North Swedish horse
The horse has long held a special status among domesticated animals. It was originally used as a riding animal, but was also used to pull loads. The North Swedish horse is descended from old Scandinavian native breeds, and is closely related to the Norwegian Dølehest.
Calm and hardy
The North Swedish horse is a medium-sized cold-blooded horse. Permitted colours are brown, black-brown, black, chestnut, yellow-brown, yellow-black-brown, yellow-black, palomino and dun variants.
About the North Swedish horseScientific name:
500–700 kgHeight at the withers:
155 cmBreeding season:
Mainly spring and summerGestation:
11 monthsNumber of young:
Approx. 20 years
The North Swedish horse is a good all-rounder that is suitable for all kinds of driving and also as a riding horse. They can move around terrain easily. They are also strong, and can carry heavier riders.
The North Swedish horse is suitable for forest driving and certain types of agricultural work. It is good at finding accessible paths, and moves smoothly. It is a popular horse, thanks to its energetic, hardy, reliable and calm nature. In the middle of the 20th century, the North Swedish horse was divided into two different breeds: a working horse and a cold-blooded trotter. Horses are still valued for their characteristics that allow them to go where machines cannot, and the fact that they damage the land less than a machine does.
An endangered native breed
During industrialisation in the 19th century, heavier horses were required to pull ever larger machines. As machinery replaced the horse’s role in agriculture and forestry, the North Swedish horse became increasingly rare. It is now included in the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s list of endangered Swedish native breeds.
Native breeds are populations of domesticated animals that have lived for so long in the same area that they have adapted to the local environment and its specific conditions. Swedish native breeds have declined in number, but there is a growing focus on efforts to preserve them as they are an important genetic resource and part of our cultural heritage.
Find out more about Swedish native breeds.