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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Northlands Horse (Northlands)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Northlands Horse (also known as 'Northlands Pony,' 'Lyngen Pony,' 'Lyngshest,' and 'Nordlandshest') is a breed of a small light horse that originated in Norway.

It is unclear who the ancestors of the Northlands Horse are, but the current assumption is that they date back to the times of the Vikings. Those ancient horses migrated to various regions in Norway, and over the course of the next centuries, they developed into different types of horses. As the centuries progressed, Norwegian farmers began to use these horses for farm work, and crossed the different types that existed around Norway.

Until World War II, Northlands Horses roamed in Norway in large numbers. However, most of them were lost during the war, and by 1945 the breed was about to go extinct. Norwegian breeders tried to recover the breed, but due to its small numbers they couldn't avoid excessive inbreeding. This put the breed in peril, and therefore a Finnhorse stallion called Viri was imported and incorporated into the breeding program. This addition of new blood saved the breeding program, and allowed breeders to breed enough horses to start breeding the Northlands Horse in a pure manner.

Today, the Northlands Horse is still a rare breed in Norway, although its popularity and numbers grow gradually. It is well-adapted for the cold Norwegian winter, and is used for harness and recreational riding.

The conformation of the Northlands Horse is that of a light horse, except for their neck which is muscular and can be heavy. The head is broad, and has a straight profile, and small ears. The legs are strong, and have light feathering behind the fetlocks and, in some cases, behind the cannons as well. The mane and tail are thick, and are of medium or long length. Last, while the Northlands Horse is shorter than 14.2hh, it is considered a horse rather than a pony.

Northlands Horses are usually chestnut in color, often with flaxen mane and tail, but they also come in bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, palomino, buckskin, smoky black, and heterozygous silver-dapple. The coat is always solid, and pinto markings such as blazed and stockings are highly discouraged. Double-cream dilutes (CC), and homozygous silver-dapple (ZZ) are not accepted for registration. Therefore, breeders should avoid crossing heterozygous cream (Cc) or silver (Zz) horses with each other, as it might result in a grade foal. Northlands horses stand between 12.1hh and 14.1hh.

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