The Gypsy Vanner Breed

DSCN0124The Gypsy Vanner is a stunning and one-of-a-kind class of horse originally imagined by the European Gypsies. Truly an enchanting and magical breed, Gypsy Vanner horses are easily recognizable by their long, flowing manes and tails, and the abundance of “feathers” on their legs, making them look almost as if they glide or fly when they run.

The term “American Gypsy Horse” is often used as a collective term for any gypsy horse here in the U.S. and Canada.  This breed has many names – Gypsy Cob, Gypsy Vanner, or Irish Cob, but they are all one part of the same breed.

Today, the Gypsy horse is an “all-around” horse equally suited for everything from 4-H clubs to Western Pleasure to Driving to Dressage to trail riding.  They are generally healthy, hardy, and strong and have a warm, loveable nature which is active, kind, intelligent and willing.  Gypsy horses are the perfect choice for the average horse-loving family that wants a horse that’s easy to manage and maintain, and who meets the needs of young and old alike.

Gypsy Vanner: 7 Points of Conformation

  • Short back in proportion to overall body
  • Broad chest.
  • Heavy well-rounded hips
  • Heavy flat bone at the knee, ample hooves
  • Feathering that begins at the knees or near the hocks extending over the front of the hooves. Ample to abundant mane and tail.
  • Sweet head
    • Fine head on a strong neck in harmony with the horse’s overall look.
    • Disposition
      • The horse should exhibit traits of intelligence, kindness, and docility — overly aggressive behavior is considered a fault.

Gypsy Vanner height classifications are split into three categories:

  • Mini Vanner: Under 14 Hands
  • Classic Vanner:  14 H to 15.2 H
  • Grand Vanner:  15.2 H and up