Friesian's and dressage - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Friesian's and dressage

Hi, I was wondering I see alot of Friesians doing dressage vs any other kind of riding. What I want to know is if a Friesian is a good horse if you want to compete in dressage? And on a side note I'm curious if Friesian's can jump? Sorry I'm new to dressage and I've just never seen a hunter/jumper Friesian

Last edited by kavalon; 01-05-2013 at 12:33 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 12:48 AM
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Here is a link to a thread I posted on this exact same thing: Friesans in dressage? . Perhaps you'll find some useful information there.

The general consensus was that Friesians are not built for the dressage work as really they are bred to be cart horses. There are the occasional ones who do 'make it' but they aren't really suited to upper level riding if that is your goal. I've also been told by a clinician that I've ridden with many many times (who has gone to the Olympics, and rides and trains multiple Friesians regularly) that Friesians are really awful to ride. I'm sure they aren't all though.

As for jumping, I'm not sure. I would assume they could do it at a lower level but likely wouldn't have the scope for big jumps.

The crosses with the warmbloods seem to have some success. I've seen a really great mare come through the dressage rings and was very successful (although I don't recall her competing past 3rd? level). I think it really all depends on your goals. If you want a scopey upper level jumper or dressage horse you're probably better off to find something bred for the job. If you're looking to just have fun and aren't looking to do upper level work then maybe a Friesian is your kind of horse!
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 12:48 AM
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The Friesian is traditionally a carriage horse. There are some more modern lines which are producing horses which are better suited to riding, however many can be quite limited by the increasing demands of collection as the levels in dressage get higher.
I would say that a carriage bred Friesian could manage first level, and a more purpose bred horse might do third. There are some Friesians doing the GP, however they are not seen internationally and are not generally getting great scores. I would also for the reasons of conformation not want to be jumping one. They are pretty, and a great exhibition horse.

There are far more suitable horses for dressage and jumping, however. And I say that if a spoon is good to eat soup with, why must we invent another instrument with which to eat soup?
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Mostly the reason I want one is cause when I was a little girl I was in love with this Friesian named Marco lol, he was such a loving horse. And I have ridden one before and it was saddleseat not dressage. But thanks for you help :)
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Last edited by kavalon; 01-05-2013 at 12:56 AM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Mostly the reason I want one is cause when I was a little girl I was in love with this Friesian named Marco lol, he was such a loving horse. And I have ridden one before and it was saddleseat not dressage. But thanks for you help :)
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 01:26 AM
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If you are more in love with friesians than making it in Dressage, then there is nothing holding you back from buying a friesian.
A friend of mine recently purchased a baroque friesian, he's nice, very 'fancy' looking but again, very much a cart horse with knees and hocks that go higher and higher without actually lowering the haunches or swinging the back.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-07-2013, 06:55 AM
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There is a Friesian on my yard, Menno. He is Dubai's field buddy.

Now, I am NOT a fan of the breed. Living on the Dutch boarder we get a lot of them through.

Give me a WB any day.

But this boy moves more like a WB than a friesian. You have to find the right one. They can be great all rounder horses, and there are a lot of places close to me that do horse holidays and have that breed alone to ride.

If I can, I will ask Birgit if I can get a short clip of her and her boy. She bought his as a 3yo, he is now 9. He reminds me of a dragon at times!

For me, the feathers and mane are WAY too much work :P
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-07-2013, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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That would be great I would love to see him move :)
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-08-2013, 10:30 AM
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A friend of mine once had a friesian and she sold him to a home where they were going to bring him on. He was a big boy standing at 17.3 but anyway the guy started to jump him and stuff they even went low level eventing a few times so they can do it just not to the higher levels but if your simply looking to have fun then they could be for you!
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-11-2013, 01:40 PM
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It all totally comes down to what you want to do and how far you want to go in that particular sport
If you love the breed and its going to give you pleasure then you should go for it but if you want to go for the top level in dressage then you would do better to go for a horse thats been selectively bred for generations to naturally be the best
I know this is an unfair comparison as the Charlotte/Valegro partnership is currently about the best there is but I see a horse thats a perfect combination of lightness and power, graceful and flowing but at the same time all that power to just 'pop' when its needed
When I look at the Friesan I do see a majestic powerful horse but it just lacks the elegance and somehow all looks rather 'stilted' and hard work - the horse just wasnt engineered to do the same job. What actually concerns me is that the breed will lose its true characteristics that make it the wonderful horse it is as some people try to breed for different 'looks' to get a horse that is more suited to dressage as compared to the WB's and that would be a real loss.
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