Photo from the Lofoten Islands (Norway) ride.

Norway is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It has a total area of 385,207 square kilometres (148,729 sq mi) and shares a long eastern border with Sweden. It is also bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east and the Skagerrak strait to the south, on the other side of which are Denmark and the United Kingdom. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. The maritime influence dominates Norway's climate, with mild lowland temperatures on the sea coasts; the interior, while colder, is also a lot milder than areas elsewhere in the world on such northerly latitudes. Even during polar night in the north, temperatures above freezing are commonplace on the coastline. The maritime influence brings high rainfall and snowfall to some areas of the country.

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Horses were known to exist in Norway at the end of the last ice age. It is believed that the ancestors of the modern Fjord horse migrated to Norway and were domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at Viking burial sites indicate that the Fjord horse type has been selectively bred for at least 2,000 years. The Fjord horse was used by the Vikings as a war mount and its ancestors have been used for hundreds of years as farm animals in western Norway. Even as late as World War II, they were useful for work in mountainous terrain.

The Norwegian Fjord Horse is a relatively small but very strong horse breed from the mountainous regions of western Norway. It is an agile breed of light draught horse build. All Fjord horses are dun in colour, with five variations in shade recognised in the breed standard. The primitive markings associated with the dun gene are often quite vivid in the Fjord horse - these include the dorsal stripe, darker mane and tail, horizontal stripes on the back of the forearms, and, in rare cases, transverse striping across the withers.

As a country, Norway is renowned for its incredible landscapes and nature: breathtaking fjords, great skiing, dog sledding and the Northern Lights. The country has a national identity that revolves around getting outdoors and being active, which makes for the ideal launchpad for great riding holidays.

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  • Photo from the Lofoten Islands ride

    Lofoten Islands

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    Ride Icelandic horses on the island of Gimsoy, on the far side of the Lofoten Islands, next to a white sandy beach with a view of the ocean.
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