Europe - Sweden

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The North Swedish is a descendant of the ancient Swedish work horse and the Dole horse from Norway. During the 19th century they were crossed with lighter horses from outside of Scandinavia but during the end of the century the move was reversed by introducing stallions from larger breeds including the Clydesdale. A heavier horse was needed, able to pull heavy machinery in the logging industry as it proves more cost effective and efficient than mechanised transport. North Swedish horses start draught work as three year olds and are mature enough to work eight hour days as five year olds.
            The old type of the North Swedish horse was saved from disappearing by some dedicated breeders and government support at the beginning of the 20th century using stock from remote parts of the country and Dole stallions. During the 1920's performance testing was introduced to the selection process. The test involved pulling sleds laden with logs and determining the horse's performance and condition after the work. Today a horse will be hitched to a wagon with it's pulling power measured by a dynamometer.

Small, compact
Head: fairly large head; fairly long ears
Neck: short, crested
Shoulders: strong, sloping
Body: long, deep, strong back; rounded hindquarters; sloping croup
Legs: short, strong limbs; plenty of bone
Mane and Tail: abandoned
Color: any solid color
Height: 15 to 15.2hh
Weight: stallions 650 to 750kg (1,440 to 1,655lb), mares 550 to 700kg (1,200 to 1,545lb)
Temperament: kind, gentle
Qualities: very strong, agile

The North Swedish is a good all-round draught horse. It is used in farm work and particularly in the forest industry.