Image Copyright Gerald R Wheeler
Information of interest
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Gypsies will not tolerate a bad tempered horse.
All animals in a Gypsy family have to be totally
safe with all the family. This selective breeding
gives us the very placid, even tempered cob that we
The Romany people were, and still are dedicated,
knowledgeable and skilful in breeding their own
preferred type of horse, despite often severe
discrimination against their way of life. Now the
Romany has within its own tight knit community
produced one of the most popular and sought after
horses in the world, and they are rightly, quietly
pleased with themselves.
One of the most honest, hard working and
gentle breeds of horse in the world today. Bred for
generations solely in the UK and Ireland by Romany
Gypsy/Traveller folk for their temperament, stamina,
strength and versatility.
(Info above thanks to Watermark Gypsy Cobs)
These magnificent horses excel
in the following disciplines:
Companionship - due to being safe,
reliable and trustworthy
The Gypsy Horse is not a colour breed it is a body type. Therefore
all colours, markings and patterns are acceptable.
A. Piebald: Black & White
B. Skewbald: Red & White, Brown & White, Tri-Colour
C. Odd Coloured: Any other color
D. Blagdon: Solid colour with white splashed up from underneath
No height limits, all sizes have the same standards, all equally acceptable
The Gypsy Vanner is a
“people sized” draft horse with heavy bone and broad body, but on a smaller
scale then the large draft breeds.
to medium heavy bone set on medium to large hoof.
A. Front: Set square,
muscular with broad flat well developed knees.
B. Rear: Hocks that are broad and clean, a Vanner will have the modified
closer hock set of a pulling horse, but not as close as the modern draft
horse. Set back or sickle hocks are a fault
C. Hoof : large round hoof , open at the heels with well developed frogs.
Small contracted hooves are considered a fault.
D. Leg movement, clean, straight, and true, with energy and a distinctive and effortless
has the look of a small to average size horse with a draft horse type body.
A. Back: Short coupled and in proportion to overall body
B. Withers: Well
rounded, not high and fine
C. Chest: A deep, broad chest with well sprung ribs.
D. Shoulder: Sloping shoulder with well developed muscle
E. Hindquarters: Heavy, powerful hips with a well muscled rounded croup,
tail not set too low. Slab sided or severely sloping hindquarters are
considered a fault.
F. Neck: Strong and of ample length, stallions must display a bold look with
a rainbow (well arched) crest.
hair is straight and silky with some wave.
Curl and body being acceptable, kinky hair is a fault.
Abundant feathering should begin at the back of the knees on the front legs
and at or near the hocks on the rear, extending over the front of the
Mane, forelock and tail should be ample to profusely abundant, double manes
are common but not required
FEATHER Read more..........
A sweet head is a more refined head than a typical shire might have, set on
a strong neck in harmony with the horses overall look.
A. Throat and jaw: Clean throat-latch and jaw.
B. Nose: Flat and tapered, a slightly roman nose is acceptable if it
goes with the horses over all look. A heavy roman nose is not acceptable.
C. Eyes: Any color, wide set, bright, alert and kind.
D. Ears: In proportion to the head, not too large.
Gypsy Horses are prized for their gentle dispositions
A Vanner should be alert and willing with traits of intelligence, kindness
The Gypsy Horse was bred to pull the colorful gypsy caravans of
England. The breed is half a century old, and was developed from a
combination of Freisian, Clydesdale, Shire, and Dales pony blood. Its docile
nature is a result of necessity; gypsy horses have to be patient, gentle,
and quiet in order to be safe for pulling caravans and carrying gypsy
children, who often ride bareback.
incredibly versatile and with temperament that is unequalled, they will
quickly become your dream of the perfect horse!
The intelligence and human bond is
present within this breed, right from the moment of birth, they are bred to
interact with their human family, are willing to please, and are very
Until recently the Gypsy Horse was not a registered breed. The careful and
deliberate breeding of these magical horses including all details and
history were kept in the collective memory of the families who bred them
for many generations. Gypsy families of the UK have been selectively
breeding these horses, with known lineage for many years, although it has
not been recorded, but only passed down through the spoken word.
Gypsy families often own many gypsy horses, but there are only a few that
possess the potential to reproduce the quality of horse that is most sought
for breeding purposes.
These are the horses kept away from prying eyes and only bought out on
special occasions to suitably impress others symbolic of wealth and
Due to the recent interest and importation of Gypsy horses, registries are
being established in England, Australia, USA and in New Zealand to protect
and continue the established bloodlines.
The Gypsy Horse must possess a certain look and meet a clear conformation
standard, ensuring that we may reproduce the same quality horse that the
ancient Romany Gypsy dreamed of.
The sheer beauty
of the Gypsy Horse will captivate both young and old alike. Bred from a
combination of draft and pony breeds they range in size from 13-15 hands.
They are sturdy horses with heavy bone, flat knees and a short back. They
come in a variety of colors; bay/white, red/white, black/white, blue and
tri-colored. The most common color is black/white and occasionally you will
find a solid color, however, all colors are prized! Gypsy horses have an
abundance of mane and feather. The feathers should begin at the knee/hock
and fully cover the hooves. Manes and tails are long, thick and flowing.
The Gypsy horse is truly magic in motion, appearing to float as they move!
(Gypsy Vanner demonstration, Western
States Horse Expo, 2003
Photo by: Becki Bell
The Gypsy Horse has
many wonderful qualities. Their beauty is immediately noticed, but time
spent with a Gypsy Horse and their warm, gregarious nature, is a true
blessing! Years of selective breeding has developed a personality that is
likely the most gentle and docile in the world. They are extremely social
and eager to participate in your activities and will do so with beauty and
used for driving, they also excel at dressage, hunting, show jumping and
both English & Western riding.