Good things come in small packages | TSLN.com

Good things come in small packages

Loretta Sorensen

Photo by Loretta SorensenChauncey Christiansen at home with his Fjord horses.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

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Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.

VOLIN, SD – Do good things really come in small packages? Chauncey Christiansen and his family emphatically answer, “Yes!” when they’re talking about their Norwegian Fjords.

Chauncey, his wife Carla and daughter Cayla brought their first Fjord home several years ago. Chauncey, who was around the horses on his family’s farm as he grew up near Volin, had never taken much of an interest in horses until his daughter asked for a riding horse. Being actively involved with horses still didn’t appeal to Chauncey until he started helping a friend who owned several Fjord teams.

“My sister rode and showed horses in 4-H, but I was never interested in it then,” Chauncey says. “I had a friend who needed help with harnessing and hitching his Fjord teams, so I started learning how to do that so I could help him. That’s when my ideas about horses started to change.”

A trip to Waverley, IA, to experience the largest draft horse sale in the world deepened the attraction Chauncey was developing for Fjords. When his friend began offering some of his Fjords for sale that summer, Chauncey decided he enjoyed working with the hardy little horses well enough to bring one home.

He used the mare he purchased, Pebbles, on single hitches and then put a saddle on her and used her to ride. By the following summer a second Fjord mare, Bambi, joined Pebbles in the Christiansen pasture. By the third year, Chauncey brought 13 more Fjords home so he could begin breeding and training his own. The Christiansen’s herd contained horses from foals to 10-year-olds, which included seven brood mares.

“I really like their disposition,” he says. “They’re easy to harness and work with because of their size. They’re also easy to train. If you work with them to get them used to the bit and put them on a lunge line every day for a week, by the end of that week you’ll be able to take them out and put them on a buggy. When you put a saddle on them, they don’t even buck. They really learn fast.”

Cayla, who helps her dad hitch and ride the horses, describes them as “loving.”

“They’re like a dog, they just love you all the time,” she says. “They’re very trustworthy and curious. And the way their manes stand up when you shave them, it really sets them apart. It’s pretty cool.”

The Fjord horse is one of three native Norwegian breeds. It is also one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. Fjords were mainly bred in western Norway, which earned them the Norwegian name of “Vestlandshesten,” the horse of the western country.

Little information about the origin of the breed is available. The color and markings of the Fjord are similar to the feral Przewalski horse. Fjords also share similarities with the Tarpan, a European wild horse that is now extinct in its natural state. Chromosome testing, however, affirms that the Fjord did not descend from the Przewalski which has 66 chromosomes compared to the Fjord’s 44. It most likely came from the east and may be related to wild horses known to have been in southern Sweden and Denmark since the last ice age.

Characteristics for registered Fjords include “strongly built, hardy, well proportioned and athletic, a horse with great presence and charm. The horse shall be co-operative, dependable, willing and calm in most situations and have natural, well-balanced movements.” Requirements also note that Fjords should be versatile, used for both riding and driving.

While registration doesn’t require a minimum or maximum height, Fjords are generally 13.1 to 14.3 hands, which is between 4-foot 5″ and 5 foot at the withers. Acceptable Fjord colors are brown dun, uls dun, grey (blue dun), red dun and yellow dun. Primitive markings must be preserved and a star is only accepted on a mare. Any other visible markings disqualify horses for registration.

“Red duns are pretty rare,” Chauncey says. “There are only 146 registered. We have several of them. Heidi, our four-year-old mare is one of them. The color of the horse is visible in the stripe that runs through their mane. We expect to breed more red duns and offer them for sale.”

Other Fjord colors include white duns and yellow duns, which are also very rare. Only 75 white dun Fjords and six yellow duns are registered with the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. Since the Christiansens have a Fjord stallion on their farm, the NFHR requires that they don’t have any other breed of stallion there.

The Christiansens haven’t taken their Fjords to any shows yet. The nearest event is Blue Earth, MN, and they plan to visit that show and get a sense for what happens at Fjord shows. Before they get involved in showing, they will have their stallion evaluated.

“There are certain characteristics people look for in Fjord breeding stock,” Chauncey says. “We believe we have some very good bloodlines, but we’ll see what an expert has to say.”

For a period of time, Fjords were used for heavy work and many of the same characteristics buyers searched for then are still desirable in the breed. Stocky, strong necks are appreciated; gently sloping shoulder angles as well as withers that are a good anchor point for the shoulder and back muscles are all desirable Fjord characteristics. Broad and well-muscled legs and good sound hooves are also the types of detail Fjord breeders watch for in their horses.

Fjords are used for driving and riding and also in a variety of rodeo and jumping events. The Christiansen’s appreciate them when they take part in a trail ride.

“They never get too excited,” Chauncey says. “They’re really hardy on the trail and they’re not afraid of water or things you see along the trail, which makes for a more relaxing ride.”

Fjords also have strong mothering instincts and the Christiansen’s have enjoyed seeing their colts grow and thrive each spring.

“We plan to continue raising colts,” Chauncey says. “We have some brown duns in our herd, but the real demand is for reds and greys, so we’ll work toward raising more of the red since we have that color in our bloodlines.”

The Christiansens have enjoyed using the Fjords around their farm place and taking evening rides along the corn and soybean fields that dot their land. They also like to see the reaction and enjoyment of visitors and spectators.

“Dad loves to see the smiles on the faces of people who used to use horses in the field,” Cayla says. “That’s one of the rewards of having and working with the Fjords. The man we bought them from considered developing a therapeutic riding program, but that didn’t work out for him. That’s a goal we have at some point in the future.” F

More information about the Christiansens and their Fjords is at http://www.scenicviewfjords.com.