Finnhorse is the only native horse breed in Finland. The majority of these horses are trotters while a lot of them are being used as riding horses.
The Finnish horse is one of the few multi-purpose horse breeds in the world. It is one of the fastest cold-blooded trotters in the world while being a strong working horse, capable of pulling heavier loads than many larger draught horse breeds. Finnhorse is also a versatile riding horse; they participate in dressage, showjumping, eventing and long-distance riding competitions as well as driving classes. The best of the breed have competed in dressage up to Prix de St. George level, jumped in open 130 cm classes and over 110 cm high cross-country fences. In addition to being great competitors, the Finnish horses are popular family horses and steady teachers to both kids and adults in riding schools.
The stud-book for the Finnish horse was founded in 1907. The Finnhorse was originally bred as draught horse, but nowadays there are four types of the breed; a lightly built trotter (J), a draught-type workhorse (T), a riding horse (R) and a smaller pony-type horse (under 148 cms) (P). Finnhorse is approximately 156 cm (varying from 150 to 165 cm) at the withers and strongly built with good limbs. Horses bred as draught-type are heavier and longer at the body than those bred as trotter and riding horse types. While there are many variations, main colours are chestnut (often with flaxen tail and mane), bay and black. Finnish horses are nice-tempered, steady and survive even in tough conditions - they were a big part of our troops in the war.
Finnhorses are bred in Finland, but there are some in Germany and Sweden. The stud-book is kept by Suomen Hippos.
Read more about the breed in the brochures "Finnhorse - speed, power and feeling" and "Get to know the Finnhorse". If you are interested in finding out more about Finnhorses, please contact Suomen Hippos, www.hippos.fi or the Equine Centre of Ypäjä, www.hevosopisto.fi.
The association Suomenratsut works for the conservation of the Finnhorse by promoting their use as riding horses.
Suomenratsut was established 1973 as the numbers of Finnhorse were alarmingly on the decline. The association has currently over 1 600 members and anyone interested in Finnhorse as a riding horse can join it.