Thursday, September 25, 2008

You must see the movie

For a long time my dream horse has been a Friesian.

From wikipedia: The Friesian (also Frisian) horse is a breed of horse from Friesland, a province of the Netherlands. Although the breed's conformation resembles that of a light draft horse, Friesians are graceful and nimble for their size. During the Middle Ages, it is believed that the ancestors of Friesian horses were in great demand as war horses throughout continental Europe. Through the Early Middle Ages and High Middle Ages, their size enabled them to carry a knight in armor. In the Late Middle Ages, heavier, draft type animals were needed. Though the breed nearly became extinct on more than one occasion, the modern day Friesian horse is growing in numbers and popularity, used both in harness and under saddle. Most recently, the breed is being introduced to the field of dressage.

The Friesian is most often recognized by its black coat color, though color alone is not their only distinguishing characteristic. Friesians also have a long, thick mane and tail, and "feathers"--long, silky hair on the lower legs, deliberately left untrimmed. The official breed rarely has white markings of any kind; most registries allow only a small star on the forehead for purebred registration. Though extremely rare, and not accepted for registration in most cases, Friesians are occasionally chestnut. The Friesian's average height is about 15.3 hands (63 inches or 1.60 m), although it may vary from 14.2 to 17 hands (between 58 in./1.5 m and 68 in./1.7 m) tall at the withers, and mares or geldings must be at least 15.2 hands (1.57 m) tall to qualify for a 'star-designation' pedigree.[1] The breed is known for a brisk, high-stepping trot. The Friesian is considered a willing, active, and energetic horse that is also gentle and docile. A Friesian tends to have great presence and to carry itself with elegance.

The breed has powerful overall conformation and good bone structure, with what is sometimes called a "Baroque" body type. Friesians have long, arched necks and well-chiseled, short-eared, "Spanish type" heads. Their sloping shoulders are quite powerful. They have compact, muscular bodies with strong sloping hindquarters and a low-set tail. Their limbs are comparatively short and strong. To be accepted as breeding stock in the FPS studbook, a stallion must pass a rigorous approval process.[2]

Today, there are two distinct conformation types. The baroque type has the more robust build of the classical Friesian. The modern, sport horse type is finer-boned. Conformation type is judged less important than correct movement, and both types are common, though the Modern type is currently more popular in the show ring than is the Baroque Friesian.

I have always wanted to own and ride one: large, black, high stepping, and proud. The first time I noticed these spirited steeds was in the movie LadyHawke, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick, and Rutger Hauer. The Friesian has also been the horse of choice for Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro. Friesians have been featured in Tall Tale, Les Visiteurs (Die Besucher), Black Knight (Ritter Jamal), Sleepy Hollow (Christopher Walken), Last Action Hero, Alexander the Great, 300, The Young Black Stallion (Prequel), Running Free, King Arthur (F. with white socks), Eragon, and Sense and Sensibility.

The Friesian is awesome, fiery yet gentle, with a grandly arched neck and long flowing mane, tail, and fetlock hair. He is spirited and powerful, yet easily managed. He is a gentle, but impressive, horse. I adore watching Friesians trot. These movies do an excellent job showcasing the Friesian as a riding horse of note.

So check out some of those movies or just watch these clips:

You must see the movie - song: The secret life of Arabia (David Bowie) album: Heroes


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Cool videos! I must see the movies!

I liked the second video better. The first one made my stomach hurt a little with all that rearing going on!
Friesians are just gorgeous!


IamRockinHorse said...

Yes, it seems they must like to rear because they so easily go up. I especially like the Arab and the Friesian together. I confess, I don't think I've seen that movie!
We DO need to have a "movie night" and watch some of those movies.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the horse in the photo is beautiful and I would love to see those movies.
I also enjoyed reading all about the Friesians.
Good post.
have a great weekend.

IamRockinHorse said...

I think they are classic looking, a true mix of grace, power and beauty.

Thanks for visiting GA FarmWoman!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hey Val,
Check out this White 75% Friesian. He's gorgeous!

Blog about White Friesian


White Friesian Article


IamRockinHorse said...

He's gorgeous! I have heard of red Friesians but never white. I wonder if they gave him a dye job??

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

haha. I don't think so, but I found so more for you to check out:

Appy/Friesian Sport Horses


Another White Friesian


IamRockinHorse said...

That's a very pretty Appy but somehow I'd rather see them mixed with the Knabstrup . I don't care for American Appaloosa eyes- third eyelid thing-sclera unless the Knabstrup has it too?