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friesian horse facts

7 Interesting Friesian Horse Facts You Might Not Know

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Friesian horses are a beautiful and rare breed. Gentle and elegant, they leave all those in their presence in awe. While most notably recognized for their shiny black coat, there are plenty of other Friesian horse interesting facts to be recognized.

Let's take a closer look at some of them - these Friesian breed facts are bound to make you happy.


Interesting Facts About Friesian Horses

 friesian sport horse carriage

      1. Friesian horses are an ancient breed.

        Historical documents exist where the breed is praised for its magnificent qualities - documents which date before the year 1200.

        The breed had been used in battle for many years. In fact, knights would ride in on them due to their nobility and size, and King Louis II (ruler of Hungary) also rode the breed into battle in the 1500s. Talk about royalty!

        2. Friesian horses do not only have black coats.

        A chesnut colored friesian horse with white spot on the body

        In rare situations, some are chestnut Friesians. Those with a chestnut coat are known as Fire Friesians. Speaking of coats, there are also those with white markings on their body; it is a sign that it is not a purebred.

        While these Fresians can be registered with Koninklijke Vereniging "Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek" (KFPS), they will not be allowed out of the foal book into the main adult stud book, will not be eligible for judging or prelims, and will not be “approved” with the registry for breeding.

        3. Friesian horses have their own unique carriage.

        A black Friesian horse carriage with a coachman wearing black clothes and a black top hat

        Known as the “sjees,” these Friesian sjees or carriages feature intricate details and have certain specifications that must be met.

        4. Friesian horses received their moniker from their originating location.

        An image of Friesland, Netherlands with a body of water on the left and a small house on the right

        They originated in Friesland, a northern province in the Netherlands.

        5. Friesian horses have a calm and steady personality.

        One may not think that right off the bat - especially since they were used in battle so long ago - but it is true. They are loyal, willing, and cheerful. In fact, this breed of horse is frequently used in filming because of their gentle nature and ability to take direction with ease.

        6. Friesian horses have feathers around their hooves.

        A friesian horse with feathers on its hooves

        These feathers are usually left untrimmed and unshaved to be shown off. The downside to these feathers is the fact that they have a higher risk of skin infection, promoting different kinds of bacteria.

        It is important that the horse lives in clean conditions and is properly cared for to avoid such skin issues, including rain rot.

        7. The Friesian breed were once very close to extinction.

        During the turn of the 20th century, the Friesian breed almost went extinct worldwide. At the time, for the entire Friesian breed, there were just three breeding stallions.

        Today, they make up about 7% of the total horse population in the Netherlands, thankfully! The thought of losing such an ancient and magnificent breed is alarming.

        There are plenty more Friesian horse facts and history on the web. They are truly a unique and brilliant breed, and deserve to be recognized and celebrated for their differences.

        If you are a horse lover, it is nearly impossible to not fall in love with a creature as magnificent and regal as the Friesian horse - even ancients were impressed by them.

        Horse lovers - Friesian horse and beyond - can find the perfect t-shirt that demonstrates your love for the breed. It's the perfect nod to some of the most noble and majestic animals in the world!


        When did Friesian horses almost went extinct?

        The Friesian breed almost went extinct worldwide during the turn of the 20th century. By the year 1913, there were only three Friesian stallions in Friesland.

        Do Friesian mares retain their placenta after foaling?

        Not all, but after giving birth, up to 54% of Friesian mares keep their placenta.

        Can purebred Friesians suffer genetic diseases? 

        Because of inbreeding, Friesians that are purebred can suffer from dwarfism, hydrocephalus, and anhidrosis.

        Were you aware of these facts or did you learn something new here? Share your own knowledge and experience on the breed with us. We'd love to hear from you.

        Interested in Friesian horses? You might want to check our article about 3 Friesian Horse Rescues To Check Out Before Adopting A Horse.

        Next article 3 Friesian Horse Rescues To Check Out Before Adopting A Horse


        luana - March 21, 2023

        hi thank you so much for these facts I really needed them because I have 1 friesian
        and her name is sunshine and I am doing drasage with her

        Jt - December 20, 2022

        wow thats crazy i didnt know these awsome gentle giants can be chestnut color

        haylen wexler - November 2, 2022

        I have a friesian named prince and he’s the best. His winter coat is coming in!!! cant wait for a fluffy Friesian.

        Jill - September 25, 2022

        I had the privilege of riding a Friesian horse for five years, whose owners’ health kept her from being able to ride him. It was truly one of the most inspiring experiences of my life. They are an extremely intelligent, loving and special breed. I will forever remember, Marcus the Magnificent.

        hailey - September 25, 2022

        i love horses i have 5

        bloop - August 1, 2022

        i love freisans i have 3 of them

        Olivia Lawrence - May 26, 2022

        BTW they didn’t go extinct the ALMOST did😉

        Olivia Lawrence - May 26, 2022

        I am actually macing an artical an Frisians!!!!!! These facts helped alot

        olivia - May 26, 2022

        OMG I am a horse nerd and so far Frisian’s so for the best and im not the favorite horse picker tipe😄

        Perch - May 26, 2022

        I love horses now I know what my favorite horse breed is

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