Horse Breeds – The Friesian Horse Breed

 Friesians

Brief History

horse, horse training, horse riding, dressage, horse breeds, Laura Kelland-May, Hunter Judge Canada, Hunter Judge USA, Thistle ridge Stables, Thistle Ridge Skill BuildersThis draft breed is rooted in Friesland, Northwestern Europe, which is now a part of the Netherlands. The original stock was descended from the order of Equus robustus (the big horse). In the 16th and 17th centuries, Andalusian lineage was introduced to the bloodline in the form of Spanish stallions which were abandoned on the battlefield during the war between the Spanish and the Dutch. This new blood endowed the Friesian line with higher knee action, smaller heads, and arching necks.

Description and Characteristics

Although the Friesian is considered one of the smaller draft horses it is also used as a superior riding horse and lens itself to being a great dressage, jumping or pleasure mount. There are breed specifications and in order for Friesians to be deemed purebred, and allowed to be used for breeding stock for a purebred line, they must be at least 14.3 hands (57.2 in., or 145.3 cm.) at the shoulder and must be solid black with no white markings on the legs or body. The typical height is 15.3 to 16.1 hands (155.4 to 163.6 cm., or 61.2 to 64.4 in.).

The Friesian is heavily boned, and the adult averages about 1300 pounds (92.3 stones). This breed appears to be short and stocky. The thick manes and tails, and abundant fetlock hair are traditionally allowed to remain full and natural. The Friesian has a good temperament and is sensible but lively.

The breed can be used for pulling, or for saddle riding. And while Friesians have the normal gaits – walk, trot, and canter – long tradition has emphasized the “big” trot which is typical of the breed.

 

About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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