PetMD Editorial

Published Jan. 2, 2010

One of the most common horse breeds in Switzerland is the Freiberg. Typically, it is used for riding and pulling light carts. The Freiberg is also known as the Freiberger, the Franches-Montagnes and Jura.


Physical Characteristics


The Freiberg is associated with the Arab breed. Its head resembles that of an Arab, and is straight with an extensive forehead and pointed ears. The neck is well-developed and strong. Freibergs have brawny withers and strong loins. The shoulders are broad. The chest is a bit deeper than other horses and well-built. The Freiberg has petite legs with steady joints as well as solid hooves. The coat is thick, and the mane and tail have rich hair, with the legs having ample coating.


There are two types of Freiberg. The first type has a stronger build and muscular joints, and the second type has a lighter build which is fit for riding.


Personality and Temperament


Being docile, the Freiberg is easy to control. These horses are famous for working in farms and carrying heavy loads, especially in mountainous areas. Even though this breed is docile, it is active and steadfast. This breed is considered to be determined and have great endurance. It is useful in traveling on steep mountains because it has a steady and even gait.


Because the Freiberg has existed for quite a long time, cross-breeding has been used to enhance the physical characteristics of the breed. At the dawn of industrialization, the Freiberg changed into a riding horse from a draft horse.


History and Background


The Freiberg existed during the 19th Century and is a mixture of the bloodlines of purebreds such as the Thoroughbred, the Jura and the Anglo-Norman. During wartime, these horses were used for military service as well as farm work. They served as a support system in the front line and were utilized to carry supplies or pull heavy artillery.  When cross-breeding was developed, the Freiberg gave its characteristics to other breeds.

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