A Guide to Friesian Horses

ArticleHow to - General Equine AdviceWednesday 12 May 2010
Friesian Horses
The Friesian horse is a horse breed that originates in Friesland which is a province of the Netherlands. The breed’s conformation resembles that of a light draft horse however Friesians are incredibly graceful and nimble for their size. It is strongly believed that Friesian horses were used as war horses in continental Europe throughout the Middle Ages. The Friesian horse was used during war in the Middle Ages because of their strength which enabled them to carry knights in armour.    

The Friesian horse breed has nearly become extinct a few times but not the modern day Friesian horses are growing in popularity and numbers. Friesian horses are now uses in harness, under the saddle and the breed has been introduced to dressage. 

The Friesian horse is more often than not recognised by its black coat and long, thick mane and tail. Friesian horses also have wavy and silky hair on their lower legs which is usually left untrimmed. Official Friesian horses for sale will rarely have any white markings and most Friesian registries will only accept a small star on their forehead for purebred registration. 

Very rarely you can get chestnut Friesians but these are not usually accepted for registration in most cases. Friesians are quite large in size and average about 15.3 hands although they can range from about 14.2 hands to 17 hands. 

Friesian horses are well known for their brisk high stepping trot and they have an active and willing temperament. A Friesian stallion or horse will carry itself with great elegance and presence.  They have good bone structure and overall conformation which is known as a Baroque body type. Friesian horses ears are short, their necks arched, strong sloping shoulders, muscular bodies and a low-set tail. A Friesian horse has limbs which are short and strong in comparison to their bodies. 

To be accepted as a Friesian stallion in the studbook and be used as breeding stock a Friesian stallion has to pass a rigorous process of approval. 
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