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Finnhorse - Horse Breed & Info

Characteristics of the Finnhorse Finnhorse Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below

The Finnhorse has its own special position in its home country as a sport horse, and is the only native horse of Finland


The Finnhorse is a descendant of the northern European domestic horse, and was originally used as a light draft animal. The principle of pure breeding has been followed since 1907 when the stud book was founded, although the horse has been bred in Finland for at least 100 years.

As well as being bred in Finland they are also now being bred in Germany and Sweden. However their numbers are not large and a Finnish organization has been formed to protect and promote this national heritage horse.


Sometimes called The Finnish Universal, the Finnhorse could be called an all around horse since it is an all purpose breed divided into four separate sections in the stud book.. There is one section for the draft type, another section for a small pony type, a third section for the riding type, and a fourth section for the Finnhorse as a trotter.

Although the importance of the draft has lessened in modern times, they are still used for work in timber country where mechanized vehicles are not suited to perform and they are also used lightly in agriculture.

Trotting is popular in Finland and the largest section of the stud book is for trotters. About forty percent or more of the trotters that start in races are Finnhorses.

Riding horses of course are also in demand in any country and the Finnhorse accepts this challenge too. With the increasing popularity of riding sport there is a growing demand for good riding horses and the Finnhorse has had its best success in show jumping and dressage as well as eventing and long distance.


Speed, endurance , a well balanced trot, and eagerness for victory characterize the trotting Finnhorse.

The Finnhorse is easy to handle, with a compliant nature, yet also possesses considerable speed, endurance, and liveliness. Longevity is also a typical characteristic of the Finnhorse. The breed is dry and strongly muscled, with hard legs and good hooves. The coloring is mainly chestnut, often with flaxen mane and tail, but bays, greys and more rarely browns or blacks are also seen.

Article © HorseShowCentral.com. Photo © and courtesy of Jari Lehtikangas - Studio Trelin

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