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Date Posted: 09:52:43 09/12/11 Mon
Author: Laura
Subject: Friesian ownership
In reply to: Margie Miller 's message, "Considering Friesian" on 12:05:36 09/10/11 Sat

Hello Margie,

I own a Friesian gelding and I don't find that owning a Friesian is much different than any other breed. There are a few distinct differences though.....like Friesians are pretty laid back horses, don't really freak out and bolt about anything. They may shy at something spooky, but they don't really bolt. You do have to be in pretty good physical shape to ride a Friesian. They have BIG lofty gaits and your legs need to be strong enough to hold on.

Probably the most important difference is that they grow VERRRRRY slow. My gelding didn't grow at all as a 3 year-old. He just started another growth spurt this spring and is now hovering around 15.3 1/2 hands. By now he has probably reached 16 hands, I just haven't measured him recently. You need to take that into consideration when training a young Friesian. Don't push them too hard or too soon. Just because they are the size of a full grown horse doesn't mean they are grown up. Friesians grow til about age 8. Because of this and the fact that they are big horses, beware and be careful of their stifles. Don't canter too soon. Friesians are known to have weak stifles, but this should subside as they grow. It is more of a growing pain than anything.

Friesians are extremely smart!! They pick up on EVERYTHING. You cannot fool them.

If you are considering an adult Friesian then you will probably have it pretty easy. Friesians are relatively easy keepers, and although they are bigger horses, they do not eat more than other breeds. Beware though, of over graining your Friesian. They do well on good quality grass hay. (No alfalfa). My gelding still gets 2 lbs of grain twice a day, but he eats more hay than anything. Your horse still needs protein, so don't skip the grain all together.

Lastly, Friesians have AWESOME personalities, and really just want you to cuddle with them. If they are brought up right, you can hug, kiss, scratch,& cuddle anywhere on your horse and they will eat it up! :) (They're very much like big black dogs.) My gelding particularly likes his ears rubbed. He is NOT ear shy to say the least. There are more high strung Friesians out there, but that is not really in their nature.

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