Friesian Horses

Behavioural CharacteristicsWilling learners, Friendly, Mischievous yet calm, loving, and playful. Have a commanding presence
Physical CharacteristicsLong, arched necks with a well-defined small head, wide-set eyes, and short ears; has a physique with a low-set tail and a highly muscled torso with robust hindquarters
Distinguishing FeaturesThick mane; bushy and flowing long tail. Feather on lower legs.
ColourBlack, however, they can be seen in chestnut and bay shades
Type & UsageCompetitive and Recreational Driving, Riding and Dressage
Blood TypeCold
Life SpanTypically short, 16-20 years
Country Of OriginNetherlands

Selected Friesian horses

The Friesian is a historic driving and riding horse breed that originated in the Dutch province of Friesland. The Friesian is known for being eager, lively, and energetic while also being mild and submissive. The breed was highly appealing to armoured knights in the past, as it had the strength to carry a lot of weight into combat while still manoeuvring rapidly. Later, the breed’s flexibility and agility made it popular in riding schools in Paris and Spain in the 15th and 16th century. When the market for multi-purpose horses dried up in the 1900s, the Friesian came close to extinction. The breed was thereafter promoted by the formation of De Oorsprong (The Source), a riding association. Members embarked on a crusade across the country, riding Friesian horses to remind people of their ancestors’ breed and its heritage. Interest was reignited, and the Friesian is currently experiencing a renaissance.

Friesian horses have been employed as war horses for generations, although they have a placid disposition. They are keen to please their owners, eager to learn, and gregarious. These characteristics are desirable in any horse. Friesians are well-suited to riders of all levels. Their shoulders are powerful and sloping, and their bodies are compact and muscular, with strong, sloping hindquarters and low-set tails. Their limbs are short and powerful in comparison. A Friesian horse also has a long, thick mane and tail that is sometimes wavy, as well as “feather,” which is long, silky hair on the lower legs that is intentionally left untrimmed.

A fast, high-stepping trot is characteristic of the breed. The Friesian horse is still used today in harness and under saddle,  especially in the dressage discipline. They are used in harness for both competitive and leisure driving, both individually and in teams. Friesian horses are a popular breed for the big screen, especially in historical and fantasy tales; the credit of which goes to its colour and stunning appearance. They are regarded as calm in the face of the hectic nature of filmmaking, as well as elegant on camera.

The Friesian’s boldness and elegance are unforgettable once seen. You’ll surely get more than just a glimpse of this majestic and elegant breed, at CHS 2022.

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Friesian Horses

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