Sun bleaching

All Friesians (excepting the rare chestnut) are black, a commonly known fact. But not all blacks are created equal. Friesians actually come in a variety of shades of black, ranging from true blue-black to essentially a very dark black brown or bay.

Locking Stifles

Locking stifles or the upward fixation of the patella is often seen in the Friesian breed, sometimes simply as a short term problem in young growing horses, and sometimes as a chronic problem, especially in horses whose hind legs are very straight and stifles upright. The stifle joint itself is a very […]


Also known as pastern dermatitis and grease heel, scratches is a skin irritation commonly associated with draft horses and other breeds with long feathers, though it may also occur in those with very little fetlock hair as well. It occurs most commonly as scabs on the back of the pastern […]

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

OCD is a degenerative joint disease ( a type of developmental orthopaedic disease or DOD) usually found in young, rapidly growing horses who will eventually mature to over 15 hands. As may be expected, Friesians can be prone to the disease, simply due to their size. OCD occurs when cartilage […]


Dwarfism, while certainly not to be described as common in the Friesian breed, is somewhat present. The condition itself is most commonly associated with miniature horses, but does occur more rarely in the larger breeds.

There are two types of dwarfism: achondrodystrophic, which is generally a normally proportioned body with extremely […]

Chestnut Factor

The chestnut factor refers to the occasional birth of chestnut Friesian foals (also referred to in recent years as fox friesians).

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