Height: Usually a little over 15h.
Color: As Dole-Gudbrandsdal.
Character: Active, tough, competitive.
Physique: Hard, active harness horse with the strong look of the Fell pony. Head has a pony or Oriental cast, with open nostrils, pricked ears, and sometimes a concave face. Neck strong, shoulder well-deVeloped and tending to the upright. Roomy chest; body light-framed and well-ribbed-up; hindquarters flexible, long thighs, legs short and iron hard.
The Dole Trotter began more from fashion than from sporting competition. During the 18th century,, the demand for swift, attractive horse-drawn vehicles reached a peak, justified as it was by practicality as much as pleasure. The Thoroughbred stallion Odin, imported in 1834, had a lasting effect on the lighter type of Dole horse that has now become the Trotter, and later introductions of trotting blood only added to abilities that were already beginning to appear.
The dole trotter horse is believed to have originated from the Gudbradsdal valley and descended from Dutch Friesian horses. Evolved out of breeding, the Dole trotter has undergone interbreeding that has given it its present form. It differs in colors from black, brown, and bay while some Dole Horses may have white markings along the head and legs.
There are two major types of Dole horses- the heavier Dole Gudbrandsal and the lighter Dole trotter. Dole Gudbradsdal is the original heavier type while the Dole trotter is a new cold-blooded lighter type.
By and large, the Dole trotter horse was used for agricultural purposes, and rigorous pack work. As technology advanced, the number of this type started declining. Things like cross-breeding came to its rescue and now the Dole breed has received infusions of thoroughbred blood.
Some of the types of horses that have influenced the trot are Odin, Balder, the Arabian Mazarin, Toftebrun, and Dovre, who is registered as the foundation sire of the Dole Trotter. But still, the Dole trotter has managed to maintain its uniqueness irrespective of the availability of pure blood variety.
Difference between Dole trotter horse and Dole Gudbrandsal
The Dole trotter horse was developed in the nineteenth century through imported trotted stallions. The heavier type Dole Gudbrandsal closely resembles the English Dales Pony and Fell Pony. All these types likely came from the same stock. The lighter type is a little bit larger than the heavier Dole and possesses a more refined head.
In addition, certain similarity in both types does crop in between. So it becomes a little tricky to differentiate between both breeds. The Dole breed features a crested neck with strong shoulders, and hindquarters and possesses a long leaning back. Alternatively, the heavier Dole has short legs, solid cannon bones, and somewhat reasonable feathering on its body.
History of Dole Trotter’s Evolution
The Dole Trotter horse was particularly influenced by approximately three stallions in a major way, i.e.: Veikle Balder, Toftebrun, and Dovre. Dovre is considered the chief foundation stallion of the Dole Trotter type and possesses a slight difference as compared to the Dole Gudbrandsal. The Dole trotter was recognized for its good temper, readiness for hard work, and labor activities. At the same time, its inexpensive maintenance attracted a large number of stallion lovers. It was used for light transport in the earlier days, but now it is used more for harness racing and trotting purpose.
Dole trotter horse can be identified using the following physical traits:
- Appearance up to 140 to 152 cm high and weighs around 1,190 to 1,390 lbs (540 to 630 kb)
- Active gait and high energy
- A deep body with a long back
- Legs and neck are short but strong
- A wide chest, a small pony-like head, strong shoulders, and tough hooves
Commonly eats grass
In general, both types of Dole horses are supposed to undergo tests and grading. The heavier type Dole is reviewed as per its pulling power and trot. Also, the lower legs and feet are x-rayed to find out the flaws to prevent the horse from being used for breeding purposes.
A thorough testing has to be made to check the fitness of the Dole trotter horse and also other horse breeds to make its optimum utilization. Be it for commercial purposes like racing or simply for farm work, horses are bred and maintained accordingly. These days, various registered organizations are involved in this task and cater to this requirement by providing internationally accepted standards of horse breeds.
See more: Dole Horse