Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Magnificent and Magical Creature - The Friesian Horse

Tall, dark and handsome...with four legs, a mane and tail.  The Friesian horse captured my imagination years ago.  He is featured in almost every book I write along with the wonderful Andalusian horse.  Here, if you are unfamiliar with the Friesian horse, I'd like to introduce a special breed. In Ladyhawke, the hero Navarre rode a Friesian. The most prominently used horse was a 19-year-old named Othello.

The Friesian breed originates in Friesland in the Netherlands, Rutger Hauer's native  country.  These splendid horses conform to people’s idea of a light draft horse, and, in fact, were originally used as fancy carriage horses. However, they are nimble and graceful, currently quite popular in show arenas for their lofty movements and shining ebony coats.  The Friesian ranges from 15 to 17 hands, are powerfully muscled, with thick manes and tails and feathers (long hair) at their fetlock joints.  Their neck is high-set and proudly arched. In a word, they are beautiful.

When I wrote Gypsy Ribbons, I envisioned the hero Simon rearing his midnight black Friesian Goliath on the moonlit moor after robbing the King’s Highway.  These horses are massive and have a lot of pizazz, presence supreme, but are quite docile. Goliath would have stood quietly while his master relieved his lordship of his diamond ring and purse, or held still as an ebony statue while Simon courted Tory.

I bred, trained and showed the magnificent Andalusian, but I would have loved to owned a high-school trained Friesian.  They are truly poetry in motion.  The only drawback to Simon’s chosen trade would be Goliath’s elegant movement means he is not as fast as, say a Thoroughbred.  When you are running from the law, knowing if you’re caught you’ll hang, speed is of utmost importance. Ah, but he’d look good doing it!  If you would like to know more about the Friesian, visit the national association.

Four by Moonlight from Class Act Books:

An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal universe.

©       Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.
©       Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.
©       The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.
©       The Gate Keeper’s Cottage – Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.



Diane Burton said...

Linda, what a gorgeous horse! Black Beauty! From your description (and the picture, of course) I can see a Friesian pulling a carriage (a Phaeton?) in a Regency novel, the gorgeous hero holding the reins. Thanks for sharing.

Victoria Craven said...

I find this very interesting. I would love to read about your hero and his horse. I can visualize your both.

Nightingale said...

Thank you both for taking the time to comment. I love the Friesian but I used to breed the Andalusian. Yes, Diane, they were carriage horses in Holland. Virginia, the hero is a highwayman and his horse is as black as the night in which they hide!

CJ Burright said...

Friesians are so beautiful! I grew up with horses, so of course I love them. And I think it's so awesome that a Friesian was used in Ladyhawke, one of the best fantasy romance movies ever!

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Oh, I absolutely love those horses. Just amazing creatures, and yet another reason I love Ladyhawke! Great post.