Friesian horse


Description of the Friesian horses

Friesian horses are undoubtedly one of the more well-known breeds because the black beauties with their imposing appearance of dark, shiny fur and lush long hair quickly cast a spell over them. At the beginning of the 20th century they were still threatened with extinction, but today Friesian horses are also very popular because of their attractive exterior.

They are mainly to be found in equestrian and driving sports because their versatility makes them just as suitable for use in the arena as for trail rides or as a carriage horse. However, their elegant charisma can also be admired more and more often at shows, especially as they show lively gaits and bring a natural talent for high school exercises. For this reason, the Friesian horses, originally from the Netherlands, are now widespread throughout Europe.


Depending on gender and age, Friesian horses reach a height of 150 to 170 centimeters and naturally catch the eye with their dark coat color. Whether mare or stallion, every Friesian is a black horse, typical of the breed, although shades do occur. According to the breeding goal, natural markings are not desired except for one star in mares. Also striking is the lush long hair with a full mane, long tail, and clear feathers.

The confirmation of the Friesian horse presents itself with a dry head with good freedom of gait and large eyes as well as a well-formed neck. The harmonious physique is determined by a medium-length neck that tapers towards the head, a sloping and long shoulder, and distinctive withers. The slightly curved back is well muscled and of medium length, while the muscular and long croup shows with deep shanks. Feet and legs should appear correct and dry with clear, large joints. Well-formed hooves and a medium-length pastern are also important.


Adequate and reliable - Friesian horses are characterized by uncomplicated and strong nerves and are ideal for equestrian sports, but also for driving due to their versatility. Here the Friesian brings in all his strength, plenty of patience, and gentleness. A pronounced strength of character, a balanced temperament, and robust health with a high degree of resilience is always desired.

The breeding history of the Friesian horse

The breeding history of the Friesian horses that are common today begins in the 16th and 17th centuries when the Netherlands was occupied by the Spaniards. In the province of Friesland, which has since given the distinctive horse breed its name, the regional, rather cold-blooded horse type was crossed with Iberian horses for the first time, resulting in the breed known today as the Friesian horse. This was not only popular as a workhorse, but was also used as a majestic draft horse in front of the light, elegant carriages of the stately homes, especially from the beginning of the 18th century.

In the 19th century, however, the demand for Friesian horses fell significantly, so that in 1913 only three stallions remained. It is thanks to dedicated breeders that breeding of the old breed was revived, especially since Friesian horses are the only Dutch horse breed that also represents a piece of cultural heritage. In the early days of breeding, blood from other breeds was introduced by crossing Spanish horses, but the small stock was now increased solely through pure breeding within the remaining population. The studbook founded in 1879 is closed accordingly.

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