By Grace Gray.
Friesian horses are a well-known breed, yet are becoming incredibly rare with less than 1000 in the United States and Canada.
Friesians are one of Europe’s oldest horse breeds and they used to be ridden into battle thousands of years ago by medieval knights. They originated in Friesland in the Netherlands. The exact time they originated is unknown, but there is evidence that that they may have existed as far back as 1000 BC.
They have an average height of approximately 15.3hh (ranging from 14.3hh to 17hh) and are known for their black coats and long, thick, curly manes and tails.
Friesians once came in chestnut and grey colours but very early on the breed almost died out completely and now every Friesian horse can be traced back to one purebred black stallion, hence why all Friesian horses known today have a black coat.
Another feature about the Friesian is their naturally incredible movement, making them popular dressage and carriage horses. Friesians both look and move incredibly, and to top it off they have an incredible temperament.
The Friesian influenced the development of many other breeds including the Fell and Dale ponies, the Shire horse, and the Oldenburger.