Friesian horses are a bit iconic in the horse world. With their flowing manes and tails and their distinct looks, you’ll often see them in movies, at the circus, and in different exhibitions. Friesian horses are incredibly versatile and are one of the most easily recognized breeds around the world. Due to their popularity in movies, many beginner horseback riders seek out Friesian horses as their first horse. But, is a Friesian horse a good beginner horse?
Friesian horses have lots of wonderful characteristics that can make them an ideal beginner horse, but there are also some qualities (just like every horse breed!) that are not for every beginner rider.
I would say the top benefit of Friesians is their temperament. Friesians, in general, are calm, quiet, and very forgiving of a novice rider. Friesians are also highly intelligent, reliable, and want to please their owners.
We affectionately refer to our Friesians as gentle giants and have been ridden by our kids for years. They truly want to be a part of your family and you may be surprised how quickly you gain their loyalty.
Friesian horses are very intelligent and can be easily trained in a wide variety of disciplines, including driving, dressage, and even (lower) jumping. Their calm personalities make them ideal for trail riding, showing, and exhibitions. If you are looking for an honest horse, you cannot go wrong with a Friesian. We’ve trained our Friesians for dressage and driving over the past ten years and are always impressed by how quickly they master a new skill.
Friesian horses can have big movement at the walk, trot, and canter. This could be a challenge for a very novice rider as the movements can be harder to sit. Friesians also travel with a higher head carriage than the American quarter horse, paint horses, and appaloosa horses. This is due to the angle their neck meets at their shoulders. A higher head carriage gives you a more up-hill ride and will feel drastically different than a western pleasure-trained quarter horse. However, you quickly adjust to their movement and head carriage after a few times in the saddle.
Cost is often a factor for anyone just entering the horse world or thinking about horse ownership. Horses are expensive! Purchasing, training, horseback riding lessons, horse care, equipment, saddle, bridle, other tack, horse trailers….. No matter how you look at it, horse ownership is expensive and adds up quickly.
Friesian horses are a bit more expensive than some breeds but less than others. Depending on age, training, and bloodlines, the cost of an adult Friesian horse starts around $10,000 and will go up from there.
Friesian lovers are drawn to the breed for their temperament, versatility, and looks, and will tell you the investment is worth it.
Friesian horses can range in height from 15.2-17.2 hands tall. This size can sometimes be intimidating to beginner riders, but these gentle giants will quickly calm your nerves. I’ve found their barrel size and height to make for a much more comfortable ride compared to smaller horses, especially for bareback riding! However, you may want to invest in a tall mounting block!
Have more questions about Friesian Horses? Send us a message
I’ve been around horses my entire life, but my Friesian journey started just over 20 years ago. Our horses have always been a part of our family. They have traveled with us as we relocated from Vermont to New York to Iowa and finally, to Arizona. I can’t wait to share our story with you!
Jul 26, 2021
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