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The Friesian originated in Friesland, a province in The Netherlands. The Friesian is most recognized by its upright, noble carriage, its black coat, mane, tail, and forelock, and the trademark feathers on its lower legs. Although the breed’s conformation resembles that of a light draft horse, the Friesian is remarkably nimble and graceful for its size, and carries itself with distinctive animation and elegance. Ranging in height from 15.1 to 17.3 hands and possessing a powerfully built body with dense bone, the Friesian horse is known for its naturally brisk, high-stepping trot.

During the Middle Ages, it is believed that the modern Friesian’s ancestors were war horses and eventually became widely popular in Europe as carriage horses. Today, the breed can be found competing in virtually every discipline. Still a favorite for carriage driving because of its beautifual and powerful trot, the Friesian has been making its presence known in the dressage world, as well. The Friesian can also be seen competing in saddle seat, hunter seat, Western seat, and combined driving disciplines.


Recognized National Affiliate Association

Learn more about the Friesian horse by visiting the AmInternational Friesian Show Horse Association at The International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) was created in 2001 and is dedicated to the promotion, showing, and exhibition of the Friesian Horse and its partbred relatives. IFSHA holds rated regional and Grand National competitions annually. IFSHA intends to reach out to all people with Friesian-bred horses and bring them together to protect, promote and establish a harmonious show community.

In The News

Upcoming Championships and Events from USEF National Affiliate Organizations – September 2023

by US Equestrian Communications Dept. | Sep 6, 2023, 4:00 PM EST

IFSHA and IALHA Collaborate to Grow Shows and Foster Community

by Emily Girard | Sep 1, 2023, 10:03 AM EST

US Equestrian’s Class Specification Tool Makes Building Judge’s Cards Easy

by US Equestrian Communications Dept. | Jul 6, 2023, 5:00 PM EST

Five Reasons to Watch the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

by Kathleen Landwehr | May 30, 2023, 12:30 PM EST

Forms and Publications

Competition Information

Information about competing your Friesian horse with US Equestrian