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Use and characteristics of Friesians
Friesian horses average 15.3 hands (63 inches, 160 cm), though in recent years it has become common to buy a Friesian that is taller, up to 17hh (68 inches/173 cm), particularly for use in shows. They weigh between 1,250 – 1450 pounds. Although they are strong and sturdy horses, they always look extremely elegant due to their compact shape, naturally arched neck and full mane and tail, creating an overall impression of grace combined with boldness and strength. They have powerful quarters and shoulders, good strong bone, and excellent feet, all highly desirable qualities that undoubtedly assist to sell a Friesian. Their heads are beautiful, with an alert expression and long, tapering ears. Friesians will normally have some feather, though not to the same degree as cobs or draught horses, and feathering is a breed characteristic. Their appearance indicates Spanish ancestry, which most likely dates to the period when the Netherlands was under Spanish rule. Today, Friesians are often categorised with Spanish, Portuguese and other “Baroque” breeds in dressage and similar events. They are especially noted for their stunning, elevated trot.