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  1. #21
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    Another thing to think about is roundness. Friesians, as with all baroque horses, have sprung ribs. They can be very round so not for the small of hip or short of leg.



  2. #22
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    My "first horse" was a friesian/thoroughbred cross. He was stunning, however the person that I bought him from had let him be her spoiled lap horse. He was very pushy on the ground. From what I understood Friesians can easily get that way if not taught where their boundaries are. We ended up trading him for the horse that I consider my true first horse. Too much had been let go with him and he would have never been anything but a horse for an advanced rider, which I was not at the time. From what I understand he is doing really well in dressage now though.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  3. #23
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    I really liked a Holsteiner/Friesian that I knew. Was very well rounded. Went from a winning Combined Driving horse to a nice riding horse. Looked like a warmblood. I didn't like the temperaments of the Thoroughbred/Friesians--they were flighty and not very stable. I really love the Appaloosa crosses! My friends have an FPZV approved Friesian/Arab stallion that I heard is a magnificent driving horse. Have fun with whatever you decide.
    I LOVE my Chickens!



  4. #24
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    I have 2 !

    I'm only a pleasure rider with low level dressage aspirations, so they suit me fine. As in I haven't been that picky with conformation etc.

    I've learnt a lot with my mare, they do have to be ridden a certain way as they are very upright.

    Some can be a bit ugly as some breeders that I noticed in my searches just bred them with whatever mare they had in the paddock.

    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b173/Flighty/me8.jpg

    My young horse:
    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../takovist7.jpg



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by flight View Post
    I have 2 !

    I'm only a pleasure rider with low level dressage aspirations, so they suit me fine. As in I haven't been that picky with conformation etc.

    I've learnt a lot with my mare, they do have to be ridden a certain way as they are very upright.

    Some can be a bit ugly as some breeders that I noticed in my searches just bred them with whatever mare they had in the paddock.

    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b173/Flighty/me8.jpg

    My young horse:
    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../takovist7.jpg
    They certainly look nice in those pictures!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  6. #26
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    As some others alluded to, the success of a Friesian cross depends on WHAT the Friesian is crossed with, as well as how nice (and how suited to sport) the Friesian was. Not all Friesians are equally suited for sport, and they are unfortunately frequently crossed with breeds which are not suitable at all for sport. ("Sport" being defined as the traditional Olympic disciplines.)

    There are many crosses which are frowned upon for "sport" breeding. Some of it is common sense, like stock horse crosses and gaited horse crosses, and some aren't as obvious. And obviously there are exceptions to everything. I don't want to offend anyone so I won't get into it too much here, but feel free to email me if you'd like: RiverOaksFarmFL@aol.com. To keep things positive for this thread, I'd rather talk about what DOES work.....!

    My preference is Friesian Sporthorses. As someone else mentioned earlier, Friesian Sporthorses are actually considered a developing breed, and have strict breeding and registration guidelines with a strong emphasis on sport, and breeding for sport suitability. Not all Friesian crosses are "Friesian Sporthorses" by definition.

    You can learn a lot about Friesian Sporthorses by visiting the registry's website: www.FriesianSporthorseAssociation.com You'll find alot of good information and photos. This page might be interesting because it has a brief history, and you can see many photos of Friesian Sporthorses here (including a photo of a Friesian Sporthorse who earned his Bronze Elite Book status via eventing.)

    Friesian Sporthorses are primarily Friesians crossed with Warmbloods or Thoroughbreds, as those crosses have proven to be the most successful for sport. When you find Friesian crosses competing successfully in dressage you'll find that nearly all of them are crossed with either Warmblood and/or Thoroughbred.

    The first Friesian cross to compete at Grand Prix dressage was a Friesian Sporthorse (Friesian/TB.) My own stallion 'Lexington' is currently competing at FEI and was just named the 2011 FSA High Performance National Champion, he is also a Friesian/TB. The pinto stallion 'Nico', perhaps the most recognizeable of all Friesian crosses, was Friesian/Wbld. And a Nico son is also currently competing at FEI, and is Friesian/Wbld as well. The FSA High Performance Reserve Champion this year is a Friesian/Saddlebred. Another successful Friesian Sporthorse who finished in the top 20 for USDF Horse of the Year at both Training Level and First Level, is Friesian/TB. The first Friesian Sporthorse to qualify for USDF/DSHB Regional Championships was Friesian/TB/Warmblood, and she went on to become the Regional Champion against some very well bred Warmbloods.

    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.

    The crossbreeding of Friesians has become increasingly popular, and there has been a huge learning curve as dedicated breeders have worked to determine which crosses are the most successful vs which crosses to avoid (which led to the development of the Friesian Sporthorse and the FSA.) As others have already mentioned, not all crosses are created equally, but there are some breeders in this country producing some very nice Friesian Sporthorses. At this time, they're probably outnumbered 10-to-1 by non-sport crosses, but I think as Friesian Sporthorses continue to prove themselves in sport, things will change.

    As an aside, I've found it noteworthy that my youngsters are selling primarily to "Warmblood people" rather than to "Friesian cross people", which is encouraging as it indicates the broadening appeal of Friesian Sporthorses into more mainstream markets. A well bred true Friesian Sporthorse is a worthwhile alternative to a traditional Warmblood, in my opinion..... (In fact, I came from a Warmblood background myself, and have now switched almost entirely to Friesian Sporthorses.)

    One last thought for the OP -- although some non-Friesian-Sporthorse crosses may work quite nicely for things like trail riding and dabbling in a little bit of lower level dressage, many are not really bred for their sport suitability and are unlikely to succeed at the higher levels. So your search will depend a lot on your personal goals. If you're looking for a competitive dressage partner, I would recommend narrowing the search to Friesian Sporthorses, specifically Friesian/Wbld or Friesian/TB.

    Good luck, feel free to email me if you'd like!

    Oh, and ps, feel free also to browse my website www.RiverOaksFarm.net, I've got tons of photos and information, including my Friesian Sporthorse stallion and also various Friesian Sporthorses I've bred and shown over the years.
    River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.



  7. #27
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    PS. There was also a good thread in the Breeding Forum about crossbreeding Friesians. I'll see if I can find it for you.....

    Okay, here it is: "Appropriate Breeds for Friesian Crosses" thread in the COTH Breeder's Forum
    Last edited by RiverOaksFarm; Dec. 29, 2011 at 01:51 PM.
    River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.



  8. #28
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    Ditto on what, exactly, the Friesian is crossed with.

    Purebred Friesians are beautiful horses, but the history of their breeding was focused on them being carriage horses -- not riding horses. The breed reflects this in it's high knee action trot, and overall weak canter. The Dutch weren't breeding for a good canter, and suffer it did. Also, their super vertical neck set and hollowed back makes collection for them difficult. They were bred to push their bodies into a harness, not carry weight on their back, and most are "out behind" instead of stepping under themselves. They also lack stamina, and due to an impoverished gene pool, (the Friesian studbood is closed, locked, and the key has been thrown away) they are beginning to see the effects of inbreeding depression.

    For these reasons, it really is the Friesian side of the equation that needs the improvement in order to become successful "riding horses" -- particularly Sporthorses (dressage/jumping). There are way too many breeders out there taking indiscriminate mares, putting them to mediocre unapproved Friesian stallions, and calling the resulting offspring "Sport Horses" -- expecting "improvement" in the offspring for sport. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

    Using plain logic, in order to improve the Friesian for sport, they should be crossed with the most successful sport horses! The most successful sport horses are the Warmbloods whose bloodlines are from the European Sport Horse registries. The best of the Dutch Warmblood, Hanoverian, Oldenburg, Holstein, Trakehner and Thoroughbred bloodlines. And with successful Friesian Sporthorses being my own goal and passion () I am utilizing this philosophy.

    So far, the results have been fantastic. Neckset, loin, and gaits are well improved, and overall conformations certainly show far more potential for successful sporthorses. The minds have been outstanding as well. So far, all of my foals have been sensitive, yet very sensible, friendly, and level headed. Super for ammies and pro's alike! The jarring Friesian trot has been smoothed and the canter is greatly improved. They do tend to lose the fetlock hair quite a bit, but many riders consider that to be a plus.

    I have two Purebred studbook approved Friesian mares of my own, and a third that I lease, whom I breed to approved Warmblood stallions. I plan to retain the best fillies, and breed them back to approved purebred Friesian stallions. My first F1 backcross (75% Friesian, 25% Hanoverian) is due in June -- by approved FPS stallion Haitse 425 Sport, out of my mare Sable Serenade who is by Sinatra Song (Sandro Hit x Pik Bube II) out of my FPS studbook mare, Maggie (Pilgrim 336 x Piter 312). The foal will very likely bear a strong resemblance to a purebred Friesian, yet also have the improvements that it's dam received from her Warmblood sire. I'm so excited about this foal! :-) I also have a beautiful 50% Friesian filly by Donatelli (successful GP stallion by Donnerhall x Pik Bube) whom I'll be breeding back to a purebred Friesian in 2012.

    I'm expecting three 50% Friesian foals in 2012:
    1. - by KWPN stallion UB40 out of FPS Friesian mare Auster (1/2 sister to approved Friesian stallion Teade 392)
    2. - By Holsteiner stallion Cor Noir out of FPS mare Wandria
    3. - By Trakehner stallion EH Hofrat out of FPS mare Maggie.

    I have a 2011 colt by EH Hofrat out of FPS mare Auster (Hemingway SCS) that is stunning, and he's currently being raised as a Friesian Sporthorse stallion prospect.

    Here's a couple of Pics of Hemingway SCS (EH Hofrat x Auster)

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/23147...02510679rhXnFn
    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/21618...02510679VnLklQ

    Here's a video of Romulus SCS, my 2009 gelding by Rubin Magic (Rubinstein x Karon) out of FPS mare Wandria. He's being started under saddle this spring. (He's an easy keeper, if ya know what I mean.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLLVy...4&feature=plcp

    And here's Sable Serenade SCS (50% Friesian by Sinatra Song x Maggie) She's in foal to FPS approved stallion Haitse 425.
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...02510679eFBSdM

    Fell free to PM me or contact me if you'd like!
    www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
    Dedicated to breeding Friesian Sporthorses
    with world class pedigrees and sport suitability



  9. #29
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    The dutch may have bred them for carriage to start, but they were the ones to switch to sport and after those were imported THEN American breeders continued with that.

    Americans didnt suddenly decide to breed them for sport and have the jump on that with carriage horses The dutch have plenty of them bred for sport now and the best ones I have seen were imports still.

    The one Im riding right now is an import and he's probably one of the nicest in canter and lightest Ive seen.



  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
    The dutch may have bred them for carriage to start, but they were the ones to switch to sport and after those were imported THEN American breeders continued with that.

    Americans didnt suddenly decide to breed them for sport and have the jump on that with carriage horses The dutch have plenty of them bred for sport now and the best ones I have seen were imports still.

    The one Im riding right now is an import and he's probably one of the nicest in canter and lightest Ive seen.
    Yes, I have a purebred with an incredible canter too - in fact, it is his best gait. And a trainer I know has one in her barn that was purchased because the student needed a horse with a good, EASY to ride canter, and after trying several Warmbloods, they ended up with a Friesian. I totally agree NOMIO - the sport lines are sport horses. The breed was not originally a driving horse - it became one because of market demand. Now the market is leaning toward riding/dressage horses, and that is what many breeders (Euro and NA) are breeding for.

    Like any sport horse, assess the individual horse, buy the individual horse. Again, feel free to visit my website, or any of the others mentioned, to see examples. My two stallions (one purebred, one cross) are showing open dressage, with one at Grand Prix. Another place for may pictures is the Friesian Heritage Horse and Sporthorse International (http://www.friesianheritage.com/).

    You WILL find horses of all different levels of quality (just as you would with any sport horse), and you will find some breeders who breed for sport (since this is in the Dressage forum, assuming you are looking for dressage), some who breed for other disciplines, and some who breed for nice, all-round family horses. You'll find big breeders, small breeders, high quality, low quality, and just about everything in between



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
    The breed was not originally a driving horse - it became one because of market demand.
    At the time they would have been used for riding, "Friesian Horses" weren't an official "breed" as we think of "breeds" today. Specific, "closed studbook" breeds didn't become a phenomenon until the 1870's. It wasn't until then that a Friesian studbook was established, and "founding" animals chosen. And those few horses that entered the studbook were fancy trotters that were most certainly bred as harness horses. They were oftentimes used for harness racing too. The light, fancy Friesian trotters almost died out because most people needed "every day" horses that could do farmwork. There were only 37 Friesians left in 1913! (And only three of those were stallions!) Every Friesian horse alive today is descended from those 37 driving horses. So yes, they were carriage horses when they became a "breed".

    In this photo is Cornelis van Eysinga, who was founder of "De Oorsprong", a breeding farm for Friesians in the late 1800's.

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/20823...02510679MDznxA

    Eysinga with the stallion Alva:
    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/25067...02510679ThBpCe

    Yes, horses are all individuals for certain. But purebred Friesians are all very closely related, so the drawbacks (as far as riding/dressage horses) are largely ingrained into the breed. If you find one with an outstanding canter, that's great, but it's certainly not the norm.

    IMO, the purebred Friesian studbook's attempts to modernize the Friesian breed into a riding dressage horse is a next to impossible task -- as long as they utterly refuse to seek improvement from outside the studbook. That's why I've undertaken my own breeding program. If they won't do it, I will. Ultimately, I hope to produce horses that look very much like purebreds, but are better suited for sport, more athletic, and have more natural potential as dressage horses. And to me, it only makes sense to use approved Warmblood stallions with proven dressage bloodlines as the basis for the outcrossing.
    www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
    Dedicated to breeding Friesian Sporthorses
    with world class pedigrees and sport suitability



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    They certainly look nice in those pictures!
    Thanks!! I think they are sweeties



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdeboer01 View Post
    At the time they would have been used for riding, "Friesian Horses" weren't an official "breed" as we think of "breeds" today. Specific, "closed studbook" breeds didn't become a phenomenon until the 1870's. It wasn't until then that a Friesian studbook was established, and "founding" animals chosen. And those few horses that entered the studbook were fancy trotters that were most certainly bred as harness horses. They were oftentimes used for harness racing too. The light, fancy Friesian trotters almost died out because most people needed "every day" horses that could do farmwork. There were only 37 Friesians left in 1913! (And only three of those were stallions!) Every Friesian horse alive today is descended from those 37 driving horses. So yes, they were carriage horses when they became a "breed".

    In this photo is Cornelis van Eysinga, who was founder of "De Oorsprong", a breeding farm for Friesians in the late 1800's.

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/20823...02510679MDznxA

    Eysinga with the stallion Alva:
    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/25067...02510679ThBpCe

    Yes, horses are all individuals for certain. But purebred Friesians are all very closely related, so the drawbacks (as far as riding/dressage horses) are largely ingrained into the breed. If you find one with an outstanding canter, that's great, but it's certainly not the norm.

    IMO, the purebred Friesian studbook's attempts to modernize the Friesian breed into a riding dressage horse is a next to impossible task -- as long as they utterly refuse to seek improvement from outside the studbook. That's why I've undertaken my own breeding program. If they won't do it, I will. Ultimately, I hope to produce horses that look very much like purebreds, but are better suited for sport, more athletic, and have more natural potential as dressage horses. And to me, it only makes sense to use approved Warmblood stallions with proven dressage bloodlines as the basis for the outcrossing.

    How interesting! Thank you



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverOaksFarm View Post
    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 (as is in evidence when she jumps the 4' paddock fence when the mood suits her).

    Here is a picture 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 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!



  15. #35

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    Hey! (:

    I am from Holland and have worked with some Friesians, so I think
    I can give you some (dis) advantages.

    What I think is the best point of the Friesians is their character. In a lot of situations where Warmbloods (e.g. KWPN) would freak out a Friesians will stay calm. They are really reliable and that's the most important thing thing. Another advantages of a Friesian is their memory. They won't forget something really fast, and that's also a good skill for a dressage horse. Another good thing is
    their expression, a lot of people like to see a Friesian, because they're big, black and handsome

    A disadvantage is that Friesians don't have the fast movement in their hind legs, what is usefull for the dressage at the higher levels. What I also don't like is that they can be quite boorish. A Friesian is sometimes just not as awake as a Warmblood what can result in sore toes haha.

    So, that's my opinion, but, who am I?
    In my eyes Friesians are wonderful dressage horses for recreation and dressage at the lower levels, but there are just a few who can compete against the warmbloods in the higher levels



  16. #36
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    http://youtu.be/-C7kcS6B6mo

    Here's a video from Breyerfest from the Friesian exhibition. I am in the red strapless dress BTW. The Friesian I was riding is the baroque style. The others in the video are the sport type Friesians. I prefer the baroque type.

    I have ridden several Friesians. I LOVE them, but they are a very different ride and take getting used to. Their movements are HUGE and you have to learn to sit very well. Some have great canters....some have issues cantering. It takes a ton of work to get the proper self-carriage in their canter. Like others have said, they tend to get heavy on the forehand & are easily overbent. They can be lazy. But I freaking LOVE them though!
    Let go & enjoy the ride!!!!

    https://www.facebook.com/Hearts-dazzle



  17. #37
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    I just posted pics of the Friesian I am riding... And in canter too lol

    Its in my thread about transitions and aha.

    I love these horses and their willing attitudes I will say that! Their gaits are NOT for the faint of heart I am learning however lol



  18. #38
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    Where are your pics at? I'd love a Friesian of my own one day!
    Let go & enjoy the ride!!!!

    https://www.facebook.com/Hearts-dazzle



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
    I love these horses and their willing attitudes I will say that! Their gaits are NOT for the faint of heart I am learning however lol
    That is the case for many big moving horses of any breed. Some of them are quite smooth, but a big moving horse is a big moving horse. I've been on more then a few Warmbloods where I'd say the same thing Some of my crosses are ultra-smooth for all the movement they have. It is why we see so many riders "overhorsed" on so many breeds - big movement requires strong core and a lot of flexibility (ahhh, to be young again



  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
    That is the case for many big moving horses of any breed. Some of them are quite smooth, but a big moving horse is a big moving horse. I've been on more then a few Warmbloods where I'd say the same thing Some of my crosses are ultra-smooth for all the movement they have. It is why we see so many riders "overhorsed" on so many breeds - big movement requires strong core and a lot of flexibility (ahhh, to be young again
    True! This guys movement is a bit bigger than most Ive ridden in general though.


    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingChanges View Post
    Where are your pics at? I'd love a Friesian of my own one day!
    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/20733...01143328cHDoBm

    and blurry ones at the trot

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/22702...01143328WAXoiq

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/23818...01143328hJpYpL



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