August 07, 2008 | | Comments 0

Friesian Horses

Friesian Horse

Friesian Horses: The Noble Steeds of Netherlands

Many of us have seen Friesian horses but may not have been aware of them. They are however often part of many movies with ancient or medieval themes. They have become natural choices for inclusion in productions because of their natural beauty and powerful appearance.

Horses from Friesland

The horse breed actually carries the name of Friesland which is a region in Netherlands. Although the breed is undeniably quite old, there has been some debate over the origin of the modern breed. Some would say that the modern Friesian is only really a few hundred years old. There is some evidence though that Friesian type horses were already around at the time of ancient Rome. They may even be possibly linked to the Forest Horse which is considered an ancestor of draft horses.

It is historically certain though that Friesian horses became most popular in the Middle Ages. In a time of heavily armored nights and cumbersome warfare, these elegantly muscular horses, became the transportation of choice among knights. Eventually though, the demand for war horse types of horses declined. This led to breeders and horse owners preferring leaner and lighter Friesians. These horses were perfect for carriage pulling.

Although carriages remained popular for some time, they were eventually replaced by newer modes of transportation. In the early 1900s, Friesians were no longer very much in demand for carriages. They instead found their place in farms doing light work. Even this type of occupation however would not last long. Farming and agricultural work became increasingly mechanized. Once again, the Friesian displaced. Demand became so low that by the Second World War, they were already in danger of disappearing.

Fortunately, the beauty, grace and power of Friesian horses appealed to many horse owners. Friesian horses eventually came to be used again for riding, driving and competition. Today, they have also been known to participate in dressage and horse display shows. Some have found spots in circuses. The Friesian has truly come a long way from being a war horse, a carriage horse, an agricultural beast of burden and now an elegant driving horse for all true horse enthusiasts.

Friesian Horse Build

On the average, Friesian horses can grow to about 15 hands. There are some horses though that can reach a little over 17 hands. Friesians typically have solid, muscular bodies and legs. Even so, they are not considered as pure draft horses. They also retain some finer qualities that differentiate them from pure draft horses such as their finely cut heads and long, graceful necks.

Friesians are particularly distinguished by their color and tails. Most Friesians are black with some of them having small white areas on the forehead. They also have very long tails that often even reach well bellow their legs. They also have fine hair or feathers on their legs beginning below the knees. As performers, these horses are particularly noted for being brisk, high steppers. Their movement, combined with their color, adds to their attractive appearance. They are generally good-natured horses.

Entry Information

Filed Under: Horse Breeds

About the Author:

RSSPost a Comment  |  Trackback URL

You must be logged in to post a comment.