The Friesian Breed
One of the most beautiful characteristics of the Friesian horse is its very long tail and mane. Many reach the ground and are often wavy. The breed also displays abundant “feather” – long silky hair on the lower leg that is deliberately left untrimmed. The purebred of the breed are always black although some white on the face is allowed.
Friesians are known for their excellent disposition and expressive eyes. The head of the Friesian is smaller than some of the draft horse heads, yet they are muscular and deliberate in their movements.
The breed dates back to the Middle Ages and was originated in Friesland, a providence of northern Netherlands. Once used as agricultural horses and war horses in the early Middle Ages, they are now used mostly under saddle, harness and in dressage. Two distinct conformation types, the baroque type and the modern, sport horse type – are both common. For the show ring, the modern type is more popular.
Friesian cross horses do equally well in competition due to the breed’s intellect, presence and body control. They are often sought after for their high-stepping trot and fluid movement.
See also: Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA) and Friesian Sport Horse Registry (FSHR)