Friesian Heritage Horse & Sporthorse International
Originating in Friesland, a small province of the Netherlands (Holland), the Friesian horse is known for its beautiful black coat, long flowing mane and tail, and feathered legs. The history of the Friesian dates back to the early 16th century. It was a valued work and driving horse in its native country.
The Friesian's average height is about 15.3 hands, varying between 14.2 to 17 hands high. The breed's conformation resembles that of a draft-type horse, but the Friesian is very agile and graceful, and is often used today for dressage competition, pleasure riding, and driving. The breed's elegant movement, trainability, beautiful appearance, and strength make them a popular choice in driving competitions. They have a high-stepping trot that complements a carriage horse team.
The temperament of the Friesian is that of willingness and energy, but also gentleness and trainability. They are very people-oriented and enjoy human companionship.
Dutch Friesians are governed by the Friese Paarden Stamboek (FPS, or translated, Friesian Horse Studbook), which is one of the strictest breed registries in the world. To be accepted as breeding stock in the FPS studbook, a stallion must pass a rigorous approval process.
In recent years, the Friesian has been crossed with other breeds to produce athletic sport horses. Some popular crosses include Percherons, Morgans, Arabians, Andalusians, Paints, Saddlebreds, and Tennessee Walkers. These Friesian cross horses come in many different colors and sizes depending on the influence of the breed with which the Friesian was crossed.
For more information, visit Friesian Horse Association of North America or Friesian Heritage Horse & Sporthorse International