The horse people of Rørosmartnan


At the winterfair, Rørosmartnan, I met these two ladies who are from one of the groups who travel to the winter market by horse and sleigh. They are from Dalarna in Sweden and travelled for ten days. I asked them if the experience was ok, or if it was too cold. They didn’t tell me anything about cold. Only about the beauty of the travel. Like the sunrise on the last day, when they were crossing a frozen lake, the light was pink and light blue, and the whole lanscape was sparkling with ice crystals. Including the horses.


I also met some horses. This is Sogna Blæsen, a 14 year old dole horse stallion (dølahest), a norwegian working horse. The horse have travelled to the mountain market from the coast for the last six years and I asked the owner if the horse liked the journey. The answer: the horse felt like a king travelling with a lot of other horses with sleighs. There are more photos in my photo gallery from Rørosmartnan 2013.




65 thoughts on “The horse people of Rørosmartnan

  1. Beautiful clothing! I guess the dress on the left is traditional, but is it a dress for a special reason?
    And the horse! I have never seen one with the mane hanging down in his face like that. A king indeed.


    1. Both dresses are traditional, but one is wearing an old jacket on top. These are from the middle part of Sweden (the one to the left from Rättvik), and was used for daily work.The ladies told me there there have been continuity for old costumes in Sweden, they have never been out of use. Most traditional costumes in Norway are reconstructions of old garments.Nobody use these kind of dress for daily life any more. But the horse people more or less use the old kind of dress, both for travelling and their five days in Røros.


  2. The spirit of the two women glows in their smiles and their response to your question about the cold: “They didn’t tell me anything about cold. Only about the beauty of the travel. Like the sunrise on the last day, when they were crossing a frozen lake, the light was pink and light blue, and the whole landscape was sparkling with ice crystals. Including the horses.” Such a shining mind of winter.


  3. I will never tire of your pictures..One I am going to paint- If you set up a lodge I would love to visit. Have you heard of couch surfing!! ??


  4. Great post as usual! The horse is wonderful and the answers from the girls were as expected! Thats the spirit and the feeling of natural people of the North! I’m so glad they still have it – especially as they are young.


  5. Beautiful images, Bente. I love the photos of the horse and like someone else asked, is it usual to have the mane hanging down the horse’s face like that – I’ve never seen this on our horses in Australia. Perhaps these horses are bred to have longer hair & manes for the winter cold.


  6. I’ve always been fascinated by these cultures, being a horse person myself… And these images of yours are just MAGNIFICENT! So beautiful. Thanks so very much for sharing!!!!


    1. hello feygirl! I keep trying to get onto your blog but it always gets blocked with my virus protection….not sure if this is my computer being extra specially weird? Anyway we seem to share similar loves…


      1. Oh no! I’ve never heard this issue from anyone else… Blame it on Mercury, hah. 🙂

        Have you tried to follow, and it’s still causing an issue?


  7. Bente, what gorgeous pictures! My father and family are from Copenhagen and one great-aunt is still alive who lives in Tromso. I’ve never been to Norway and think now I must go. Lovely photography!!


    1. Go to Tromso! The northern Norway is marvelous!! And that small city is wonderful. You could start with ferry from Copenhagen-Oslo and then train to Trondheim or Bodo…and plane the rest.


  8. Bente, I need to bring one of your horses to Fort Yukon. We have none – imagine growing up without ever seeing a real horse! I could import a sleigh, too, and give rides all winter. It would be a popular taxi service. But alas, I have no idea how to care for a horse in such a climate. Are they kept in barns?


  9. Kept in the stable during night, yes. I see some “grazing” in the fields even at 20 below zero, but I think most of them are inside when it is that cold and they are not working. You need horses that can stand this climate, and they grow fur during winter. Like the the horses from Norway and Iceland (which was originally norwegian). or you could do with a reindeer? 😉


  10. Lovely shots. I own a couple horses. I think we call these horses Friesians here, though they could be just very similar to Friesians. I love them. They are like big labrador puppies. So gentle.


    1. Lucky you to have friesians! I don’t know them very well but a cousin of mine have a friesian and he is a real beauty. The are sort of more elegant and noble than the Norwegian kind of hores..


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