Therapeutic riding requires us to be adaptive, that means we need a herd of horses that can fit any need. Let’s take a closer look at those horses, and what makes them so unique.
Raude is a friendly mare who can often be seen grazing in her pasture. Her thick mane is cut short so that it stands up like a mohawk. Young and small riders love Raude because of her gentle personality and smooth steady gait. Her light tan colored fur makes her stand out in the pasture, and her gentle personality makes her stand out in the arena.
Wait, Rau… what? How do you say that?
Raude is pronounced "Row-da" like "rowdy" but with an "a".
The Norwegian Fjord
Let’s take a closer look at Raude’s name. Raude is a Norwegian word, and she is a Norwegian horse breed! The Norwegian Fjord is a small but very strong breed of horse from Norway. The Fjord is one of the world's oldest and purest breeds and It is believed that Fjords were originally domesticated by the Vikings over 4,000 years ago! The Vikings used Fjords as war mounts, but they eventually became the working farm horse of Norway. Working in the mountainous and hilly regions, the Fjord became surefooted, agile, thrifty, and hard working — qualities that can still be seen in Raude!
Dun Five Ways
Remember how we mentioned that Raude is a Norwegian word? Well, it means red; which is fitting because Raude is a red dun, a unique color in Fjords! Most Fjords are brown dun in color but all are marked by the characteristic dorsal stripe - a strip of darker color that runs down their backs. This is why Raude has a mohawk, to show off her dorsal stripe! Some Fjords even have zebra-like stripes on their legs. Do you think Raude has these?
The colors of the Fjord
Brown dun (brunblakk in Norwegian), the most common color, a pale yellow-brown ranging from cream to chestnut, with a cream or white mane and tail
Red dun (rødblakk), a pale golden hue, with a cream or white mane and tail
White dun (ulsblakk), cream body with a slightly lighter cream mane and tail
Grey dun (grå), a grey ranging from pale silver to slate, with a pale grey mane and tail
Yellow dun (gulblakk), the rarest color, red dun with dilution that turns the body a light cream, with a light, often white, mane and tail
Another thing that makes Fjords so special is their temperament, or personality. They are known to be lively yet good natured. Fjords love people and seek out human attention. Raude can often be seen nuzzling her riders! With all of these excellent characteristics you can see why The Fjord - and Raude - makes such a great therapy mount!