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Friesian dressage studs for TB cross?

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  • Friesian dressage studs for TB cross?

    I am considering breeding my TB mare to a Friesian sometime next year. I am looking for recommendations for a Friesian stud who crosses well with TBs.
    Looking for a stud with the following qualities:
    -3 good gaits, good shoulder movement.
    -shorter coupled- no loooong backs
    -UPHILL conformation
    -good neck, longer neck
    -GOOD MIND
    -16hh+
    -proven dressage performance
    -good hair is a plus, duh :P
    My girl's foal could use some more bone, and a longer neck. I'll try to add a photo of her. She has awesome hock action, balance, and is extremely smart. Located in Canada! 🇨🇦

  • #2
    Is this a foal you intend to keep? What do you want the resulting foal to do? And why Friesian specifically instead of, let's day, a Warmblood?

    Comment


    • #3
      I have seen the cross in question (50 TB, 50 Friesian). Some were very nice. Others, not what I look for in a sport horse. So picking one that has consistent type in his TBx offspring, and/or proven offspring, would be preferable.

      You will very easily find the following in Friesians across the board: uphill neck, long/good neck, good mind, 16hh+... but by and large many friesians are not short coupled, and I have not seen many that had total shoulder freedom.. but lots of the stallions (for instance, the ones stood by Iron Spring Farm) look incredible and clearly have dressage talent.

      I would also ask, why Friesian vs WB, when WBs also would fit all that criteria? Unless you love the breed, which I could understand.

      MysticOakRanch , I believe, would be a good authority on this subject. IIRC, they bred Friesian-xs for a long time.
      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for your responses! Yes, I would intend to keep the foal 😊 I would prefer a Friesian for a heavier set foal. I am a classical dressage rider and teacher, who has no competitive goals. I say short-coupled as I love Baroque type horses, but do not want to cross with an Iberian (I would prefer a full Iberian). I've seen some nice baroque Friesians out there, but have not kept track of their names. WBs are also an option, but I'd prefer something heavier. And yes, I love the breed, but would prefer a cross myself. I have seen some lovely Friesian TB crosses.
        It does seem hard to find one with a shorter back, very good gaits and shoulder movement.
        This would be my first time breeding and I want to thoroughly research this before taking the plunge!

        Comment


        • #5
          If you are looking to add bone, you might want to consider a full Irish Draught too. I have seen some nice friesian crosses, but have not seen many Tb crosses. Have fun stallion shopping though!

          Comment


          • #6
            If the only reason you'd select a Friesian is that you want a "heavier set" foal (I assume you mean more bone) then I wouldn't cross warmbloods off the list. While there are some very modern types, there's still a pretty rigorous number of stallions that are more old-fashioned with the criteria you're looking for.

            Additionally, I would be leery about Friesian/TB crosses - there are some very nice ones but add me to the list of individuals who have seen a number of them end up being not quite what breeders had hoped for. The back, as you identify, is a particular concern as it seems many of them (while perhaps having more bone than the thoroughbred component of their pedigree) do not have conformation through their barrel that takes up much leg, and they can end up converging into wasp-waisted territory.

            You mention you are in Canada - I have heard good things said about Jennifer at Dreamscape, if you can contact her with an honest review of your mare and what you are looking for to improve, she may have suggestions for you. (Not Canadian but I have found that Hilltop to be very helpful with their suggestions.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PandaKO View Post
              I am considering breeding my TB mare to a Friesian sometime next year. I am looking for recommendations for a Friesian stud who crosses well with TBs.
              Looking for a stud with the following qualities:
              -3 good gaits, good shoulder movement.
              -shorter coupled- no loooong backs
              -UPHILL conformation
              -good neck, longer neck
              -GOOD MIND
              -16hh+
              -proven dressage performance
              -good hair is a plus, duh :P
              My girl's foal could use some more bone, and a longer neck. I'll try to add a photo of her. She has awesome hock action, balance, and is extremely smart. Located in Canada! 🇨🇦
              "Good hair is a plus, duh" ?

              You do realize that there is no guarantee that the "hair" you want will make an appearance? You could end up with a chunky foal with TB "hair".

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think i would cross a TB with a Friesian. What if you get small legs like a TB, with a large body like a Friesian?

                ​​​​Perhaps look for a half friesian stallion? Or a Georgian Grande horse? My friend has a Georgian Grande and she's really nice. They crossed her with an Andalusian for a spectacular foal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a Friesian x QH (purpose bred for the track with strong TB influence) that I bred. He turned out quite nice. I used a local stallion as one of my main criteria was the ability to breed live cover. The cross can be hard to predict, but I got lucky. My boy is right around 17 hands, both parents were under 16 hands. Friesian grand sire was closer to 15 hands. No clue where his height came from. I got the bone substance and large hooves I was hoping for too. His back might be a bit long, but not excessively so. His shoulder is over size though and he is a bit narrow in the chest. Good mane and tail; along with pesky goat chin hair and some puny feathers at the fetlock. I got bay, not black alas and a colt instead of a filly, but those risks are inherent with any breeding! He has a very pretty head, wide between the eyes. And a pretty neck, set higher than QH dam but lower than Friesian sire. He was the cutest foal with his giant cowlick on his forehead.

                  I am biased of course, but my horse is strikingly good looking. Even the non horsey husbands at the barn go “oh your horse is the pretty one”

                  Another poster mentioned using a sire already selected for a cross breeding program; I would second that. The sire I used had been purchased to cross on gaited horses (too each their own). You might get a better idea of what they produce when crossed.

                  I have seen some very ugly Friesian crosses. I don’t know any personally, so no tips on how to avoid that.

                  My horse moves with a fair bit of knee action at the trot. He would be an excellent prospect for dressage; which is what I bred him for! My interests have shifted, but we will see.

                  I haven’t quite figured out how to resize photos so I can upload from my phone, but if you send me a pm with your email I am happy to share pics of my horse, and his parents. His sire is Berend by Tsjerk.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I’m going to start with a rather harsh statement. I haven’t seen a lot of first generation Tbred crosses I really liked. Both Friesian AND WB, they just don’t seem to be consistent in quality. I think there is a reason the WB registries are pretty picky about acceptable Tbred mares. So I would start with a serious assessment of your mare, and do your breeding goals. So having said that...

                    The most consistently good FriesianTB crosses I’ve seen came from Whispering Hills, which is conveniently located (for OP) in Canada. She had the FPZV approved stallion Donius W. He pretty consistently put on a good shoulder, good back, good neck, and a lot of bone and strong foot. And a good canter! But the bad news, he died. She is standing one of his sons, so you can check out what he is producing.

                    Personally, I think the best Friesian crosses, at least for dressage, are WB or Arab crosses. WB, the Friesian can improve the temperament (the Friesian tends to have a fabulous kind, gentle temperament), can add back some bone and foot that the modern WB has gotten away from, and if you pick the right stallion, you can get a really nice neck. With Arabs, the cross often improves the Arabs canter, bone, and brain. Arabs cross really well with a lot of different types of horses.

                    Not going to comment much much on hair. Yes the Friesian often adds hair, but not always, and not always where you want it!

                    so look at your mare with a highly critical eye. You mentioned some important issues, shoulder, neck, back, temperament. If she has issues in these areas, there is no guarantee any stallion can fix those. What if you get a heavier version of her? Are you ok with that? The market isn’t great for crosses, so can you afford to put training on the offspring and keep it until it is salable? Would you be better off just buying what you want?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why on earth would you cross a cold-blooded harness breed (Friesian) with a Thoroughbred? If you want more bone, try an ISH or Irish Draft. Irish Draft-TB crosses have worked well for years and years and the cross has a wonderful history of making wonderful sport horses and hunters.

                      Or, as others have said here, a Warmblood.

                      Or better yet -- and a lot less cost to yourself and your mare -- buy an Iberian breed. One that is already started, that you can get an idea of what to expect. Why put your mare through all the stress and risk for a foal that you have no idea what it will be like?
                      Rack on!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                        Why on earth would you cross a cold-blooded harness breed (Friesian) with a Thoroughbred? If you want more bone, try an ISH or Irish Draft. Irish Draft-TB crosses have worked well for years and years and the cross has a wonderful history of making wonderful sport horses and hunters.

                        Or, as others have said here, a Warmblood.

                        Or better yet -- and a lot less cost to yourself and your mare -- buy an Iberian breed. One that is already started, that you can get an idea of what to expect. Why put your mare through all the stress and risk for a foal that you have no idea what it will be like?
                        Devil's advocate here.

                        There's plenty of reasons. To have an all-around amateur horse. To improve athleticism of the draft, or to add substance to the TB.. DraftxTB is very well proven, for lower level pursuits amateurs frequently dabble in, from dressage, to fox-hunting, to eventing, to driving and/or combined driving... Not that I would say a Friesian is drafty - they are more baroque to me, but each to their own.

                        Not every horse needs to be bred for high level sport aspirations. If that was the case, we would have way fewer good-minded horses around... and not every horse being bred, needs to be that wildly elastic, extremely exaggerated mover either - not-withstanding the soundness issues those horses face, but they're also extremely difficult to ride and not everyone can ride a 10 mover.

                        Most amateurs don't need a 10 mover or an UL eventer/jumper/dressage/hunter prospect. They need a horse that they can ride. A horse that will work with and for them.

                        If the OP is breeding her own personal horse, for her own personal foal, then it's really her prerogative and she doesn't need to go with what's mainstream if that's not what she's interested in.

                        The OP may want a TBxFriesian for dressage potential; it's certainly a better bet than Clyde or Percheron for the most part... TBs can lighten and shorten the Friesian, add soundness, athleticism, and I wouldn't mind, personally, having a horse that had a Friesian's people-sensibility with the TB's brain.

                        I have not liked the knee action of the Friesian/TBs I have seen, but I look at their sport potential from an eventer standpoint for the most part. They certainly seem to be doing well for their owners as dressage mounts.

                        The horses below are a good example of what I have seen from the Friesian/TB cross. There's plenty of examples on YT if you google "friesian thoroughbred".
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nohSlPxThHM
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7KnXzIc7Pg
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s0rT6ahtaM

                        I really don't see anything wrong with these horses from a LL riding/amateur perspective.

                        There are reasons to breed for amateur-friendly horses, which Friesian/TBs tend to be. Friesians are not my breed of choice for my sport of choice, but they make fine LL mounts and are very amateur-friendly as a whole.

                        People say all the time that TB x WB or TB x ID is better, but I have seen plenty of fugly results from that crossing too.. and not all of them are rideable. That is one thing the Friesian has in spades over WBs and IDs; they are almost always very people-friendly/amateur friendly.

                        Breeding to a WB or an ID is in no way a guarantee, either. As long as OP does her homework, picks a stud with proven performance to her specifications, then, best of luck to her.
                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What are the registration prospects of a TBxFriesian? While we can all say we want to breed to keep the resulting foal, I feel that as a bunch of pragmatists who are generally in touch with the equine world, we know that best laid plans can often go awry.

                          The resale prospects of something registered tend to be more positive IME. Is there a registry for a horse from this cross? I know that for TBxWB, you can get your mare approved and then the foal is registerable. Additionally, inspectors are a great resource for objectively assessing a mare's strengths and weaknesses and can suggest stallions that may cross well.

                          There aren't a shortage of large framed/old fashioned warmblood stallions that are known for passing on excellent temperament. Rosall and Don Principe both come to mind, and both stallion owners are very helpful and can discuss how their horses cross on TB mares.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                            Why on earth would you cross a cold-blooded harness breed (Friesian) with a Thoroughbred? If you want more bone, try an ISH or Irish Draft. Irish Draft-TB crosses have worked well for years and years and the cross has a wonderful history of making wonderful sport horses and hunters.

                            Or, as others have said here, a Warmblood.

                            Or better yet -- and a lot less cost to yourself and your mare -- buy an Iberian breed. One that is already started, that you can get an idea of what to expect. Why put your mare through all the stress and risk for a foal that you have no idea what it will be like?
                            Friesians are not draft horses, nor are they cold blooded. Why? As Beowulf already explained, the Friesian tends to have an amazing people oriented mind. And until you’ve actually experienced a well bred Friesian, you really have no idea what this kind of Equine personality really is. Harness bred? So were Warmbloods until recent history. Many breeders are moving that same direction with the Friesian and purpose breeding for dressage. Iron Springs is one big name breeder that you may have heard of.

                            Depending onwhat OP is breeding for, ISH is great for jumping and eventing, but not so much for dressage. Friesian is much better for dressage. Buying an Iberian horse is $$$, and not the right horse for everyone And I most certainly wouldn’t recommend crossing Iberian to Tbred, I’ve seen several of them, and all were extremely hot and tight backed.

                            Friesians do cross well with several lighter breeds - as I already said, I’m not a fan of the Tbred crosses, but have seen many nice crosses to WB, Arab, even stock breeds. Oh, and Morgans! I also know a few people who crossed them to Iberian breeds to improve foot and bone, add suppleness, and slow down a brain that often runs way too fast.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Edre View Post
                              What are the registration prospects of a TBxFriesian? While we can all say we want to breed to keep the resulting foal, I feel that as a bunch of pragmatists who are generally in touch with the equine world, we know that best laid plans can often go awry.

                              The resale prospects of something registered tend to be more positive IME. Is there a registry for a horse from this cross? I know that for TBxWB, you can get your mare approved and then the foal is registerable. Additionally, inspectors are a great resource for objectively assessing a mare's strengths and weaknesses and can suggest stallions that may cross well.

                              There aren't a shortage of large framed/old fashioned warmblood stallions that are known for passing on excellent temperament. Rosall and Don Principe both come to mind, and both stallion owners are very helpful and can discuss how their horses cross on TB mares.
                              Friesian Heritage Horse is a good option. USDF member, including All Breeds, optional inspections, DNA testing, knowledgeable people running the registry. Most FXs are registered with them. There are a few smaller registries, but that is the one I always recommend and when I was breeding, I registered all my babies with them. And AWS is another option.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by beowulf View Post

                                Devil's advocate here.

                                There's plenty of reasons. To have an all-around amateur horse. To improve athleticism of the draft, or to add substance to the TB.. DraftxTB is very well proven, for lower level pursuits amateurs frequently dabble in, from dressage, to fox-hunting, to eventing, to driving and/or combined driving... Not that I would say a Friesian is drafty - they are more baroque to me, but each to their own.

                                Not every horse needs to be bred for high level sport aspirations. If that was the case, we would have way fewer good-minded horses around... and not every horse being bred, needs to be that wildly elastic, extremely exaggerated mover either - not-withstanding the soundness issues those horses face, but they're also extremely difficult to ride and not everyone can ride a 10 mover.

                                Most amateurs don't need a 10 mover or an UL eventer/jumper/dressage/hunter prospect. They need a horse that they can ride. A horse that will work with and for them.

                                If the OP is breeding her own personal horse, for her own personal foal, then it's really her prerogative and she doesn't need to go with what's mainstream if that's not what she's interested in.

                                The OP may want a TBxFriesian for dressage potential; it's certainly a better bet than Clyde or Percheron for the most part... TBs can lighten and shorten the Friesian, add soundness, athleticism, and I wouldn't mind, personally, having a horse that had a Friesian's people-sensibility with the TB's brain.

                                I have not liked the knee action of the Friesian/TBs I have seen, but I look at their sport potential from an eventer standpoint for the most part. They certainly seem to be doing well for their owners as dressage mounts.

                                The horses below are a good example of what I have seen from the Friesian/TB cross. There's plenty of examples on YT if you google "friesian thoroughbred".
                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nohSlPxThHM
                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7KnXzIc7Pg
                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s0rT6ahtaM

                                I really don't see anything wrong with these horses from a LL riding/amateur perspective.

                                There are reasons to breed for amateur-friendly horses, which Friesian/TBs tend to be. Friesians are not my breed of choice for my sport of choice, but they make fine LL mounts and are very amateur-friendly as a whole.

                                People say all the time that TB x WB or TB x ID is better, but I have seen plenty of fugly results from that crossing too.. and not all of them are rideable. That is one thing the Friesian has in spades over WBs and IDs; they are almost always very people-friendly/amateur friendly.

                                Breeding to a WB or an ID is in no way a guarantee, either. As long as OP does her homework, picks a stud with proven performance to her specifications, then, best of luck to her.
                                But then wouldn't it be better for the OP to just go an buy a been-there/done-that lower level crossbred horse? There are tons of them out there. Why breed one when you can buy one?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I’m sure that some of the F X TB crosses work....however, the ones I’ve seen did not. They all had poor loin coupling, regardless of length of back. They got the F neck, which was good, but coupled with the weak back, it made getting them to really be connected nearly impossible.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Hawkridge View Post
                                    But then wouldn't it be better for the OP to just go an buy a been-there/done-that lower level crossbred horse? There are tons of them out there. Why breed one when you can buy one?
                                    A. They are not cheap (not that breeding is, either)
                                    B. They are not easy to find (see above, good & affordable ones go fast and the rest are usually unrealistically advertised)
                                    C. Maybe OP wants to start her own program and/or bring along her own horse, without unknown quantities associated with buying a horse that is BTDT - they come with baggage, soundness issues, etc.. not always a guarantee...

                                    Breeding your own competition horse is a bucket list for plenty of amateur owners - amateur not being synonymous with inexperienced or idiot owner.

                                    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
                                      I’m sure that some of the F X TB crosses work....however, the ones I’ve seen did not. They all had poor loin coupling, regardless of length of back. They got the F neck, which was good, but coupled with the weak back, it made getting them to really be connected nearly impossible.


                                      But to be fair, IME this is usually because poor(er) quality Friesians are used, those with most or all of the poor traits. There just aren't a whole lot of quality Friesians out there, at least not in the US. Far too many people use them for cross breeding purely for black, and/or hair.

                                      There ARE some really nice ones. And IME those tend to belong to people who actually understand breeding, and aren't breeding just for color or hair.

                                      That said, also IME the best F crosses tend to come with Morgans and Arabians, especially those with older style bodies, substantial, think Lippitt and Crabbet, respectively. Definitely not anything halter-style.

                                      I have a friend with 2 Friesian crosses and they are both VERY lovely. One is in his 20s and doing 4th Level very well. The other is 2. And both are Arabian crosses, Arabians of the sporthorse type.

                                      And good old Morgan blood has a very strong prepotency for making offspring take on many Morgan characteristics.
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Hawkridge View Post

                                        But then wouldn't it be better for the OP to just go an buy a been-there/done-that lower level crossbred horse? There are tons of them out there. Why breed one when you can buy one?
                                        A Fresian/QH cross that is for sale came across my Facebook page yesterday. Lovely horse, ready to move up the levels. Price at 3 yo? 22k. Yes you can spend that easily breeding but sometimes 22k is easier to absorb financially over time from vet bills, the breeding, board bills etc, rather than all at once.

                                        Comment

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