By Jerry Tardif
I took this image of these Norwegian Fjords in 2007 while looking for another horse to buy (can we really have too many?)
Most fjords are dun colored and have a dark dorsal that goes from well into the tail up onto the croup to along the back and up the mane, through the crest, poll, and into the forelocks.
As if that's not enough, another interesting point is the outer hair of the dorsal on the mane becomes white while the center remains dark.
This all makes for a dramatic and beautiful animal.
The fjords I've interacted with have generally been very gentle and inquisitive.
When shooting their photos, they can be difficult, not because they want to cause trouble, but rather because they come right over to me wanting attention.
And once I've started scratching their neck or rubbing their forehead, they want more and won't leave me alone — it's hard to photograph a horse in its surroundings when it's only 12 inches away and wants to stay close.
This is a very old breed that is believed to have been domesticated over 4,000 years ago.
It's considered a horse even though the average size is often less than 14 hands.
That said, they are an incredibly solid and strong horse and are equally at home when ridden or drafting.
The Vikings are reputed to have used them as war mounts and their stamina is outstanding.
Besides being an avid trail rider, Jerry Tardif is a technology consultant and a horse and nature photographer in SE Connecticut — see his work at: www.jerrytardif.com.
He is also co-founder and President of QueryHorse.
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