FRISON HORSE - Origins, characteristics and photos!

Friesian horse: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Friesian horse, probably one of the most popular breeds and...

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The Friesian horse, probably one of the most popular and beloved breeds in the world, is the only breed of horse that originated in the Netherlands. It is distinguished by its muscular body, shiny coat, wild mane and strong limbs. For centuries it was used as a war horse, participating in the 80 years war or the crusades. However, there are many other curiosities that surround this breed of horse, do you want to discover them? On PlanèteAnimal, we tell you in detail about the Friesian horse breed, its characteristics, its character, its common he alth problems and much more.Happy reading!


  • Europe
  • Netherlands

Origin of the Friesian Horse

Friesian horses originate from the Netherlands, being the only horses originating from this country. They notably come from the beautiful province of Friesland, where the Friesian horse was highly valued since its origins, which date back to 500 BC, so we are dealing with a truly ancient breed of horse. Already in the first century AD, these equines were depicted in marble and works of art of the time, where they appeared accompanying monarchs and soldiers. They were so highly valued in Friesland that the locals perpetuated the existence of these horses, due to their value for both warfare and cattle work, while the other breeds of Dutch horses eventually died out.

This breed remained pure until the time of the Crusades, when crosses between the Friesian and the Arabian or Spanish Thoroughbred began to be made.It was in the 19th century that the breed was on the verge of extinction, which is no coincidence, as it coincided with the end of the fiefdoms and large plantations where the Frisian worked.

But the Friesian horse managed to revive itself thanks to its running skills. With the arrival of other more competitive breeds in the field, the Frisian's role as a racehorse ended in 1891, when the last Friesian horse race was held in the province of Friesland. They also had to face competition from other, more resilient breeds in the herding industry, so the Friesian was seriously threatened. The breed is now ensured thanks to the development and conservation of the breed by the association Het Friese Paarden-Stamboek, recognized in 1954 by Queen Juliana as a royal association.

Physical characteristics of the Frisian

The Friesian horse has a strong and robust body, with a considerable weight, since there are specimens that reach a weight of one ton.Despite this, the most common is that a Friesian weighs between 600 and 900 kilograms, and is about 1.60 to 1.70 meters high at the withers. The life expectancy of a Friesian is usually between 25 and 30 years. Its legs are short and its neck is very straight, the chest is large and, like the rest of the body, also muscular. The head is elegant, elongated and with a light jaw. He has large, bright eyes with a deep, expressive gaze and small, pointed ears.

The coat of the Friesian horse is considered the strong point of the breed, with a bushy mane and tail, sometimes braided spontaneously, imperfect but very beautiful. They have a tuft of hair at the end of the legs, as well as a fringe on their head that connects to the mane, giving an arched shape to their neck. The only accepted color in the Frisian is total or absolute black, although specimens with jet brown or almost black coat have been recognized, small white spots on the forehead are accepted.

Friesian horse character

One of the reasons why Friesian horses have been so valued historically is the combination of their strength and hardiness, as well as their special character. These horses are characterized by a calm and very friendly temperament, they are also sociable and balanced. All this made the Friesian the ideal horse to work in fields as different as breeding, agriculture, war, racing or dressage, being a truly versatile breed in this sense.

They are ideal horses for dressage because of the great skills they are able to acquire in a very short learning time, as they are attentive and intelligent. They are also fantastic in riding schools, where their great temperament and docility work in their favor, participating in the teaching of riding in the higher riding schools.

Friesian horse care

To ensure that our Friesian horse is in the best condition, we must give it some attention. The care of their ears is very important, these must always be kept clean, in this way we will avoid complications such as hearing obstructions. To clean them we can resort to a gauze or a cloth and clean the outermost part of the auditory canal, always with care and making sure that it is very dry.

We also need to monitor the condition of his teeth, making sure they are neat and clean. It is also recommended to have your teeth checked regularly by a specialist. Thus, we can detect abnormalities before they pose a risk to the he alth of our horse, such as malocclusions, abscesses or infections.

Finally, it is important to keep the coat of our Friesian horse in good condition, for this we must do at least daily brushing, removing dirt and excess hair.In this sense, we recommend the use of a scraper to remove excess loose hair that has adhered to sweat and thus keep the coat always presentable. Baths are also recommended, although the use of soap should be limited, as overuse is not recommended.

Finally, we would like to emphasize the importance of providing a balanced and quality diet to your horse, allowing it to graze in peace for greater well-being, as well as leaving fresh water and clean available at all times.

Friesian horse he alth

We need to know that these horses are delicate animals and they may have a certain genetic predisposition to the development of certain diseases in horses. One of the pathologies that most concern horse owners, regardless of breed, is colic, which is very painful and is usually a symptom of a malfunction in the horse's digestive system.These colic can indicate the presence of intestinal disorders of various types and severity, so they should not be ignored, and it is advisable to carry out an examination with a veterinarian specialized in horses.

On the other hand, it has been proven that the Frisian is particularly sensitive to stress, because, although all horses are sensitive animals, the Frisian seems to suffer more in stressful situations. Therefore, to prevent our Friesian horse from suffering from diseases related to a high level of stress, we should avoid exposing it to potentially stressful elements or situations as much as possible. Likewise, we will promote tranquility, positive activities and maintain a he althy relationship with him.

We end this file on the Friesian horse by reminding you of the importance of regular veterinary visits every 6 or 12 months, during which we will assess the state of he alth of our friend.We will strictly follow the horse vaccination schedule indicated by the specialist, and we will also carry out any deworming or other treatment suggested by the veterinarian.

  • The Friesian Horse Society. Website:
  • Friesian Horse Association North America. Website:
  • French Friesian Horse Association. Website:

Pictures of Friesian Horse

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