In December Tom and I had the fun opportunity to take several of our grandchildren to the new animated movie "Frozen." I loved it! I loved everything about it, especially the music. The animation was spectacular and the story was...well, it was a fantasy and you all know how much I love fantasies! The Disney movies so often include horses. Usually the horses are big and white and carry a handsome prince. Their breed is unidentifiable. But this time, the horses were actually a fairly accurate portrayal of a true Scandinavian breed of horse: The Norwegian Fjord.
Fjords have long been bred throughout Scandinavia but principally in Norway. They were the favorite of the vikings and were taken to Scotland and Ireland in their longboats. You can read more about the Vikings in my new fantasy entitled "North Mystic." (North Mystic is a fun parody of the Revolutionary War but with Trolls and Leprechauns!)
The Fjords are short and stocky, technically a pony. Ponies, by definition, are 14.2 hands high or less when measured at the withers. That is the one error Disney made. Their Fjords were much too big. But, regardless of their compact size, these ponies are powerful. They have long been used to pull farm equipment in place of the tractor on mountain fields.
I first became acquainted with the fjord at a dressage show.
With the traditional black and white attire of a dressage rider, the fjords, with their unique markings, looked so darling! They have a pronounced dorsal stripe that runs the length of their mane, along their back and down their tail.
I remember seeing one pony with his mane trimmed like this:
I thought it was so cool! There is one short scene in the movie Frozen where you see an army of soldiers leaving the village to search for the queen and their manes are trimmed like the one above.
Fjord lovers will brag about their versatility. These ponies are used not only for working as plow horses and pack horses but they will drive and jump and perform in dressage.
Not only are all of those things true but they are also very easy keeps...that means they are easy to keep nice and round...unlike my thoroughbred!
To enjoy more fantasies: check out The Mist Trilogy books-the horse-lover's fantasy for ages 9 and up.
Behind the Mist, Mists of Darkness and The Rising Mist (the latter currently out only in ebook at the moment.)
Or if you want another fun reading adventure, check out North Mystic.