Where Did The Friesian Horse Originated? (TOP 5 Tips)

  • The Friesian horse breed is native to one of the northernmost provinces of the Netherlands, Friesland. The Friesian is one of Europe’s oldest horse breeds, its lineage tracing back nearly 3,000 years to the ancient horse, Equus Robustus, an enormous horse that once roamed Northern Europe.

How was the Friesian horse developed?

The Friesian horse descends from the Equus robustus. During the 16th and 17th centuries, but probably also earlier, Arabian blood was introduced, especially through Andalusian horses from Spain. Breeding horses and dealing in them was very important for the Friesians.

When were Friesian horses first bred?

History of the Friesian Horse Around 150 AD, the first records of the breed were made by Roman historians, who witnessed mounted Friesian troops at Hadrian’s Wall. By the seventeenth century they could be found alongside Spanish breeds at classical riding academies.

What is a Friesian horse used for?

Friesian horses are very versatile and can be used in riding for pleasure and in competition, for dressage, driving for pleasure and in competition and even for light farm work. Unlike some other European warmbloods, Friesians have not been bred as jumpers, although some owners enjoy jumping their horses.

Why did Friesians nearly go extinct?

The Friesian nearly became extinct in the 1900s when the market for multi-purpose horses disappeared. By the middle of the 1900s, the population stood at about 500. A riding association called De Oorsprong (The Source) was then formed to promote the breed.

Are Friesian horses almost extinct?

The Friesian horse is a very ancient breed and has to be considered the only remaining native breed of horse in The Netherlands. Thankfully it’s no longer an almost extinct breed made up of a frighteningly small population being kept barely alive by the efforts of just a few enthusiasts.

Where do Friesian horses live?

Friesians have been bred for domestic use ever since they were found and hence don’t have a natural habitat that they can call home. They are indigenous to the Friesland province of The Netherlands, which has a warm and temperate climate that is accompanied by a great deal of rainfall, even in the driest months.

How long does a Friesian horse live?

This is a peculiar trait of the purebred Friesian horse. Typical lifespan is 16 years, compared to 25 – 30 years for other horse breeds.

Where did the Clydesdale horse originated?

The Clydesdale horse is a native breed of Scotland originating from the Lanarkshire area. It was originally bred for heavy farm and industrial work and can be seen working as draught horses, in logging, driving and agriculture. Clydesdales can also be ridden and are often seen this way at shows.

Is Friesian a draft horse?

This horse breed is native to the region, where it served many functions, but in special as a draft horse. This makes the Friesian a warmblood, rather than a draft (or coldblood) horse breed. As the Andalusian, these horses kept the “medieval warhorse” look. This makes them also one of the Baroque type horse breeds.

Do white Friesians exist?

Final Thoughts. You now know that purebred Friesian horses only come in white or, very rarely, chestnut. Some of these Friesian part-breeds can even be registered with registries such as the Frisian Sport Horse Association.

What age can a Friesian be ridden?

Some Friesian horses have been known to live for 20 years or longer depending on their overall health and genetics. Additionally, because of the large stature of Friesian horses, it is not recommended that you start seriously riding them until they are around 4 years of age.

Was Black Beauty a Friesian?

Over the years, black Friesian stallion Frederik The Great has earned himself a flurry of nicknames, including real-life Black Beauty, Storybook Stallion and Fabio Of Horses. He is now considered the “most handsome horse in the world” since gaining the title in 2016.

When did Friesians enter America?

Although there is some documentation that the Friesian horse was first introduced to North America by way of the Dutch colony New Amsterdam in 1625, and was perhaps responsible for influencing a number of breeds developed in what would eventually become the United States, it seems that the Friesian horse ceased to

Why are Friesian horses short lived?

Friesian horses die younger than most other horses. This has been a problem for breeders for years, but do you know why they have such a short lifespan. Friesians die young because breeders decreased bloodlines through selective breeding.

Breeds of Livestock – Friesian Horse — Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

The Friesian breed is one of the earliest domesticated breeds in Europe, dating back to the Middle Ages. It is indigenous to the region of Friesland in the northern Netherlands, where it was discovered. The rise in mechanization on farms and in transportation has resulted in a decrease in the number of Friesian cattle. Prior to World War I, it is said that the number of Friesian stallions had been reduced to only three, according to historical records. The introduction of Oldenburgblood helped to revitalize the breed.

TheFriesian is a kind of tractor that is used for minor agricultural tasks.

In addition to circuses and driving contests, the Friesian may be seen in a variety of settings.

These are never clipped and often make it to the surface of the earth.

  1. The color is always black, and the only thing that is permitted is a white star on the forehead.
  2. The neck is carried quite vertically and has a low-set position on the body.
  3. At 15 hands, it has a pleasant demeanor and stands at 15 hands.
  4. The province of Friesland in the northern Netherlands is where it got its start.
  5. The horse is currently being transported to other nations, and its popularity continues to rise in those countries.
  6. Due to the fact that it appears in artwork from the Middle Ages, it is evident that the horse was well-known throughout that time period.
  7. Later, as a result of the Friesian’s outstanding performance on the trot, it was bred to be lower in weight.
  8. Because to systemic breeding, the breed’s quality has been restored, and the breed’s numbers have begun to grow.

Breed Associations and Registries

Kentucky Horse Park is located at 4089 Iron Works Pike in Lexington, Kentucky. Photographs courtesy of Manfred Link of Germany.

Added 1995, last update Wednesday, February 23, 2000
Friesian horse

Friesian horse
Other names Belgian Black (UK)
Country of origin Netherlands
Colour Black
Distinguishing features Black, powerfully muscled, agile with elegant action, thick mane and tail, feather on lower legs.
Breed standards

TheFriesian (sometimes known as theFrizian) is a horse breed that originated in the Dutch province of Friesland. Despite the fact that the breed’s physical appearance is similar to that of a lightdraught horse, Friesians are elegant and nimble for their size. Ancestors of Friesian horses were reportedly in high demand as military horses throughout continental Europe throughout the Middle Ages, according to historical records. Due of their size, they were able to transport a knight in armour between the Early Middle Ages and the High Middle Ages.

The modern-day Friesian horse, despite the fact that the breed came close to extinction on more than one occasion, is increasing in numbers and popularity, and is employed both in harness and under saddle. Recent introductions to the realm of dressage have seen the breed’s popularity grow.

Breed characteristics

It is most typically distinguished by its black coat color; however, this is not the only differentiating attribute; Friesians are occasionallychestnutas certain lineages do possess the “red” (‘e”) gene, which causes them to be chestnut. Chestnuts and bay trees were common in the 1930s. When it comes to purebred certification, Friesians seldom have any white markings at all; most registries allow only a little star on the forehead for purebred registration. In order to be considered for inclusion in the FPSstudbook (Friesch Paarden Stamboek), a stallion must first pass through a stringent approval process.

  1. Mare or geldings must be at least 15.2 hands (62 inches, 157 cm) in height to qualify for a “star-designation” pedigree.
  2. The breed has robust general conformation and superb bone structure, with a body shape that is commonly referred to as ” Baroque ” in appearance.
  3. Their limbs are quite short and powerful in comparison to other animals.
  4. Known for its quick, high-steppingtrot, the breed has become popular.
  5. A Friesian has a strong sense of presence and carries himself or herself with grace.
  6. However, the contemporary Friesian is today more popular in the show ring than the baroque Friesian, despite the fact that both forms are abundant.
  7. The chestnut color is normally not approved for registration for stallions, while it is occasionally permitted for mares and geldings under certain circumstances.
  8. However, discolouration caused by previous injuries or a black coat that has faded due to exposure to the sun will not be penalized.

Friesch Paarden Stamboek began breeding out the chestnut color in 1990, and today stallions with genetic testing indicating the presence of the chestnut or “red” gene, even if they are heterozygous and masked by black color, are not allowed to be registered with the FPS because they have the chestnut or “red” gene.

  1. The chestnut gene was still present in eight stallion lines in 2014, according to research.
  2. For the first two conditions, there are genetic testing available.
  3. Dwarfism affects around 0.25 percent of Friesians, resulting in horses with a normal-sized head, a larger chest than usual, an exceptionally long back, and extremely short limbs.
  4. It is a condition that is recurrent.
  5. They are susceptible to a skin ailment known as verrucouspasterndermatopathy, as are certain other draught breeds, and they may be more susceptible to having an impaired immune system in general.

There is also a tendency for tendon and ligament laxity in certain normal-sized Friesians, which may or may not be connected with dwarfism in some individuals. Genetic factors such as a narrow gene pool and inbreeding are assumed to be responsible for the majority of these illnesses.


The Friesian originates in the province ofFrieslandin the northernNetherlands, where there is evidence of thousands of years of horse populations. Statue honouring the 100th anniversary of the modern Friesian studbook As far back in history as the 4th century there are mentions of Friesian troops which rode their own horses. One of the most well-known sources of this was by an English writer named Anthony Dentwho wrote about the Friesian mounted troops in Carlisle. Dent, amongst others, wrote that the Friesian horse was the ancestor of both the British Shire, and the Fell pony.

  1. It wasn’t until the 11th century, that there were illustrations of what appeared to be Friesans.
  2. These ancestors of the modern Friesians were used in medieval times to carry knights to battle.
  3. During the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Netherlands were briefly linked with Spain, there was less demand for heavy war horses, as battle arms changed and became lighter.
  4. HistorianAnn Hylandwrote of the Friesian breed: The Emperor Charles (reigned 1516 -56) continued Spanish expansion into the Netherlands, which had its Frisian warhorse, noted by Vegetius and used on the continent and in Britain in Roman times.
  5. Even with infusions of Spanish blood during the sixteenth century, it retained its indigenous characteristics, taking the best from both breeds.
  6. Generally black, the Frisian was around 15hh with strong, cobby conformation, but with a deal more elegance and quality.
  7. Nowadays, though breed definition is retained, the size has markedly increased, as has that of most breeds due to improved rearing and dietary methods.
  8. The Friesian may have been used as foundation stock for such breeds as theDole Gudbrandsdal, theNorfolk Trotter(ancestor of theHackney), and theMorgan.

Friesian horses are sometimes referred to as “Belgian Blacks” A studbook society was founded in 1879 byFrisianfarmers and landowners who had gathered to found the Fries Rundvee Stamboek (FRS) (FRS) ThePaardenstamboek(“horse stud book”) was published in 1880 and initially registered both Friesian horses and a group ofheavy warmbloodbreeds, includingOstfriesen and Alt-Oldenburgers, collectively known as “Bovenlanders”.

  • At the time, the Friesian horse was declining in numbers, and was being replaced by the more fashionable Bovenlanders, both directly, and bycrossbreedingBovenlanderstallionson Friesianmares.
  • While the work of the society led to a revival of the breed in the late 19th century, it also resulted in the sale and disappearance of many of the best stallions from the breeding area, and Friesian horse populations dwindled.
  • Therefore, in 1906, the two parts of the registry were joined, and the studbook was renamed theFriesch Paarden Stamboek(FPS) in 1907.
  • By 1915 it had convinced FPS to split registration into two groups.
  • Displacement by petroleum-powered farm equipment on dairy farms also was a threat to the survival of Friesian horse.
  • World War IIslowed the process of displacement, allowing the population and popularity of the breed to rebound.


As the Friesian’s utility in agricultural endeavors diminished, it became increasingly popular for leisure purposes. Friesians account for around seven percent of all horses in the Netherlands today. Today, the Friesian horse is utilized both in harness and under saddle, and is particularly popular in the dressage discipline. In harness, they are used for both competitive and leisure driving, both alone and in groups of two or more people. Asjees, a high-wheeled cart, is a historic carriage that may be seen at select occasions that are specifically made for Friesian horses.

Friesian horses are a popular breed in film and television because of their stunning look and vibrant color.

They are seen as being calm in the face of the flurry of activity that is associated with filmmaking, but yet graceful while appearing on camera.

See also

  1. Abc”Friesian Breed Standard,” United States Equestrian Federation, March 20, 2014. The original version of this article was published on December 18, 2014. abLesté-Lasserre, Christa (December 17, 2014)
  2. Retrieved on December 17, 2014. (December 29, 2016). “Can you tell me what’s going on behind a horse of a different color?” TheHorse.com. “KFPSHome” was retrieved on January 16, 2017. Fps-studbook.com. The 19th of March, 2014. The original version of this article was published on January 28, 2018. On March 25, 2014, “The AustralianNew Zealand Friesian Horse Society Inc” was accessed via the website anzfhs.org.au. The original version of this article was published on March 9, 2018. “The History of Friesians,” which was retrieved on November 26, 2017. Friesians in Scotland on the 4th of July, 2011. Retrieved on November 28, 2017
  3. “Friesian Encyclopedia,” Friesiancrazy.com, July 12, 2011. Friesiancrazy.com, July 12, 2011. Retrieved on March 25, 2014
  4. Ab”CHESTNUT FRIESIANS or “FOX” FRIESIANS” are a kind of frisian. Friesian Referral Service in the United States. The American Friesian Association’s “Registration Rules and Regulations” were retrieved on December 18, 2014. On December 18, 2014, the Friesian Horse Association of North America published “Horse Health” on their website. The original version of this article was published on December 18, 2014. Back, Willem
  5. Clayton, Hilary M. (December 18, 2014)
  6. Back, Willem
  7. Clayton, Hilary M. (2013). Equine Locomotion, Elsevier Health Sciences, p. 718, ISBN 9780702052934. Equine Locomotion, Elsevier Health Sciences, p. 718, ISBN 9780702052934. abBoerma, S.
  8. Back, W.
  9. Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, M. M. (July 15, 2016)
  10. AbBoerma, S.
  11. Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, M. M. (February 2012). What is it about this breed that makes it such a clinical difficulty for the equine veterinarian? (PDF). Journal of Equine Veterinary Education, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 66–71, doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3292.2011.00302.x. Obtainable on December 18, 2014
  12. Ab Kenneth and Marcella (June 1, 2013). “There’s a problem with Friesians.” DVM 360 Magazine is a publication dedicated to the practice of dentistry. Obtainable on August 29, 2015
  13. The Friesian Horse, a time-honored utility breed, by ir. G.J.A. Bouma, E. Dijkstra, and dr.ir. A. Osinga
  14. “The Friesian Horse, a time-honored utility breed,” by E. Dijkstra (citation from Dr. Geurts)
  15. “The Friesian Horse, a time-honored utility breed,” by E. Dijkstra (reference Hyland, Ann (November 28, 2017)
  16. Retrieved from Ann. The Warhorse reigned from 1250 until 1600. “Historic Notes” in Friesian Crazy, published by Sutton Publishing in the United Kingdom in 1998, pages 2–3. This page was last modified on March 25, 2014. Bouma (1988) Het Friese Paard, p. 25
  17. AbcHistory of the Friesian Horse. Affiliation with the Friesian Horse Society (USA). P. de Boer, S. Minkema, and A.M. Teekens published an article on September 7, 2008, which was archived. The judging of the Friesian horse
  18. The “History of the Friesian Horse.” Fhana and the KFPS. The original version of this article was published on December 1, 2017. “Friesian History,” which was retrieved on November 28, 2017, may be found here. The Friesian Horse Association of North America is a non-profit organization. A version of this article was originally published on September 19, 2015
  19. “sjees (rijtuigje)”, retrieved on August 29, 2015. Etymologiebank.nl. “Overview,” which was retrieved on April 6, 2017. The Friesian Horse Association of North America is a non-profit organization. On September 24, 2015, the original version of this article was archived. abKlimek, Kim Abbott. “Friesians in Film.” Retrieved on August 29, 2015. abKlimek, Kim Abbott. “Friesians in Film.” Horsechannel.com. Obtainable on August 29, 2015

External links

  • The Koninklijke Vereniging “Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek” (KFPS) is the official association of the Friesian stud-book. Archived from the original on January 28, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  • The Australia and New Zealand Friesian Horse Society (ANZFHS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Friesian horses in Australia and New Zealand.

Friesian Horse

Europe Information on the Breed Organization The Friesian Horse Association of North America is located at P.O. Box 1809 in Sisters, Oregon 97759 and may be reached at (541) 549-4272. Phone: (541) 549-4770 Fax: (541) 549-4770 Concerning the Breed It is believed that the Friesian Horse originated in Friesland, one of the twelve provinces that make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Holland), which is located in the northwest European country of Friesland. Friesland is an ancient nation with origins reaching back to 500 B.C., when the Friesians landed along the North Sea’s coast.

  • The Friesian horse is a descendant of the Equus robustus (the robust horse).
  • This has resulted in the high knee-action, the short head, and the craning neck that they have today.
  • The Friesian horse has been clear of the influence of the English Thoroughbred throughout history.
  • Horse breeding and trading were extremely important to the Friesians, who made their living from it.
  • Throughout the decades, the Friesian government has enacted a slew of legislation to protect the integrity of the breeding stock.
  • According to historical documents, the Friesian horse used to be quite popular in the past.
  • This horse was much sought after by armored knights of yore because it had the power to carry heavy loads into combat while still maneuvering rapidly.

This type has few competitors when it comes to pulling an exquisite carriage, and across Europe, the royal courts utilized them as coach horses.

There are several carriage events taking place in Friesland nowadays, and sjees, the Friesian version of the chaise, are frequently seen.

Thesjees is one of the rare carriages in which the driver is positioned on the left, with his lady occupying the right-hand side, which is considered the most important position in the carriage.

These big, unconventional hitches, which are used primarily for demonstration purposes, are quickly becoming popular.

Anthony Dent, a well-known English writer on horses, and others believe that the Friesian horse had an impact on the Old English Black Horse and the Fell Pony, which were both developed in the same region.

Dent thinks that the Norwegian D?le had a significant influence on the Northern Swedish horse, and that the Norwegian D?le also had an impact on the English Dale pony.

The similarities between the kinds described may be traced back to the impact of Friesian horses in some circumstances, and the similarity between the types can be traced back to the similarity in breeding methods in other situations.

After discovering the region in 1609, the Dutch established the settlement of New Amsterdam in the area, but they were forced to surrender it to the English in 1664, when the name was changed to New York.

It’s likely that these were Friesian horses.

It is possible that the ability to trot quickly, the heavy manes, the long rich tail, and the fetlocks at the foot of the original forefather of this breed were all characteristics of the breed.

In 1974, Tom Hannon of Canton, Ohio, was responsible for reintroducing the horse to North America.

Friesian horses have been successfully transported into Western Germany, Scotland, and South Africa with the assistance of the Friesian Studbook (1957-58).

This species of horse is no longer found in Belgium, with the exception of horses brought from Friesland.


Bouma, published in 1979 and printed by Friese Pers B.

in Drachten and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Characteristics of the Breed Friesian horses are always a dark shade of brown.

They have a mane and tail that are long, thick, and flowing, as well as a prominent fetlock hair.

The Friesian Horse is distinguished by its lofty and dignified carriage, as well as its arching neck.

Selective breeding is employed to generate the dynamic hock motion as well as a high, extended-from-leg action that is desired.

The rear quarters are sloping, and the tail is positioned somewhat lower than the rest of the body.

The mares weigh an average of 1300 pounds, with males weighing even more.

The Friesian Horse Register (FPS) is the international registry for the Friesian horse.

However, horses registered with organizations from other countries may not have followed the requirements set by the FPS, and as a result, horses registered with other organizations will not be recognized as Friesian by the authentic Dutch Friesian registry.

When a horse’s papers are not issued by the Friesch Paarden Stamboek, it is ineligible for recognition by the Friesian Horse Association of North America.

The Friesian Horse Breed: Facts, Color, and Temperament

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! A Friesian horse was recommended to us by a friend who was looking for a dressage potential. Since neither I nor my husband had ever seen one perform, nor have we ever owned one, we were skeptical whether it would be a suitable fit for us. However, I decided to do some research on the breed.

Friesian horses are also known as “big-boned horses.” These horses have the temperament and athletic abilities necessary to excel in dressage competition.

Friesian horses are magnificent creatures that stand out for their size and color.

In case you’re interested in looking at any Friesian horse art or other Friesian artifacts, you may do so by clicking here and scrolling down the page.

Quick Links:

  • When it comes to maintaining a Friesian horse, the breed characteristics of the Friesian horse, and genetic disorders associated with Friesian horses are all discussed. The origins of Friesian horses are unknown, as is whether or not they make good dressage horses.

What is the Temperament of Friesian Horses?

Recently, I witnessed a Friesian trotting around in an arena, and his actions demonstrated the strength and ferocity that one would expect from a fighting horse. However, their display of power made me apprehensive about their disposition. Friesian horses have been employed as war horses for hundreds of years, although they are known for their peaceful disposition. They are eager to please their owners and are prepared to learn new things. They are very gregarious. These characteristics are desirable in every horse.

Before we go into the temperament of the Friesian, let’s have a look at what temperament means in the context of horses.

The temperament of a horse has an impact on their behavior.

Some breeds are quite obstinate, while others are anxious to please their owners.

Friesians don’t easily spook.

Horse breed temperament is an important feature to consider when considering the fitness of a horse for a certain purpose. In general, horses who are classified on the lower end of a temperament scale are quiet, reliable, easy to deal with, and don’t jump out of their skins when you’re riding them. You don’t want a horse that leaps at the sight of its own reflection. Friesians are considered to be on the milder end of the temperament spectrum. Choosing a horse that is a good match for your riding abilities and temperament will make your riding and horse ownership experiences more enjoyable and rewarding.

Horses, like humans, are unique individuals with their own personalities, and each will have its own personality. The temperament of a Friesian horse is only one aspect in assessing whether or not it is the right horse for you.

Friesians can be good dressage horses.

Yes, both baroque and sport Friesians are capable of achieving success in dressage. Dressage competitions are a good fit for Friesians since they have the desire to please and the athletic ability to participate. The first Friesian to compete in the International Grand Prix was Adel 357, a sport Friesian stallion. Adel 357 was the first Friesian to compete in the International Grand Prix. Several more successful Friesians have followed in his footsteps since he broke down the barrier to dressage for them in the first place.

Is a Friesian Horse High Maintainance?

A Friesian’s flowing mane and tail are a sight to behold, and their thick feathers are a treat to watch as they move up and down the horse’s back. However, with all of their hair, I began to worry if it required a great deal of maintenance. Friesians are difficult to groom and require a lot of upkeep. If you want your Friesian to appear as good as the ones in images, you’ll need to devote a significant amount of time to combing their coat, mane, feathers, and tail. It’s hard to think of a nicer coat than the Friesian.

This brings us to the most important question: do you want to groom this Horse?

Friesian people have dry skin and are prone to developing rashes rapidly.

Daily grooming for Friesians’ include:

Cleanse the feathers using an anti-bacterial wash, pat dry with a towel, then blow dry. When you use this mixture to dry the feathers, you can rest assured that no moisture will be left on the skin. Skin irritations are caused by excessive moisture. Keeping skin lesions from appearing in this region is a labor of love. Pastern dermatitisis is a prevalent ailment in horse breeds that have feathers on their legs and tails. It is a skin irritation that affects the lower legs; behind the thick hair, the disease can occasionally go up to the knee.

The most effective means of preventing the problem is by the application of regular grooming techniques.


A jet-black coat will lose its sheen if exposed to direct sunlight. It is best not to turn your horse out during periods of intense sunshine. A healthy, lustrous coat is promoted by a well-balanced, highly nutritious diet. When you wash your horse, make sure to use the appropriate color-enhancing shampoo. A 1-Quart bottle of Shapley’s Hi Shine Shampoo. French people have dry skin, and a product like Medi-Care Med Shampoo with Tea Tree and Lemon Grass may be able to alleviate the issue.

Brush out the tail and mane

Maintain a regular brushing regimen for the mane and tail, using a detangler such as Premium Showsheen and a wide-tooth comb.

Start from the bottom and work your way up; you’re trying to avoid pulling out any hair at any costs. French braiding the mane of a horse with a very lengthy mane is one option.


Friesians do best in colder areas and should be maintained inside. They do not endure high temperatures well. Anhydrosis, or a lack of sweating, is a condition that Friesians are prone to. This can lead to major issues in hot locations, such as the desert. During the hotter months, these horses should be closely examined for signs of anhydrosis. Reduced concentration feeding, vitamin Einjections, coupled with fluid and electrolytein injections, are just a few of the therapy approaches that have shown promising outcomes in the past.

Friesians are often considered to be high-maintenance horses.

Friesian horses are known for their long manes and tails.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the Friesian breed is its long mane and tail, which are both black in color. The tails are frequently so long that they drag the ground. Additionally, Friesians have lengthy hair that extends from the middle of their thighs to feathers at their ankles. Featherson is the term used to describe the long, silky hair on the lower legs of a Friesian.

Friesians are powerfully built.

It is a huge horse with a thick, muscular physique that is known as the Friesian horse. It is not rare to encounter a Friesian who is 17 hands tall, despite the fact that the typical Friesian reaches 15.3 hands tall. A heavily muscled physique with strong hindquarters and a short tail distinguishes them from other breeds. Friesian have long, arched necks, a well-defined tiny head with eyes split apart and short ears, as well as short ears. Horses that are similar to Spanish horses Friesian shoulders are likewise well-muscled and compact, as is the rest of the body.

The body types of Friesians are currently divided into two categories: the baroque type and the sport type.

Baroque Friesian horses have a more traditional physique with thick bones and are heavier, but sports Friesian horses have thinner bones and are lighter in weight and are used more frequently in shows.

Not all Friesians have black coats.

Friesians should have a lot of black hair, and they should have it in abundance. The Friesian breed is most typically distinguished by its black coat; however, there have been chestnut and bay Friesians as well. The only white marking that is permitted on a Friesian is a little star on the forehead, which is used for purebred registration purposes. Some Friesian horse groups no longer consider the chestnut and bay colors as suitable for registration because of the current economic climate. Chestnut Friesian dogs are still allowed to be registered with the American Friesian Association.

The Friesian breed has a high rate of genetic disorders.

Friesian horses have a greater incidence of genetic diseases than most other horse breeds, according to the American Horse Council.

Years of inbreeding are believed to be to blame for the high prevalence of a hereditary ailment in the population. The following is a list of the most frequent illnesses that affect the Friesian breed of dogs.

  • Dwarfism: Friesians who have dwarfism have normal-sized heads and lengthy bodies, a full chest, and exceedingly small limbs
  • They are also known as dwarfs. When there is an accumulation of spinal fluid inside the brain, it is referred to as hydrocephalus. The fluid volume rises, causing pressure to build up inside the skull, resulting in a variety of unfavorable outcomes. aortic rupture is defined as the rupture of the major artery in the horse’s body
  • It is also known as aortic dissection. a condition of the throat that can cause a horse to choke
  • Also known as megaesophagus Megaesophagus is an expansion of the throat that makes it difficult for the horse to swallow and get food into his stomach. Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (also known as colic in horses) is a condition that manifests itself with symptoms that are comparable to colic in severe situations. A shortage of glycogen in the muscles is the cause of this condition. On occasion, diet might be used to treat the condition successfully. Diseases of the digestive system: Friesians are more susceptible to colic and other gastrointestinal disorders than other breeds of dogs. Friedians are extremely sensitive to bug bites, including mosquitoes and horseflies, and they might have a severe reaction to these insects. Hair loss and skin damage to the mane, tail, head, and stomach are common as a result of the severe hypersensitive reaction. In some horses, the skin damage is severe enough that the horse is rendered worthless for an extended length of time. Dermatopathy of the pastern: Friesians are prone to skin illness in the pastern area, particularly in the area of the feathers.

To read our article about the longevity of Friesian horses, please click here.

Where Do Friesian Horses Originate From?

At first glance, I believed it was a French or Spanish horse, but it turned out to be a Friesian. I wasn’t sure where they came from, so I decided to conduct some research to find out more information about them. The Friesian horse is believed to have originated in the province of Friesland in the northern portion of the Netherlands. Horses have been present in this province for thousands of years, according to archaeological evidence. The Friesian breed spread throughout Europe and became a favored mount of armored knights and knights in shining armor.

  • The Friesian was built specifically for you.
  • During the 16th and 17th centuries, when need for large warhorses declined, the Friesian horse breed was crossed with lighter horses, such as the Spanish horse breed, Andalusian, to produce lighter offspring.
  • The Friesian derived not only its lower weight from the Andalusian, but it also gained other features from it.
  • Andalusian blood may be seen in the breed’s lineage, which includes Arabian blood.

Friesians first came to America in the 17th century.

The Dutch arrived in America in the early seventeenth century and established themselves in the region that is today known as New York. While under Dutch rule, the city was renamed New Amsterdam, and Friesian horses were imported from the Netherlands to serve as draft horses. These Friesians are said to be the progenitors of the American Morgan horse breed, which is descended from them. Even while it has not been confirmed that the Morgan breed was influenced by the Friesian breed, the conformation, stride, and overall demeanor of the two breeds are extremely similar.

Friesian Stallions must meet specific criteria.

Friesians are rated shortly after birth, and they are graded again at 2.5 and three years of age, respectively. They will be categorised and recorded in a foal book after passing through the inspection process. Foals can obtain a grade of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or no premie depending on their performance. Friesian dogs are evaluated on the basis of their conformation, movement, type, and sporting success if they are entered in competition when they return for their second examination.

Predicates are quality classifications of Friesian horses that are separated into subgroups based on their conformation. In addition to his own quality, predicates are dependent on the quality of his progeny as well as his own quality.

Friesian Predicates:

To be eligible for the crown predicate, the horse must be three years old and have tested out at a score of 77 points at an IBOP or ABFP competition. They are also evaluated in a walk and trot, with an overall score of 7 points required. The shortest person is 15.2 hands tall.

Ster Predicate

Equine height must be at least 15.1 hands; horses are inspected at the walk and trot while being led by the hand during these examinations. Studs are evaluated when they are 2.5 years old, while mares and geldings are examined when they are three years old, respectively.

Sport Predicate

To qualify for dressage competition, horses must get five scores of 60 percent or better at the third level or above. Horses competing in driving must acquire a minimum of 10 points from three separate FEI Tests9.

Model Predicate

This group is intended for the finest Friesian mares of the greatest caliber. The mares must have given birth to at least one child and be at least seven years old. They will be evaluated based on their athletic ability as well as breed conformation qualities. This is a rare distinction bestowed upon mares.

Preferent for Stallions

It will be necessary to assess and test the quality of each stud’s offspring for breeding-goal characteristics before they can be granted preferent stallion status. Horses that have produced excellent progeny are given preferential treatment.

Is a Friesian a Warmblood Horse?

Warmblood horses are a type of horse that falls under this category. When it comes to their genetic makeup, the warmbloods are a combination of cold-blood and hot-blood DNA. They are horses that originated in Europe and are of medium size. The Friesian is classified as a warmblood breed of horse. The original Friesian was mixed with the Spanish Andalusian breed, which had Arabian DNA, to produce the current Friesian. The Arabian horse is believed to be a hot-blooded animal. Warmbloods are said to have a calmer temperament than hotbloods, although they are not as listless as coldbloods in their behavior.

They have become prominent breeds in a variety of horse disciplines, including dressage.

Friesians are expensive to buy.

In order to acquire a Friesian horse, you should expect to pay around $30,000.00 on average. The cost of a Friesian horse is determined on the age of the horse and the amount of training it has received. Horses that are ready for competition might cost significantly more. You may find a list of available Friesians for sale on this page, which is updated on a regular basis.

What is a Friesian Keuring?

A Friesian Keuring is a breed judge who oversees the development of the Friesian breed. In the Dutch language, the term “keuring” literally translates as “inspection.” These judges are all Dutch, and they assess whether Friesians are eligible for inclusion in the world’s only verified pure-bred database for Friesians, which is maintained by the Friesians themselves. The KFPS (King of the Friesian Studbook) is the name of the database.

Are Friesian Horses Fast?

Friesian horses are not particularly speedy. A fast horse has the ability to run at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. Friesians are not recognized for being sluggish horses, although they are not particularly swift when compared to other warmblood horses. To learn more about the world’s fastest horse breeds, please visit this page. Friesians are warmblood horses that are around the size of a medium-sized pony.

They are horses with sturdy bones and a lot of muscle. War horses, riding horses, and trotters to draw carriages are all examples of how they have been employed throughout history. However, they are not utilized in racing.

Are Friesians Horses Good Jumpers?

Friesians are not very adept jumpers. In recreational jumping, Friesians are a good choice since they are easy to train and have a good leap; however, their bulky build hinders them from competing at higher levels of competition.


I wouldn’t consider purchasing a Friesian unless I had someone who was familiar with the breed working for me. In addition to their genetic predispositions for medical illnesses, I reside in a warm-weather climate, which is not conducive to Friesians’ well-being.


A variety of equine disciplines, including dressage, trail riding, and carriage hauling, are performed with Friesian horses. It is possible that you will find this page useful if you are interested in knowing more about the way Friesian horses are used: What Is the Purpose of a Friesian Horse? 5 Uses That Will Astound You!

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  • Facts and Characteristics of the Andalusian Horse are revealed in this article. To learn more about Palomino horses, please visit this page.

Equine Info Exchange – Big, Black and Beautiful! The History of the Majestic Friesian Horse

Developed from a very old breed that was indigenous to all of Western Europe, the Friesian horse is certainly a one-of-a-kind animal in the world. Its origins may be traced back to the Netherlands. From a historical perspective, the Friesian horse has been impacted by eastern bloodlines and has been threatened with extinction on several occasions. True horse enthusiasts have maintained their single-mindedness and fearless commitment to the Friesian horse, allowing us to enjoy the various characteristics of this magnificent animal even now.

Many little girls grew up fantasizing about owning a horse like this!

Breeders have bred them for use as draft animals as well as for breeding to produce the “Sunday Horse,” a high-stepping carriage used by rich owners.

Friesian Breed Registration KFPS:

When the Friesian people began developing this breed more than 135 years ago, they recognized the importance of forming an association to guide and control the breed’s future growth. They began by gathering as many fine representatives of the breed as they could find, and then picked stallions to serve as sires for the next generations. They then had persons who were knowledgeable with the breed assess the progeny as foals, during the summer and fall of the year in which they were born, and again as young adult horses, when they were between 3 and 4 years old.

  • Form, breed type, quality of legs, and movement at the walk and trot are all taken into consideration when ranking horses.
  • Exceptional mares and stallions are honored with “Star” predicates and are given the opportunity to move farther in the studbook as a result of their achievements.
  • If these stallions are deemed extraordinary during their three-year assessment, they will be subjected to a second examination by the judges.
  • If they are determined to be important enough to the breed as a whole, the horse is subjected to x-rays of its hooves and legs, as well as an examination of its semen, to decide whether or not it is of high enough quality to be used in breeding.
  • In order to identify the appropriate level of training for them, they are evaluated by a veterinarian upon arrival, as well as by a team of judges who are experts in breeding stallions.
  • If their scores are high enough, they are assigned a “number” to go after their names, as well as a provisional permission to breed a restricted number of mares (180 total).
  • During a 30-day review of their ability, conformation, and whether or not they are a “positive addition to the breed,” an allotted number of the 3 and 4 year old progeny are evaluated.

After an examination, if a sufficient number of the about 20 offspring pass, the Stallion is granted unlimited breeding privileges.

The Friesian Horse in America:

It was not long after the discovery of the new world that Friesian horses found their way here as well. Dutch immigrants, most likely the same ones who purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians and renamed it “New Amsterdam,” were responsible for bringing the breed to the United States. In addition to the Morgan horse, the Canadian horse, and the Tennessee walker, it is thought that the Friesian horse may have contributed to the bloodlines of the Morgan horse and the Canadian horse as well.

  • It wasn’t until the 1970s, when Thomas Hannon imported a number of these horses, that the Friesian horse was once again seen on the shores of the United States of America.
  • Since then, their popularity has continued to rise.
  • There was a significant inflow of imported horses in the early 2000s, but the population has since stabilized and is of a healthy size for breeding purposes.
  • Friesians have won the hearts of many horse enthusiasts due to their easygoing temperaments and kind natures.
  • There has been an increase in interest in Friesians for dressage over the years, and breeding objectives have changed to produce a taller, lighter horse to meet the demands of these disciplines.
  • The Friesian Horse Association of North America, or FHANA, is the representative organization for the United States and Canada, and it collaborates with the Dutch Friesian horse association, the KFPS (Koninklijke Friesian Paarden Stamboek).
  • In 2009, the FHANA celebrated its 25th anniversary, while the KFPS celebrated its 130th anniversary.
  • Only foals whose dams are registered in the Main Studbook (mare studbook or Foal Book) and whose father is a stallion with KFPS authorized breeding rights are permitted to be recorded in the main stud book.
  • Currently, there are only around 20 licensed breeding stallions in the United States, despite the fact that approved breeding stallions in the Netherlands are available to breeders through the importation of frozen sperm.
  • The Friesian horse has progressed from being a European legend to becoming a familiar sight for many horse enthusiasts in the United States of America.
  • Their dramatic appearance makes them a perfect choice for television, advertising, and films, and they are now appearing more frequently than ever before.

There have been several films and television series featuring Friesians, including Zorro, Once Upon A Time, Lady Hawke and Bedazzled, to mention a few examples.

The Versatility of the Friesian Horse.

Friesian horses were believed to be among the semi-draft horses employed as mounts for combat soldiers during the Crusades, and they were bred specifically for this purpose. Eventually, when the demand for this sort of usage diminished, they were converted to agricultural and general public use by the populace. When Friesian households went to church on Sunday mornings, they would retain their particularly attractive horses. In the Netherlands, at this time, there were also trotting events, in which horses competed against one other for the quickest trot, without breaking into a canter.

  1. There is nothing more amazing than a foursome of stunning Friesians in one’s possession.
  2. The Friesian horse’s superb disposition, which is characteristic of the breed, makes it an excellent pleasure riding mount as well.
  3. This breed is known for its affection for people, and rather of fleeing when you go to retrieve it from the pasture, they will come to their owners’ side.
  4. In the last 10 to 15 years, there has been a tremendous increase in interest in Friesian horses for dressage riding in Europe and North America, with Friesians beginning to compete at the highest levels.
  5. Many horses may compete effectively at all levels with proper training.
  6. Granted, we have not seen them compete in extreme long distance races such as the Tevis Cup in California, but they are capable of competing in lesser distance competitions if they are properly prepared.
  7. The International Friesian Show Horse Association, which represents Friesians in the United States Equestrian Federation, is a recognized affiliation with the USEF.

The Friesian Horse Association of North America

This “daughter” of the KFPS was founded more than 28 years ago by a group of Friesian/American citizens and has grown to become the largest association of Friesian owners outside of the Netherlands. The KFPS, the only recognized Friesian Studbook in the world and the only studbook permitted by the European Union in Europe, has been in operation for more than 133 years, and has been in continuous operation for more than 133 years. The KFPS, which loosely translates as “Royal Friesian Horse Studbook,” keeps track of all registered Friesian horses in the globe via the work of its own and affiliates.

The fact that it is a “closed studbook,” which means that no other breeds are permitted to join the gene pool, necessitates the fact that it is a fairly inbred horse breed, particularly if you trace it as far back as possible to the original stallion used and the mares he was bred to Because of this, it is even more critical to maintain careful surveillance over the breeding stock.

FHANA is in charge of the official paper work from the KFPS for its members in the North American continent, which is managed by the organization.

Our foals, 3- and 4-year-olds, and older horses are examined and graded in relation to the rest of the breed population at these yearly inspections.

Young mares and geldings are assessed similarly to older mares and geldings, with the best 5 percent of each group receiving a First or Second Premium “Star.” It is possible for them to go from there to the Crown rating and subsequently to the Model rating, depending on their conformation, performance, and ability to pass an IBOP exam.

A model mare has to have had a live foal in addition to becoming a model.

Horses of either sexe can obtain a “Sport” Predicate by earning a certain amount of high scores in either riding or driving over a specified period of time.

By forming partnerships with a number of horse-related firms, they have been able to get discounts for its members on a wide range of products.

Their goal is to establish a list of physicians who will travel to each of the Chapters and offer a wide range of pertinent issues to the members.

The Kentucky Horse Park is home to the FHANA office, which is open Monday through Friday and always welcomes members who wish to stop by. Visit their website at www.fhana.com for more information.

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