I think to find out what horse becomes your favorite, it very much depends on what you want it for and what your personal history with horses has shown you:
I have had horses since I was a small boy (when I was 8 my parents wanted me out of hosue and gave me away to be raised on a horse farm):
I have lived with horses until my 40īs (when I moved to the med where it is too hot in summer to have and move a horse really), and, I have saddled and driven Arabs, Hannoveranians, Cold Bloods, Quarters, Andalusians, etc. After all those horses and all that time for me there is only one race to be my favorite:
Arabs, I find too nervous for my liking; Cold Bloods too dull though I admire their forc and power; Andalusians, too small; Hannoverans get ill too easily. Friesians
is the way to go!
I have had two of them, "Toro" and "Major", the first was my first horse, the 2nd my last one.
When I started riding the first day (I was 9 then), I was sat on a Haflinger who had nothing better to do than to go straight to the next available tree and scratch his side until I was off... I did not want to go on a horse ever again, but luckily someone brought over that *huge* (double Haflinger size), pitch black beautifully gleaming horse who he claimed had the best character of all on the farm and made me get on it: 10 minutes later I was in paradise!
Toro was blind on one eye from having run into some barbed wire when he was young, and he had the most docile temper you could imagine, despite his size and sheer power he was emanating. Of cause, he became *my* horse, and later, when I was older my parents bought him and I rode him until his death 17 years later.
Maybe it was because he was blind on one side and had to trust you, but you could do anything with that horse: Galloping he would win against our fastest Arabs, never ever shying in front of water or obstacles, super secure in the rockiest or mudiest outdoor scenarios, dressage he would learn as fast as you could show him, in harness and in front of a carriage/coach (as in the picture above) he would trot featherlight for hours without even starting to sweat.
Same thing with "Major": Huge (1.70 mtrs shoulder hight = almost 5.6 feet), pitch black, seemingly cold blooded but as hot as you wanted him, easily carrying two riders for hours or trotting in front of the planwagon loaded with 10 persons without any effort, versatile in outdoors, on hunting or juming, and the most docile, happy and loyal horse you could think of.
That is exactly what I want in a horse:
- I *love* big horses, 1.60-1.70 mtrs shoulder height is right for me
- I love sheer power combined with elgance and character
- I want robust and versatile "all weather" horse that does not always get ill or that I do not have to bother about when in the snow or the heat.
- I want it for long range outdoor riding, jumping, dressage and carraiage or harness to work.
The Friesian have it all, and: They are simply beatuiful!
A mix of cold and hot blood (they were bred some 2000BC as workig horses until the Spanishc came and crossed in the Andalusian with its hot temperament and grace, they were the preferred breed for knights in the medieval times as they were bread for power, endurance and representation. Later, when carriages and loads became lighter (around 1800) they were modified for trotting races - hence their soft and lightweight trot that does not equal any other: You can go for hours without tiring or geting a sore bum...
Their one disadvantage: They need a lot of care because of those long manes and the vast amount of hari everywhere.
Some pics and vids:
| Is this the most beautiful horse in the world? That, anway is what my Major looked like... |