The Nordlandshest/Lyngshest is a breed of horse from Norway. It is also known as the “Northlands horse” or “Northlands pony.” The breed originated in Lyngen and was given the name Nordlandshest in 1968. Breeders in Lygen disputed the name and a compromise was reached. The official name became both the Nordlandshest and Lyngshest horse.
The horse was used by the Vikings and bred from the Icelandic horse with possible Asiatic Wild Horse blood mixed in with Tarpan. The horse was used for a variety of work on small farms and had to forage for their own food. By the end of World War II only about 15 to 20 were left, one stud and older mares. All individuals of today are the decedents of them.
With efforts from people like Christian Klefstad who gathered up fertile horses in Norway and repopulated the breed. Approximately 3,000 individuals were registered in 2005 and about 200 foals are born every year. The population is decreasing with only around 2,500 registered horses as of 2013, the breed is still endangered.
However, the breed is gaining popularity because of its all-around usefulness and qualities. It can be used for light farm work, show jumping, dressage and racing. It is calm tempered and is suited for rough terrain.
The Nordlandshest/Lyngshest stands about 48 to 56 inches high with a rectangular body and muscler back. The hooves are strong and coat color can be of any color. Dun, blue-eyed white and horses with large white markings may not be registered.
Image Caption: Nordlandshest/Lyngshest Horse. Credit: Nimloth250/Wikipedia (public domain)