Friesians are the ideal horse for a beginner because of their calm temperament. They are easy to train, eager to learn new skills, and don’t have a tendency to spook as easily as other breeds of horses. Their calm demeanor also makes them popular in the movie and television industry for roles that require a steady, reliable mount.
Friesians do very well in dressage, eventing, show jumping, and driving. They have strong, sloping shoulders and compact, muscular bodies that make them great in jumpers. Their long, flowing manes are also beautiful to behold and must be kept untangled and free from burrs. Serious Friesian owners and breeders groom their horses daily, including braiding the manes to keep them looking their best. A product like Premium Show Sheen is a great way to protect the mane and keep it free from tangles, dirt, and burrs.
The Friesian is a large breed of horse that can reach heights of up to 17 hands at the withers. These horses are tall enough to require a larger horse trailer than some other breeds. Their uniform black appearance makes them a gorgeous addition to any fancy carriage.
While the Friesian is an excellent companion horse, there are a few health concerns that you should be aware of before making the decision to buy one. Some of the most common problems with this breed include inbreeding, dwarfism, and hydrocephalus. Inbreeding occurs when two horses are bred from the same lineage, which can lead to genetically unstable offspring. This can cause problems such as congenital heart disease and joint diseases.
Dwarfism is an inherited condition that can occur in Friesians, and it usually happens during birth. This condition causes the head to swell up and can be fatal for both the foal and the dam (the female horse that gives birth). Dwarfism can also cause abnormally small feet and short limbs. Genetic testing can help identify horses that carry the recessive gene for this disorder.
Friesians have a very dry skin, which means they are more prone to developing rashes. This breed is also hypersensitive to bug bites, so you should always spray your horse with fly spray and ensure that their barn or pasture is free from environments where flies and mosquitos can thrive. Culicoides hang around standing water, stable flies are attracted to rotting vegetation, and horn flies love cattle manure.
Another health concern that is commonly seen in the Friesian breed is aortic rupture and aortopulmonary fistulation. This condition is caused by continuous pulsatile friction between the wall of the aorta and the pulmonary artery, which leads to the formation of a pseudoaneurysm. The aortic rupture can also cause the patent ductus arteriosum to close, which is an abnormal finding in this breed of horse. The cause of aortic rupture and aortopulmonary fistulation in Friesians is unknown, but it may be related to genetic disorders that affect collagen metabolism in this breed.