Friesian horses as a breed comes from the Netherlands, specifically
a province called Friesland, and are believed to be descendants
from the primitive Forest horses. They are well know for there
grace and agility even though they are the size of small shire
horse. History tells us that they were prolific war horses
used throughout Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, as their
strength and agility could seat an armour-clad knight whilst
still remaining agile. Of recent, Friesians are being used
as harness horses, and even in the Dressage circle.
Characteristically, true Friesian horses are black, though
that isn't the only distinguishing feature. They can be recognised
by their long, thick-haired, almost waved mane with a matching
long and thick tail, and also distinctive long hair on their
lower legs (also know as feathers).
Height wise, geldings and mares have to be over 15.2hh to
be classed a pedigree, whilst Stallions come in at 17hh at
Many people have heard of the term 'Baroque' with regards
to Friesian body type, this refers to the more classical,
stocky Friesian build. Typically Spanish looking heads with
short ears, they have a long arched neckline and are well
defined. Body wise they are a stocky looking breed, with defined,
toned bodies and relatively stunted legs with a low tail.
Friesian horses are loved not only for their agility, stamina
and high-stepping trot, but also for being a gentle, affectionate
Friesian Uses Nowadays
Increasingly nowadays, Friesian horses are being crossbred
to produce Friesian Sporthorses, which are less heavy, though
there is still huge demand for purebred Friesian horses.
Friesians are still a popular choice when it comes to any
harness or carriage activities, making use of their high-stepping
trot, agility, pace and power, though you're just as likely
to see a Friesian Horse in the Dresage arena due to their
attitude, trainability and distinctive look. It is this temperament
that lends Friesians to becoming a sound choice for pleasure
So if you're looking for a reliable, distinctive looking
horse which can be used for anything from pleasure riding,
to harness work or carriage work to competing in dressage,
Friesians are a popular choice.
About the Author
Horse and horse riding enthusiast. Tim built and runs the
and Pony Directory