Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friesian Horses

The Friesian horse, or Haddraver, is at last being acknowledged as one of the original royal horses of Europe, albeit not so well known as it colleagues the Andalusian, Lusitano, and Lipizzaner. Royal horses are breeds or types favored by royalty for their type and bearing. The Friesian hails from the coastal Friesland province of Holland, and its old name, Harddraver, means good trotter in Dutch. Coldblooded horse remains 3,000 years ago found in the area prove ancestral horses in Friesian is descended. the Romans respected the then rather ugly Friesian as an excellent working horse, and it went to Britain with the Frieslanders who were pressed into service as cavalryman with the Romans armies. It was used in the formation of Britain's Fell and Dales ponies, as well as influencing most of the world's trotting breeds. Used as an excellent hack, the Friesian was also popular on farms and was used in the formation of the German Oldenburg breed. Just before World War 1, the only Friesians in existence were three stallions and a few quality mares. Judicious crossing and selective breeding with the Oldenburg restored the Friesian. The Friesian is now being recognized as one of the old, original Haute Ecole breeds. In Holland, it is also a much-loved and showy carriage horse with remarkable trotting ability. A light to middleweight horse, having a proud yet gentle bearing. Most are fairly tractable, if energetic and enthusiastic. It is hardy and a good all-rounder. The Friesian has spread throughout the world; its presence and active, showy trot in harness makes it very popular in show rings and in the festivals of its homeland. The Friesian is also being revived as a Haute Ecole horse. Friesian horses stand about 15 hands high.


*Lizzie* said...

Loveeee Friesian horses! One of my favorite horse breeds :)

Grace said...

Oooh, lovely! Especially the one of the girl in the white dress on the horse. I've never ridden a horse. I must get around to that one of these days.