TheFriesian (alsoFrizian) is ahorse breedoriginating inFriesland, in theNetherlands. Although theconformation of the breed resembles that of a lightdraught horse, Friesians are graceful and nimble for their size. It is believed that during theMiddle Ages, ancestors of Friesian horses were in great demand aswar horses throughout continentalEurope. Through theEarly Middle AgesandHigh Middle Ages, their size enabled them to carry aknight inarmour. In theLate Middle Ages, heavier,draught type animals were needed. Though the breed nearly became extinct on more than one occasion, the modern day Friesian horse is growing in numbers and popularity, used both inharness andunder saddle. Most recently, the breed is being introduced to the field of dressage.