Some horses are famous for their exceptional beauty and grace and Friesian is one of those beautiful horse breeds.

Friesian is often considered as the most beautiful horse in the world and the prominent reason is its shining black. Apart from its color, many other features add to the fame of Friesian and make it an amazing horse.

The following detailed review will enlighten how and why did Friesian get so much famous in the world.

Friesian Horse Breed

History and Origin of Friesian

Friesian horses originated from the northern province of Netherlands called, Friesland. The traces provide the evidence that Friesians existed in this province 1000’s of years ago. Friesians are thought of being the descendants of to have descendants of the primitive forest horse.

In the beginning, this horse breed was used by the Romans for riding, and then they took Friesian to England. In England, Friesian influenced other horse breeds like Dales, Fell, and the Shire.

Friesian was thought to be ugly once, but today it stands out as the most beautiful horse. It is often called “Black Beauty.”

In the medieval ages, Friesian was used in the battle to carry the knights. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the breed started getting extinct and a time came when only two Friesians were left, male and a female luckily. They were carefully bred to prevent the extinction of this breed.

Friesians entered American in the 17th century. After the 17th century, when the need for horses decreased in the wars, the Andalusian blood was added to Friesian to make it a lightweight horse suitable for working as an urban carriage horse.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Friesian got famous in the world. Their demand increased for agriculture, harness, and for the trotting races of that time.

Since then, Friesians are one of the most lovable and famous horse breeds around the globe.

The Personality of Friesian Horse

Generally, Friesian is regarded as a loving, playful, and mischievous horse. They behave majestically well when someone commands them. Some Friesians are very stubborn and it gets really hard to handle and train them. In this case, they need an experienced trainer.

Friesians are willing, active, beautiful, elegant, and gentle horses but at times an incident can make the frightened and furious. They feel insecure with a sudden loud and unusual noise. These sensitive creatures need someone who loves them with a pure heart.

Friesians are considered to be very loyal and they have quite strong bonding and affiliation with their owners. They are warm-blooded horses. They have a medium size. They possess a calm temperament than the hot-blooded horses and they are not lustful like cold-blooded horses.

Physical Features of Friesian Horses

Friesian Horse


Friesians are famous for their beautiful and flawless black body. They have a very strong and fine bone structure with a muscular body, sloping shoulders, low tail, and sloping hindquarters. The limbs are comparatively short but strong. Their necks are long and arched with a Spanish-type head having small ears.

Friesians have a thick and wavy mane and tail, that often flow with the blowing air and look very beautiful. Feather like silky and long hair grow over the hooves and cover them beautifully.

Life Span

As compared to other horse breeds, a Friesian lives a very short life of only 16 years.

Height and weight

The average height of a Friesians is 60 to 64 inches with a weight of about 1200 to 1400 pounds.

Coat and colors

The black color is the hallmark of a Friesian. The only acceptable coat color for a Friesian is shining black. No other color is accepted or tolerated if associated with it.

A Friesian’s body cannot have any white markings on it, neither on the face nor on the legs. The color of the feather-like hair growing over the hooves is also black.

Nutrition and Feeding

Friesians have been worked on heavily for making their body active and smart. Good quality grass and hay make good feed for a Friesian.

For a one day feed, 18 pounds of hay is enough for a Friesian weighing 1000 pounds. For adding an extra amount of energy, mixed grains in smaller quantities can be added to the feed.

Health Issues of Friesian Horse

Friesians have a strong, energetic, and muscular body. But the short lifespan of a Friesian horse can be followed by some serious health issues. This makes them prone to more genetic health issues than other horse breeds.

Aortic Rupture

Aortic rupture refers to the bursting of the largest artery of the body. It can be fatal for the horse.


This disease is caused when the throat of the horse gets enlarged and causes difficulty in swallowing anything. The food gets choked in the throat and never reaches the stomach. This ailment needs an instant cure otherwise it can lead to the death of the Friesian.


This is the ailment in which the body organs get inappropriate in size. The heads remain normal with the extra-large body, full chest, and short limbs. It also affects the internal functioning of the body.


This is the disease in which a spinal fluid builds up in the brain. This growing fluid lays pressure on the brain and skull and results in serious issues related to the nervous system.

Digestive System

Friesians have the most problematic digestive system and suffer through serious digestive system disorders.

Pastern Dermopathy

The beautiful body of Friesian is also prone to some skin-related issues. The pastern area, especially the area over the hooves gets allergies.

Breeding and Gestation

The gestation period of a Friesian mare is about 320 to 365 days normally which is approximately 11 to 12 months.

At the beginning of pregnancy, nutrition should be of high-quality but not much increased in quantity. In the last 4 months, the amount of food must be increased with the increasing requirement of the foal.

The mare can be ridden up to 200 days of pregnancy. After that, the mare must not be used for riding and it should be separated from the other horses for better monitoring.

Uses of Friesian Horse

Friesian Horse Breed

A Friesian horse is a versatile horse that can be used for many purposes.

  • In the beginning, the Friesisna were bred to serve the knights who used them in the battles to fight.
  • Friesians were also used for agriculture as an urban carriage horse. Today, some Friesians are also used for light farm work.
  • The beautiful and elegant Friesians are used with harness and saddle for dressage in popular events.
  • Friesians are also used in the show rings.
  • Friesians are also used for race competitions, individually as well as in teams.
  • Friesians are also used for pleasure riding.

Grooming and Cleaning

The coat as well as the hair of a Friesian are so beautiful and need regular care to maintain it.

A Friesian carries tons of mane, lots of feathers, and a big thick tail.

Keep the mane clean by conditioning and detangling. If the Friesian is not used for a show ring, trim the feathers on the lower legs to keep them clean and manageable.

Leave the tail naturally. If you bang with the tail, it is going to become thicker and wider.

Although the Friesian horses are elegant and beautiful, it is not easy to deal with a stubborn horse and take care of a horse if you lack experience. If you have the experience, then a Friesian is going to be the best companion.

Gokce Karin

Gokce's love and passion for farm animals stem from growing up on a farm in Mexico. After receiving Bachelor's degree in Equine Sciences & Livestock Farming, she started working at her own farm. Today, while managing her farm animals, she also contributes to - where she shares her experiences as well as helps people deal with their animals the best way.