DSCN01351.What are Gypsy Horses?

The Gypsy horse (also known as Gypsy Vanner or Gypsy Cob) is a breed of horse that has many draft characteristics, including heavy bones, long, flowing manes and tails, and an abundance of “feathers” on their legs. Their build is powerful and compact, with a short neck and back. Gypsy horses come in a variety of colors but predominantly are of piebald coloring. The Gypsy horse originated in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where they were called Irish Cobs or Colored Cobs.   While there is no precise history of the Gypsy horse, it is widely held that some are descended from a combination of Shires, Clydesdales, Friesains and Dales Ponies with their origins in the Romani gypsy community of the United Kingdom. Gypsy horses are well-suited for everything from 4-H clubs to Western Pleasure to Driving to Dressage to trail riding.  These horses are generally very healthy, hardy, and strong.  They are also known for their unflappable demeanor as well as their warm and loveable nature.

Are Gypsy horses related to Clydesdales?

While it is widely held that Gypsy horses have some relation to the popular and iconic Clydesdales, there exists no exact history of the breed.

How big do Gypsy horses get?

The average height of a Gypsy horse is 14.2 hands high (hh), but they range anywhere from 12.2 to 16 hh and can weigh between 1,100 to 1,700 pounds. There are three size classifications for the Vanner. The ‘Cart’ Vanner is under 14 hh; the ‘Classic’ Vanner is from 14 to 15.1 hh tall; and the ‘Grand’ Vanner is 15.1 hh and taller.

4. What can Gypsy horses do?

The Gypsy Vanner was bred by the Gypsies to pull their caravans, so they excel at driving.  They are also good for dressage, pleasure riding, children’s mounts, and low jumping.

5. What kind of temperament does the Gypsy horse have?

Gypsy Vanners are extremely gentle horses as well as surprisingly athletic, smart, willing, and affectionate.  They retain training well.  In addition, the Gypsy has an extremely composed demeanor.  Their combination of ability, brains and calm temperament make them excellent candidates for equestrian pursuits such as driving, English and western riding, jumping, pleasure and trail.