Girls Horse Club Blog

The Friesian

Published by • Mar 19th, 2009 • Category: Guest Bloggers, International Horse

by Salina, age 14

FriesianI’m sure that of us have or had a dream horse at one point or another. Well, the Friesian is mine for many reasons, so I wrote this “report” and would like to share what I have learned with other horse-crazies who might be interested in the wonders of the Friesian.

CHARACTERISTICS
The Friesian stands 14-17 hands tall at the withers (1 hand = 4 in/10 cm). They are always black, occasionally with a small white star. There have been some cases when a Friesian was sorrel but very rarely. It has a long, noble head, short ears, beautiful arched neck, powerful shoulders and sloping flanks. The glossy black of its coat, thick mane and tail, and feathered legs have become the trademark of this particular breed.

ORIGIN
The Friesian originated in Friesland, that much is certain, but no one knows when. However, it is quite safe to say that the Friesian has been around for over a thousand years.

HISTORY
Friesians were often used in the Middle Ages for carrying knights into battle and jousting. Nobles throughout history seem to have liked them also, for occasionally the horse will be mentioned in a story or seen in a tapestry.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Friesians were more often seen doing farm work and pulling hearses than being ridden in fancy parades. This caused a strain in the breed’s population, for, although good workers, larger horses were more practical. Then with the dawn of machinery in the early 1900’s, the Friesian was needed even less and their numbers dropped so dramatically that before World War Ⅰ there were only three stallions left in the world. This was not the first time the Friesian race was faced with extinction; in fact there have been several close calls for them throughout history. But in 1913 a group formed that was determined to save the breed and keep it from danger of falling again. They succeeded and in World War Ⅱ, because of the lack of gas and fuel, horses were needed in the fields once again and this helped the breeding of the Friesian enormously.

FriesianToday Friesians are most often used as sport horses in dressage and carriage teams. They can also be seen in some circuses. Friesians are becoming increasingly popular for pleasure and even the Western world is seeing more of them.

ODDS & ENDS

  • Because of their natural beauty, intelligence and kindness, Friesians are being chosen more often for rolls in movies, a few being Zorro and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and even some TV shows have brought them to the screen.
  • Did you know that it is not permitted in any case to dock a Friesians tail? And even clipping the legs, mane or tail is looked down on.

I hope that you have learned something from my blog, however small. :)

16 Nickers »

  1. Whoa! Thanks for the pictures LeadMare! They’re fantastic!

  2. That is a champion job of research. The friesian is a grand breed and should be honored for their past. I would have to say one of my fav breeds is the Rocky Mountain Horse, Quarter, and Lippizar. Good job
    ~HF

  3. I think your blog is wonderful. Friesians are one of my favorite breeds too!

    Rochlia

  4. Very Informative Salina! The Friesian is a very beautiful horse. I am so glad they escaped becoming extinct. That would have been terrible!

  5. I luv Friesians! I want one, someday. They are so beautiful!

  6. The Fresian Breed is SOOOO Cool! I wish I had one!
    Great Blog
    ~Eastern Cowgirl

  7. I LOVE the Friesian. They are my favorite breed of horse. Mostly because they’re so graceful and wild looking.

    Great job! Can’t wait to hear more from you :)

    MM

  8. I LOVE FRISIANS!!
    they are my favorite breed
    i love them to bits :P
    i was going to get one a few months ago
    but he was a cross breed and i like pure
    breeds but he was a gorgeous boy :P

    xox Winnie_Elvis

    PS.thanks for the article + those pics are so cute!!

  9. I think Friesians are the most beautiful breed of horses. I can’t believe these beauties used to be used for farm work! Great blog, I learned a lot!

  10. Great blog! I have always been facinated by the beauty and grace of the Friesians; finally someone has been able to put it all into words. Great work, Salina! Please keep writing!

    –Wild’n’Free

  11. Thanks you guys! I’m glad you all liked it!
    I used it for school and got a good grade so I’m happy!:)
    I might do another one on the adilusian or perhaps a less known breed….anyway it won’t be for awhile since I’m in CO. right now…..I can’t tell you how much I miss my fur-children!(my name for all my animals) Should be going home soon though….
    Thanks! It means a lot!!

  12. Great blog!! I love Fresians. There is a horse at the stables where I ride that looks a lot like a Fesian. He is a big horse and stubborn. His name is Mister and I think it really fits him. The pictures are grand. I’m glad that cutting their mane and tail is not encouraged. Fresians coats are soft silky and usualy long. :)

  13. I think that a Friesian would be a great horse to have, but also a Gypsy Vanner is a good horse. Maybe someone should write a blog about them. :-) I wish!

    —Wild’n’Free

  14. Friesans are awsome I love their manes where we live there are to friesan ranches and we would love to get one! They are sooo powerful yet very graceful! Did you know there are only 5,000 in the US??

  15. I adore friesians! Oh these pictures are so eternally gorgeous! Can you imagine what it must have been like, riding as a valiant warrior out to war on one of those glorious horses?

  16. Western Friesians? How odd! Western Friesians are probably very rare. Ive seen them in circuses and sometimes I see them pulling carriages. But they are mostly used for Dressage.
    Ive learned a few more things about Friesians thanks to your blog! Good job!