I have a friesian cross, so I couldn't tell you really about the full-breds. I have heard that the full bred friesians are very people-oriented and gentle, though like any breed, some will be hot. ;) I have a feeling most aren't.
There are many Friesian cross registries, so these horses (if well bred) still have papers and are recognized by the USDF and USEF. Beware with crosses--if a BYB gets a hold of a cross or a unfortunate friesian, this is where the really poor, awkward looking crosses come in (Poorly conformed mare with an even poorer stud... If a Friesian is bred with a stock horse (paint, QH), DO NOT BUY, lol! The stock breeds normally do not cross well at all)! With crosses, resale is all over the board--if the horse has quality parents and a good show record, they can command a price the same as a full, or more.
I have a cross colt now, and he is one of the nicest-tempered babies I've had the chance to work with. Level-headed, people friendly, but still sensitive enough so that he's not 'dull'.
The problem with riding fulls' is that they were never intended to jump/gallop etc.--these are your typical carriage horses, not riding ones! They were made to trot, which is why a lot of full bloods have weak hocks and croups. (See all the hock action in some of these horses? German's call these kind of horses 'leg movers'. Which is BAD, because you want a 'back mover'! The leg action does not actually do anything for collection, it's just pretty.) There are a few full-blooded lines out there that have a more 'modern' sport horse look, but if someone is looking to jump then a full is usually out of the question (I say usually... you'll probably pay a PRETTY penny to get a full that jumps well!). With the influence of warmbloods on the breed, they are begining to build horses that can jump and gallop well. The older more baroque fulls do okay in dressage, but despite their kind natures it usually takes a talented trainer to bring out the best in them, for they are often downhill and like previously mentioned, they're (comparitively) weaker hind ends take a while to truly condition well.
Heights and Weights REALLY vary, depending on what 'model' you get, lol! The Sport horses tend to be above 16 hands and a little thinner, but the baroque horses can be anywhere from 15.2-17 hands and have a LOT of substance to them.
Hope this helped!
Dressage in Jeans
- My blog with dressage tips for happy, relaxed horses, specifically for those who ride dressage in western saddles, no saddles, cowboy boots, or jeans. ;) Also now with cute pygmy goat pictures! :P