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Horse Breeds
First Posted: Mar 5, 2010
Sep 25, 2010

Nordland, Northland Pony, Lyngen, Lyngshest (Norway)

Breeds of Livestock/Oklahoma State University

Country of Origin: Norway


Several theories exist as to where this breed originated. This horse came from the east into Norway and then the breed traveled north. In the north of Norway the horse developed and lived for centuries. The breed was almost extinct after World War II. Immediately after World War II breeding attempts were begun; however, it was difficult due to a poor economy, sparse population, and shortage of animals. It is thought that the Nordland Pony is a mixture of the Lyngen in northern Troms and the Norland from Lofoten District. Because of varied environmental conditions and scattered, locally centered breeding districts in Norway, this pony was given several local names. The breed developed differently in different districts through crossing with other breeds.


The Lyngen type was somewhat larger and stronger, mainly chestnut, whereas the Norland type was smaller, with a heavier mane and tail and a wider variation of color. The distinction is less evident today because of crossbreeding between the two types. Conformation of the pony is generally good overall. All colors occur and are accepted with the exception of dun and pied. Chestnut color is dominant in the area of Troms. This pony is easily trained, willing to work, energetic, and good natured. The breed is relatively free of health problems and will often reach the age of thirty. Nordlands are also known for retaining their fertility into advanced ages. The northern Norway horse is similar to the Lofoten. Some believe that the Nordland is the result of a mixture of two different types of the same race; one type from Lyngen in northern Troms and one from Norland, based on individuals from the district of Lofoten. However, there still are some individuals that are typically one or the other.


Today this pony is used mostly for riding or driving or as a pack horse. The Nordland has also attracted favorable attention in jump racing and show riding.

Status: Rare


Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

Horse Breeds