Eventually we found Missy in Lyngen, Troms, and we completely fell in love with her. Upon meeting her, she was perfect for our farm and family.
It has become a custom in Norway not to sell horses unless they are going to a home that already has a herd. (In fact, ‘they’ are trying to pass a law in Norway that horses are not allowed to be alone.) Horses are pack animals and so to give them a more natural happy life it is best for them to have at least one (horse) companion. Missy’s owner was very concerned that we didn’t already have a horse. So we decided to buy a companion horse for Missy – so enter the dragon.
Drage being a Fjording, is a Norwegian heritage breed of horse which fits perfectly into our farm concept. The Fjording is actually one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. It descends from the first wild horses that migrated to Scandinavia over 10 000 years ago. They were domesticated about 4 000 years ago and were actively used by the Vikings. The Fjording is a very strong and frugal breed, originally used for working, packing and pulling in the steep terrain of the Norwegian fjords. They are also very mild-tempered and good for riding. Fjordings have a compact and muscular body and have no problems carrying an adult person or pulling a wagon. They are also very cold-tolerant and can stay outside in the Arctic winter. The breed still has many of the characteristics of wild horses, including its dun coat and unique blonde mane with the black stripe down the centre. Normally the mane is trimmed to accentuate the black stripe and the shape of the neck, but we thought it best for him to keep his mane to help protect from mosquitoes.
Drage is from Kvaløya in Troms, so we had both Missy and Drage transported up to Alta together. Missy is a little plump at the moment but will soon shape up with all the exercise she will be getting. Her temperament is sweet and gentle, perfect for small children. Drage will be earning his keep on the farm as well. We intend to train him to pull carts and sleighs, as well as forestry work when we need firewood for winter. But for now it is lovely to have such beautiful animals to look at from our kitchen window.