Looking like it just stepped out of a fairy tale, the Gypsy Vanner is a relative newcomer to the world of recognized horse breeds. Marked by its flowing mane, tail, and feathering on the legs, this amazing horse is a treasure of beauty and style.
But did you know this?
- The Gypsy horse was developed by the Roma and Pavee people (Gypsies) of Ireland and Great Britain. They used the horses to pull their vardos, the caravans in which they travelled.
- There are three types of Gypsy horses: the cob, the vanner, and the drum. The difference in these types is size. The cob stands under 14.2 hands, the vanner 14.2 – 15.2 hands, and the drum over 15.2
- Any color is acceptable, but the piebald and skewbald are preferred. A solid colored horse with a white underbelly is called a “blagdon.”
- Fanciers of the Gypsy Vanner are quick to correct you if you refer to the horse’s “feathers.” They are called “feather” (no s) or “feathering.”
- The Gypsy horse is a wonderful family breed, gentle and compliant, intelligent and athletic. In Gypsy families, if a horse showed any unreliable temperament, it was quickly disposed of.
- Gypsy Vanners are trained not to stop pulling a wagon until it reaches the top of a hill, because once stopped on an incline, it may not be able to get started again.
- There was no stud book or breed association for Gypsy horses until 1996, when North America, New Zealand, Australia and Europe all formed their own associations for developing the breed.
- Another name for the breed is Tinker. They are also sometimes called Gypsy Cobs.
- The first Gypsy breed show was held at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, in 2005.
- In 2004, the United States Dressage Federation accepted Gypsy Vanners into the group of horses recognized for competition, and in 2010, a Gypsy Vanner stallion earned a championship for his third level dressage accomplishments at the USDF’s All Breed Program.
Gypsy Vanners are becoming more popular in all equisport disciplines, and their beauty and charm are gaining fans all over the world. Maybe this is the horse for you!