Photo by Else Bigton

Quick Facts :

  • Country of Origin: Netherlands
  • Average Height 15-17 hands
  • Average Weight 1300 +lbs
  • Color: Black with small white star allowed
  • 8,000 Friesians registered in the US with over 45,000 registered worldwide


Without a doubt, the black coat of the Friesian will impress you at first sight. Bays and grays occurred earlier in the breed, but now black is the only recognized color. A small white forehead star is also allowed. Other obvious characteristics are the long, heavy mane and tail and the Shire-like fetlock hair.

The Friesian horse is enjoying a revival. He is a noteworthy sight in the show ring. His shiny black coat, flying mane and tail, and high action form an imposing image. The Friesian is, by nature, a talented show horse.

Driving one or more Friesian horses has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Tough international competitions are only for the few, but there are many who derive relaxation and pleasure from driving Friesians for recreation. He who wants to perfect his driving and test his skill against others, can do so at the many dressage driving events.

The Friesian horse has a talent for dressage. The foundation lies in his intelligence, willingness to learn, and readiness to perform. His pleasant character and his gentleness make the Friesian an attractive mount for competition as well as for recreational purposes. The riding club "De Oorsprong" (the source), from Huis ter Heide near St. Nicolaasga in Friesland, has been using only Friesian horses since 1937 in order to advertise their abilities as riding horses.

Photo by Rick Kroll


The Friesian horse is unique, truly a breed to be proud of. It developed from a very old breed which was inherent to all of western Europe. It's the only horse native to Holland. Historically speaking, the Friesian horse has been influenced by eastern bloodlines and has often been threatened with extinction. Thanks to the single-mindedness and dauntless dedication of true horse lovers, one can still appreciate the many facets of the Friesian horse today.

Learn More:

International Friesian Show Horse Association


Info by Friesian Horse Society and FHANA
Photos by Rick Kroll and Else Bigton
Horses owned by Gerard Paagman and William Woods University