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Horse Articles :: Friesian Horse History

Friesian Horse History

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.

Characteristics

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 the withers.

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 horse.

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 (bomb-proof) horses.

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 Horse and Pony Directory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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