WHERE FJORDS MEET THE OCEAN
HOME OF HAPPY, HEALTHY FJORD HORSES
Blue Raven Farm is nestled in a beautiful valley with rolling hills and pastures overlooking the ever-changing moods and dramatic tides of the world-famous Bay of Fundy.
Moving from Germany in 1999, Inge started breeding Norwegian Fjord Horses in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia belongs to the Maritime Provinces of Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) and is well known for it's beautiful "Indian Summer", the Cabot Trail, lobsters, scallops, cold water shrimp and so on.
The very end of the Bay of Fundy, the Minas Basin, has the world highest recorded tides. The tidal measure point is just five minutes by car far from our farm and we live with the constant in-coming and out-going of the tide. We have beautiful walks or rides on the shore by the sea, but have to take care when the tide is coming in. The level of the rising water is normally between 12 – 16 metres and even higher in stormy weather. Imagine this!!! Nova Scotia is a world renowned tourist destination, and our area in particular makes a wonderful vacation spot.
Our Fjord Experiences
We've been living together with Fjords since 1981. We had foals in the past, but no stallion of our own in Germany. With the eventual addition of our stud Orka we started breeding in Canada. Twenty-nine foals have been born on the farm between the years 2000 and 2014.
Situated on the Bay of Fundy, our pastures reach out to the shore line. Our horses are more used to walking on stony than sandy ground at the seaside when the tide is out. This makes them very sure footed. The pastures are not lush, but they have a lot of special healthy herbs, which makes our horses healthy and sturdy. Our winter is cold with high winds and lots of snow - but no real challenge for the Fjords. They actually like to play in the snow!
We start our youngsters from Day One. Teaching the little ones to give the hooves, haltering and leading them and always make them feel comfortable. We have them together with the mares for at least six months and when we wean them, we start slowly. First we separate them for a few hours, then for the night, and then they are no longer allowed to nurse. We have them still in the same barn, they can see each other, are even able to touch each other but the foals are not able to suck. In the pasture there is only an electric fence between them. Our mares are very thankful about this handling. They see the little ones are OK, nobody will hurt them and they enjoy the relaxing time free from looking after the babies. Also the foals have no trouble - except they miss the good stuff!
We train the foals as well as possible at this stage of age. Halter and lead them, bring them out of the pasture, show them the surroundings, introduce them to the car, the dog, the trailer and make a kind of play out of it all, to make them confident.
At the age of two, we introduce them to saddle and bridle, but only like playing. They watch the adults and are eager to do the same. Tied side by side we saddle the mare or the stallion, then lay the saddle softly on the back of the youngster and remove it. We do the same with the bridle. Later we lead them by the bridle a few steps, so they gradually get familiar with the tack. Then we give them to professional trainers.
We can watch how happy the stallion and the mare are and how often they take chances to meet each other. There is tenderness and love between them if you allow them to be natural.
The barn door is always open so our horses can go out and in at will, like they want to do.
The stallion is together with the mares and the foals and we just can say, he is the best daddy to the little ones and as gentle and protective as he can be to the mares, but always very obedient and easy to handle to us.
None of our horses kick or bite. They are trained to respect us. Our veterinarian, in the middle of a dozen free running horses inside the barn, stallion, mares and foals all mixed up, once commented "Inge, you have the best mannered horses in the area!"
All our horses from the very beginning are respectful and confident and feel comfortable with humans, and so they will do what you ask for.
Fjord Horses are the most smart, calm and human kindly horses we discovered. They are also the most willing and working horses but they will ask you "why". Just explain and they will do it all for you!
Ancient horses in an ancient landscape...
then we can offer you the chance to accompany us and the herd with the stallion, mares and foals for an unforgettable walk on our beach! This beach is more rocky than sandy and we walk on the ocean floor while the famous Bay of Fundy tide is out. This ancient land and seascape offers a spectacular experience, topped off by having a herd of Fjord horses around you.
Our pastures lead right down to the Bay of Fundy shore...
Your approximately three hour visit starts with an 'introduction' to the horses, an opportunity to pet or groom them and gain their confidence while building your own. Then follow the Fjords to the shore and see this four thousand year old breed on a four million year old coastline!
We would recommend good shoes and the ability to walk on the rocky and
wet ocean floor for one to two hours. This walk is on your own risk and
there is no fee for this special event, but our Fjordies would
appreciate a donation for some treats.
We have wonderful accommodations nearby and if you are interested in actually buying a Fjord for your very own, we can offer you a stay on our farm for a few days. Enjoy a walk to the shore with the horses and bird watching, all while you observe the life and care of the Fjords. To observe the giant tide come in and go out you should consider an overnight or longer stay, otherwise you never would know what you missed.
Some of our mares and their foals...