PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 6, 2009

As its name suggests, the Finnhorse originates from Finland and is mainly used for riding, trot-racing, and light draft duty. A versatile horse, it is also referred to as Finnish Universal in its native country.


Physical Characteristics


The strong, muscular Finnhorse ranges from 14.3 to 15.2 hands tall (57-60 inches, 145-152 centimeters). It has hard, strong legs and tough hooves. Although its coat is generally chestnut-colored with white markings, some bay and gray Finnhorses exist, although they are rather rare. Other possible coat colors include brown or black.


Personality and Temperament


Though lively, the Finnhorse is very obedient and easy to control.


History and Background

The Finnhorse is a descendant of the northern European domestic horse. Although the principle of pure breeding has been followed for the Finnhorse since 1907 -- the year the stud book was founded -- the biggest change to breed occured in 1924, when it was ordered that there should be two breed branches in Findland: a heavy working horse for draft and forestry, and lighter type suitable for racing and riding.

The number of Finnhorses decreased after 1950. However, a revival in equine sports in the 1970s eventually led to a decision that gave the riding type of the Finnhorse a separate branch of the stud book. Trotting and riding remain popular today, as does the use of the Finnhorse for these activities.

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