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North Swedish horse

The North Swedish horse has its origins in the local native horse, and is popular for its enduring, reliable and calm demeanour. It is one of Sweden’s domestic horse breeds, and is an endangered Swedish native breed.

  • 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 horse
    Scientific name:

    Equus caballus

    Order:

    Odd-toed ungulates

    Family:

    Horses

    Weight:

    500–700 kg

    Height at the withers:

    155 cm

    Breeding season:

    Mainly spring and summer

    Gestation:

    11 months

    Number of young:

    1 foal

    Lifespan:

    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.

    Moves smoothly

    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

    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.

You can find the North Swedish horse here