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Friesian horse: Origin, Weight, Height, Care Special Info

The Friesian horse is a large and muscular horse, although its powerful appearance is an agile equine horse with a docile and docile nature.

Originating from Friesland in the Netherlands, the Friesian is also known as the ‘Friesian’. Despite being historically at risk of extinction, the breed remains popular in its homeland for leisure and competitive riding.

Over the years, the Friesian has been used as a horse to carry knights into battle, an agricultural workhorse, and even in the circus during the 20th century.

However today, they are more often used for recreational purposes; While his attractive looks and calm demeanor have made him a popular choice for film and TV.

Considered a warm-blooded horse breed, there are two distinct conformation types: the Baroque Friesian, with a large build; and the Friesian sport horse, which has a lean, fine-boned appearance.

Weight: 544 – 635 kg
Height: 15 hands – 17 hands
Life Expectancy: 16 years
Best For Leisure riding, competition, cart pulling
Origin: The Netherlands

Breed characteristics

The Friesian breed is often identified by its black coat color, however, color alone is not the only distinguishing characteristic; Friesians are occasionally chestnut because some bloodlines carry the “red” (‘e”) gene.

In the 1930s, chestnuts and bays were seen. Friesians rarely have any white markings; a Small star on the forehead to register purebreds in most registries only. To be accepted as breeding stock by the FPS studbook (Friesch Paarden Stamboek), a stallion must pass a strict approval process.

A Friesian averages 15.3 hands (63 in, 160 cm), although it can vary from 14.2 to 17 hands (58 to 68 in, 147 to 173 cm) at the withers, and mares or geldings at least. Should be less than 15.2 cubits. (62 inches, 157 cm) to qualify for the “star-rank” pedigree.

Horses are judged on inspection or curing by Dutch judges, who decide whether a horse is suitable for star status. The breed has a powerful overall build and good bone structure sometimes called a “baroque” body type.

Friesians have long, arched necks and well-chiseled, short-eared, “Spanish-type” heads. They have muscular bodies with powerful, sloping shoulders, compact, strong, sloping hindquarters, and low-set tails.

Their limbs are comparatively short and strong. The Friesian horse also has a long, thick mane and tail, which is often wavy, and the “feathers” – the long, silky hair on the lower legs – are deliberately left untrimmed.

The breed is known for a fast, high-stepping trot. Friesians are known to be willing, active, and energetic, but also docile and docile. The Friesian has a great presence and carries himself with elegance.

Today, there are two distinct conformation types – the “baroque” type, which has the more robust structure of the classical Friesian, and the modern, “sport horse” type, which is fine-boned. Both types are common, although the modern type is currently more popular in the show ring than the Baroque Friesian. However, the type of conformation is considered less important than the correct movement.

Chestnut color is not generally accepted for registration for stallions, although it is sometimes allowed for mares and geldings.

Chestnut-colored Friesians who compete are penalized. However, a black coat is not punished with discoloration from old injuries or fading from the sun.

The chestnut allele, a recessive genetic trait in Friesians, exists; In the 1990s, two mares sired Chestnut Falls.

Frisch Parden Stambok began trying to breed the chestnut color in 1990, and today a stallion with a genetic test showing the presence of the chestnut or “red” gene, even if heterosexual and covered in black, is not allowed to be registered with the FPS.

The American Friesian Association, which is not affiliated with KFPS, allows horses with white markings and/or chestnut color to be registered if purebred parentage can be proven. As of 2014, there were eight stallion lines known to carry the chestnut gene.

There are four genetic disorders accepted by the industry that can affect Friesian-bred horses: dwarfism, hydrocephalus, propensity for aortic rupture, and megaesophagus. There are genetic tests for the first two conditions.

The Friesian is one of several breeds that can develop equine polysaccharide storage myopathy.[9] About 0.25% of Friesians are affected by dwarfism, which results in horses with normal-sized heads, wider-than-normal chests, abnormally long backs, and very short limbs. It is an unpleasant situation.

In addition, the breed has a higher-than-normal rate of digestive tract disorders and a greater tendency for hypersensitivity to insect bites. Like some other draft breeds, they suffer from a skin condition called verrucous pastern dermatopathy and are generally prone to having their immune systems compromised.

Friesian mares have a very high 54% rate of retained placenta after foaling. Some normal-sized Friesians also have a tendency toward tendon and ligament laxity that may or may not be associated with dwarfism. A relatively small gene pool and genetic factors are thought to underlie most of these disorders.


The Friesian Studbook (Koninklijke Vereeniging Het Frisch Parden-Stamboek (KFPS)) is the oldest in the Netherlands, founded in 1879, and promotes worldwide interest in this ancient breed, as well as establishing a breeding program to preserve and improve its unique characteristics. is

Friesian horse. The KFPS tagline is: “The Friesian horse. There she is: fiery, strong, intelligent, and a little superior looking. As if he knows about his centuries-old heritage. As if she knows she has a place in many hearts.”

Friesian horses can be found on every continent, in over 70 countries, with over 70,000 registered. There are many rules and regulations governing registration, selection of stallions, and young stock inspection. There are also guidelines for naming falls – in 2022, Frisian falls must have names beginning with T, U, or V.

Thanks to the KFPS, the breed is now well established in its modern form, but ancient texts testify that the Friesian has been an important breed for hundreds of years. As far back as 150AD, documents attest that Friesian horses were used as war horses in war.

Variations of Frisian were used in the Crusades (probably crossed with Arabs and Andalusians). Some historians believe that William the Conqueror rode a Friesian – an ancient war horse: strong enough to carry a brave, brave and agile warrior into battle.

The first written evidence of the name Friesian came in the 16th century in Germany, and by the 17th century, Friesians were well represented in Haute-école equitation.

The breed then became concentrated in the Netherlands in the 19th century, where it was used as a status-symbol carriage horse for wealthy landowners and the KFPS studbook was established. However, the breed was almost extinct – only three breeding stallions exist – because it was no match for the heavy draft breeds that worked the land.

Mercifully a breeding program began which, despite some setbacks over the years, has enabled the breed to not only survive, but thrive.

As a result of the well-controlled studbook, pure-bred Friesian horses can be expensive. However, as with any horse, the price will come down to the individual horse, its pedigree, age, temperament, training, background, and ability.

Relatively speaking, Friesians are generally more expensive in the US where they are still few and far between.


Friesian horses are straightforward when it comes to their color and variety. The most common color of horses is black. It can range in color from off-black to deep brown and true black when it molts in the spring. They should have no white markings except a small star on their forehead.

Rarely, a Friesian horse will have a chestnut color. Caste norms often do not recognize this.

Friesian horses have thick, fairy-like manes and tails. They can be long, flowing and wavy. They have “feathers” on their lower legs, although often not as thick as draft horses like Clydesdales. Natural feathers are light enough to be left uncut.

The horse’s body is compact and muscular. He is also known for his elegant posture. Their heads are elongated with alert ears and deep nasal cavities. They have a pure elegance that is only brought out by their strong legs and bright eyes.


Friesian horses are intelligent and can be intelligent if they are not working with someone who has previous experience with horses. However, they are quite docile and have a solid understanding of their large size and heavy weight.

These horses are versatile. They can be trained in many skills. That adaptability, along with their willingness and eagerness to please, makes them easy to work with experienced people.

Overall, this breed has a reputation for being cheerful, loyal, elegant, strong, dignified and calm. Friesians are quite people-oriented.


Considered a warm-blooded breed, the Friesian is willing to learn, intelligent, energetic and calm. They are not easily frightened, and their desire to please makes them great for competitions such as dressage: they are easy to train and suitable for a range of riders.


With their jet-black coats, flowing manes, and high gaits, Friesian horses have become a favorite of those who want to ride or drive a stunning, eye-catching equine.

Originating in the Netherlands and combining the better qualities of primitive wild horses and possibly some Andalusian blood, Friesians are prized for their strength, grace, and athleticism.

When the registry was created in 1879, breeders wanted to preserve these traits, and the horses are closely bred. This practice has produced excellent horses but has also allowed some genetic weaknesses to surface.

Breeders, owners, and veterinarians will be more successful in managing Friesians if they keep these deficiencies in mind.

Veterinarians at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University in Belgium have documented problems that occur in a disproportionate number of Friesian horses.

Defects are seen in the skeletal, circulatory, and digestive systems. The immune system and skin are also subject to problems. The abnormal structure and function of collagen, the protein-based connective fibrils in skeletal and soft tissues, may be related to many of these defects.

Dwarfism produces Friesian foals with stunted leg growth, although their heads and bodies approach normal size. These individuals also exhibit fetlocks and hyperflexion of long, narrow hooves.

In the past, dwarf Friesian mares were often used as broodmares. This practice is no longer allowed if the animal is to be registered, but genes for dwarfism have become widespread.

Studies have shown excessive laxity of tendons and ligaments in Dwarf Friesians compared to other pony breeds. The common Friesian has tendon and ligament stretch properties between the dwarf and the common pony.

It has been suggested that the Friesian’s high-stepping gait is caused by this increased laxity which affects weight-bearing in the limb joints. Thus, a collagen-linked disorder common to these horses may actually be the factor that produces their graceful gait.

Another malformation seen in about 2.5 foals per 1,000 births is hydrocephalus, an abnormal and usually fatal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull. This may be related to another collagen-linked defect that allows malformation of the jugular foramen, leading to compression of the jugular vein and disturbing fluid movement.

The megaesophagus, a chronic dilatation of the esophagus, is directly related to the collagen abnormalities seen in Friesian horses. This condition is related to poor muscle tone and reduced contractility in the esophageal wall.

Affected horses show loss of appetite, drooling, muscle wasting, mild colic, and esophageal obstruction that can lead to aspiration and pneumonia. Records of horses diagnosed with megaesophagus in a veterinary clinic show that 41 of 45 cases were in Friesians.

Researchers studying cases noted a familial tendency in affected horses, strongly suggesting that the condition may be hereditary.

A weak immune system is responsible for the higher occurrence of some problems that are not seen as often in other breeds. Retained placentas are reported in more than half of Friesian broodmares, compared to 2 to 10% in the general equine population.

Insect bite hypersensitivity is twice as common in Friesians as in Shetland ponies in the Netherlands. The condition, which causes intense itching, skin damage, and hair loss on the midline of the mane, tail, head, and belly, can be so severe that affected horses can be unusable for weeks or months during the summer fly season.

Treatment with antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and antiseptics can relieve discomfort but does not cure the condition.

Many Friesians suffer from chronic dermatitis which causes thickened and ulcerated skin on the pastern. Lesions are often unresponsive to treatment. Although other draft breeds also have this problem, Friesians are overrepresented, and a genetic cause is suspected but not proven.

Aortic rupture occurs in many breeds, but in most horses, the rupture occurs at the aortic root where the aorta leaves the heart.

Affected horses develop bleeding in the pericardial sac, the layer of tissue that surrounds the heart, and the pressure rapidly compresses the heart so that it cannot continue to beat. Death usually occurs very quickly after an outbreak. However, in Friesians, the site of aortic rupture is almost always at the aortic arch where the artery curves down through the body.

This unique location suggests a genetic or breed-specific factor. The tear is often quite small and bleeds into the tissue surrounding the aorta. The swelling creates pressure that reduces bleeding, allowing the wound to remain stable for longer.

Examination of affected horses shows increased resting and working heart rates, poor performance, intermittent lameness, and swelling of the chest and ventral abdomen. After a while, the rupture usually enlarges and the horse will die.

In other Friesians, aortic rupture leads to an aortopulmonary fistula that allows blood to leak from the aorta into the lungs. Blood slowly accumulates over a period of weeks or months with increased flow, and affected horses may develop a dry cough, poor performance, swelling of the chest and legs, and intermittent fever, colic, and lameness.

The signs can be mistaken for other problems, especially since they often occur in young (the average age of aortic rupture is four years) and otherwise healthy horses. Owners and veterinarians should be aware that, in Friesians, aortic rupture is a possible cause. These horses should be removed from the breeding population to help reduce the number of affected animals.


All horses require a high level of care, and the Friesian is no different. You should always make sure that you feed them a nutritious diet, give them enough exercise and get regular veterinary care.

Also, Friesian horses must have their stalls turned out in the morning and at night. “Mucking” is the removal of manure and urine from a horse’s living quarters. Check their hooves daily and pick up any rocks or debris. These animals may be big and tough, but no one likes pebbles in their shoes.

If you really want to pamper your Friesian, consider adding some CBD (cannabidiol) to your routine. CBD is a natural hemp extract that promotes balance and well-being in horses, and it can promote many aspects of your horse’s condition.

Cannabidiol has a sedative effect, so it can help train and calm fearful or overstimulated horses. Some owners also use it to relax their mount’s muscles and joints.

You can buy CBD pills for horses, which offer an impressive array of nutritional benefits in addition to CBD. If your steed isn’t a fan of pills, you can also try CBD oil for horses. The oil is very easy to administer – just put a few drops into your horse’s mouth as needed!


Friesian horses are generally easy keepers, meaning they require relatively little feed and will be happy with a regular equine diet of quality hay, grain, vegetables and fruit.


As a guideline, a horse should eat 1.5-2.5% of its body weight in forage per day. Forages refer to long-stem grasses, pasture grasses, and legumes. An equine veterinarian can help determine your horse’s specific nutritional needs. The amount of food your horse eats each day should be related to his activity level.

Thanks to centuries of selective breeding, Friesians are big horses with big bones. Keep an eye on their weight, as general feeding guidelines may not be the best diet for your particular equine’s bone structure, energy levels, and daily workload. Discuss options with a veterinarian and send your pasture hay or hay for lab testing to see if you should change your horse’s diet.

Forage is the cornerstone of an equine diet, but it’s not the only thing every Friesian needs. If your horse is not getting all the nutrients it needs, grain or nutritional supplements may be needed. Grains can target a specific deficiency in the animal, such as a lack of fiber or carbohydrates.

Popular grains include oats, barley, corn, wheat, and millet. Once you’ve discussed your horse’s nutritional needs with an expert, they can advise if the grain is recommended, as well as what type. Horses will also need plenty of water (5-10 gallons per day).

Friesians need the same trace minerals as other horses (zinc, copper, manganese, and cobalt). These minerals help in animal growth, coat, and immunity. An easy way to get the trace minerals your horse needs is by using a salt block.


Friesian horses have amazing hair! It is one of their most distinctive features and one of their greatest difficulties. The thick mane and tail, and feathers on the lower legs, make this horse require more grooming than other breeds.

After training, hose off your horse’s sweat to reduce flies. A full, deep bath at least once a month makes for an especially happy horse. Use a shampoo with fewer suds, as this will make it easier to handle the large hair you’ll be working with. You have to scrub a little longer and harder than other equine breeds.

You can brush a Friesian’s feathers (the hair on its lower legs), tail, and mane in the same way you would brush your own hair. The shampoo and conditioner are great for these thick-haired beauties.

Use a towel to dry your Friesian after a quick hose-down. If you have given the horse a thorough bath, use a blow dryer to remove all moisture. Blow-drying is essential for this breed because its heavy coat can trap moisture, causing foot damage or bacterial growth.

Training And Exercise

Friesian horses respond well to training, especially if you are training them in dressage. The word “dressage” comes from the French word meaning “training”. Dressage is a competition in which judges score a horse’s ability to perform certain movements.

A horse competing in dressage will walk around the arena, with the rider guiding it through various moves. The high-footed gait of Friesians makes them naturally great at “passage” movements.

Even if you are not entering your Friesian in any competitions, the horse still needs to be exercised. Take your horse outside every day so he can walk around, get some sunlight, and roll in the grass. If you’re looking for more controlled exercise, try riding in a ring or on a trail.

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Friesian horses Price In India

If you buy an old mixed breed horse, it will cost between 10,000 to 80,000 rupees, but if you buy an excellent indigenous breed like Marwari, Kathiawari, Zanskari, Manipuri or Spiti, it will cost between 3-5 lakhs. Rupees based on the horse’s bloodline. A pure and good bloodline can also cost up to 6-8 lakh rupees.

Finally, there are exotic breeds that are bred abroad which will cost you 10-12 lakh rupees, and if they are imported they can cost you around 15-20 lakhs. Horses will be more expensive if their parents or horses are champion racehorses.

What is so special about Friesian horses?

The breed is known for a fast, high-stepping trot. Friesians are known to be willing, active and energetic, but also docile and docile. Friesians have great presence and carry themselves with elegance.

How rare is a Friesian horse?

Friesian horses are a relatively rare breed. Although it is considered a fairly popular dressage and carriage horse, some estimates suggest that there are fewer than 1,000 Friesian horses currently registered in North America.

Is a Friesian horse a good horse?

Considered a warm-blooded breed, the Friesian is willing to learn, intelligent, energetic and calm. They are not easily frightened, and their desire to please makes them great for competitions such as dressage: they are easy to train and suitable for a range of riders.

Why did Friesians nearly go extinct?

The Friesian nearly became extinct in the 1900s when the market for multi-purpose horses disappeared. By the mid-1900s, the population was about 500. A riding association called De Orsprong (The Source) was then formed to promote the breed.

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