Thinking about purchasing a Friesian - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Thinking about purchasing a Friesian

I have fallen in love with the Friesian. When I was younger I bred, trained and showed Quarter Horses, but then I went to college and started a family. My husband and I just purchased a horse farm in Alabama and I am now looking into purchasing my Friesian. I am getting comments from various other horse owners and trainers that they recommend that I don't purchase a Friesian. One said that the Friesian is a high maintenance breed and they prefer cooler climates. I understand that they originate from the Netherlands and it is cold there, but I have seen them in Florida which is a very hot climate. Can someone who owns or has owned Friesians give me a little bit of advice about the breed.

Also, I need a breed that has a very soft gait, I recently had back surgery so I would need a horse that has very smooth gaits and from my understanding Friesians are known for their smooth gaits.

Thank you
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post #2 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 06:31 PM
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No, friesians don't typically have soft gaits. They have a huge trot and often a bit of an ugly canter until it is really worked through.

They typically have a fairly difficult trot to sit and post to until you really get use to it, and the canter can be "interesting" if you are not riding them through the back. Depending on your riding desires they can be a real challenge because they are bred to be a driving horse not a riding horse. Saddle fitting can be a nightmare.

Keeping friesians down south can be very difficult. They often get anhydrosis, have difficulty tolerating heat and humidity and do not condition up very well because they have very small heart and lungs compared to their body and muscle mass.

They can have serious health issues. So you need to be careful about which horse you choose and they tend to not live as long unfortunately.

I love them, but they are not easy horses.
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post #3 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 06:48 PM
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If your looking for easy gaits, fresians are not what you want. Try morgans if you want that look, but with a smoother gait.
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post #4 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 06:54 PM
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My daughter rode a Friesian for a while and I would not buy one, personally. Sure, they have great looks, but they do have a very big, hard to sit trot and canter. They're also very hard to keep clean. We would spend hours taking twigs and burrs out of her leg feathers, mane and forelock and when she got them in her tail, it was a nightmare. Frankly, I don't see the appeal, other than how they look. Where my daughter rode, they had several, and were breeding Friesians, and it's not a breed I found particularly appealing.
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post #5 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 07:05 PM
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They have many unusual health problems, due to being extremely inbred. They are not really riding horses, they are carriage horses; their difficult riding gaits are because of this.

Short horse lover
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post #6 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 07:10 PM
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If you want a horse with smooth gaits, look into a gaited breed like a TWH, Saddlebred, Rocky Mountain Horse, Paso, etc. They are purpose-bred for their smooth riding qualities, the opposite of Friesians.

Short horse lover
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post #7 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 08:29 PM
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I have heard they have a terrible trot and don't lope/ jog well.. quite rough to ride, and not recommended for people who want to ride western ( don't know if you do or not).. also from what I have heard personally they can be accident prone, more than some of their other horses, random cuts/ etc but don't know if that's accurate or
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post #8 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 10:20 PM
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I own a Friesian. Not sure who told you they had smooth gaits. Lol. When I get on another horse, its always shocking to me how much easier the trot is to ride. I also live in Mississippi. Our summer heat and humidity are tough on my girl. Those you see who own one in Florida either have climate controlled barns or arenas or will be selling them soon. Florida is brutal on these horses and they don't fair well in that climate. During the summer, I can only ride very early mornings (before 8am) or late in the evening (after 6pm) and they have to be kept short. During summer months, we stall during the day with fans, and pasture the horses overnight. Even so, I will find her panting and sweating in her stall (IF she sweats!) Last summer she had to be on supplements for anhidrosis and allergies.

The canter is fun to ride, but not easy for most friesians. Her stamina is about 1/4 of what you'd see with a normal horse (granted she is older), but I hear its the same for most of the breed. I've been riding her typically 5 days a week for the past year, yet still, after about 25-30 min, I'm not gonna get much good work out of her.

Don't get me wrong. I love my horse to death and she is a favorite of nearly everyone at my barn. She is lovely to look at and has an amazing, easy going temperament. She LOVES her person (me) and would rather spend her days with people, than with the herd. She's VERY smart and I've never felt less than 100% safe with her. BUT...performance wise, it's a tough sell. I can't say I won't ever buy another, but since owning one, I can't say that I haven't been envious of other breeds and their ability.

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post #9 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 10:45 PM
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I was surprised when I read that you'd heard they had smooth gaits. not my experience, on the few rides I've had on one.

personally, they are pretty enough to watch, but the height that they keep their heads makes one feel like you are riding a giraffe, or some kind of 'water horse' , with a huge neck up high in front of you. I realize that with good riding, this can change, but that's just it' it takes good, strong riding to make that change. that means strong core, and strong back.
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post #10 of 64 Old 01-14-2017, 10:52 PM
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Friesians, though beautiful and with lovely temperaments (or at least the stallions I know), aren't really a riding horse for everyone.

I've ridden a stallion twice. He was like no other horse I've ever ridden. The trot was SO hard to get used to, and I didn't have the guts to try the canter. Marks to him though that he takes great care of his riders - he was very careful with me, particularly the time I rode him bareback.

I would think that you would get used to the movement after a while, but I definitely wouldn't call it soft. Impressive to look at, yes. Comfortable, not so much xD
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