Friesian Horse Breed Profile
|Height||15.2-17.2 hands (61-69 inches; 155-175 cm)|
|Body||Muscular, compact, long tail|
|Head||No markings, proud|
|Neck||Sturdy, arched, long mane|
|Temperament||Friendly, intelligent, reliable, patient|
|Gait||Swinging, “high knee”, soft, elegant|
|Bred since||16th -17th century|
|Suited for||Leisure, dressage, show, carriage horse|
Photo: Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock
The Majestic Friesian
The Friesian is an incredibly attractive horse, with its gleaming coat, long, flowing mane, and gorgeous feathering around the hooves that would make any horse fan’s heart jump with delight.
Europe’s Oldest Horse Breed
The breed from the Dutch region of Friesland is one of Europe’s oldest and has a fascinating history. Numerous horse breeds descended from the English thoroughbred. Yet, the Friesian has never been mixed with other breeds apart from the hot-blooded Andalusian. From this breed the Friesian has got its beautiful, slim head, the nicely curved neck and the “high knee action” (when walking, the horse lifts its legs specifically high).
Patient and Gentle
With its expressive face and brilliant eyes, the Friesian often holds its head high. Despite its regal appearance, this horse is not difficult to manage. On the contrary, it is exceedingly patient, calm, and compassionate.
Are They Always Black?
Friesians are usually black, although not necessarily from birth. They have a brown coat as foals. The Friesian must not have white markings in order to be enrolled in the studbook (e.g. on the head).
Strict Breeding Rules
During the 16th and 17th century, the Friesian was an important war horse, because it was strong enough to carry a heavily armored knight. The breed seemed to be practically extinct around the turn of the twentieth century. There were just a few breeding stallions remaining. Luckily, Friesians are now extensively distributed. Stallions are still being carefully chosen to avoid mating with “poor” genetic material. Every year, they must appear before a jury.
Where Does The Name Come From?
The Friesian is called for its native province of Friesland in the Netherlands.
Frisians are so appealing to Hollywood that they have appeared in films such as Eragon, The Chronicles of Narnia, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Tributes of Panem, and Day of the Falcon.
Friesians are among the most costly horse breeds in the planet.
Friesians love water.
What kind of horse is a Friesian?
The Friesian breed originated in Friesland, a Dutch region, where they were used as medieval battle horses and labor horses. Famous for its luxurious mane, tail, and forelock, the Friesian has an expressive face, high-set neck, and powerful legs and hindquarters.
What kind of horse is a Thoroughbred?
The Thoroughbred horse breed was created for horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbred horses are “hot-blooded” horses recognized for their agility, speed, and energy.
Are Friesians considered Warmbloods?
The Friesian breed has been preserved free of foreign blood for the last two centuries, making it a genetically separate member of the “warmblood” group of horse breeds.
Why are Friesian horses so special?
The Friesian is a warm-blooded breed that is eager to learn, clever, active, and gentle. They do not spook easily, and their desire to please makes them great for competition such as dressage: they are easy to train and suitable for a range of riders.