Fun with Fjords

Mary Young, R2 Director



March 16th 2024, Mon Cheval Training Center (Cannon Falls, MN) hosted The Midwest Fjord Horse Club (

This meeting included a 2-hour clinic on Working Equitation with Sammi Korinek (TD and administrator of Working Equitation Minnesota).  The meeting was well attended with participants from 4 states (Regions 3 & 5), all dedicated to the breeding, training, using, and promoting of the Norwegian Fjord Horse. These clever and athletic small horses are handy people-pleasers, and well suited to the varied tasks of working equitation.

Sammi started with group discussion and a handout, shared a brief history of the sport, a description of the 4 trials of Working Equitation, and a map of the course for the day.  Then while the riders were getting their Fjords, she led a walk through the Ease of Handling course for the auditors, explaining the elements and execution for each obstacle.  Auditors used this opportunity to open and close the gates, carry the garrocha, and ring the bell. The riders entered the arena and worked on the obstacles for 90 minutes.  The session concluded with 2 riders navigating the full course.

Karen Carson, AA and owner/rider of Fjord mare Tamarack’s Ingrid, had this to say about trying WE for the first time. “Going through the WE obstacles is a great opportunity to work on the partnership with your horse.  It combines communication and handling skills for horse and rider.  And it is just fun!  For the Norwegian Fjord Horse, it is a perfect way for them to do something that I am sure is interesting to them.  Most Fjords have a great work ethic and like having fun, too!”

There were many new skills introduced, challenges were overcome, and lots of smiles overall for the club members of this rare breed.  According to the NFHR.Org registry, there are about 7,300 Fjords currently registered in America (compare to about 2.1 million AQHA).  Fjords potentially qualify for multiple USAWE year-end breed awards, such as Registered Norwegian Fjord, Grade Pony, Power Pony!, and Rescue categories.

Mary Young Region 2 Director
Mary Young Region 2 Director
Mary Young, R2 Director
Sammi Korinek

about the author

Sammi Korinek – St. Paul, MN

Sammi fell in love with Working Equitation in 2019, particularly with how many different
breeds and riding styles can succeed in the sport. She founded the USAWE Affiliate Organization, Working Equitation Minnesota, and has held multiple clinics and outreach events, growing WE around the community.

Sammi became a technical delegate to further her ability to support and encourage the sport through licensed shows and the joy of teaching.

Sammi also has a career with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion. She brings her welcoming spirit everywhere she goes.

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