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Friesian horse with autumn trees in the background

Interesting Friesian Horse Facts You Might Not Know

From its dark black coat of fur to its regal mane and elegant characteristics, the Friesian has been captivating equine enthusiasts for centuries.

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 interesting facts about Friesian horses to be recognized.

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

History And Origins

Ah, the noble Friesian horse. What began as regional war horses during medieval times has now transformed into a show-stopping superstar. Where once it trotted from battle to battle, now you'll find it capturing hearts with its majestic gait and beautiful black coat.

How did we get here? Well, it all began in the 15th century when a cavalry of heavy warhorses rode into battle on behalf of the noble Dutch families. Over time, this bold breed gained fame, eventually picking up admirers in the courts of France and Spain, who praised their strength and power.

Of course, that's not all—the Friesians also became popular among farmers and farmers due to their versatility and dependability when working on the farmlands. They were even used as carriage horses. This versatility was further solidified by its new-found passion for dressage and show jumping. Suffice to say, these graceful horses had officially earned their place as more than just a warhorse—they were stars!

Fun Facts About The Friesian Horse Breed

      1. Friesian horses are an ancient breed.

        Historical documents exist where the breed is praised for its magnificent qualitiesdocuments that date before the year 1200.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.

        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 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 studbook, 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.

        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.

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

        5. Friesian horses have a calm and steady personality.

        Friesian horse head shot

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

        6. Friesian horses have feathers around their hooves.

        These feathers are usually left untrimmed and unshaven 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 was 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 not to fall in love with a creature as magnificent and regal as the Friesian horse - even ancients were impressed by them.

        Horse loversFriesian horse and beyondcan 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!

        Friesian Horses As Show Horses And In Pop Culture

        Friesian horses are incredibly agile and powerful, making them ideal for dressage competitions and show-jumping. Not only can they perform difficult tricks, but their impressive size and appearance are sure to draw crowds and judges alike.

        They've also made a name for themselves on the silver screen, appearing in films such as Lord of the Rings and HBO's Game of Thrones. With their bouncy manes and striking black coats, Friesians give a look that simply can't be imitated—making them prime candidates for movies shot in centuries past or set in fantastic realms like Middle Earth.

        Of course, their popularity isn't limited to Hollywood alone—anyone could appreciate the unique beauty of these animals. But it's clear that Friesians are beloved all around the world due to their grace and poise—which is why they've become both show horses and stars!

        Types Of Friesian Horses

        Whether you're looking for a showhorse or a reliable workhorse, Friesians can help you do it all. Here's an overview of some of the most popular types:


        If you want to take the dressage route, then Baroque is your choice. This type of Friesian is characterized by four-beat gaits, powerful bodies, and high necks.


        Not just any old horse would do when it comes to competing in sports like showjumping or eventing—you'll want a Friesian Sport Horse that was bred for athleticism and endurance. It doesn't hurt that they look pretty darn stunning too.

        Owning And Caring For Friesians

        Friesian horse galloping inside pen

        If you've ever thought of taking the leap and becoming a Friesian horse owner, you're in for a wild ride. These majestic horses have a long history and are known for their flashy good looks, but taking responsibility for one of these animals is no small feat. Here's what you need to know about owning and caring for a Friesian horse.


        Friesians are grazing animals, but they require a very specific diet to stay healthy. It should include mostly grass hay and some grains—with absolutely no sugar or sugary treats! Both fresh water and salt blocks should also be available at all times. Additionally, it's important to invest in quality supplements that provide the right amount of vitamins and minerals.


        Friesians grow thick, long manes and tails, so regular grooming is essential to keeping them looking their best. The mane should be brushed daily, while the tail should be carefully combed out once or twice a week, depending on its length. Bathing is also important since it helps the horse maintain healthy skin and coat, although it should only be done when necessary—once or twice a month is usually enough.


        Finally, Friesians need regular exercise so they can stay fit and toned. Daily turnout in the pasture is essential for both mental stimulation as well as physical health. In addition to this, Friesians can benefit from occasional rides outside of the arena—things like trail rides or even simple beach trips!

        Interesting Friesian Breed FAQs

        When did Friesian horses almost go 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!

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        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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