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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2012
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    Central Ohio
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    Default Fjord owners in Central Ohio-ish?

    Hello all: I am interested in learning more about Norwegian Fjords. I have spent time at the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry of North America's web site, plus looked at several of the farms that are listed there.

    My goal is to one day own a nice, shortish, stocky horse on which I can participate in schooling-level dressage shows and do some trail riding, the latter of which I have had very little opportunity to do being a non-horse owner suburban-dweller. As to how, exactly, I am going to make this ownership thing work is another conversation.

    A little about me: I'm one of those in-her-50s re-riders. For me, the thrill of the schooling show is the feeling of competence I get from nudging up my scores a wee bit and improving my communication with the horse. I don't need to jump, although I think it would be good to take some lessons in same just to know how to do it.

    I'd like to hear about your experiences, get some ideas of what to look for/look out for, etc. in the fjord breed.

    Thanks for your time,

    Leslie


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2004
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    4,044

    Default

    http://ironwood-farm.com/index.html Is here on the forum.

    I think her name is Ironwood Farm on COTH. She is very nice and you might want to send her a Private Message. She may know someone that has Fjords in Ohio.

    I love Fjords! I got one in on consignment a few years back from Washington State (I was in VA at the time). His name was Finn and I LOVED him. He was such a joy to ride and he got everyones attention when we showed in a few hunter classes. Finn was a sturdy little dude and happy to take any task head on. He also had a cute little jump. Did I mention I LOVED him? He was sold to a therapy place and I don't know where he went after that
    *^*^*^
    Himmlische Traumpferde
    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    Nootka, that was a very sweet recommendation. Thank-you. And you are correct that my nefarious masterplan is to get EVERYONE owning a Fjord.

    Since the orginal poster knows the NFHR website, I would suggest going to the Pedigree Search and seaching on Ohio. The results will give you
    all the registered Fjords in Ohio. I would start with Ruth Sorum at Sorum Fjord Farm. She has some nice horses and I think she is reducing her herd since her husband passed last year.

    And yes, a Fjord is exactly what you want to do low level dressage and trail riding. My horses show in dressage, eventing, and driving primarily, although we do some draft work. They are quite competitive with other breeds and a delight to handle.

    I will not bore this board with my effusive comments about the breed. PM me and I will tell you all about Fjords. And if you are ever in Virginia, you are welcome to visit.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    You can't have mine! But if you want to see pictures of him and read about our experiences, we have a webpage! I'm your same age and have similar riding ambitions (trail riding and dressage, plus I'm doing some NH stuff).

    Ms. Ironwood Farm very kindly walked me through shopping for and buying mine.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    And Cindyg, I had fun doing it, too! I'm always happy to comment on videos and share what I know FWIW. My masterplan for getting a Fjord in every barn includes working it person by person.

    I'm looking forward to following your adventures with your fine fellow! I think you found a really good one.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Cuuuute! OMG!!!!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2004
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    1,245

    Default

    Wow. Timely thread for me. Just had another surgery after falling from a big WB, and I am seriously thinking I need to change paths if I am going to stay in horses. I have very well trained nice WBs- this last fall was a fluke- but they are big!! I am not bouncing like I used to.

    So, at risk of t/j OP's thread, I'd love to hear more about Fjords. Would it be a tough transition for me after riding big-strided WBs for 30 years? What are their temperaments like?

    Off to do research....

    P.S. I am 5'9"!!!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,130

    Default

    Lalalala fingers in ears lalalalalaa
    I don't need another horse lalalalaa
    I have 3 and one pony
    Lalalala DH would notice a Fjord among my bays and pinto
    Lalalala
    (makes plans to google Rixeyville on map)
    lalalalalaalaa



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ser42 View Post

    So, at risk of t/j OP's thread,
    After you, my dear Alphonse.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2004
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    1,245

    Default

    LOL. Well, at least you asked the same sort of question at the end of your original post.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    Well, now that you asked.....

    I started out with warmbloods. The first Fjord I ever saw was the horse I was assigned to on a riding vacation in Normandy. I was not offended to ride "a pony." By the end of the vacation, all I could say was that "I want one of these." I rode a dead calm large pony that had horse gaits and a great disposition.

    Breed standard is 13.2 to 14.2. Out west you see them a bit taller, but I think that coarsens the animal. Plus Fjords are WIDE-bodied so the barrel takes up your leg. I am 5'6" and I am happy on a 13.3 hand Fjord. One of my trainers is 5'9" and she competes my stallion in USEA recognized horse trials with great success. She doesn't look too big on him.

    It is important to check the Fjord's gait. No they are not gaited like Icelandics. However some Fjords will have a pony gait, while others move out like horses. I favor the latter because they are competitive for lower level dressage. My horses have done well in recognized and schooling shows. There are a number of Fjords out there competing in dressage with good results. Are they going to go Grand Prix; very few do, but you can have a heck of a good time at training and first. Similarly with eventing -- they are competitive at BN and N. After that speed and scope become more of an issue.

    My horses also drive. In fact next year, the stallion and I are going to start competing in combined driving. The breed is versatile.

    Easy keepers; they live on air and most Fjord owners know they have to monitor weight. All mine are barefoot and compete barefoot.

    The breed typically is friendly and laid back. I teach up-down beginner lessons on mine, including leadline lessons with 4 year old kids. The same horse doing the up-down lesson can go out the next day and do well in a combined test.

    And Fjord foals are the cutest things ever.

    And you NEVER EVER have to braid. Just think of all the time that saves you showing. You just keep that mane cut.

    So obviously, everyone should own a Fjord. Just keep in mind that while they are not a rare breed, they are not available in vast supply. I think Cindyg looked at Fjords in WV, MN, TX, CO, etc before finding her fellow in ID. (Of course I encouraged all of this, not that Cindyg needed much help.) And everyone is welcome to visit Rixeyville. I am an official NFHR Fjord Ambassador, so I will meet you at the gate with my sash and tiara on. Seriously, I do welcome visitors and you are even allowed to leave without taking a Fjord with you!
    Last edited by IronwoodFarm; Nov. 18, 2012 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Forgot to add the bit about NO BRAIDING!
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    5 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    I'll tell you guys something I appreciated about Ms. Ironwood: She never tried to sell me one of her horses. Once I even asked her to! I said, "Won't you please sell Erik to me?!" (I shopped for about 9 months and got a little desperate.) But she said, "No, he's not the one for you."

    I think that's a nice trait in a seller.

    Anyway, if you'd love to follow my progress with Oden, come to our Facebook page. I'm not doing any "COTH" disciplines just yet, but I am going to get to dressage eventually.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Default

    Okay, I'll join this hijack party since this is arguably relevant to people who want to own Fjords:

    IronwoodFarm, I've seen you comment on several other threads re: tack that works for Fjords. As an armchair saddle fitter who's known a few Fjords, they seem to be the true coffee-table-on-legs saddle fit challenge. It's one thing to generally know the options for wide horses (as I do), and it's another to hear first-hand accounts from someone who lives with these horses every day (as you do)!

    If you have a moment, could you please comment on a few saddle matters that I've always wondered about for Fjords?

    1. You've mentioned Frontier Equestrian saddles in other threads. Which saddles in their lineup do you buy? Is it the Ascot Internationals listed here?
    http://www.frontierequestrian.com/ge...cfm?CatList=31

    or maybe this Ultimate Draft Horse Riding Saddle?
    http://www.frontierequestrian.com/ge...ils.cfm?ID=318

    How are they for rider comfort? From the pictures, they look reasonably comfortable with reasonably narrow twists for such wide saddles. How do you find the quality? I know you can't ask for the world on $300-ish per saddle, but I know you run a lesson program, so you may have battle-tested these saddles more than the average user...

    2. Do you have thoughts on/experience with the other major budget "marketed for the wide horse" brands? I think you've mentioned using the Wintec Wide in your lesson program, but any thoughts on Duett, Thornhill, Smith Worthington, Thorowgood's cob models with the extra-extra-wide gullet, etc.?

    3. Do you have any other thoughts on accessories that might help a Fjord owner "nail" the fit? For example, do you like particular non-slip pads, girths, breastplates, cruppers, etc.?
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Nov. 18, 2012 at 05:35 PM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    Okay, I'll join this hijack party since this is arguably relevant to people who want to own Fjords:
    Not hijacking at all! I'm thrilled that my post is sparking so much discussion!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2004
    Posts
    1,245

    Default

    Wow, thanks IronwoodFarm. That was such great info... and yes, I too snuck a peek at your website and want to buy Erik. But I can't promise a show home right now since I'm still recovering from surgery.

    Once I'm fully on the mend though I may very well pick your brain regarding where to look. In no hurry, so time would be on my side!

    jn4jenny- excellent questions!! I guess I would have to sell my narrow trees...
    Last edited by ser42; Nov. 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
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    6,367

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    If you have a moment, could you please comment on a few saddle matters that I've always wondered about for Fjords?

    1. You've mentioned Frontier Equestrian saddles in other threads. Which saddles in their lineup do you buy? Is it the Ascot Internationals listed here?
    http://www.frontierequestrian.com/ge...cfm?CatList=31

    or maybe this Ultimate Draft Horse Riding Saddle?
    http://www.frontierequestrian.com/ge...ils.cfm?ID=318

    How are they for rider comfort? From the pictures, they look reasonably comfortable with reasonably narrow twists for such wide saddles. How do you find the quality? I know you can't ask for the world on $300-ish per saddle, but I know you run a lesson program, so you may have battle-tested these saddles more than the average user...

    2. Do you have thoughts on/experience with the other major budget "marketed for the wide horse" brands? I think you've mentioned using the Wintec Wide in your lesson program, but any thoughts on Duett, Thornhill, Smith Worthington, Thorowgood's cob models with the extra-extra-wide gullet, etc.?

    3. Do you have any other thoughts on accessories that might help a Fjord owner "nail" the fit? For example, do you like particular non-slip pads, girths, breastplates, cruppers, etc.?
    Okay Jn4jenny, I will be the Fjord answer woman.

    They are wide backed horses. Some of them lack withers....of course there are withers there, but they are very low. Think barrel shaped.

    I have 5 Ascot International draft horse saddles from Frontier Equestrian. They are pretty darn good for cheap saddles. I use them for riding lessons and every day use for 12 years. They have held up pretty darn well. I'd say riding in one day and out might get a bit old on your backside, but great value if you want to go on a ride or two a week.

    If your Fjord is skinnier (it happens sometimes) and has some withers, I have found the regular Wintecs work well on the extra extra wide setting. Even better yet, the Wintec Wide seems to fit very well. Again, this is a $500 saddle. My horses show in Wintec Wides.

    I have a Thorowgood Wide Selecta. I don't particularly like it. I found it hard to get girth tight enough with this saddle and saddle slippage is an issue.

    I never has ridden in a S-W, Duett, Thornhill or treeless. I know other Fjord owners who have and are satisfied, so obviously the saddles work for some people. I would suggest getting a saddle fitted to be sure something works for you. Given that I have 18 Fjords of various ages and sizes, most extra wide saddles will work out for me. But if I only had one horse, I would find a saddle that worked for my horse and makes my butt happy.

    I don't use cruppers with my saddles or any other accessories. I know treeless saddle riders typically use some sort of no slide pad. That makes sense to me. I like the neophrene girths with Fjords. And even though you didn't ask, I've found that Fjords do well in Herm Sprenger KK Ultra snaffles. They have low pallets.

    And absolutely feel free to PM me with any questions. I am happy to share my Fjord experiences.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    Default

    Ironwood, I will pm you. I have a LOT to learn about picking out a horse, so some of my questions will be totally newbie. hope that is OK.



  18. #18
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    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Not a problem. I am happy to respond to PMs. As I have openly stated, my mission is to get a Fjord in every barn!
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  19. #19
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    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Default

    Thanks for the saddle insights, IronwoodFarm!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Psst, Fjord lovers!

    On Dayton CL:

    http://dayton.craigslist.org/grd/3418830255.html

    She looks awful cute to me!



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