The Friesian horse is an equine species native to the Netherlands. Its name refers to the region from which it comes: Friesland. Known to be the war horse of the German military, it is very popular in countries like the Netherlands and Belgium.
The Friesian horse stands out for its docile temperament. For this reason, it is used in riding schools to learn how to ride. At present, this species can be seen in equestrian fairs and dressage competitions.
Origin of the Friesian horse
The history of the Friesian horse is complex, since its origins date back thousands of years. It was used in many activities and at the beginning it was a workhorse starting from the year 150 DC., although the first documents that speak of it, date back to 1568. In a portrait of Don Giovanni d’Austria it is possible to appreciate, in the background, an animal of this species.
During the 17th century, the Friesian horse was used in equestrian schools along with other Spanish thoroughbred horses. It is suspected that there was then a relationship between these races, and it is believed that it was also crossed with Arab horses during the Flanders War.
After the French revolution, with the dismantling of the feudal lands, the Friesian returned to the Netherlands and was used for breeding race horses.
Throughout the nineteenth century it was used as a horse for carriages, especially for those of families belonging to the noble elite.
The Friesian changed course again when, at the beginning of the 20th century, it was used for work in the countryside and, at times, this breed was also exploited in circuses.
In order to protect the breed in 1879, the Registration Book of the Friesian Horse Race was signed, which became the first official register for the horse breeds of the Netherlands.
Characteristics of the Friesian horse
It should be noted that among the most notable features of the Friesian horse, the following are essential …
- It measures between 165 and 175 cm at the withers and can reach a weight of up to one ton, usually in the balance between 600 and 900 kg.
- It is a species with a very developed muscular structure, with a wide, slightly inclined back and a broad but erect neck.
- As for the colors, the classics are: glossy black or very dark brown. The presence of stains or other shades is not accepted by the official register.
- The Friesian horse’s head has a good proportion compared to the body. It is usually elongated and has deep eyes, while pointed ears are slightly turned inwards.
- He wears an abundant coat, because the breed originates from cold areas.
- Both the tail, the mane and the legs have very protruding strands of hair.
- It is a strong and robust species, because the legs have an ideal proportion and resistance.
- As for its dynamic qualities, the Friesian horse is very agile: it easily learns the steps for dressage, so it strikes in the exhibitions because it has a powerful but graceful tonnage at the same time.
- His walk is elegant and harmonious, with a good elevation and when he walks, as his hooves are large, denotes power.
The parts that require more care in a Friesian are the ears and the mantle. In the first case, it is important to keep them clean to avoid auditory obstructions, but without going too deep, so as not to damage the eardrums. Just use wet towels and simply clean the accessible parts of the ear.
In order for the Friesian horse to keep a shiny coat, it must be well fed and combed often. Frequent use of shampoo is not recommended as it affects the natural color of the species and, during brushing, one should try to remove dead hair.
Finally, it is necessary to check his teeth often to keep them in good condition. This will allow you to avoid chewing and even food-type problems, preventing digestive disorders, as well as pain for possible dental pathologies.