|First Posted: June 27, 2009|
Sep 25, 2010
Norlandshest/Lyngshest is the smallest of the three Norwegian horse breeds. Translated to English the name is horse from Nordland/Lyngen. The breed known today originated in Lyngen, but was given the name Nordlandshest in 1968 by breeders in that area of the country. A compromise was later reached as the name change was hotly disputed by breeders in Lyngen and surrounding areas, and today the official name of the breed is Nordlandshest/Lyngshest.The Nordlandshest/Lyngshest is a very old breed. They were used by the Vikings, and were a main part of the breeding stock that made up the Icelandic horse, and they still share many similarities.
The Nordlandshest/Lyngshest was a working horse, used for all kind of work needed on the small farms of Northern Norway. These horses were rarely kept indoors in stables and had to find their own food. The Nordlandshest/Lyngshest breed was almost extinct after World War II. There were only about 15-20 left, mostly older mares, and only one stud; Rimfakse, who all Nordlandshest/Lyngshest today are descended from.
Fortunately the breed was saved, much thanks to the efforts of people like Christian Klefstad. He laboured intensely to bring the breed back, traveling all over northern Norway to gather fertile horses for breeding. Today about 3000 horses are registered, and about 200 foals are born every year.
The breed is quickly gaining popularity today as more and more people discover its many good qualities. The main strength of the breed is that it is a great all-around horse. Todayís Nordlandshest/Lyngshest is a good horse for all equestrian disciplines, from show-jump and dressage to pony trot racing as well as light farm work. It is well suited as a beginnerís and family horse due to its calm temper. It is also renowned for its ability to get by in rough and rugged terrain.
A Nordlandshest/Lyngshest is usually slightly larger than an Icelandic horse, standing at 125-140 centimeters tall. The body is rectangular, with well muscled back and lend. It is robust, yet light of build, with strong hooves. The breed comes in many colours, and all but dun and blue-eyed white are accepted (dun is the color of the Norwegian fjord horse breed). Large white markings are discouraged.