From where do Friesian horses originate?
Friesian horses originate from Friesland, in the most northern province of the Netherlands. Today they can be found all over the world.
What colour is a Friesian horse?
Black, Black and Black! The only permissible white markings are a few white hairs on the forehead or a small star no larger than 3.2cm and not occuring below the eye line. Any other white markings will preclude the horse from entering the main Studbook.
Some Friesian lines do carry a chestnut gene and there are known to be a few Chestnut Friesians worldwide, but it is a rare occurence.
How tall are Friesian horses?
On average the Friesian stands between 150 cm (14.3 hands) and 175 cm (17.1 hands). Approved stallions must be at least 1.60cm by the age of four and mares must be at least 1.55cm (Ster mares must
be at least 156 cm) to be registered in the main Studbook. However, between 1.58cm and 1.65cm (approx 15.2hh - 16.2hh) is considered ideal.
How many Dutch registered Friesian horses are there in Great Britain and Ireland?
There are currently over 1000 Friesian horses in Great Britain and Ireland with numbers increasing steadily. Numbers vary at any given time due to imports, births, deaths etc.
What disciplines are Friesian horses most suited to?
Friesian horses are very versatile and willing horses. They do excel in the world of show driving, combined driving and dressage (modern and classic) however, they are also used in a range of other
disciplines such as in-hand showing, ridden showing, Le Trec, stunt work, and even the odd Show Jumping and Eventing Friesian is seen. They also make wonderful, recreational/pleasure horses.
What is an Inspection?
An Inspection is the evaluation of Friesian horses here in Great Britain and Ireland by official judges from the Netherlands.
Once a year, qualified judges from Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek ("FPS") are sent here to inspect, register and grade our horses.
This is a thorough evaluation process which helps us to upgrade and maintain our breeding programmes.
Can Friesian horses live out all year?
Friesian horses are robust, hardy horses and able to live out all year round in the relatively stable climate of Great Britain and Ireland. There should always be access to adequate
shelter and ad-lib hay/haylage during the winter months. Rugging and stabling is entirely at the owners discretion and dependant on the horse's age/needs/workload/local climate.
My Friesian appears to turn brown in the summer. Is this normal and is there any way I can prevent it from happening?
The short answer is; yes it is normal and no there is no precise way to prevent it from happening. Some Friesians give the appearance of turning brown when their summer coat comes through,
which is completely natural and mostly dependant on its genetic make-up. The degree of lightening/bleaching is determined first by genetics (chestnut gene), then add
in a multitude of other factors, such as diet, mineral supplementation and exposure to the sun. Some Friesian owners use UV-protective rugs, stable their Friesian's on hot, sunny days or feed
supplements claiming to enhance a dark coat to minimise lightening/bleaching of the coat.
However, there is no evidence to suggest these methods will work for all Friesians and a blood test should always be taken before supplementing a horse's diet.
There are some Friesians that live out all year with no UV protection or supplements and remain jet-black. It is advisable to wash off your Friesian after exercise to prevent any excess salt
from sweat staying in the coat which may contribute to the lightening/bleaching of the coat.
How can I get my Friesians mane to grow?
Just as some Friesians turn brown during the summer, some Friesians naturally have more hair, which is usually down to hereditary/genetic factors. If you have a less-hairy Friesian,
you can promote hair growth by keeping the mane and tail clean, untangled and ensuring your horse has a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition is vital for healthy, hair growth. For longer manes, it is
recommended to gently finger-comb through the mane as excessive brushing can damage the hair. Some owners braid or plait their Friesians mane, but this is entirely personal preference.
If you are a FHAGBI member, you can find lots of topics on hair care from members on our active Facebook group, or if you have a question, please feel free to ask.
How can I gain access to the members area (MY KFPS) of the KFPS website?
You must be a GOLD member of FHGABI in order to gain access to the members area (MY KFPS) of the KFPS website. To obtain a username and password, please email the KFPS (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly with your FHAGBI membership number and they will
send you login details.