Text Box: Brief Gypsy Horse History

The Gypsy horse is a beautiful breed with a colorful history.  Gypsy horses came into their present form about three hundred years ago in the UK and Ireland.  The nomadic Gypsy people of Europe had a demand for a horse strong enough to pull their beautifully decorated wagons known as vardos (or vans) loaded with all their worldly possessions, with enough endurance to travel all day long.  That Gypsy horse needed to be able to thrive on whatever it could graze upon along side of the road, and have a calm temperament as not to hurt the children playing around the horses.  Created after hundreds of years of selective breeding by the nomadic Gypsy people, the Gypsy horses of today is a cross of the Shire, Clydesdale, Dales Pony and Friesian breeds.  But it has only been in the last twenty years or so that Gypsy horses were introduced into the USA and officially recognized as a breed of itís own.  

The only difference between a Vanner and a Cob is their size.   Cobs range in sizes between 12 hh and 14 hh and Vanners between 14 and 16.  Gypsy Vanners are larger in stature and usually have heavier bones, to enable a single horse to be strong enough to pull the heavy Gypsy Vardos.  Gypsy horses are very versatile animals, they are currently all used for English and Western riding in a number of disciplines such as dressage, driving, endurance, and reining.  They can now be found in horse shows all over the world in all disciplines.   Vanners are primarily used is as a draft animal, careful and selective breeding created sturdy, thick-legged horses with short backs, small heads, and large hind quarters.  

Gypsy Cobs are usually used for carts and riding.  They are all known for their sweet, loving nature, and make wonderful pleasure horse as well as great child's mount.  There are many instances where a Gypsy horse has placed itself between a child and danger.  I have personally witnessed my own Gypsy horses stop and refuse to move if a child was mounted and in danger of falling off, after adjusting the saddle or childís position, the horse would then resume itís ride. 
 
Typically all Gypsy horses are a little smaller than a conventional draft horse and stands between 13 and 16.2 hands high and weighing up to 1400 pounds.  There is no standard color for Gypsy Horses, although black and white coloring and pinto pattern are the dominant traits, and therefore are the most common.  All markings and patterns are accepted, silver, pearl, and cream dilutions are prized.  Heavily feathered legs (the heavy, thick hair starts at the knee and falls to cover the hoof) and a long thick double mane and tails are very treasured traits.  Someone pointed out that a proper Gypsy horse has the head of a princess and the back end of a cook.  

The Gypsy horse is considered to be a cold-blooded horse,  as itís body temperature is several degrees cooler than hot blooded horses and this gives it a slower metabolismvery, docile temperament, and tremendous stamina.  The Gypsy horse is known by many names, including Gypsy Vanner, Gypsy Cob, Irish Cob, Coulored Cob, Romany Horse, and Tinker Horse.  Whatever the name is, it is hard not to fall in love with this sweet, exquisite, and magnificent breed.
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Text Box: Forest Knights Gypsy Horses
Text Box: Gypsy Horses History