Photos and informations about the rare Faroese horse breed, Forgotten Horses a photographic project about endangered equines by The Pixel Nomad

Faroese horse

Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Critical
Listed by DAD-IS
Nordic horse breed from Faroe Islands

Informations about the rare Faroese horse

The rare Faroese horse is slightly smaller than the popular Icelandic horse, with which it is closely related. Similarly to this breed, there are individuals who can have five gaits (walk, trot, tölt, pass, gallop). However, die Faroe Horse is an independent breed, as was proved by blood tests and most recently by a DNA analysis in September 2004.

Origin and history of the Faroese horse

The ancestors of the Faroese horse were probably brought to the Faroe Islands together with other domestic animals firstly in the 7th century by the Irish monks and secondly later during the land grab by Vikings from the 9th century onwards. It has adapted well to the harsh Faroese nature, as a result the horses are resistant, frugal and hard.


At the turn of the century (from the 19th to the 20th century) there were still many ponies of the original Faroese breed on the islands. Before the Second World War many ponies were exported to Great Britain as pack animals for British coal mines, where they were used like the Shetland ponies. While the rare Faroese horse was exported, other ponies were imported from Iceland and Norway. As a result, the Faroese horse was crossed more and more and its characteristic features gradually disappeared. After that in the 1960s there were only 4-5 specimens left on the Faroe Islands. By 2007 the number of individuals of the Faroese pony had risen to 45. Meanwhile there are about 90 horses.

Character and features of the Faroese horse

Faroese horses have a gentle and patient character, but can also tend to be headstrong. In relation to their small size, they are very strong, persistent and sure-footed. The robust and extremely frugal ponies are adapted to the harsh climate of the Faroe Islands, but they live outdoors all year round and brave wind, rain and storms. Their health is good, with a high life expectancy. Faroese horses can have additional gaits such as tölt and passport, but due to the small population they cannot be selected for these, like the Icelandic horse.

Utilisation of the rare Faroese horse

Friendly and patient riding horses for children, secondly sure-footed and in addition reliable horses also for adults. Likewise, they are suitable for carriage horses and pack horses, since they can carry heavy loads.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Faroese horse

A conservation and breeding program for the rare Faroese horse were initiated by Leivur T. Hansen, after that in 1978 the organization Felagið Føroysk Ross was established. With huge efforts however, the Faroese horse population has now increased to 90 animals, which are declared genetically pure, and consequently it makes them an extremely endangered breed. Their genetic bottleneck was in the 1960s, during which the population was reduced to only four mares and one stallion. The aim is to maintain and develop the breed further. The Faroe pony has since been recognised as a unique breed.

Native country

Faroe Islands


local, Faroe Islands

Risk Level

Critical: less than 100


114 - 124 cm

Coat colour

Bay, black, chestnut, painted


Gaited horse


Felagið Føroysk Ross

Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Free Horse

Kept outdoors all year; free roaming in the mountains

Other names of the Faroese horse horse

Färöer Pferd — Faroese horse — Faroe Pony — Faeroes pony — Färöerpony — Faeroe Island Horse — Føroyski Hesturin — Føroyska rossið — føroysk ross — føroyski hesturin — Færøsk hest — Féroé

Explore my Faroese horse Photos

Faroese horse

All my pictures of rare and endangered horses can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage, and ordered as Fine Art Print as well. In addition, the albums only show a part of my large archive. Contact me directly if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Where to find the rare Faroese horse

Here are some places where you can see where you can support the rare and endangered breed. Above all I want to thank everybody who works with me.

Forgotten Horses Group on Facebook

This group is part of the Forgotten Horses project and aims to raise awareness of endangered horse breeds and therefore to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of horse breeds, further free living and wild horses.
The group provides information and facilitates international exchange on rare and endangered horse breeds.
Faroese horse
Take part in my project

Faroese horse Photoshooting

Take part in my projects Forgotten Horses and Free Horses and consequently make an impact that matters. By photographing rare and endangered horses we can raise awareness to disappearing horse breeds and therefore preserve equine diversity.

photo archive

Professional photography of Faroese horse

Are you looking for professional photos of rare and endangered horse breeds? You will find a small selection of my pictures in the breed posts, however you may ask for more specific photos directly. In short, all my pictures can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage.


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