The following article was written by Wendi Porter. The original can be found HERE.
History is a finicky thing. It is hard to pin down facts, and even harder to find something in writing. This is exceptionally true of the Friesian horse, also spelled in historical texts as Frisian. Horses in history were rarely categorized by breed, but rather by where they were bred and by whom. In the case of Friesians, they come from the country called Friesland. A large territory currently found in the Netherlands, on the beaches of the N orth Sea. The people of Friesland are a strong and hardy stock that ruled the Friesian sea (now known as the North Sea) before the Viking took to the waters (FHANA). They were well known for their farming, their horses and their seamanship.
In the 5th century AD there was a treatise on equine medicine, in which the Friesian was specifically noted. Vegetius wrote, “Thirdly we should mention the Frisians, who are no less speedy and arduous” (YouTube.com). Finding a written passage one the Friesian horse specifically is hard enough, but to be found so amazing that they were considered in the top three breeds of horses in the known world is phenomenal. The top two were the Thuringian and Burgundian horses (YouTube.com).
“The Emperor Charles (reigned 1516 -56) continued Spanish expansion into the Netherlands, which had its Frisian warhorse, noted by Vegetius and used on the continent and in Britain in Roman times. Like the Andalusian, the Frisian bred true to type. Even with infusions of Spanish blood during the sixteenth century, it retained its indigenous characteristics, taking the best from both breeds” (Hyland).
FHANA. FHANA.com. 01 01 2015. 22 07 2015 <http://www.fhana.com/history/>.
Foundation, Fenway. Fenway Foundation.com. 01 01 2011. 22 07 2015 <http://www.fenwayfoundation.com/about_us.html>.
Hyland, Ann. The Warhorse 1250-1600. UK: Sutton Publishing, 1998.
The Beautiful Friesian Horse Part 1. Perf. YouTube.com. Paul J Brennan, 2013.
Wikipedia. Wikipedia. 01 01 2015. 22 07 2015 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friesian_horse#cite_note-8>.