Breed Profiles - Friesian

By: Horse Deals

Find out all about the Friesian horse, including typical height, colours, conformation, temperament and ideal disciplines

Breed Profiles - Friesian
Breed Profiles - Friesian

Friesian horse breed summary:

Origin - Netherlands
Height - On average 15.3hh
Colour - Black
Conformation - It can be two types, the baroque (stockier with more bone) and the modern body type (finer boned). All are compact, muscular and have a good amount of bone, they have long, arched necks and strong hindquarters.
Ideal disciplines - Driving, dressage, showing, TV work/film/circus

Originating in the Netherlands, the Friesian has a similar history to that of the British Shire horse. In the 12th and 13th century, they were put to use on the battlefield, carrying knights in armour. When guns became the weapon of choice, Friesians were put to use on farms and as carriage horses. During the industrial revolution, the need for horses for agricultural work significantly decreased and by the early 20th century only three breeding stallions remained. This led to the establishment of a group specifically designed to protect and promote the breed in 1913. Demand for the breed has increased dramatically in recent years due to their use in TV and film, and the recognition of their talents in the dressage arena.


Friesians are a very recognisable breed, thanks to their striking black coat, long wavy mane and tail and feathering on their legs. Friesians are on average 15.3h in height. There are two different body types; the baroque and the modern body type. All Friesians are compact, muscular and have a good amount of bone. They have long, arched necks and strong hindquarters. The baroque type is stockier and has more bone, whereas the modern type is finer boned and is more popular in the show ring.

Temperament Friesians are very willing to learn but they are very gentle and docile when handled. Friesians are keen workers and enjoy being active. They are energetic and this is shown in their high stepping movements.

Ideal Disciplines

The Friesian is ideal for the following disciplines and activities:

• Driving


• Showing

• TV / Film / Circus work

If you are looking for Friesian horses for sale, take a look at a range of adverts on Horse Deals >