The Ultimate Guide to the Friesian Horse Breed (Colors, History, Unique & Fun Facts)

The Friesian horse is a noble creature that has been around for centuries. The breed hails from the Netherlands and was originally bred as a warhorse, performing with distinction in battle.

In this guide, you will learn about the history of the animal, what they are used for today, their size and temperament (which should help determine if it’s right for you), how high maintenance they are – all important factors when considering adding one to your herd!

What Is A Friesian Horse?

The Friesian horse is a breed of light riding horse from the Netherlands, which was developed in the 17th century. It has been used for war and as an instrument of diplomatic gifts.

The horses are known to be temperamentally strong and they have distinctive traits such as their large hooves, heavy mane, and long thick tail. The Friesian is a versatile breed that has been bred for many purposes.

Friesian Horses are known for their high activity level and intelligence. The Friesian is a horse of elegance and balance as well-known for its stamina in battle on the battlefields in Europe as it was historically used at stud farms to create other breeds such as the Clydesdale Horse (more on that later), which has been dubbed “the world’s most perfect animal.”

In current times, these horses can be found performing dressage in international competitions due to their strength and gracefulness that not only looks captivating but also makes them one of the most sought-after riding horses around today!

The beautiful creatures are also known for their high-spirited temperament, which is thought to be one of the reasons they were used so often as a warhorse.

What Is A Friesian Horse Used For?

The Friesian horse used for many purposes including dressage, showjumping, and other competitions. Dressage competition is the most popular use of the Friesian horse, because of its grace and strength.

Dressage competition is one of the only equestrian competitions where formality is very important. The riders wear a dark dress or jacket, usually with a white shirt and tie underneath.

They also wear jodhpurs (trousers) that cover their entire leg to the top of their boots, black riding boots that cover the entire foot to just below the knee.

The Friesian horse can be found performing in international competitions due to its strength and gracefulness that looks captivating while making it one of the most sought-after riding horses today!

This horse was used for battles because of its high-spirited temperament. You could find them pulling carts on occasion or plowing fields but these days you’re more likely to see them at a competition instead of what they’ve been traditionally used for – battle!

How Tall Are Friesian Horses?

Friesian Horses are typically 16 hands high (64 inches, or approximately five feet) at the shoulder. However, they can grow to as many as 21 hands tall with a little more than 32 inches in height. Friesians weigh between 900 and 1400 pounds.

However, there have been documented cases where some individuals can grow to be taller than 18 hands in height!

The horses were originally bred for their skill in battle dating back centuries ago so it wasn’t important that they stand too tall on strong legs. They became known not just for their skills but also for their beauty among the nobility who could afford such animals of stature.

What Is The Temperament Of Friesian Horses?

Friesians are typically a gentle breed. They’re happiest when they can be used for work or leisure, and they don’t do well when confined in any way. They should never be ridden with spurs – this will only make them more difficult to control as it challenges their natural instinct to avoid being hurt.

It’s best if you approach these horses peacefully from the front so that there is no chance of frightening them away by coming upon them too quickly from behind.

Friesian temperament is known as notoriously difficult to handle. Friesian Horses have a variety of characteristics that owners should know about before purchasing one.

  • The horses should be ridden slowly and calmly
  • They’re not meant for speed or jumping so it’s best if the rider knows this before attempting these activities with one of them
  • Outdoorsy types may prefer this breed

Because they can do well living out on pasture where there is plenty of room to roam and graze at will without needing too much care like some breeds that require more attention when kept indoors.

  • They also have strong immune systems making them less likely than other horse breeds to get sick when exposed to diseases in the environment
  • They are able to live on a lower-quality diet, and as such don’t require too much food

Is A Friesian Horse High Maintenance?

No, this is not the case. They are more sturdy and robust than other horse breeds so they’re able to take care of themselves well without too much human intervention.

If anything their hardiness means that they require less coddling as compared to some horses like Clydesdales who need a lot of attention in order to keep them healthy.

  • Friesian Horses are not high maintenance

Friesian Horses are not high maintenance because they are used to a harsh environment. The Friesian Horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in Holland, and it comes from an area that has extreme weather shifts throughout the year as well as high levels of humidity, rain, wind, and cold seasons.

But it is always important to look after your animal and to be sure it is comfortable.

  • They require a lot of grooming, but that is almost the same with any horse

A Friesian Horse is a high-maintenance animal that needs time devoted to grooming every day (with emphasis on stripping). The horse has so much body hair that it often gets tangled with its tail so frequently brushing throughout the night should be done as well.

But this type of work does not come without reward, when groomed properly, these horses look stunningly beautiful because their coat shines like silk and usually appears black.

In order to get that perfect full appearance from head to toe, there is often a need for grooming and bathing as well as clipping their long hair into shape with scissors or clippers.

While this may seem like quite an undertaking for some people who own these horses, it does add to its appeal when looking out over them.

  • An animal with a lot of energy

Friesian Horses are typically calm and gentle, but they also have a lot of energy.

They need to be ridden daily to get the most out of them. They can’t just stay in one spot all day or else their muscles will atrophy from lack of use.

  • The main issue is their size and weight, which can make them difficult to handle for some people

For some people, this horse may be difficult to handle because they are very large and weigh up to 1500 pounds. Friesian horses can also be high-maintenance, in that their unique body shapes require specialized care and equipment when working with them.

Their temperament is sensitive but usually gentle, yet not always accepting of strangers. They have an unusual gait which many people find appealing

Having said that it might be best if one was an outdoorsy type anyway since Friesian Horses don’t jump or go very quickly which would make for quite boring riding around the park on weekends with friends!

How expensive is a Friesian horse?

A Friesian horse is one of the most expensive horse breeds in the world. In fact, they are often called “the Ferrari of horses”, because the Friesian breed has a rich history and is known for its beautiful movement, large size.

The price for a Friesian horse can cost anywhere from $5,000 to more than $100,00 depending on its pedigree and training. There is also an active black market trade where people buy or sell them without any papers so it’s hard to know for sure how much one would cost.

As with many breeds and types of horses, the cost for a Friesian horse varies depending on where in the world you are.

In general, they’re not as expensive as “luxury” or fancy breeds like Arabians which fetch upwards of $160,000.

In North America though that price could be a lot lower at around $200-$300 (depending on age). It should also be noted that these prices only refer to what it costs for an average-quality pony while rarer specimens might command much higher rates.

Why Is Friesian Horse Hair So Expensive?

They take significantly more time and care to look after than other breeds, which is why it’s not an inexpensive purchase. Their hair needs regular brushing with a hard rubber comb in order for the knots to loosen up so that they don’t become too tangled or matted. If allowed to go unbrushed, their coat will eventually have knotted strands of hair throughout that need help from a vet to remove.

The Friesian Horse also has very sensitive skin which can mean frequent bathing (up to three times per week) and oiling using natural products as opposed to harsher commercialized ones like shampoo.

In general, horses are expensive. And Friesian Horses are no exception to that rule, but the extra care and time they require make them even pricier than other breeds of horse.

Why Are Friesian Horses So Expensive?

The price of a horse is built from various factors, including the price of breeding stock and whether they are a foal or an adult horse. The people who own this impressive line must be privy to some extra income though because Friesians cost more than most other breeds!

The Friesian breed has an eclectic history. Originally a carriage horse, it later came to be used for heavy draft work and eventually to compete in dressage. These beautiful creatures have long stunning hair with full names and often live on farms in the United States of America where they serve as cattle horses.

A Friesian can cost up to $100,000 whereas a Clydesdale could cost between $700 – $5000.

Can Friesian Horses Jump?

Friesian horses are powerful jumpers and regularly compete in show jumping events. They can also be used for racing or driving along the roads.

In fact, many of them have been employed as carriage horses for centuries due to their gentle dispositions, excellent strength, and stamina coupled with a relatively small stature which makes it possible for these animals to navigate the tight streets of European townships, so drivers could avoid being knocked over by passing vehicles.

Friesian horse jump can get up to six feet high, and they have the ability to jump as many times consecutively.

Nevertheless, over time horses were replaced by cars for transportation purposes in townships leading to a decline of Friesian horse numbers.

Eventually, these powerful animals were only bred for their appearance rather than the function which led them into becoming increasingly rare.

Can a Friesian horse be white?

Yes, a Friesian horse can be white. but actually, it’s 75% Friesian, 25% Arabic.

This color is rare for Friesian horses. It’s a matter of recessive genes from either parent that produces the white coat color.

Friesian horses can also be bay, chestnut, and many other colors including pinto patterns like piebald with black patches or spots on a lighter background. Some Friesian horses have dark brown eyes while others have blue eyes.

Black Friesians

Black Friesians are often used as cross breeding stock. The Dutch Royal Family in particular favors these animals for this purpose and has helped keep the breed viable with their breeding program.

Black Friesians are also popular to train dressage horses, often being crossed with Thoroughbreds or Anglo-Arabians (known collectively as “Hot blood” breeds).

This combination results in a lighter animal that is still muscular but can be ridden by novice riders without the fear of injury from falls because of its increased agility and responsiveness.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Black Friesian stallions have been very successful when crossed with several different light riding horse mares including those of Arabian bloodlines such as those found on farms across Europe like Hengst Park Stud near Winchester in England where

Chestnut Friesian

The Chestnut Friesian is a breed of horse that stands between 15.0 and 16.0 hands high (64-69 inches, 162-175 cm). They are usually bay in color with the mane and tail being black or dark brown.

Physical Attributes: The chestnut’s most distinguishing feature as mentioned before is its red coat which has been described by some observers to have an orange hue but others disagree claiming it ranges from yellowish to a golden brown.

As for the build, they typically have broad chests that can be deep depending on how much muscle definition there was when the animal grew up, their shoulders are often sloping like those found on Arabian horses while their hindquarters tend to be rounded rather than a straight cut.

Other Colors Of Friesians

Friesians come in many colors, but the most common is black. In some cases, they are chestnut with a black or dark brown mane and tail color. There’s also roan which can be grey-brown to red-brown and sabino which has spots of white on different parts of their body like their face, flanks, legs, etc. They’re often called “spotted Friesian”.

The coat patterns for these horses include barred (dappled), piebald (white patches on any other color), skewbald (not all one solid color) while there’s a variety found named smoky cream that would have dorsal stripes as well as irregular crossbars on its hips and shoulder region.

Friesians VS Clydesdale

Friesians are larger than Clydesdales. The Friesian stands at a height of 16 to 18 hands and the Clydesdale is 15. For this reason, they’re often used to show horses that need to be taller than most breeds but not as large as an Irish Draught horse or Shire horse.

They also make excellent endurance riding horses while being able to carry heavier weights on their backs!

The average weight per breed varies depending on color but can range from 700-900lbs. If you want a lighter ride, then go with one breed specifically for lightness like the Falabella which only weighs about 80kg.

What Can Friesian Horses Do?

Friesian horses are excellent endurance riding horses. They can carry heavier weights on their backs and the average weight per breed varies depending on color but can range from 700-900lbs.

Friesians also make good show horses because they have lots of crossbars across their hips and shoulder region to create an impressive silhouette!

Although not the fastest breed around, Friesians are considered to be one of the most elegant and they’re well known for their bouncy trot that’s full of energy!

They have some temperamental quirks like being anxious about new things or people but there are ways you can work on this issue by giving it time to adjust and teaching it tricks so they feel more confident when meeting a stranger.

Friesian horses are bred to be used as a draft horse

Friesian horses are bred to be used as draft horses. They have large, powerful bodies that can carry heavy loads for long distances with little effort.

Friesians also have strong muscles in their neck and shoulders which enables them to pull carts or other vehicles at high speeds without tiring.

The breed developed on what is now the Dutch-German border region of northern Europe and was cultivated by wealthy farmers who needed sturdy workhorses to farm their lands.

They can pull heavy loads and plow fields

Friesian horses are hardy animals that can pull heavy loads and plow fields for hours on end, making them excellent workhorses. Their tolerance for pain is legendary because of their thick skin which protects them from the roughness of working in the field all day long.

This unique ability makes it easy to train a Friesian horse to do anything you want it to do, whether that be pulling carriages or helping with farm chores such as harvesting grain crops.

The breed’s versatility makes it an incredibly useful animal for people who have a lot of lands but not enough manpower available to maintain it all by themselves. It also became popular among military leaders due to its strength, stamina, gentle temperament, and resistance to disease.

They have been used in warfare since the Middle Ages

In fact, one of the oldest records of a Friesian horse being used in battle was during the Crusades when King Louis IX rode into Cairo on his white stallion.

In modern times, the Friesian horse is often used as a driving animal, pulling carriages and other vehicles for public tours.

This breed also excels in show jumping competitions because of its size and ability to jump high without fear. For those who are interested in investing time into training their own Friesian horses competitively, they should keep in mind that this type of horse is not the best for cross-country events.

The breed is also known for its ability to jump over obstacles

The Friesian jump is high, graceful, and very distinctive. It is a very difficult jump, requiring the horse to carry its great weight while being off balance. The rider has only light contact with the reins and puts no pressure on the mouth of his mount

Friesians were the preferred mount of knights during the Crusades

The Friesian was often a horse of choice for knights. During the Crusades, their height and imposing coloration made them an excellent weapon against enemies who were mounted on smaller horses.

They also had great stamina which enabled them to carry large warriors wearing armor into battle without being slowed down by these heavyweights.

In addition to this, they have been bred over time with more laid-back temperaments so that they now make fantastic mounts for less experienced riders as well.

This is because, in medieval times when riding skills were not as advanced, it would be difficult if not impossible for someone inexperienced to control such a high-spirited animal while trying to fight off assailants from all angles at once

Where Are Friesian Horses From?

The origins of the Friesian Horse are not definitively known. It is clear that they have been around for a few thousand years, with their roots coming from northern Europe and southern Scandinavia.

They can be found in both present-day Germany as well as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark.

Friesians were traditionally used by farmers to pull plows through hard soil due to their large size and stamina which made them ideal for this type of work, but because of the mechanization of farming over time, many people no longer use these animals at all anymore except simply for leisure purposes such as riding or showing off during parades on holidays like July Fourth.

That said, there has been more recent interest in breeding these horses again for agricultural purposes, such as pulling carts or wagons and working the fields.

Movies and television

The Friesian horses can be found in many movies, including the 1985 Disney movie “The Black Stallion.” They were also used during filming for “War Horse” and have been featured on television shows like HBO’s “Game of Thrones”.

Friesians are often used as a horse of choice for many film and television productions because they have their own unique look.

The reason why these horses came to be known by this name is not entirely clear, but it’s speculated that the word might come from an old Dutch word meaning “thoroughbred”.

The Friesian horse is an incredible breed of horse that is used for many purposes, including pulling carts and wagons or working in the fields. I hope this article has been helpful to you, and that you have a better understanding of the Friesian horse breed.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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