Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Fanatical about Friesians???

WARNING!! WARNING!! Its just a little bit addictive!! I have hankered after a Friesian for years and have to say that now I own one, it has exceeded my WILDEST dreams!! They really are beautiful creatures – inside and out!
But like any breed of beauty it is so easy to get dazzled and not be objective in your task!!
I would always recommend that you consider buying a registered FPS studbook Friesian – purely because a horse entered into the studbook HAS to pass certain criteria set out by the FPS studbook, which will always be in line with their breeding programme. You can therefore be confident of a good quality horse as the FPS grading process is very strict and a surprising amount of horses don’t even get allowed into the Studbook!! After that you can ‘premie’ grades – 1, 2 & 3. A 3rd premie is a good above average Friesian and a 1st premie is a very high quality example of the breed. When a horse is graded at STER or STAR then this is an extremely good example of the breed.

It is quite a challenge to ride a Friesian horse correctly –particularly if you buy a younger horse that hasn’t had so much schooling – as I found out!! The bigger the horses movement, the more balanced you are going to have to be as a rider! The Friesian as a breed can typically be weaker in the stifle and also through the back, this makes them less predisposed to ‘stepping under’ with their hind quarters. If you can re-educate their posture and use exercises that strengthen this area, they soon get the idea as Friesians are VERY intelligent and have a great attitude to work (in the main!)

If you are interested in Friesians or indeed already have a Friesian then I think you will find these articles VERY interesting!

Guide to buying a Friesian Horse from FHAGBI (the UK breed Association)

Friesian Care guide with some great info on training at the end from Elevation Friesians.

A great training article by Sabine Schut-Kerry - sadly it seems a page is missing! But its definitely worth a read!! Legacy Friesians have some great information on there site full stop!

Hope you enjoy the articles and find them as useful as I do!! The training articles are applicable to any horse I feel ;-)


Friesianluv said...

Hi Vicky,
I have been lurking on the EE board for a long time and been enjoying your journey with Antsje in 'aspirations of a dressage junkie'. I have been on a similar journey with my friesian and its been surprising the similarities in our 'roads'. I too have been having right canter difficulties and my boy even has a small sarcoid/wart on his face too (it will be coming off shortly).
Thanks for the links on this blog, there are some of these articles I haven't seen.
Best wishes, keep up the good work with your blog.

Claire said...

helen, you need to join properly then!

so long as your's doesn't ALSO have that thing behind the leg ....

I love reading Vicki's stuff (despite her angst!) as she's always got something interesting to say!

Friesianluv said...

Hi Claire,
I like reading Vickys stuff too, its comforting to know that I am not the only dressage/friesian obsessed person in the world.
Its sad/frightening when your state of mind and happiness is dependant upon whether your horse is sick/lame/refusing to go in the trailer/won't take the correct lead or (wonder of wonders) wins a dressage test. Thank goodness I am not the only one, but how did we get to be like this??

epona said...

HEY!! Welcome to the blog Helen!! WOW! There is another dressage / friesian obssessed person out there WOOOOHOOOOO!!!! So glad you like reading about Antsje and how WIERD that your boy has a sarcoid / wart too!! So TELL ME MORE!! lol! Breeding, age, etc etc etc!!!

Friesianluv said...

Hi Vicky,
I live in Scotland and have a rising 7 year old gelding by Olof 315. I have had him 3 years, getting him as a green 3 and a half year old.
He was imported as a 3 year old by a lovely lady who had wanted a friesian all her life. When he arrived she realised he was just too much horse and more than she could manage. I saw him advertised on Horsemart and that was the day lady luck smiled on me!
I spent a year hacking him out and working on his fitness/basic schooling. I then hit a bit of a problem when I started canter. He wouldn't strike right. I have tried not to get too obsessed with it and concentrated last season on doing walk/trot tests. I was told right canter would come in its own good time and it seems (in the last 3 or 4 months) that it has!!
I am hoping to do some prelims this year and just see how things go.
Oh yes - and I spent about a year trying to overcome his travelling in the trailer issue, but that's sorted now. He needs a pal in the trailer with him (fortunately I have a pony that is a good traveller so problem sorted) but it took a long time for me to sus out what his problem was and how to get round it. This involved me in buying a new trailer after he tried to jump out the front of my Ifor Williams!
I have had a few horses in the past but he is someone very special. I have never had a horse before who responded so well and so demonstrably to being told he was a 'good boy'. I find he is very focussed on me and tries very hard, he's the love of my life.
So you can see why I have been following your story (from lurkdom - sorry).

epona said...

An Olaf baby!!! YAY!! Quite a big moving boy then? This is most likely where you are having the problem with the canter – I think the very big moving horses have trouble containing their power and have a harder job with the flexing of the hocks as opposed to the pushing action which comes more naturally ;-) Luckily, as you have found, they are such triers – once they GET what you are asking then you are away! That is why I have found using the clicker useful – as it was a clear way of me communicating with Antsje. And they LOVE to know they have got it right – sometimes that becomes a problem in itself and they have to keep showing you lol!!! I found working on the lunge helped the canter immensely – have you tried this? I was told that the canter WILL come, it just takes time and patience – this is so true, but you do get to the stage where you think HOW MUCH longer?!?!?!
Id love to see some piccies of him :-) my email is vicky.whitlock@hotmail.co.uk hint hint LOL!!!
I hope you post your experiences here too, our horses sound SO similar, we could learn from each other :-)

Friesianluv said...

Thanks Vicky, I will send you some pics. It will be good to compare notes as we seem to be in the same place training wise.
His canter was so big and powerful he just couldn't control it under saddle and neither could I. Things are settling down now and at last I have some brakes and steering whilst cantering. I did try lunging him at canter but he still went off on the wrong leg when circling right. I found that a course of small jumps and telling him that it was a jumping lesson, not a lesson in right canter, helped a great deal. He enjoyed the little jumps and they helped him get the right strike off. It also seemed to take the pressure off both of us, we weren't doing canter transitions we were jumping - weren't we??

epona said...

hehehehe!! We did a similar thing with the jumping! once both are minds were taken off the canter, the canter just seemed to work lol!!! Lovely piccies you sent - he is VERY handsome :-)