Mojo’s (a Fjord) Big Adventures!

By Patty Wilber

Mojo was here last year to be started (at 9 years old) and then he went away.


Jan. 2012

Jan. 2012

He came back this May and we have been having a few adventures!

1. He went to hang out at some of those New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association Shows down in Bosque Farms while I showed some other horses.  Virtually all Norwegian Fjords are duns and as such ARE eligible for registration in the American Buckskin Horse Association (if they are tall enough). I wonder how many are registered ABRA? …most ABRA horses are Quarter Horse types.

Dun stripe all along back and through tail!

Dun stripe all along his back and through his tail!

At the first NMBHA show, Mojo stayed tied to the trailer. Lots of people came over to see him.  They thought he might be an Icelandic.  Icelandics can be smallish and stout like Fjords, but they come in a wider variety of colors.  Plus, a lot of them do a four-beat gate called a “tolt” and some even pace (at speed).  This tolt and pacing ability is linked to possession of two copies (i.e. they are homozygous) of a mutation that affects (obviously?) gait.  (Homozygosity for this same mutation is found in all gaited horse breeds as well as Standardbreds, who are used in harness racing.)

At the second NMBHA show, I rode him around, and he was a little jumpy at first. The judge wanted to know if he was an Icelandic(!)

The third show, he acted as though it were old hat.  (I am very proud of him!) He acted so laid back that I had people asking if he’d be a good kid or beginner horse. He is getting there, but he still needs some  supervision!  Fjords are generally pretty quiet, so sometimes they are ridden “successfully” without much true training. The “untrained” Fjords don’t do anything much–no drama, but no finesse either.

Fjords can also be deceptive because they look like big stuffed animals, so they MUST be sweet.

Some are worry warts.  Mojo is like that  (but less and less everyday!)

2. Mojo is giving lessons!  Cometa mashed his head, so I was out a lesson horse.  Mojo was coming along really well, so….gave it a try.  So far, so GREAT!  So great in fact that just maybe he has found a lease deal which just maybe will lead to a new home!

3. Mojo helped me on a bear (track) hunt. I saw some bear prints up behind my house when I was riding Stetson, but I did not have my camera.  So, I went back with Mojo.

Bear track very near my house!  I folluwed the trail around the rocky point!

Bear track very near my house! I followed the trail around the rocky point!

Bear tracker!

Bear track tracker!

4. Back country Mojo.  Jim rode him because Cometa was still recovering from that mashed head.  Mojo and Cometa have some similarities!  Jim liked him (but we cannot keep him–see #2!)

Ready to ride out--the last day before the Manzanos closed due to fire danger!

Ready to ride out–the last day before the Manzanos closed due to fire danger!

5. Kid packer.  And this week, Mojo packed my nieces around!



Off to the arena!

Off to the arena!

Trail pony!

Trail pony!

All smiles!

All smiles!



Braiding! (she is off to the side–just sayin’)

That’s a pretty good adventure resume for two months. I think he has  good mojo!

Hope you had a happy 4th of July!!









About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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12 Responses to Mojo’s (a Fjord) Big Adventures!

  1. EMoon says:

    I rode a Fjord at the Highland Riding School in Scotland (taking lessons on a trip is a good way to learn new things from different instructors) and found it was somewhat less flexible, which makes sense given the conformation, but a pleasant steady ride. Though the canter…ye gods that was short-strided with none of the “flow” of a leggier beast. Ought to make a good beginner lesson horse, though, and the disposition was, if a bit stolid, certainly stable and reasonable for novices. Sure-footed over rough country (Scotland. Highlands. Rocks, mud, boggy places). I wondered how they’d do in hot country…evidently OK?

    • Patty says:

      Stolid is such a great word to describe Fjords! (IMHO–Fjord enthusiasts may beg to differ!)

      What a fun idea to take a lesson while on a trip.

      I have been salivating over the idea of taking a horse safari to follow the wildebeest for a week or so, athough that would not involve lessons, just riding.

      Mojo has quite a large trot and a decent canter and he is a good boy on the trail (willing to bushwhack, not flighty!).

      • EMoon says:

        My first time in the UK and Ireland, I got to have a lesson with a British Horse Society certified instructor. And…wow. So after that I made it a practice to look for them (found one on Martha’s Vineyard) and take a longe-line lesson, or a lesson on the flat, or if there was time for both, a lesson on the flat and over fences both. They pointed out problems from my (not certified by anyone!) earlier instructors, tuned up various things, and every time I knew I was riding better (horse was going happier, and I could feel the “flow” better) when they’d worked me over. I’m now working on getting back in shape for serious riding again (no horse should suffer through where I am now!) and hoping to take a few lessons in England if I make it there next summer.

  2. Doranna says:

    Go, Mojo! Good boy!

    I had a Fjord buddy in the late 90s…stolid certain IS a great way to describe them. He had ten tons of personality, though! Not truly a beginner’s horse.

    As an aside, my gaited mare was quarter Standardbred, and came from an area where Standardbreds, off the track or out of the pasture, were trained up to a racking gait. (Since my mare was also half Walker, for a while she had more gaits than she knew what to do with, but eventually the running walk prevailed over the rack–except when we did dressage, for which I trained her to trot in that bit. She always had a slick-pace ready to come out, though.)

    • Patty says:

      Homozygous for the gait mutation for sure, according to the paper (in Nature!)

  3. Marilyn says:

    Well, I’ve learned about Yet Another Breed I’d never heard of….

    • Patty says:

      They are quite attractive and nice to be around.

      • Marilyn says:

        I found myself wondering how they would do in the Canadian Rockies, and then went DUH. They’re NORWEGIAN! They’d probably do just FINE.

        • Patty says:

          There are a goodish number in CO and Wisconsin (I think it is Wisconsin). They get a really thick winter coat but shed off enough to be happy in the SW in summer too.

  4. kmjesse says:

    you need a fjord

    • Patty says:

      LOL! I’ll just be happy to have MJ stay here for a while, and happy to have others own him!

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