Meet the Friesian Horse – a Dutch Splendor

Unlike most American breeds of horses, the Friesian Horse breed isn’t young at all. Its origins are said to have been during the medieval time period. Specifically, this horse was used by knights as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries. So it does hold connections to a certain remote mythical past where warriors launched to many important battles on these very horses.

You may have heard of the Friesian horse being referred to as the Belgian Black horse. Even though that’s a common name for the splendid breed, it’s also a common misconception. As you may have already gathered from the title, the Friesian horses are a race that originated in the Netherlands. Specifically, they are said to have come from the northernmost part of the country, Friesland.

Now that we’ve got your attention, you’re probably champing at the bit to know more about this exquisite equine race that is the Friesian horse. We’re here to give you more! All the details about the horse will be presented one by one in the article below, so let’s go and meet the Dutch stud that used to ride gloriously into medieval conflicts!

History of the Friesian Horse

It was an ancient time. Wild beasts roamed everywhere, nature bloomed uncontrolled, and the hints of civilization were a long way from making themselves felt. Humans were innocently wandering about this Eden. It would be a long time before we would train horses and much more before we would begin to build cities. But in the lush green forests of what once was ancient, northern Europe, loomed wild stallions, mares, and foals.

No, they were not Friesian horses. Far from it, in fact. They were representatives of what is known today as the ancient forest horse. The forest horse is am ambiguous sort. Not much is known about this species of horse. It’s said that it wasn’t a single horse, but a combination of all the horses we see today. They were free to roam the earth as they pleased, and much crossbreeding was seen.

Still, we’re not mentioning it for nothing. We’ve decided to make this intro because it is directly related to the Friesian horse. Specifically, the ancient ones that once were present in northern Europe have been found by scientists to bear much resemblance to the current Friesian Horse breed.

Over the last half century, our equine friend has gone through a variety of uses. While at first people used it mainly for warfare and as the faithful companion of knights in shining armor, later on, it began to help with other tasks as well. Seeing as it is a quite large and powerful horse, farmers usually employed it as a workhorse. Many still do. Apart from that, it’s also been used as a horse for carriages and trailers.

However, with the advent of the industrial revolution, the Friesian horse began to lose its popularity. Combine that with the disastrous effect of The Great War (WWI) and we see the population of Friesians reduced drastically, to the point where the breed became endangered. Fortunately, humans managed to save it. Today, there are no more knights that launch into a fight on top of these steeds. Instead, you can see the Fresian used in movies, on some farms, as a workhorse in forests, and in dressage competitions.

Friesian Horse Facts & Details

Now that we’ve gotten the fabled history out of the way, we should probably take a look at a few practical tips relating to the Friesian sport horse. Here are all the concrete facts related to the Friesian stallion that we could find:

  • Fresians today are kept track of by the KFPS. The KFPS is a Dutch studbook that registers any and all Fresian horses
  • Blood type. The fresian has warmblood, meaning it’s gentle in nature and generally obedient. Being a combination of coldblood and hotblood, this type also yields exquisite athletic abilities for the Friesian horse.
  • Basic colors. It’s not called the Belgian Black for nothing. Most Friesian horses are black. You may find Friesian horse pictures in which the equine is chestnut or very dark brown, but these are far rarer than the black versions.
  • The Caballos Friesian is one of the largest types of horses. It generally measures more than the average in both height and weight. The typical values for these are 17 hands and 1450 pounds.
  • Price of horse care. Being a big horse, the Friesian will definitely require more care. Training and boarding are by far the most expensive, each being easily able to rise to about $10,000 per year. Next comes the food which, at its high end, can value about $3,600. The good part about this horse is that it’s generally very healthy, the price medical care not generally going over $550 per year.
  • Closest relatives. There are a lot of northern European horses related to the Friesian horse. Most notably, the Fjord horse is its closest biological relative. Next up come the Friesian crossbreeds. Farmers have long taken it upon themselves to crossbreed the Friesian with other sturdy farm horses in order to achieve better workhorse. Other closely linked horses are the Dales Pony, the Spanish Mustang, and the Swedish Warmblood.
  • Health risks. While the Friesian is generally not prone to any diseases, breeders and owners should be on the lookout for dwarfism and OCD (osteochondritis dissecans).

These are the main this that one should know before looking for Friesian horses for sale. It should stand noted here that the Friesian is not a particularly good racehorse. Apart from not being allowed in many ranked competitions on account of its larger-than-average size, the Friesian is also really heavy on its feet, so his speed is not as great as those which tread more lightly. The areas where fresians most shine today is, by far, in dressage and dressage competitions.


That sums it up for this introductory article to the Friesian horse breed. We hope we’ve enticed your curiosity about our now common equine friend. As for the horse itself, I’m sure its time of delighting us on the big screen is far from over.

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