Friesian horse breed: description, maintenance, feeding and care
Friezes (Frizian) - one of the most beautiful breeds of horses. Throughout their history, they performed a variety of functions. Great looks, good performance and a calm disposition made them extremely popular throughout the world. You can learn more about this beautiful breed of horses in this review.
History of breed origin
The Friesian breed is one of the oldest European breeds. Initially, it developed in the Netherlands, in the province of Frieze. It is believed that the beginning of the breed dates back to the time of the occupation of the Netherlands by Spain in the 16th century.
Spanish heavy trucks crossed with local horses, laying the foundations of a modern frieze as a high-performance draft breed. During the crusades, the heavy carriers accompanying the knights crossed with Arabian horses. As a result, their form acquired a more graceful shape.
The Friesian pedigree book in the Netherlands has been going on since 1879. Now friezes are used in equestrian sports, entertainment centers for children, for performances in the circus.
Description and features of the breed
From harness horses in the Friesian breed there are:
- powerful body;
- wide chest
- wide back;
- developed muscles;
- shaggy foot friezes.
From Arabian horses they got a flexible long neck with an average head and a graceful gait. A distinctive feature of the breed is the black suit, therefore its synonymous name is Belgian black. Another poetic name - “black pearl” - the breed acquired for shiny black skin.
A small asterisk on the forehead is allowed only in mares. The stallion must be completely black. Horses with a different skin tone are excluded from breeding.
A long thick black mane and no less long tail make the friezes easily recognizable. The stallion Frederick the Great also belongs to this breed and is considered the most beautiful horse in the world.
|Appearance of Friesian horses||Description|
|Height at the withers||stallion - 160–173 cm; mare - 153-160 cm|
|Torso length||up to 1.8 m|
|Chest circumference||2 m|
|Head||well-developed "Spanish" type of head|
|Ears||mobile ears slightly inclined to each other|
|Eyes||expressive, large, dark color|
|Neck||long arched neck|
|Mane||lush, thick, long mane|
|Croup||square housing type|
|Tail||long bushy tail|
|Back||the back is broad, muscular with the back inclined|
|Chest||wide chest with curved ribs; powerful, inclined shoulders|
|Legs||moderate limb height ensures correct center of gravity for dressage. On the legs friezes - long, silky hair|
|Hooves||the hooves are massive, correctly formed, even with a narrower front|
Scope of application
Friesian horses are considered friendly, active and energetic, but also gentle and obedient. Stallions are known for their brisk, steppe trot. Representatives of the Friesian breed are used in the visiting team of the Queen of Great Britain, in Disneyland carriages and other amusement parks.The traditional form of the carriage, in which the friezes look just fine, is a wagon on high wheels.
The breed has a powerful general constitution and good bone structure, as well as a "baroque" type of body. The main purpose of the baroque breeds is to work under the saddle in a classic dressage school. They should be able to carry out exercises that require excellent coordination of movements and balance.
Friezes are also very popular when shooting historical and science fiction films, combining a spectacular appearance and absolute tranquility in the frame.Friezes are considered the calmest horses when filming.
They perfectly show themselves both in harness and when moving weights, but they are not used in tricks with jumps due to their heavy weight (600-700 kg).
Friezes are hardy, so they can maintain excellent shape on moderate rations. They do not require special care, but they need attention and good walks. Due to the large size of the stallions, riding them is convenient, and it resembles riding in slow motion, so the friezes are not used in speed competitions.
Properties genetically embedded in harness rocks are calm and obedience.
Did you know? The use of draft breeds in hippotherapy is due to a number of factors. The horse's body temperature is higher than that of a man, and the muscles in the gait perform about 100 differently directed oscillatory movements, which provides the rider with a soft warming massage of those muscles that are not used when walking.
Breeders note that friezes are unique in their ability to develop a strong friendship between the horse and the owner, so they are ideal as a family friend.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Among the advantages of the Friesian breed are noted:
- spectacular appearance;
- calm nature;
- high intelligence;
- good learning ability;
- endurance and performance;
- unpretentiousness in the content.
Friezes are resistant to diseases and do not suffer from pathologies associated with overweight, characteristic of draft breeds. They adapt perfectly to the climate and can quickly adapt.
- The disadvantages of the breed:
- the main disadvantage is the need to carefully monitor the condition of the foot brushes and clean them from burdocks "collected" during a walk;
- the appearance of the horse, including the condition of the coat, directly depends on the quality of the feed obtained;
- not used in horse riding for children due to the large weight and difficulty in driving.
Did you know? The oldest stables in the world were erected by the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II (1304–1237 BC). Here horses were bred for war, hunting and recreation. The stables were discovered in 1999 by a German-Egyptian archaeological expedition. Their area is 17,000 square meters. m. This is the largest area to date.
Is it profitable to breed the Friesian breed of horses
The average market value of representatives of the Friesian breed:
- foal up to 1 year old - $ 7,000–12,000;
- foal of 2-3 years of age - $ 9,000–19,000;
- stallions - $ 12,000–28,000;
- stallions used for breeding - $ 18,000-30,000;
- horses participating in competitions - $ 40,000–100,000;
- continuers of the pedigree line - $ 200,000-600,000.
If you have horses, you can rent them for photographers for photo shoots, newlyweds for organizing wedding rides, private clinics for hippotherapy and other organizations.
In addition, friezes are very large horses. Restaurants are happy to buy a lot of horse meat, as well as other types of exotic meat. Foal meat is a dietary meat, and it is purchased for medicinal purposes.
Some farms organize their own meat processing workshops, which becomes a good addition to the main business, so horse breeding can be a very profitable activity. Its only drawback is the large starting investment.
Features of breeding and care
Despite the unpretentiousness of the content, the friezes still need to create conditions under which their properties will manifest themselves more vividly. So, after each walk, before sending the horse to the stall, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the skin, brushes, tail of dust and seeds of plants.
Their hair requires constant careful care.From time to time, the veterinarian should examine the horse for confirmation of his health.
The diet also requires special attention. A muscular stallion, like an ordinary athlete, requires nutrition aimed at building muscle mass. If the horse is a producer, then the diet must provide high quality seed.
Mares need a diet that promotes milk production. A foal is a balanced diet for good development and growth.Friezes are not intended for keeping them in a herd, so special attention should be paid to their stall and stable. It should be light, warm and spacious. The minimum air temperature is +16 ° C. Still need a high-quality ventilation system with no drafts.
Did you know? The longest horse tail in the world belongs to the JJS Summer Breeze horse from Kansas (USA). The tail length is 381 cm. The record is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records on 23.08.2007.
The design of the stable is carried out taking into account the climatic zone. So, if the normal temperature for a horse is about +16 ... + 18 ° С, then the stable is built from materials that will retain heat well.
In a temperate climate with mild winters, additional heating will not be needed, but in regions with prolonged low temperatures, additional heating must be provided. The correct humidity level is 60–70%. Excessive moisture is eliminated by good ventilation.
Brick is considered to be an excellent material for construction, but stables are also built from adobe brick and wood. The roof must be covered with fireproof covering material with high water resistance. The floor is made of adobe. This is a specific “pillow” on the soil made of layers of rubble, lime and clay.
Floor repair and clay replacement is performed once a year. The floor is made inclined with a slope of 1.5 cm from the outer wall to the inside of the room. This is necessary for the convenience of cleaning urine and manure.Natural lighting is done with windows. The calculation of the area is performed according to the formula: for 15 square meters. m of floor - not less than 1 square. m windows. The window height is 1.8 m from the floor to exclude the presence of bright sunlight at the level of the horse’s eyes.
In the stable equip two doors at the ends of the building. In the middle of the stable there is a wide passage for the transport of feed for harvesting machines and the passage of horses.
Ventilation system - supply and exhaust. The diameter of the ducts is not less than 0.5 square meters. A feature of the system is a two-level wiring of air ducts: the upper one is for removing light gases, the lower one is for removing heavy gases. According to the norms, for every 10 individuals 1 exhaust pipe is needed.
Each horse is equipped with a separate stall. Its dimensions are 3.7 x 4.3 m. Since horses are inquisitive and contact, then the piers consist of 2 parts. The lower one, to a height of 1.6–1.7 m, is continuous - this will exclude the appearance of drafts, and the upper trellised - so that the horses can communicate: see and hear each other.
The feeder is installed in the corner of the stall at a height of 1 m. In shape it is an elongated trapezoidal drawer with a depth of 30 m. Length - 1–1.2 m. The width of the upper part is 60 cm, the lower one is 40 cm.
Only hay along with grass in the diet of the frieze will not be enough. The diet will necessarily include cereals, vegetables, minerals. The feed consists of three stages: the first - hay, the second - succulent feed and root crops, and the third - grain. They feed horses twice a day in summer and three times in winter.
Calculation of the mass of feed is performed based on the mass of the horse. For every 100 kg of weight, you need 5 kg of feed. The diet is adjusted and depending on the time of year. So, if in the summer the horse can get more grass and juicy food will be more diverse, then in winter the lack of vitamins is compensated by special additives.Estimated daily amount of feed (in kg):
- oats - 5;
- hay - 10;
- bran - 1;
- root crops - 2-3.
Friezes are big sugar lovers, so this delicacy should be present in your communication with your pet.
But the horse cannot be fed with food that causes fermentation in the intestines:
- fresh bread;
- vegetables and fruits.
From vegetables, horses can only have carrots, and from fruits, apples. Vitamin supplements are necessary only if the diet of the animal is not balanced. If signs of a lack of vitamins are noticed, then additional substances in the diet can be introduced on the recommendation of a veterinarian.
Important! Fries should not be fed for cows. They have a different organization of the digestive system and different requirements for the content of nutrients.
In the summer, horses sweat, like people. Together with then they lose a lot of liquid, and with it salts and a certain amount of protein. Therefore, it is important that the horse always has access to water. Sweat promotes the elimination of sodium (Na), potassium (K), chlorine (Cl) and magnesium (Mg) from the body. Sodium and chloride are the main components of horse sweat.To replenish them in the trough must always be lick salt. Salt replaces only sodium and chloride, which the horse lost, but if he did not sweat a lot, then the other components are not so important.
The bad news is that certain types of feed increase your pet's body temperature. Having consumed such food, the horse will feel just as if you were drinking hot tea in a sweater in the summer sun. The culprit of fever is protein.
A large amount of protein is found in lupine, alfalfa, soy flour. Make sure that the total amount of protein consumed per day does not exceed 10% of the diet. This is the correct ratio for all horses who do not participate in sports and are not in the lactation period.
Excess hay can also increase body temperature. Therefore, its amount should not be less than 7 kg and more than 15 kg per 500 kg of horse weight. Grass content can be much higher. We are talking about green and lush grass, but not dry, burnt out under the sun.
The summer norm of water is up to 50 liters per day. In the summer, various microorganisms multiply rapidly in water, so the drinker should be cleaned regularly, and the water should be fresh.
Important! Dehydration often causes colic and indigestion, so provide your pet with constant access to clean water.
A prerequisite for the well-being of the frieze in winter is a sufficient amount of energy in the diet to maintain a healthy body temperature. Consumption will depend on the ambient temperature.A temperature below 0 degrees causes energy consumption at the rate of 1% increase in digestible energy for each temperature drop of 1 ° C. To properly feed your pet in the winter months, you must ensure the availability of water, fiber and nutrients.
An adult horse (500 kg) in cool weather requires a minimum of 25–35 liters of fresh clean water per day. If this is a lactating mare, then the amount of water is increased by 50%. When the auto-drinker is installed in the stable, the frieze itself will adjust the amount of fluid consumed.
Water must necessarily be warm (from +7 to +20 ° C), otherwise it will have to spend additional energy on its internal heating.
The frieze needs to get hay (fiber) at least 1.5% of its body weight. For an animal weighing 500 kg, this is equivalent to 7.5 kg of hay per day. Fiber obtained from hay is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Without this, the animal will look for other sources of fiber, including bedding and wooden fences or trees, to satisfy the need. Unlike hay, grain does not produce a large amount of heat, so in winter a pet can lose weight.
A common source of supplemental protein, vitamins, and minerals is fortified feed concentrate.When choosing concentrated feeds, make sure that they give 1/3 of the recommended amount of nutrients. Highly concentrated granulated feeds contain a balanced concentrate that is absorbed gradually, providing the horse with a sufficient amount of biologically active substances.
Did you know? Lack of hay or poor-quality hay in the winter diet causes chronic weight loss. High-quality and nutrient-rich is considered hay harvested before the herbs begin to bloom.
How to care for a horse
Horse care (grooming) should be regular. Grooming establishes a trusting relationship between a horse and a master. This helps to achieve a good understanding. First of all, you need a separate place where you can safely clean the horse and put it in order after a walk.The frieze must be tied so that during the procedures he does not go about his business. Cleaning outside the stables prevents the entry of parasites - ticks and other bloodsuckers - into the stall.
You will need a rubber brush to clean the cereal after a walk. Cleaning is performed by circular massaging movements. The pet's face and legs are cleaned with a soft brush so as not to damage delicate skin. If you see dust that rises from the croup along with your movement, then cleaning is normal.
Otherwise, dirt remaining on the skin can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Brushing improves blood flow and internal organs.
The mane and tail are the main decorations of the frieze. So that they are always beautiful, they are not only combed, but also braided in braids. Once every 1-2 weeks from the tail and brushes you need to comb out the seeds of plants that have got there with a wide comb. If some hairs are too long, they are trimmed, but the hairs on the ears are never trimmed.
They protect the horse's ears from dust and insects.
Hoof cleaning is performed after each walk, removing pebbles, turf, and other items. Trimming is carried out every 2 months. Regular inspection of the hooves helps to detect problems in time: cracks, lameness. The V-shaped area is thoroughly cleaned with a brush and never with metal objects, that is, this is a very sensitive place on the horse.
Bathe the pet as needed. Bathing stimulates blood circulation and improves heart function. Examination of the oral cavity is necessary at least 1 time in 2 weeks. The redness, inflammation, problems with chewing, intense salivation should be reported to the veterinarian.Manure is cleaned regularly from manure. First, solid feces are removed, and then liquid together with dirty litter. The drinker should be cleaned daily. Feeders can be cleaned once a week. Repair of adobe floors, as well as general disinfection, can be carried out once a year.
Important! Cleaning helps the owner to notice skin defects in time: wounds, traces of insect bites, treat them and prevent the inflammatory process and infection.
Pregnancy and childbirth
Starting from 1.5 years the horse is considered sexually mature, but the general development of the body lasts from 3 to 5 years. A mare can bring 1 foal per year. A stallion is able to become a father of about two hundred foals a year.
Foals can walk and run a few hours after birth. They can eat grass, concentrates or hay in a few days, although breast milk will be the main source of nutrition. They can be separated from their mothers just three months after giving birth, but most breeders keep them together much longer.
The gestation period is approximately 340 days, or 11 months. In the natural environment, mares mate in the summer, and foals in the spring, when the pastures are full of lush grasses. After mating, the mares may not show any visible signs of pregnancy during the first three months.
Pregnancy can be confirmed by ultrasound 2 weeks after mating.Testing of blood and urine will give the correct answer 2-3 months after mating. During pregnancy, the horse is periodically examined by a veterinarian in order to notice the problem in time and fix it.
After 3 months of development, the foal is fully formed and looks like a small horse. After 6 months, the pregnancy becomes noticeable. During the rest of the period, fetal development continues.2 weeks before the birth, the udder expands and a sticky yellowish liquid is released from it. After 315 days, colostrum may be released. The tail muscle relaxes. The abdomen begins to sag. Shortly before birth, the expectant mother becomes restless and looks for a place for childbirth.
To do this, she should have a place with a good litter.
A mare can go to bed and stand up many times and can give birth while standing or lying down. An amniotic sac will appear first, and then the front hooves and nose. At this stage, the foal is usually born within a few minutes. Sometimes he goes backward.
Because of this, the mare can be injured, so childbirth requires the mandatory professional attention of a veterinarian.
During pregnancy, the mare needs to provide a balanced diet. Food should be rich in protein and energy. If a special mixture is purchased for a mare, then it can be mixed with finely chopped hay.
Hay must be harvested from spring herbs rich in nutrients. Pay attention to the nutritional standards indicated on the food packaging.
Did you know? The oldest twin horses are the Tiff and Griff stallions of the Cremello breed. They were born in 1982, spent their whole lives together, riding kids in the London Zoo.
It is also important to vaccinate on time according to the schedule that the veterinarian will offer. It is advisable to walk horses in an area protected from dogs and other potential aggressors. If, before pregnancy, a mare participated in competitions, then during walking it is necessary to leave light exercises.
To exclude the possibility of disease, preventive measures must be followed. When communicating with a horse, be sure to pay attention to all changes in his behavior - this will help to recognize the disease in time and begin treatment. Schedule a veterinarian examinations regularly to make sure your pet is healthy.
Be sure to follow the vaccination schedule. Common vaccinations include tetanus, eastern and western encephalomyelitis, equine flu, equine herpes, and rabies. Also regularly need to give anthelmintic and provide protection measures against skin parasites.
The teeth of horses continue to grow throughout life. Eating grass and hay helps to wash your teeth, but they still need to be inspected regularly. Problems are noticeable if the horse eats on one side, refuses certain types of food, begins to lose weight, he has abundant salivation, you notice gum inflammation.
The stall must be clean. A horse can sleep while standing, but he needs a place to periodically rest while lying down and still not get dirty. The frieze needs the opportunity to communicate with others. Make sure that he has enough communication in the stable. He can see other horses and communicate.
While in the stable, the animal must be protected from the effects of temperatures above +20 ° C and below 0 ° C. This can cause illness. It is also important that animals do not suffer from excessive moisture. Dampness causes mold and the active reproduction of pathogenic microflora.
It should also be borne in mind that on a walk the horse can eat poisonous or contaminated plants. Signs of poisoning can be diarrhea, general lethargy, refusal to eat. In this case, you should immediately call the veterinarian.The spectacular appearance of the friezes makes them popular among equestrian schools and amusement parks.Breeders use them to breed new breeds, and unpretentiousness, power and endurance are quite suitable for farmers, so for breeders it always makes sense to breed this beautiful breed.