What do you think about friesians and PRE horses?

Im going to buy a horse this year and i have always wanted a friesian horse or a PRE. What do you think about the two breeds? Im a allround rider towards dressage and want to develope in dressage with this horse, im very interested in tricktraining and natural horsemanship.
So basically, tell me everything about these breeds and which one is your favorite.

Based on limited exposure and some general knowledge:
Friesians were developed for carriage driving, and though there is some move towards more of a sport horse type, most still have the upright neck, high head carriage; it can be a challenge to get them to drop the neck and work through their backs. If you live in the south, they can struggle some with the heat/humidity.
I am currently leasing a lusitano, which is not much different than the PRE. These horses are known for being smart and wanting to please; they can also be “over achievers”, trying to anticipate your next aid, and getting quick or excited. They are also supposed to be brave - the one I’m leasing NEVER looks at anything as if he is worried; hasn’t spooked or scooted or any “OMG” sort of movements. He remembers everything. Even when he gets a bit hot he’s not scary to ride, just takes a bit to get him to settle.
I love the ride of the Lusitano; they are light, compact, forward thinking and fun. I could easily see myself buying one in the future. IMO they are more designed for dressage than the Friesian. I’ve ridden two friesians, they didn’t do much for me…

I’ve only owned a PRE (years ago, a stallion, in partnership), never owned a Friesian but board with a person who does. So my experience is more first hand with PRE, having also traveled to Spain and Portugal to see/ride them.

In comparing the two ( imo, and of course individual horses are individuals) , in general, the PRE have better canters and more innate ability to collect and do high school work than most Friesians. Of course there are some Friesians now doing well in dressage and competing at highest level, but for the broad range of horses, PRE tends to have centuries bred in for balanced canters, in fact, in some, their canter is better than trot in quality though the trot is good two, balanced and pure though not as lofty as a Freisian. Friesians seem to vary in temperament and stamina (and tend to be larger, though some breeders have been breeding the PRE up for size in America). Each breed has its fans of course and no doubt some lovely prospects around in either breed. I’d say for in hand and long line training, the PRE goes back centuries and with somewhat smaller gaits and compact size seem well suited for it. Very people oriented breed and the stallions usually have great temperament’s and don’t need to be gelded ( they tend to be in US because of custom and easier to board them, most don’t’ need it and can be stabled quietly with others )

Of course there are variations of individuals…but they are different breeds, and the Lusitanos I have known are a bit hotter" than the PRE…, more sensitive , quick reacting and athletic. Lusitanos tend to cost more $ than PRE as there are less of them. Like any other breed that got popular fast, there was some over breeding of PRE in the states in last 2 decades .

PRE tend to be ammie friendly and forgiving of rider.

If you go the Friesian route, make sure you look for ones bred to be ridden or as all around horses. The ones that are strongly carriage bred can be a bit brutal to ride. We have some really lovely sport-type ones around here, complete with lovely canters (which can also be an issue for carriage-types) that I would absolutely consider.

I have some experience with friesians (boarding in a breeding barn of them and rode a few of them, showed one of them.) I have no experience with PRE, a little experience with lusitanos.

Friesians, you must get one bred to be a sport horse like stated a few times above. The ‘carriage type’ are wicked hard to ride and I would think would be hard to get lofty and supple for dressage. The sport horse type are easier but it is still a ‘heavy type’ breed. All the friesians I’ve known have had fantastic temperaments and were very ammie and even beginner friendly. I have a friend who owns one who her 4 year old son rides solo, bareback in a bitless bridle and has shown. I would definitely consider a well bred for sport friesian.

The Lusitanos I knew were both very hot and not ammie friendly. They were beyond gorgeous and were fantastic upper level dressage horses ridden by a trainer. I would be picky about temperament in this breed. Although, it sounds like from above that the PRE is maybe a bit more laid back?

Just my $.02 for whatever that is worth.

EVERY Lusitano I have been around is far hotter and more sensitive than a even the most energetic PRE. The PRE has what is called “Brio”, a kind of showy, majestic prance and arch neck proud way of going, most of them are not really hot , their carriage just makes them look that way. Whereas the Lusitano is bred to be very sensitive and super reactive/athletic, and also a challenging horse as well…they have to be to stare down a bull in the bull ring and turn on a dime an inch away from the horns with the rider having no hands on reins . In Spain the Troedor fights on foot with the PRE horses used more as show pieces to distract bull and please the crowd, wheras in Portugal they fight the bull and kill it from horseback, so the Lusitano’s bred in Portugal have to be brave and fast enough to do that…they will challenge a person who is not adept enough for them, not out of meanness but out of self preservation, they simply can not deal with clumsy or heavy aids.

[QUOTE=2tempe;7620630]I am currently leasing a lusitano, which is not much different than the PRE. These horses are known for being smart and wanting to please; they can also be “over achievers”, trying to anticipate your next aid, and getting quick or excited. They are also supposed to be brave - the one I’m leasing NEVER looks at anything as if he is worried; hasn’t spooked or scooted or any “OMG” sort of movements. He remembers everything. Even when he gets a bit hot he’s not scary to ride, just takes a bit to get him to settle.
I love the ride of the Lusitano; they are light, compact, forward thinking and fun. I could easily see myself buying one in the future. IMO they are more designed for dressage than the Friesian. I’ve ridden two friesians, they didn’t do much for me…[/QUOTE]

This is my Andalusian to a T. He’s ammie friendly, very smart and will try his heart out for me every day.

[QUOTE=ssandraar;7620548]Im going to buy a horse this year and i have always wanted a friesian horse or a PRE. What do you think about the two breeds? Im a allround rider towards dressage and want to develope in dressage with this horse, im very interested in tricktraining and natural horsemanship.
So basically, tell me everything about these breeds and which one is your favorite.[/QUOTE]

Well, I would say that I have extensive experience with both of these lovely breeds. And, I think either breed would be fine for you. The Friesians are less reactive, but have more health issues, with Andalusians being quite hardy. A Friesian will make a rider out of you, and not all trainers can ride them correctly and achieve a horse that is truly forward, correct and on the aids. However, when this is achieved, it is a beautiful sight to behold. Both are excellent for learning tricks and enjoy interaction with their people. I would say go and visit a few of both breeds and see which one you connect with better. I really think they are equally great breeds with neither one being better than the other. :slight_smile:

I’ve handled five Lusitano stallions and they have all been absolutely wonderful. Two have more of a sport horse look, lighter with more shoulder movement, while the others were more compact and tended to have a sewing machine-type of movement, which was more pronounced when they got hot and excited. What they all had in common is that they are extremely easy to sit to. Like, you could hold a full glass of water, sit the trot, and you wouldn’t spill a drop. They also had very good minds, smart, quick to learn, and easy to handle.

You guys are making me want a riding horse again… :slight_smile:

I have a Lusitano mare and I’m guessing mine must be the opposite of what they are supposed to be. She is a super hot hard keeper and dumb as a box of rocks. She can be a fun ride but only if you are 100% on the whole time. I’m sure to smart, sensitive horses (I have Morgans and Arabs other than her) but she makes me want to beat my head against the wall sometimes.

I’ve owned my Friesian for 9 years now and I love him and the breed. They are very personable and friendly horses. They also tend not to spook easily and are calm, not hot horses. They do tend to be LAZY though! If you are looking for a horse that will bend over backwards to please you and constantly look for that praise, the Friesian isn’ for you. Which is fine with me. You have to convince them. My Friesian is sweet and very beginnner friendly. No buck, rear, spook etc. But he will test new riders and see if they will make him work or if he can just walk into the middle of the arena.

There is a pretty wide variety in terms of appearance. Some are tall and lean while others are shorter a stout. Mine is only 15.2hh and pretty thick. In my experience the more “baroque” thicker ones tend to be more calm and novice friendly. My Friesian has a great canter and an okay trot. His trot is very boucing with a lot fo suspension and honestly that’s how every Friesian I’ve known is. But I really can’t say enough good things about them in terms of their disposition and honesty.

Know yourself

They are very different breeds and very likely you will not enjoy one and very much enjoy the other. Friesians are pretty(most very) non-reactive. You might find that one of the Friesian crosses suits you better if you want that look but also more energy and forward thinking. For me the purebreds are calm to a fault and especially in the heat. You CAN have a forward Friesian if you get them young and ride them forward and that is all they know. I laughed at the comment that if you try to do upper level dressage with a Friesian you WILL become a stronger rider from all the active pushing you will have to do. Andys are self propelled but that might not be right for you either. They are much more reactive than Friesians and you would be best if you are a sensitive light rider. Andys are somewhat like Arabs in that they will give you many tries at what you might want and the trick is rewarding the right response before they give you another you don’t want. Again the Andy crosses might give you what you want. Saddle position can be a challenge with both breeds…think riding a tube sock…both breeds can be hard to keep at a good weight as both tend to be easy keepers. Friesians are much more unhealthy with lines prone to colic multiple times, fungus and mites and rot in the feathers. We have found they do best kept simply in pasture. Andys are much healthier but you will have problems with insulin intolerance and other metabolic problems if allowed to be as fat as they would like to be. We cross Friesians on everything and it really is a case for hybrid vigor helping the crosses health wise. We have a couple AndyX and LippizanX and FriesianX and IDX mares we use with an Irish Draught stallion and a Friesian Stallion and a Gypsy Cob stallion. It certainly is not commonly done but we are finding the crosses can give the parts you want and not the parts you don’t want.

So I am not a Friesian lover…I love Irish Draughts…I don’t like the care required in maintaining all that Friesian and Andy hair. However, that may be exactly what gets you all starry eyed…shiny black and hairy may float your boat. We have also have s Gypsy Cob and they are charming and may have better gaits that either the Friesian and Andy for dressage but have some heat issues in the summer but seem better than the Friesians. I would prefer an Irish Draught that is baroque like an Andy. When you define yourself more clearly the choice will be easier. If you want quiet and don’t like sudden scoots or nervous quickness a Friesian would be a better choice. If you don’t like to have to push for everything…I am just lazy…you might be happier with an Andy. Good Luck PatO

How about a Friesian Andy cross then you have a bit of each…( actually I don’t think it would be a good cross, just making a joke!:slight_smile:

My mare is half Friesian/Half Arabian and she loves attention, comes to me even though she can see the halter, and tries her hardest.

I don’t know which part of her is which, but she’s ALL fun.

No first hand experience with PRE’s but they might be something I would consider from what I saw at the breed shows…

Love the friesian look, but after getting my showring time in by showing them for a breeder for a couple of seasons, I know they are definitely not a horse I would spend money on. Compared to my saddlebreds, they act wayyyy too cold blooded, ride like a draft horse, and in my experience, lacked “want to please”. happy as heck to get snuggled and brushed and fussed over and eat cookies, but under tack a very different story. Every one I rode, I felt like I had to give 110% to get even a 50% effort from them.

I’d definitely do my research to make sure I like what I see beyond ‘pretty’.
Shows, trainers, barns, try some. Lots of work to keep a Friesian clean and tidy.

Warlander is the name of that cross. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlander

OMG they did it…crossed a Freisian with a PRE. I don’t like the combination, but nobody asked me lol.

There is a recognized Andy cross in both South America and Europe, the Azteca, QH crosses with PRE and they are tough ranch horses with some of the Andy qualities.