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View Full Version : friesian sporthorses? anybody riding them?



mary beth
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:18 PM
Please give me the goods, the bad, and the any..!!.would like to know their strengths, and weaknesses. Can they jump? How so they fair in dressage? What is their stamina like? I hear they tend to have great temperaments..? good feet? what about conformation..does the cross help make them versatile? I know the cross is imp..but any info is helpful.

THANKS in advance!!

MB

Tobias
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:29 PM
The goods:
They are beautiful! Have very good tempers, (my sister has an 8yo stallion and he acts better than most of the geldings there) VERY SMART!!!!! you can always give them a new challenge and they will put everything into it and figure it out fast!

Can they jump? This is my sister's stallion's second jumping lesson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOWXp2HZANA&feature=fvsr

Their stamina is good when they are in shape, but nota TB by any means!

Dressage? I personally like lighter breeds in dressage, but that's my preference of looks, They are very good at it, because they are smart.

They have the sweetest personalities! Feet are great! only has shoes when worked 6 days a week.

the Bads:
can be a bit lazy, but when they are in shape they are great!
Very smart!!!! So they get bored if you do the same thing too much after they have figured it out and will put less umph into it. Change things up and you will be fine!

I don't know much about the crosses, I have only seen one that I liked and it was crossed with an Arab, beautiful, but I don't know what she did.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions feel free to ask me, my sister has had hers since he was 8mo old so I have watched him grow up!

mary beth
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:43 PM
Thanks..Tobias! By Friesian Sporthorse, I am referring to a cross..is that what you are talking about too?..or a purebred Friesian. I am looking to get a cross, and want to know what they may be like.

The jumping video was nice!! but he 'looks' purebred.

Beautiful horse!

netg
Dec. 26, 2011, 11:25 PM
The cross isn't the only important part - so is the Friesian side.

Thunder Valley has bred some very nice horses. I knew a Morgan cross from them who was nice and actually could jump a bit, but who I wouldn't really call an eventing prospect. He's doing pretty well in dressage.

I've seen more and less suspension and ability, more and less ability to use the hind end well, etc. That tends to be from the Friesian side as well as the cross, as there are some very nice Friesians out there and some who just aren't as appropriate for sporthorses.

Lexington is one of my favorite Friesian sporthorse stallions. He's half TB, I believe, and I am guessing he could easily have evented if that were the direction they wanted to go with him.

I'm riding my mom's Friesian/Andy cross. She was a trail horse her whole life, and we don't think she had cantered much. She has a slight tendency toward lateral, and to trot in all possible instances, so it made cantering interesting. We've been working consistently since early September, so she's obviously still pretty green to anything off a trail. I thought she was just very lazy, but she's actually learning to really LIKE using her body well, starting to like cantering and working. When she gets her balance just right, she goes into this impressive trot which only lasts her about three strides as she doesn't have the strength to keep it up. But it's in her, and will come out more as she gets fit. It's definitely very different from my TB, who would just DO IT even if not honestly strong enough, and leave himself sore.

She also loved jumping when she got the chance, and I hope to do some lower level eventing with her. She's no upper level eventing prospect, but neither am I because I'm a big weenie! Depending what traits a horse gets from which side, I could easily see a FSH doing decently at eventing, though unlikely to have the gallop for upper levels.

There are lots of little traits she has which I've been told are common traits among Friesian crosses. She can be a bit pigheaded, and will take advantage if given the chance. At the same time, if not given the chance she will give all she can. She does learn quickly, and I actually value her self-preservation instincts compared to my TB. She wants to have a strong underneck which is just going away, and her default objection to anything is flipping her head upward. She is somewhat spooky and her Andalusian side gives her a nifty spin which I don't recommend... Conformationally, she has lovely freedom in her shoulders (too much sideways, but again - that's the Andalusian side), but her back is too long. She uses her hind end better than I thought she would when I started working with her, but it's not easy. She has a tendency to be tight in her back which long stretching work has helped, and it has quickly gained more movement and muscle. She had zero topline muscle when we started and is surprising me how quickly its building and how quickly she's improving. She's far steadier day to day than my gelding - never has his brilliance, but never has his brilliant meltdowns, either.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6579350941_c482a931f2.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/6579351693_4d16f08c29.jpg

Tobias
Dec. 26, 2011, 11:45 PM
He is pure bred, and there are purebred sport horses, they are a little lighter, not so much the cart horse type, but better for dressage and jumping. In the registry I think you have to earn the "sport" Title, then you can breed them as a sport horse. That is what my sister is going for.

cmdrcltr
Dec. 27, 2011, 06:57 AM
My trainer has a lovely 4 y.o. Friesian/Appendix QH (read mostly TB) cross. She won several championships at the IFSHA National show this year. My trainer doesn't jump, but this mare definitely could. She has three lovely gaits and plenty of stamina. Most importantly, she has a great work ethic. She is built like an appendix with more substance and a bit more arch to her neck.

wildlifer
Dec. 27, 2011, 11:31 AM
They are incredibly variable and it depends on the cross, the resulting build of the horse, etc. I've seen some that were very athletic, but hard to condition and some that were a total disaster, so I'd say you can only judge the horse in front of you.

ThirdCharm
Dec. 27, 2011, 03:20 PM
Most of the ones I've dealt with have been rather pigheaded, but they have all belonged to people for whom the breed was more important than the horse.... "breed fancier" types who get all gooey and romantic about Friesians and probably would have difficulty training a Golden Retriever to fetch ifyouknowwhatImean. YMMV. Go by the individual and if you find one that has the right type of movement, mind, and build for eventing, cool.

Jennifer

joiedevie99
Dec. 27, 2011, 04:17 PM
I've known two. One was slow and lazy, but very very safe for his AA- starter to beginner novice. He was typically lacking adequate impulsion in dressage, slow on XC, and not careful in stadium. He also added strides everywhere because his canter didn't cover much ground. He probably could have been conditioned and revved up to be an overall better eventer for a different rider.

The other is clumsy over fences, but generally a much hotter horse. He looks like he should jump- but he doesn't appear to have gotten the gene. He does well at first/second level dressage with some more potential, although he has a spook/spin/dart in him that makes him somewhat inappropriate for a less-experienced rider.

So- I guess even in my super-limited experience- they vary greatly.

englishcowgirl
Dec. 29, 2011, 02:26 PM
I leased a freisian/quarter horse cross a while ago. He was very athletic and could jump very well, right out of the fence and then had excellent stamina running away from the farm. He had a massive buck and loved to rear, developed well before I had ever met him. If you wanted to be on his back and jump a fence, be prepaired to be dumped. Want to walk on the trail? SURE and to go any faster? Better have legs of steel... Want your other horses to have nice bloody patches from being bit and kicked? He would also constantly chase them. Worst horse I have ever met, but possible the prettest and soundest! I would stay away, but maybe my experience in unique.

HappyTalk
Dec. 29, 2011, 02:43 PM
They are incredibly variable and it depends on the cross, the resulting build of the horse, etc. I've seen some that were very athletic, but hard to condition and some that were a total disaster, so I'd say you can only judge the horse in front of you.

I have Friesian/Tb cross. He is gray and most people mistake him for an Andalusian. Lovely dressage horse; judges like his gaits and rideability. I have only free jumped him, but he has a nice bascule and is tight with his knees. I have had no issues with conditioning .

He cannot take the hot/ humid weather. I have to ride in the early morning during the hot part of the summer. This can make deciding to show rather tricky.

Heinz 57
Dec. 29, 2011, 10:02 PM
I rode a 3/4 Friesian, 1/4 Saddlebred earlier this week for some sale videos. I'd like to think it was his handling, but he spent the entire ride sulking behind my leg and being a pig.

I also rode his sire, who had a much better work ethic but not the greatest canter. I wouldn't consider them terribly efficient as far as making time on XC, and I have met more that were not inclined to jump than those that were.

Pretty, though. I felt like I was playing Princess!

eventer_mi
Dec. 30, 2011, 10:31 AM
I've only known two (Saddlebred x Freisian) and they tend to be, well, pigheaded. I've known quite a few full Freisians and I think the pigheadedness comes from the Freisian side. However, their temperments were lovely for an ammy (quiet, very little spook), and the movement of the crosses was stunning, but not necessarily in a good way - lots of knee and hock action, lots of float, lots of up and down in the canter (if you could get them to canter), but very little true connection through the back. They were "leg movers". They are also selling quite well to the dressage crowd down here in the sandhills, because people get suckered into all that fancy leg movement and don't realize that there is no connection.

Might I ask why you are considering a Freisian cross for eventing? I'm assuming you are looking to stay Training or below. Remember that Freisians aren't bred to jump or gallop - two VERY important things (in my mind, at least) for an eventer, lower level or no. They are bred to pull carriages and look pretty doing it. I realize that there is a movement to breed more sporthorse type of Frieisans, but that movement is still young and the good ones are few and far between. I just think that too many people get carried away by the looks and don't buy to suit their purpose - like people buying dogs because of the way the breed looks, rather than studying said dog's intended purpose. Not saying that you are doing that at all, however, so please don't take offense. Just be warned that you are looking into a very small, select pool of horses that may or may not do want you want easily.

pegasusmom
Dec. 30, 2011, 10:36 AM
Remember that Freisians aren't bred to jump or gallop - two VERY important things (in my mind, at least) for an eventer, lower level or no. They are bred to pull carriages and look pretty doing it. I realize that there is a movement to breed more sporthorse type of Frieisans, but that movement is still young and the good ones are few and far between.

Would add that, from a combined driving standpoint, they are notoriously difficult to get fit enough to go the distance a CDE demands. You find them primarily at pleasure shows and coaching events. We do have a local breeder/driver who is touting "Turbo-Friesians" - crossed with arab - and he has enjoyed some success with them.

Megaladon
Dec. 30, 2011, 10:54 AM
I would look for a warmblood cross (holsteiner, hano etc.). Also, look at the Friesian's registry. The German registry FPZV has a goal of a true sport horse (stallions are put through a 50 day test with jumping, driving and dressage) with their Friesians and you can find incredibly talented horses with great stamina at this registry. Good luck, have fun. :)

sunhawk
Dec. 30, 2011, 12:52 PM
I've only known two (Saddlebred x Freisian) and they tend to be, well, pigheaded. I've known quite a few full Freisians and I think the pigheadedness comes from the Freisian side. However, their temperments were lovely for an ammy (quiet, very little spook), and the movement of the crosses was stunning, but not necessarily in a good way - lots of knee and hock action, lots of float, lots of up and down in the canter (if you could get them to canter), but very little true connection through the back. They were "leg movers". They are also selling quite well to the dressage crowd down here in the sandhills, because people get suckered into all that fancy leg movement and don't realize that there is no connection.

Might I ask why you are considering a Freisian cross for eventing? I'm assuming you are looking to stay Training or below. Remember that Freisians aren't bred to jump or gallop - two VERY important things (in my mind, at least) for an eventer, lower level or no. They are bred to pull carriages and look pretty doing it. I realize that there is a movement to breed more sporthorse type of Frieisans, but that movement is still young and the good ones are few and far between. I just think that too many people get carried away by the looks and don't buy to suit their purpose - like people buying dogs because of the way the breed looks, rather than studying said dog's intended purpose. Not saying that you are doing that at all, however, so please don't take offense. Just be warned that you are looking into a very small, select pool of horses that may or may not do want you want easily.

Many draft crosses have been used for eventing, I personally know of draft ctrosses that have made it to prelim and intermediate, and draft horses aren't bred for galloping and jumping either. Friesians, in my mind, are a nicer pick to outcross than any draft breed.
I'm biased. I have a very nice friesian/paint gelding. I event him, he's a wonderful jumper, just a bit of a worrier, which makes him really want to please his rider, very careful over jumps. I get awesome remarks from knowledgeble horsepeople on what a nice horse he is. But they do say that he's nicer than the average friesian cross. :D

lecoeurtriste
Dec. 31, 2011, 11:30 PM
Some other crosses, which aren't as common or as popular for sport as Friesian/Wbld or Friesian/TB but can still produce nice results, are Saddlebred, Iberian, Georgian Grande, and limited (25% or less) draft blood.

My FSHR 3.5yo filly is 1/2 Friesian (Jorrit363 granddaughter), 1/4 Percheron, and 1/4 Spotted Saddlebred. I bought her as a dressage prospect as a 2yo, but she's shown she has the talent for jumping too these last few months (knees to her chin and quite sensible to the fences).

Here is a picture (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150803446925131&set=a.10150803444785131.736880.605145130&type=3&theater) of her winning the 3yo Materiale at Dressage at Lexington this summer--just 60 days under saddle and her first show/trip away from home...and a confirmation shot (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150803446085131&set=a.10150803444785131.736880.605145130&type=3&theater) from the same show.

While I love her breeding and 'package', so much of what makes a horse special can't be measured.

Best wishes for a happy 2012!

dodedo
Dec. 31, 2011, 11:54 PM
Look up Dana Daniel bishop on Facebook. She has some lovely ones and a gorgeous stallion!

Crzy4Mares
Jan. 2, 2012, 11:28 PM
After ending the lease on my last horse, my trainer matched me up with a client's Friesian/Quarter Horse gelding this past summer. Being partial to the tall, leggy TB types, I was skeptical about him. After just a few months, I absolutely ADORE him! He is terribly smart, loves to jump, and has a to-die-for uphill canter. The only challenges I have had with him is his tendency to go around with his head cranked up when he gets anxious, and he can be a bit on the spooky side. The spookiness has been getting better the more he is exposed to. We will definitely be putting a lot of effort into getting out to school XC before we hit any minis this year. I am really having a lot of fun with him and my trainer is definitely excited about our show season. I guess I need to thank her for making me leave my comfort-zone.

Aside from his personality he has been super sound (knock on wood) and healthy. He has great feet and goes barefoot. Overall, I am very pleased and am hoping for a long partnership. :)