The Friesian Horse Breed
Friesian horses are some of the most majestic horses in all of the equine kingdom. These gorgeous animals are tall, big boned, and typically found with a black and shining coat, a thick mane, and a thick tail. These are the stars of the horse world and some of the best-looking horses around.
The most notable characteristic of this breed is their long mane and tail, as well as their black coloring. Their tails are so large that they almost always drag on the ground. They also have long hair growing in the middle of their legs that feathers around their ankles.
The next thing that’s immediately noticeable is just how thick and muscular the Friesian breed is. The average Friesian horse stands at around 15 hands, but they can grow to be up to 17 hands tall. The hindquarters are especially strong, they have thick and long necks with well-defined heads, and muscled shoulders.
There are also two body types when it comes to Friesian horses. There is the baroque and sport. The baroque horse has a more classical body with thicker bones while the sport horse is thinner and more often used in horse shows.
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Are All Friesian Horses Black?
Not all Friesian horses are black. They all have an abundant amount of black hair, but some breeds can be chestnut. Some can even have bay colouring. However, chestnut and bay horses are not able to be registered in some Friesian horse associations who only accept pure black Friesians.
How Much Do Friesians Cost?
Friesian horses are known for costing a lot of money. Are Friesians expensive? Yes, they are absolutely expensive. To give you a taste of just how expensive a single Friesian horse can be, you’re looking at a purchase of upwards of $30,000. That’s a lot of money to spend on a single horse.
However, price does vary depending on the age and how much training the horse has already had. If the Friesian horse is ready for competition already, your cost could skyrocket beyond $30,000.
What Are Friesian Horses Good for?
Friesian horses are great dressage horses, including baroque and sport Friesians. Because this breed of horse is known for having a calm and gentle temperament, as well as often wishing to please their owners – mixed with their inherent athletic ability, they are excellent competitors in dressage.
In fact, the first Friesian horse to compete in the International Grand Prix was a sport Friesian named Adel 357. He broke the barrier for Friesian horses and ever since they have been very successful in dressage.
What’s the Friesian Horse Temperament?
For centuries, Friesian horses were used in war and battle. But despite this, they have an exceptionally peaceful demeanor. Friesian horses are excellent learners, they are very social animals, and they always aim to please their owner. These traits are arguably the best to have in any breed of horse. This makes Friesian horses excellent for beginner riders.
Another great thing about the Friesian is that it doesn’t spook easily. The last thing you want, especially as a beginner rider, is a horse that freaks out at its own shadow. But Friesian horses are at the lowest end of the temperament scale, meaning they are some of the most agreeable horses to ride.
Of course, every single horse has its own unique personality and this is also true with the Friesian breed. Some horses are a bit more temperamental than others, but as a whole they are very easy to deal with.
Friesian Horses & Maintenance
Considering just how much hair comes with a Friesian horse, it is one of the more difficult breeds to maintain. This should come as no surprise. Every Friesian horse has a flowing mane and a tail that brushes the ground. All that hair makes Friesians some of the most beautiful horses in the world, but it also makes them harder to maintain than other breeds.
This isn’t so bad for someone who has experience removing tangles from a horse’s hair. Just keep in mind that the maintenance is going to be constant and you’re going to really need to pay attention to your horse to keep their hair and skin as healthy as possible.
As a side note, Friesian horses are known for having dry skin and can develop rashes quickly. Because of how susceptible these horses are to different kinds of skin conditions, you need to groom your horse on a daily basis. This is not optional when it comes to maintaining your Friesian horse.
Maintenance duties with a Friesian horse include washing the feathers with proper shampoo, keeping your horse out of bright sunlight so that their lusty black coat doesn’t get bleached by the sun, using colour-enhancing shampoo to keep the coat shiny, and brushing the mane and tail every single day while using a detangler to keep the hair orderly.
Another thing to mention is that Friesian horses don’t like hot climates. They are better suited to cold weather. You must monitor your horse in the warmer months to make sure they’re eating properly and getting enough vitamins and fluids.
All in all, the Friesian is one of the hardest horses to maintain – though if you love beautiful horses, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Do Friesian Horses Have Health Problems?
Compared to other horse breeds, Friesians have a higher rate of genetic disorders. This means they are more likely to develop health issues than other horses. Some say this is probably caused by years of inbreeding creating genetic problems.
Friesian horses are known to have dwarfism, they sometimes have issues with their arteries, they can have a condition in the throat known as megaesophagus, which makes them choke and have a difficult time eating, and they are notorious for having issues with their digestive system.
Perhaps one of these strangest things you need to look out for with Friesian horses is their hypersensitivity to insect bites. Mosquitoes and horseflies are horribly dangerous for this breed of horse. Bites from insects can cause hair loss and skin damage. You should always do everything in your power to keep bugs away from Friesian horses. They’ve been bred in colder climates and aren’t used to some of the insects that are more common in hotter zones.
What is a Friesian Sport Horse?
I used to own a Friesian sport horse, we specifically bred her. We owned her mom (The Dam) and purchased a breeding from the sire. Her name was Belle and we bred her and then had her until she was 7 and sold her.
A Friesian sport horse is a horse that is 50% Friesian and 50% sport horse. The Sport horse breed is typically a warmblood or a thoroughbred. Bigger warmbloods are generally used so the baby comes out with size and stamina. We bred our Oldenburg mare to a full Friesian stallion.
My Belle horse was dark, but you could see some of the brown coming through. A lot of times the Friesian sport horse will havea. mixed colour and maintain that crazy awesome main and tale. She did have little feathers, but not like her dad.