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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

Vote Now for 2022 USEF Horse of the Year and Equestrian of the Year Awards

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Dec 20, 2022, 2:00 PM EST

Ryder Richardson Wins 2022 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Dec 1, 2022, 4:45 PM EST

Championship Season Is Underway for USEF National Breed and Discipline Affiliates

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 15, 2022, 3:00 PM EST

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by Kathleen Landwehr | May 24, 2022, 3:00 PM EST

US Equestrian Now Accepting Applications for Higher Education Scholarship for High School Seniors

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 2, 2022, 11:01 AM EST

Forms and Publications

Competition Information

Information about competing your Friesian horse with US Equestrian