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Nordland/Lyngen horse

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1Nordland/Lyngen horse Empty Nordland/Lyngen horse on 4/15/2010, 7:38 pm


There have been horses in Scandinavia since shortly after the ice age. Thousands of years later the Vikings started travelling “all around the world”, and transported horses in their ships. At that time there were no specific horse breeds in the Nordic regions.
The Plague reached Bergen and Norway in 1349, and 2/3 of the human population died. After that, horses wandered around in forests and mountains. Only the horses fit for the rough Norwegian climate were able to survive. The Vikings had also brought horses with fair hair and thin skin, but the strict selection systems of “Mother Nature” soon got rid of genes not fit for surviving the winter storms and the deep snow.
The survivors were rather small horses. They grew slowly, had thick, woollen fur and their legs were short and strong. With their hard hooves and courageous disposition they could fight the attacking wolves and even bears.
As the human population increased during the 15th and 16th century, the farmers collected horses from the wild herds. These horses were easy to feed, and had the capability of working hard. They could climb without stumbling steep mountain paths as packhorses, and they could pull sledges or carry riders.
The systematic selection to develop horses for human-related purposes reached Norway. As the idea spread in South-Eastern Norway, the horse in the area soon changed into a much bigger and heavier horse, called Dølahest. This process started at the beginning of the 16th Century. The horses of Western Norway became the modern Fjord Horses, and modern selection has influenced the breed since about 1850. The original Nordic horse-type survived in Northern Norway, where the Nordland-Lyngen Horse was rescued after WW2.

The Nordland-Lyngen Horse is very close to the original Nordic Horse.
Shortly after the Second World War, there were only a few horses left. Modern selection systems have influenced the NL-horse since the 1960s.
The challenge for the breeders today is to care for the genetic variation. There is a conflict between a high rate of selection and taking care of the genetic diversity of the breed. Today the NL-horse counts around 3000 individuals, but it is still on the FAO list of endangered species.
Appreciated qualities of the breed are the following: Easy to handle, willing to learn, awareness, intelligence, brave, cheap to feed, healthy and strong, good hoof quality, willing to move forwards under different conditions: steep hillsides, mountain edges, rocks, rivers, wetlands, deep snow.
Their movements are excellent: unique, floating, effortless, and comfortable for the rider. In wintertime they are easy to keep, they need no other protection against the winter than their thick woollen coat.

In my opinion there is no need for practising strict selection in order to develope the quality of the NL-Horses, because they already have their good qualities provided by “Mother Nature”, developed in the period when they were running wild among fjords and mountains after the Plague.

Pictures of silver N/L-horses:

Some others, not silver:
Ruskens Solve, our most famous N/L:

Young silver mare:!v=d5brQoPqSDc&feature=related!v=fKwXpBoF3sc&feature=related

Silvers for sale(Use google-translate:lol:)

2Nordland/Lyngen horse Empty Re: Nordland/Lyngen horse on 4/15/2010, 8:01 pm

Thank you thank you for the FABULOUS story and pictures!! Wonderful contribution!!

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