One of the things our daughter Jill does as a graphic designer at PrintSource is to provide a magazine advertisement for Friesian horses, a light draft animal, very graceful and nimble for their size.
The Friesian is most often recognized by its black coat color, though color alone is not their only distinguishing characteristic. Friesian horses also have a long, thick mane and tail, often wavy, and "feathers" — long, silky hair on the lower legs, deliberately left untrimmed. The official breed rarely has white markings of any kind; most registries allow only a small star on the forehead for purebred registration.
During the Middle Ages, it is believed the ancestors of Friesians were in great demand as war horses throughout continental Europe.
Their size enabled them to carry a knight in armor. Although they became almost extinct whenever draft animals were needed. Today, however, the Friesian horse is growing in numbers and popularity in both harness and under the saddle — in fact the breed has been introduced near Tyndall at Liberty Friesians, L.L.C. by Marvin and Joan Dixon.
Phyllis and Jill drove out to see them the other day and were surprised by the number of Friesians they owned. The Yankton gals walked freely amongst some of them. They were the friendliest of beasts, and they wanted to take them home! They fed them apple-flavored biscuits out of their hands.
The horse that Jill wrote about is a purebred stallion named Cadence of Honor Bright. Can you imagine calling for a horse by that name?
I wanted to do what the gals experienced that day, but I had something else to do.
I thought my wheelchair would spook them but Joan Dixon said they would be okay if I came riding in a chariot.
Phyllis liked the way the Friesians smelled — and I wished her happy sniffing! At least she got her way.
Today the Friesians remain popular as a carriage horse because of it's power and high stepping action. They have been featured in movies and television appearances — however, I don't think they were ever in any of the Tom Mix and Ken Maynard movies that I saw!
© 2009 Robert F. Karolevitz