There is a great variety of personality types within the Friesian breed, which allows many types of owners to find the right match depending on their goals and riding levels. Friesians are described as being mischievous, loving, and playful. Horse lovers often describe them as being majestic with a commanding presence. Friesians are known for their friendly, calm, and even temperament. They are intelligent and eager to please their rider.
They also love to play with water, as we can see in this video. Because of their beauty and desirability, people buy them as the fairy-tale horse of their dreams (which they are) but also unaware that, in some cases, shortcuts were taken in their foundational training that needs to be corrected. It’s important to be an educated buyer.
Friesians are willing and enjoy learning, they can have very busy minds and need a committed handler that can redirect them to the right focus and mindset. They may even take a little time to settle in with new owners, as they are learning a new language (if they are imported they likely don’t know English) and starting a new relationship.
Most Friesians have a lot of “go” and they are sensitive horses. Make sure they are the right breed for you and you are ready for the commitment. Just like with some dog breeds where people love how they look but weren’t prepared for the personality, the same can happen here. A Friesian can end up being a Border Collie in a studio apartment if you make a wrong choice.
Friesians can be “pushy” until they are clear on your boundary, they are able to read our level of confidence with them and when they perceive we are a pushover, they will in turn push on us. Once you establish yourself as the lead horse, you’ll be fine. So laying a riding foundation begins first with a ground foundation. Ground training will set the tone for the entire relationship with your horse.