Bit of an odd question - jumping friesians?

Discussion in 'General' started by PGStudent, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. PGStudent

    PGStudent New Member

    So, today I had a day off and was playing the 'What horse would you buy if you had £10,000?' game, which led me to having a good dribble over the friesian websites.

    Anyway, on to the stupid question. I keep seeing the new type lightweight friesians advertised as sport horses, but only in the context of dressage and driving. Is there any good reason why a lighter weight horse couldn't showjump or event? Are they intrinsically rubbish at it? I know a few people who have jumped theirs, but the advertising seems to be so decisively dressage-oriented that I was wondering if I'm missing a trick somewhere...
  2. beating_hooves

    beating_hooves Addictee

    I think it's because their immense beauty and paces means that they are extremely sought after in the dressage and carriage horse industry hence why they mention their ability/potential in those discliplnes in the adverts.

    I'm sure many friesians would enjoy jumping, they just haven't been bred for it.
  3. palmerlover52

    palmerlover52 New Member

    From my very limited knowledge, I know a lot of them have initial problems with maintaining canter so a potential problem, but I don't see why not! Most horses can have a good jump with training, but I've no idea if they can go up to much height?

    Will be keeping an eye on this one, but I reckon beating_hooves has got it spot on really!
  4. stroppymare

    stroppymare New Member

    Friesians can jump but are not built for it and regularly jumping a friesian could cause suspensory ligament and tendon damage.
  5. garnet2424

    garnet2424 Abi&Merlin

    I spoke to a Friesian breeder last year at HOYS and she said that if your looking for a jumping horse, don't bother with friesians.
    She didn't explain why though :eek:
  6. Sexy Sietske

    Sexy Sietske New Member

    They have a fantastic jump, my friesian cleared a 4ftx2ft hedge as a yearling to join the cows :rolleyes:

    They are rubbish at cantering though, it has taken Sietske a good 3 years to find out what her feet are ment to when she is cantering but still doesnt canter for very long... just pounds across the field at a 100mph extended trot :p and dont really have the stamina or build for jumping/eventing.

    At a beginnings/novice level or just for fun I think they would be ok but definately not a world beater in those areas :p
  7. Chloe's Slave

    Chloe's Slave New Member

    I had a friend who got herself a friesian, he was only four, four and a half, but when she tried to jump him over a practically tiny pole he tripped and rolled over on top of her. Don't know whether he's just especially clumsy lol, that's my only experience.
  8. cinammontoast

    cinammontoast New Member

    I was told by my old RI that 'all horses can jump 3 feet' Dunno how true it is. There were lots of posts last year about cobs being unable to jump but mine can! OK, it sounds like the building might come down but he was fine-I won't do it loads cos he's a chunky monkey, but he's able to do it. I personally wouldn't try it if as stroppymare says, maybe it leads to suspensory ligament damage. They are typically carriage horses so it's not in the breeding but all horses (bar lazy ruddy cobs) hoon around in the field-ours has a X country course in it!
  9. Yummymummy

    Yummymummy New Member

    They can jump, however due to their confirmation they are not great at it commonly. Friesians are also prone to lower leg impact damage due to their high leg action, this also doesnt help with cantering which again due to their confirmation, high knee action etc, they do find difficult.

    however I have seen occasionally friesians jumping and doing very well at it.

    Mac loves trotting poles, but we have yet to try jumps! cant wait! just dont know what he will do :D
  10. Jessica23

    Jessica23 New Member

    Check out my thread "possible husband for Una" - there is a showjumping and eventing friesian stallion on there.

    There is also a stallion in America doing Advanced eventing.

    They can jump, but you'd have to pick the conformation carefully. You dont want exaggerated leg action in front or behind (which is what the FPS wants of course lol) and you dont want an overly upright horse. So if you go for a horse that isn't the FPS version of a good friesian, you'd probably be more likely to get a jumping horse lol!!

    I do find it amusing that people say that friesians cant jump because they get tendon and ligament injuries, when there are many doing advanced level dressage :D Dressage is as high impact on legs and joints, if not even more so, than dressage when done at that level and you will find more dressage horses with tendon injuries than jumping ones, so it doesnt quite follow on that a friesian can do high level dressage, but will go lame jumping....

    ETA - My Una jumped out of the 4ft post and railed field twice before i thought to put electric fencing up lol! She has a lovely technique :D And she also has a pretty balanced canter, especially for a youngster, we can even do circles without falling over! So i think it depends on the individual horse also, as with any other breed.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  11. Blitzen

    Blitzen New Member

    they can jump, just not really designed/built for jumping.
  12. stroppymare

    stroppymare New Member

    Can't think for a minute why that would amuse you....???!! Jumping and Dressage put completely different demands and stresses on different joints and I wouldn't imagine that anyone with an ounce of sense would compare the two??
    Then again, I can't imagine for a minute why someone would want to buy a horse not designed for jumping when they intend to jump competitively, when there are breeds already designed for the job - would you buy an irish cob when you really wanted a racehorse??!! You buy the breed best suited to the job you intend to do - theres a good reason why there are no friesians at Olympia - but perhaps you know better than generations and generations of dutch breeders?! Maybe you should research the breed which you own more thoroughly??!
  13. horse__obsessed

    horse__obsessed New Member


    ANY horse can get suspensory ligament damage from jumping. The OP wasnt stating she wanted to jump competitively, she was asking if there was any theoretical reason they couldnt.

    Jumping low level unaff SJ or eventing is very different to jumping at olympia!

  14. stroppymare

    stroppymare New Member

    Yes, and I believe the OP has received a valid theoretical reason that they should not (not could not). Certain breeds of horses are more susceptible to suspensory ligament and tendon damage than others - Friesians being one - whether it's regular unaff SJ or not.

    They are neither bred nor built for showjumping...end of.
  15. Jessica23

    Jessica23 New Member

    Wow, Stroppymare VERY apt username :D

    No one on here has said they want to jump competitively, there is no reason any breed of horse cannot jump at a novice-intermediate level. Shire horses are not bred for jumping but a shire x won the hickstead derby.

    I did not say i was comparing the two, i said Dressage causes more impact on the joints than showjumping. Thats not comparing is it, thats stating facts. Have you see a horse doing a piaffe?? That is more likely to knacker the joints than landing over a 3ft jump, and because people dont realise the problems it can cause they are more likely to train dressage horses for the advanced moves younger and more intensively than those training jumping horses.

    I bought my friesian because i love the breed, i love the look of them, the way they ride and the temperment. I was a very serious showjump and event rider in the past but where, please tell me, have i made reference to jumping my friesian at that level?? I have said countless times on this forum that i will TRY jumping with her when she is old enough, and if she doesnt like it i will try something else. I am not aiming to compete "seriously", but i see no reason a friesian cannot be an alrounder for someone who doesnt have crazy ambitions of jumping at the olympics. If i was aiming for that i would have bought a proven jumping horse and probably not a friesian :rolleyes:

    Not everyone buys a horse to compete, some people believe it or not, buy a horse because they love the breed, and will do whatever they feel best for their individual horse. The OP made no mention of the Olympics or jumping competitively, just asked whether friesians can jump, and yes, they can and they ARE competing well now they are given a chance.

    So maybe just calm yourself down a bit before your start criticising people for buying their horses :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  16. Jessica23

    Jessica23 New Member

    The old fashioned baroque horses were bred to pull a plough, does that mean we shouldn't try riding them??

    Your "logic" makes no sense in this day and age, horses have to learn to do a job that they weren't originally bred for, and as the FPS says themselves, they are aiming to breed a more adaptable horse capable of competing in more than just driving and dressage :)
  17. stroppymare

    stroppymare New Member

    After being involved with the breed and breeders for more years than I care to remember, my logic is just plain common sense - Jessica, go visit a dutch breeder and tell him you want to buy one of his Friesians to compete'll still hear him laughing when you get home!

    The FPS breeding objectives are indeed to produce a horse more suitable for Sport - that is not solely showjumping.

    I've never said that Friesians can not jump, they can, but because of the way a Friesian is built (even if it is more modern) they are more susceptible to sustaining serious injury and damage - that is the practical point of view. From another angle, competing an average Friesian horse (and I know there can always be exceptions to the rule) in Showjumping, it is also high probability that you are not going to be particularly successful because you are competing against horses which are bred and built for the purpose.

    I correct myself - I wasn't referring to OP but rather Jessica23 when I was talking competitive jumping because I do believe I have read a post by Jessica23 stating that she was hoping to compete Friesian bsja when old enough.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  18. Jessica23

    Jessica23 New Member

    Stroppymare - Presumably you have never competed BSJA? You seem to think that any BSJA is "serious competing". I am not talking about jumping at Hickstead and the Olympics, thats not what BSJA is. I would prefer to jump my horse over affiliated rather than unaffiliated courses because usually you will get a better venue, better courses and better fences. I'd hope she'd do newcomers - foxhunter level (about 3'6 - 3'9) but i'd be starting her in the very smallest classes, you work up the levels if your horse has the ability....

    Having spoken to MANY friesian breeders in the UK, Holland and other parts of the world in my long search for a horse i mentioned to them that i would hope to have a go at jumping, not one of them seemed shocked or amused as you say, infact most of them seemed to think it would be nice to get the friesian recognised as something other than a horse only able to pull a cart or do dressage.

    What other sports are they thinking of doing with these friesians then?? If they are ruling jumping of any sort out, what else other than dressage and driving have your dutch friends told you they want their horses to be doing? Please tell me, i am genuinely interested. Because the people at the FPS i was communicating with made it very clear that they are aiming the horses towards lower level jumping :)

    And stroppymare, you may think that winning is all thats important, but to me, i actually enjoy competing my horses. I may not win with a friesian against TBs and whatever else we have at our low level jumping, but we will certainly have fun!! Im a bit too old, and far too injured these days, to have any crazy hopes and dreams, but i will not have anyone tell me that because of the breed of horse i have i cannot compete in a certain discipline with it. We'll give it a go and see how we do, thats all im wanting :)

    How exactly is a friesian more susceptible than say, an irish cob, clydesdale or shire, to sustaining injury from jumping?? If you are sensible, pick your ground and venues carefully, do not overjump the horse and are wary of how much you are doing, there should be no reason for them to have "serious damage". If they cant stand up to occassional light jumping without their tendons breaking down as you say, then they cant stand up to doing any kind of decent level of dressage and that therefore is a problem with the breed which breeders need to address :)
  19. beanz's mum

    beanz's mum Kilmucklin Girl

    Completely agree with jessica23.

    stroppymare, you are advising J23 to not jump her fresian but in the end, if her fresian has a tendon injury due to jumping, then thats jessica23's mistake that im sure she would learn from (if it were to happen).

    So Tbh, i think you two should leave it at that ;)
  20. vciky

    vciky New Member


    Antsje LOVES to jump! She gets very excited!! We also do regular 'fun rides' of around 10 - 12 miles long and we mainly trot / canter and do lots of jumps so she does have pretty good stamina.

    I do take on board about what breeds are designed to do and she will not outrun a thoroughbred! So if you want a top eventer then a friesian isnt going to do the job - BUT - if like many of us you want a horse that will have a good go at most things to a medium level while looking gorgeous at the same time, then a Friesian is a good choice LOL!!!

    There is some video of Antsje loose jumping on youtube if you search friesian loose jumping ;)

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