Throughout the UK, and Ireland some people still live a Gypsy lifestyle, even if only seasonally. These people are often called Romany Gypsies. They have been known for breeding two types of horses, trotting horses for racing, and for meat, the the fancy horses for pulling their caravans, these horses are the Gypsy Vanners.
For many generations gypsies have selected and bred horses to pull their caravans (vans), thus the origin of the name “Vanners”. These horses were selected for strength, calm manners, and a smaller size. Since many of the gypsy caravans were colorful and ornate, so too where many of the horses, pinto markings were preferred, with feathering on the feet.
Most Gypsy Vanner horses are piebalds (black and white) but a few are skewbald (other color and white) or are solid colored, usually with some white markings. In height the Gypsy Vanner tends to be around 14.1 – 15.2 hh, but can be larger or smaller. They have the appearance of a small draft horse, with thick legs and feathering on the lower leg. They have thick, and full, manes and tails.
The Gypsy Vanner is a relatively level headed horse of great endurance. They are gentle horses, bred to work long days. They are well suited to dressage, hunter, and trail riding, in addition to their duties as draft animals.
Facts about Gypsy Vanners
Although these horses were bred for generations no formal registry was established until the 1990’s.
They are also called Gypsy Cob, Irish Cob, and Irish Tinker, although without registration papers one cannot be truly sure of breeding.
They are typically very tolerant of kids.
Today Gypsy Vanner horses can be seen in many countries throughout the world, including Canada, the United States and others. As they are still somewhat of a new breed their prices tend to be high.
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