It is believed that the original Fjord Horse was domesticated in Norway over 4,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence indicates that wild Fjord Horses existed there following the last ice age and that the Vikings selectively bred them for two centuries.
For hundreds of years, the Fjord Horse has been performing farming duties in western Norway and working in mountainous terrain. The Norwegian people hold the breed in such high regard that it is one of their national symbols. Now there are breed registries, owners, and enthusiasts all over the world.
Despite its small size (13.2-14.2 hands), the Fjord is considered a horse, not a pony. Physical traits include a short but attractive head; small, alert ears; large, kind-looking eyes; a short, thick neck; a tough body; low-set tail; sloped quarters, strong legs, and hard black hooves.
All Fjord Horses are a shade of dun. Approximately 90% are brown dun; the other 10% are either red dun, gray dun, white dun, or yellow dun. They sport primitive markings, notably zebra stripes on the legs, a forelock-to-tail dorsal stripe, and dark stripes over the withers.
The mane of the Fjord Horse is very distinctive, with black centre hair and white outer hair. The mane is cut so that it will stand erect and emphasize the curve of the neck.
Although Fjords are still used on farms and as pack horses, they are increasingly seen in nearly every sport as well: competitive driving, dressage, eventing, jumping, western pleasure and long-distance events, as well as parades and trekking.