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By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd June 2021

North Swedish Horse


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd June 2021

The North Swedish Horse is a breed evolved in Sweden, but is also common in Norway, Finland, and Estonia. They are coldblood-horse that has been popular for being cooperative and willing. There are two types in this breed: the draft horse and the trotter. It was these two types that were combined for producing a heavy horse capable of competing with the Belgian breed, and a light horse having a fast trot for the purpose of racing.

These horses are also known for their graceful looks, having a dense tail and mane that add to their charm. Endurance is one of their primary traits, while they need a small amount of feed as against the amount of work it is capable of doing. These horses have been used as pack horses, as also for military purposes and in forestry work.

North Swedish Horse Pictures

Quick Information

Behavioral Characteristics Loyal, willing to work, intelligent, fun loving, easy going, easily trainable, obedient temperament with a docile disposition, cooperative
Physical Descriptions/Traits Both stallions and mares have a large head with long ears; low wither with a deep chest; their neck is thick but short that ends in sloping shoulders; they have a deep body with a long back side; rounded quarters with a sloping croup; their legs are short, with substantial bone; the mane and the tail are dense and abundant
Colors Available in all solid colors including gray, black, dun, chestnut, palomino, buckskin, brown
Common Uses Work, endurance
Lifespan/Expectancy 30-31 years
Weight 1700 pounds
Height (size) 15.1 to 15.3 hands
Health Problems Generally a healthy breed. No breed-specific health issues. Owners must ensure to maintain a healthy lifestyle and regular vet checkups
Movements Energetic trots
Blood Type Cold-blooded
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Norwegian Dølahest, Friesian
Popular Traits Low care and feeding cost, versatile, strong and hardy, easily maintainable
Feeding/Diet General horse diets consisting of hay, grass, grains, vegetables, etc.
Country of Origin Sweden
Time of Development 19th century
Breed Information Pedigree Search

Video: North Swedish Horses working

History and Development

The studbook for the North Swedish Horse was established in 1909, while the North Swedish Association was also developed by 1924 with a view to establishing their standards & progress the breed. Later, in 1949 an annual event known as the Country Horse Day fair was arranged in order to register the North Swedish mares and stallions.

The ancient origin of the North Swedish Horse is intimately associated with its neighboring breeds like the Norwegian Dølahest. This breed has extensively been crossed. However, this happened only after the establishment of a breed society at the end of the 19th century. After the establishment, a more uniform type of this breed was created.

In order to produce a few desirable traits in the breed, the Stallion Rearing Institute of Wangen introduced strict breeding regulations in 1903. In recent years, the breeding is stringently controlled with the animals that are intended to be used for breeding are tested thoroughly, like, while examining, the hooves and feet of the horses are examined by X-ray. Good character, ability to pull loads, and fertility are a few of the much coveted primary qualities for which they are tested. Other traits like springiness in the gait, power, length of stride, correct, well-balanced action, and energy are also taken into consideration.

In Sweden, despite most part the North Swedish horse was maintained so as to retain its purity. However, in the early 19th century there had been many mixes made with other breeds like the Friesian. These breeding were primarily carried on in Norrland, which continued for a long time, and it expanded in more recent years. Though the breeding is highly controlled & maintained systematically in order to preserve their bloodlines.

In this cross, stallions from the Dølahest horse breeds had been used, and by the beginning of the 20th century rigorous performance tests for the breeding stocks were also introduced.

Interesting Facts

  • The most common colors for North Swedish Horses are blackish brown, smoky, and yellowish black.
  • The North Swedish enjoys roaming around for hours.

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