Our Fjord Experiences - We've been living together with Fjords since 1981. We had foals in the past in Germany, but no stallion of our own.
With the eventual addition of our stud Orka we started breeding in Canada. More than thirty foals sired by Orka have been born on the farm since 2000.
For the best result we start with healthy growing...
Situated on the Bay of Fundy, our pastures reach out to the shore line. Our horses are more used to walking on stones than on sandy ground at the seaside when the tide is out.
This makes them very sure footed or 'shore footed' as we like to say! The pastures are not lush, but they have a lot of special naturally growing herbs, which makes our horses healthy and sturdy.
Our winter is cold with high winds and lots of snow - but no real challenge for the Fjords. They actually like to play in the snow!
Handle at the best from the very beginning...
We start our youngsters from Day One. Teaching the little ones to give the hooves, haltering and leading them and always make them feel comfortable. We have them together with the mares for at least six months and when we wean them, we start slowly. First we separate them for a few hours, then for the night, and then they are no longer allowed to nurse. We have them still in the same barn, they can see each other, are even able to touch each other but the foals are not able to suck. In the pasture there is only an electric fence between them. Our mares are very grateful about this handling. They see the little ones are OK, nobody will hurt them and they enjoy the relaxing time free from looking after the babies. Also the foals have no trouble - except they miss the good stuff!
We train the foals as well as possible at this stage of age. Halter and lead them, bring them out of the pasture, show them the surroundings, introduce them to the car, the dog, the trailer and make a kind of play out of it all, to make them confident.
At the age of two, we introduce them to saddle and bridle, but only like playing. They watch the adults and are eager to do the same. Tied side by side we saddle the mare or the stallion, then lay the saddle softly on the back of the youngster and remove it. We do the same with the bridle. Later we lead them by the bridle a few steps, so they gradually get familiar with the tack. Only then do we bring in the professional trainers.
None of our horses kick or bite. They are trained to respect us. Our veterinarian, in the middle of a dozen free running horses inside the barn, stallion, mares and foals all mixed up, once commented "Inge, you have the best mannered horses in the area!"
All our horses from the very beginning are respectful and confident and feel comfortable with humans, and so they will do what you ask for.
Fjord Horses are the most smart, calm and human kindly horses we discovered.
They are also the most willing and working horses but they will ask you "why?" Just explain and they will do it all for you!