining them with lighter, nimble horses. They are closely related to the Norsk Kaldblodstraver and the Svensk Kaldblodstraver.

Behavior & Temperament

These horses make terrific selections for riders because they have good manners and modest temperaments. They mesh very well with human companions and love being active.

Physical Traits

These horses are compact and capable, boasting lean muscles and broad heads. They have extreme strength and endurance. A Norwegian Coldblood Trotter stands roughly 15 hands high.

Training

These horses pair well for riders interested in racing or general riding. Their personality and their body type make them excellent candidates for agility tasks.

Diet

These horses need a diet that is full of commercial grain, hay, and fresh grasses. They also need plenty of fresh water.

Health

The Norwegian Coldblood Trotter can suffer from ocular cartilage conversion.


2. Northlands Horse

Northlands Horse
Image Credit: Nimloth250, Wikimedia Commons

The Northlands Horse is also known as the Nordlandshest or Lyngshest.

History

The Northland Horse breed began in Lyngen, Norway, in the 1960s—and it would get its name given by breeders in 1968. It holds the title for the smallest of all Norwegian horse breeds. Early on, Vikings used these horses for work and travel.

Behavior & Temperament

Northland Horses are well-liked by owners because of their versatility and even temperaments. Being easy to handle and resilient, they make outstanding workers and companions.

Training

The Northland Horse has a strong desire to work—and they do well with light loads. It isn’t hard to teach your Northland Horse a new task—and they’re very food motivated, so bring snacks.

Physical Traits

Northlands Horses are small but stocky, measuring between 12 and 14 hands tall. They can be quite a few different colors, including bay, brown, chestnut, black, palomino, buckskin, dappled silver, and gray.

Diet

These horses have the same dietary requirements as most equines. They need lots of fresh grasses, commercial grain, and bountiful hay each day. They also greatly benefit from naturally grazing.

Health

There are no notable health issues that plague this breed specifically.


3. Fjord Horse

Fjord
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

Hailing from the Norway mountains, this small but sturdy horse is a celebrity.

History

The Norwegian Fjord Horse is a compact little cutie with a long work history. Even though these horses are tiny—they aren’t ponies. It is a widespread belief that these horses are related to the Przewalski, which is a wild Asian horse breed.

These horses are sure-footed in all sorts of terrain, making them valuable for all sorts of situations still today.

Behavior & Temperament

Fjord Horses have docile temperaments—not getting anxious or excited easily. They are relatively slow-paced in the pasture, but they can be very zippy when warranted.

Training

Fjords are very versatile, making them highly trainable for a variety of tasks. These horses are equally great for first-time and young riders since they are gentle, understanding novice mistakes. They do well when competing, being fabulous at pulling, logging, packing, and hitching.

Physical Traits

Fjord Horses are very thicky, muscly equines that are shorter in height. On average, they’re only about 13 to 14 hands high. Fjord coat colors are typically bay dun—but they can also be gray, white dun, and yellow dun.

Diet

Like all horses, Fjord Horses need a well-rounded diet of healthy calories, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals. They benefit greatly from grazing natural grasses, but if they spend most of their time in the stall—offer lots of fresh hay.

Health

Fjord Horses are typically very healthy with no known issues specific to the breed.


4. Norwegian Dole Horse

The Norwegian Dole Horse is a massive draft horse—taking the title for the largest equine in Norway.

History

Dole Horses, or Dolehest, spent most of their awake hours working hard on the farm. They can pull just about anything, being muscular, capable horses with a strong desire to move. In 1872, the Dole started going two different ways in terms of breeding.

One side of the coin created a sleeker horse with a steady gait—they were a racehorse type. The other maintained the workload side of things, faring better in physically strenuous environments.

Behavior & Temperament

The hardy Dolehest tends to be relaxed and comfortable in most situations. They might not be the cuddliest of all horse breeds, but they do listen and learn well.

Like many other draft breeds, you could call these guys gentle giants, as they are soft and warm—pleasing to be around.

Training

The Dolehest has a terrific work ethic and tends to be highly receptive to direction. They soak in knowledge easily, so training should be a cinch.

Physical Traits

The Dolehest is a smaller draft breed but is still the largest in its homeland. These horses are muscular but agile—making excellent work and competition equines. They stand 14.5 to 15.5 hands tall. Their coats might be brown, black, grey, chestnut, buckskin, dun, and palomino.

Diet

Dolehests are herbivores that benefit from grazing fresh grasses, eating grain-based food, and snacking on fresh fruits and veggies. Because of their muscle power, they need lots of food to replenish the calories they burn.

Health

Dolehests are typically very healthy horses with no known health issues.

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Final Thoughts

These four horses bring something unique to the table—there is no doubt. For years, they have helped humans out in so many ways. From farm work to leisure rides, these equines have made life easier and more enjoyable. Plus, Norwegian horses have a solid reputation for being extremely healthy.

Perhaps, you have had the pleasure of working with one of these gorgeous horses. Which one was your favorite of all?


Featured Image: Šárka Jonášová, Pixabay

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.