Did you know which horse looks like the fairytale horses? Flowing glossy manes and tails with pride?

Luckily we can still enjoy their elegant beauty today!

Let’s look at Friesian horses!

Friesian horses appear both majestic and powerful. They have a gentle, calm, and docile nature which makes a person instantly fall in love with them. They are known for their long tails and lush wavy hair.

Why Friesian Horses Are Famous?

Friesian horses have extra-long wavy hairs, beautiful legs, and a shiny black coat that takes all the attention. All horses are loved, but horses with a black coat and long hair have a special place among equine enthusiasts.

Interesting Fact!

Friesian horses have hair featherings on their lower legs. Also, they have lush wavy hairs that can make one think as if Friesian horses have come straight from fairyland.

Friesian Horse History

Originating from Friesland, Netherland, Friesian is a Dutch Horse breed. Around the 1900s, they almost became extinct—at one point, there were only 500 Friesian horses all over the world. A riding association called De Oorsprong (The Source) helped bring the breed back into form. Today, there are more than 2,500 Fresian horses, mainly in the Netherlands.

Friesian horses have a rich history as Friesian troops used to ride them in battles. Over the years, the characteristics of Friesian horses have changed due to their breeding with other horses.

Breed Overview

Breed: Friesian horse

Family: Equidae

Origin: Friesland in the Netherlands

Prevalence: Europe

Group: Warm-blooded horse with a hint of cold-blood

Are All Friesian Horses Black?

Black is the defined color for Friesian horses. A jet black Friesian horse is commonly seen and registered as a purebred horse, while a chestnut Friesian or one with white marks, although rarest, are not considered a pure Friesian breed by the purebred registry. Selective breeding is required for different colors of Friesian horses.

How Is There a Friesian Horse of White and Chestnut Color?

Friesian horses come only in pure black color and rarely chestnut. Around 45 years ago, the German-based Hilner family wanted to introduce new blood into the breed. They were permitted by the Queen of the Netherlands to mix a purebred Friesian mare with a grey Arabian stallion. They got Negus, which in turn gave birth to Nero, a white Freisian.

Nero kept the viewers awestruck not only with its angelic color but also its rhythmic gait in 2007 at Equitana. Not, however, that Nero is considered a pure white Friesian horse, as it is 75% Friesian and 25% Arabian.


Coat Color: Pure black

Rarest color: Chestnut

Other crossbred common colors: White

Other crossbred rarest color: Paint, buckskin, skewbald, palomino, piebald, pinto, and dun

Friesian Horse Appearance

The muscular Friesian horse is tall and qualifies as the Ster-Friesian (Friesian mares and geldings should be 15.2 hands high). They have a typical lifespan of 16 years, but some of them may also live around 25 – 30 years.


Height: 15 to 17 hands high

Weight: 1,200 to 1,400 pounds

Body: Muscular and high neck

Life Expectancy: 16 years

Interesting Fairytale-Like Appearance

Friesian horses, also known as “Black Pearls of the Friesland,” have a long history where ancient Romans were fascinated by their beauty. Friesian horses originated in the 16th century and were adored for having compact physiques with a glossy coat and lush wavy hairs.

Diet and Health of Friesian Horse

Like other horse breeds, Friesians need high-quality hay. While the amount of hay to feed a Friesian horse would depend on his activity level, horses with minimal work should be fed around 18 pounds of hay per 1000 pounds of body weight. So if your Friesian horse is 1,200 pounds, you should feed him around 21 to 22 pounds of hay every day.

Assuming the weight of the flake of hay to be around 5 pounds, you should feed around 5 flakes of hay to your horse. Remember to feed your horse in small portions, which is not only natural but also promotes effective digestion.  

Health and Diet

Diet Requirement: Moderate intake

Diet: Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and hay

Health issue: Genetic and digestive disorders

Disorders: Dwarfism, hydrocephalus, aortic rupture, and megaoesophagus

Care level: Advanced

Shelter set-up: Large stall

Friesian Horse Grooming

The powerful yet beautiful Friesian horses require rigorous grooming to maintain their fairytale-like appearance. To maintain its elegant beauty, a daily wash of their long wavy hairs is required, along with regular hair brushing to avoid knots. Also, Friesian horses are hyper-sensitive to insect bites. They have super dry skin, which can be treated with a good hydrating shampoo that will help them avoid rashes and dull black coats.

Make Your Friesian a Unicorn

You must have watched a unicorn horse with long silky braids in animated movies. Yes, you can embellish Friesian horses by making braids and putting ribbons on their hair. The long silky braids with ribbon on the glossy black coat will make you fall in love with your Friesian horse.

Friesian Horse Characteristic

These horses are gentle and calm yet energetic and intelligent. Friesian horses are reliable and trainable, suitable both for amateur and professional riders.

They are people-oriented horses and don’t easily spook when being ridden. Those who have ridden it consider them one of the calmest, most cheerful, and elegant horses.

Friesian Horse Characteristic

Communication: Friendly

Temperament: Calm and Docile

Behavior: Gentle and Energetic

Gait: Spirited and Patient

Nature: Sensitive and Intelligent

Friesian Horse Uses

Friesian horses are the most disciplined, versatile, and well-mannered breed of Europe. They are eager to learn new sports but are considered one of the best dressage horse breeds. They also have a special talent for doing high knee skips that looks magical.

Friesian horses are one of the fastest horse breeds reaching an impressive speed of 30 mph. But you should know that they get tired easily and thus do not make a good choice for endurance games.

Another use of Friesian horses is their frequent appearance in movies. They are gorgeous to the point of being mythical and appear even ravishing on screen. You can find them in 300, The Mask of  Zorro, Clash of the Titans, Emma, Once Upon a Time, Sense and Sensibility, The Hunger Games, and so on.

They can also be used for light farm work and pulling carriages.

Why Choose a Friesian Horse?

Although a Friesian horse requires high maintenance, what a Friesian horse returns is a strong bond of friendship and calmness in your life. Friesian horses are often seen in events as the most gentle and patient horses.

Friesian horses have become a popular choice for filmmakers due to their fairytale-like appearance and calm nature, which best suits the noisy film sets.

Are Friesian Horses Suitable for You?

Friesian horses are best for those who are new to horses or beginner riders as their calm and gentle nature will make them feel blessed to have such a patient horse. Its easy-going disposition suits riders of all ages and makes them a great companion. Although, the bond develop between the parent horse and the Friesian horse during its grooming will nurture more with time – and will be unforgettable. Looking at your big doe-eyed, black glossy coat, wavy-haired Friesian horse will make you realize the strong relationship with it.

Why Friesian Horses Are So Expensive?

Friesians are one of the most expensive horse breeds. They fetch a high price because of their beauty, rarity, and trainability. Friesians are one of the most beautiful horse breeds and are recovering from going extinct a century ago. Besides, they are highly trainable and make great dressage horses. So if a Friesian horse is well-trained and overall healthy, he would surely cost you a fortune.

Although the number of Friesian horses is increasing, they are still considered an endangered breed.

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