Frequently Asked QuestionS
What are Friesians?
The Friesian horse hails from Friesland in the Northwest region of the Netherlands. This ancient breed was originally used as the favored mount of knights because of its easiness to train and eagerness to work, along with its kind disposition and ability to carry the heavy weight of the armored mount while remaining agile and brave on the battlefield. These characteristics are still inherited by today's Friesians and are what make the Friesian an ideal show horse and pleasure horse alike.
Before the Industrial Revolution, Friesians made superb farm animals capable of pulling heavy loads in the fields, while also being elegant enough to be put in front of the most prominent carriages. Although the Industrial Revolution and the advent of the tractor made friesians obsolete on the farm, their beauty and versatility saved them from extinction. Today, the Friesian is the Royal Dutch Breed and is unequaled by any other in carriage driving. The Friesian's versatility also makes them talented dressage, hunt seat, western, and saddleseat mounts. Their easiness to train also makes them popular in circus acts and public exhibitions.
Is a Friesian the right choice for me?
That depends entirely upon the type of work you would like the horse to perform. If you would like a showy horse that likes to perform in the arena, or would prefer a quite, steady trail ride or to clear small jumps, then the Friesian is a good choice of breed. Keep in mind that the friesian breed has heavy horses in it's ancestry, so if you're looking for a horse that will win a distance race at the track or clear hight jumps, then you should consider one of the lighter breeds.
Contrary to popular belief, Friesians do not eat significantly more than the lighter breeds and are economical to keep. They typically get along well with other stall mates and adjust quickly to new environments.
From an ancient war horse to an elegant lady's mount, this breed can do it all.
How do I buy a Friesian?
Unlike other Friesian importers and breeders, at Friesian Focus we own and house ALL our horses on-site giving us intiate knowledge of all our horses, their ability and disposition. At Friesian Focus, we pride ourselves with matching individuals to the right horse. It is therefore our policy that you are REQUIRED to visit our horses and our facility IN PERSON. We do NOT sell horses online or by phone. During your visit, our on-site professional horse trainer and handlers will assist you in selecting the horse that is best suited to your individual skill level and style of riding and/or driving. We strongly recommend that you bring your own horse trainer with you to aid you in your selection process.
You will be able to try any horse that suits your ability level while enjoying our generous hospitality. We strongly encourage you to return for at least one repeat ride and/or drive before making your final decision. Your horse is your life-long partner. It's worth the extra time to be sure it is the right fit for you. Friesian Focus will happily assist you with lodging reservations. Our on-site guest quarter is also an option when available. We look forward to being your hosts on your search for the perfect horse.
Chorioptic Mange, sometime referred to as "Mok", "Scratches" or "Mud Fever" is very common in feathered horses. It is a form of Equine Pastern Dermatitis that is caused by a parasitic skin mite and is characterized by dry scales and crusts around the pasterns. Mange irritates the horse's skin making the animal itchy and uncomfortable. Affected horses often stamp their feet or chew at their heels in response to the irritation. If left untreated, thickening of the skin and/or sores may also develop. Mites may also spread to other areas of the body and to other horses.
What is Mange?
Because there are many different causes for Equine Pastern Dermatitis, getting an accurate diagnoses from your vet for the underlying cause of the irritation is essential. Treatment will then depend on the type of Equine Pastern Dermatitis present. Chorioptic Mange is often difficult to treat because many horses develop secondary infections as a result of scratching and irritation that cannot be cured by one single remedy. Simply killing the mites will not kill a secondary bacterial infection for example. Therefore, you and your vet should consider multiple treatments as opposed to a single remedy.
At Friesian Focus, we have been able to keep Chorioptic Mange in check as follows:
- Provide a clean, dry stall for all horses.
- Avoid muddy or wet pastures and paddocks.
- Keep feathers as dry as possible.
- Thin out excessive feathers to decrease moisture retention. Clip the under layers and leave the top layer long. This will still give the appearance of thick feathers while allowing air to reach the skin.
- Keep hair on lower limbs clipped.
- Examine pasterns regularly for signs of scales and crusts.
- Treat mildly affected areas with Frontline (available online in large doses).
- Shampoo moderately affected areas with an antiseptic microbicidal shampoo like Betadine Scrub.
- Some barns also use antifungal selenium sulphide based shampoos like Selsun Blue or Lime sulfur dips.
- Depending on your vet's diagnosis, antibiotics and/or steroids may also be useful in the management of your horse's particular form of Dermatitis.
Akucewich, et al: Equine Pastern Dermatitis in Compendium: Quine Edition, July/Aug 2007, 214 � 227.
Pilsworth, R.C., and Knottenbelt, D.C. Skin Diseases Refresher Chorioptic Mange in Equine Veterinary Education, (2005) 17 (3) 116-117.