The Gypsy Cob, also known as The Irish Cob, Gypsy Horse, or Gypsy Vanner, is a type of domestic horse. They were first bred by the Romanichal’s (Gypsies) of Great Britain. This horse was selectively bred for over half a century from a vision to create the perfect horse to pull the Gypsy caravan. It is a small, solidly built horse of Cob confirmation and is often, but not always piebald, or skewbald. These horses are a great blend of the Shire, Clydesdale, Friesian, and Dales pony horses. They are known to have great strengths on their own.
Gypsy Vanner excels as a family horse because of its exceptionally gentle nature. The horse may have been bred originally for their abilities to work and their look. The other part was to breed in a temperament of willingness and tranquility. They are suitable for novice horse people and children. Gypsies should be sensible horses, with very little of the “fight or flight” reaction seen in other breeds.
A gypsy horse should work well with his handler, and it usually easy to train. They range from 14 to 16 hands, any color is acceptable, but most of them are have pinto patterns. The first characteristic often noticed is the abundance of feather flowing from behind the knees and hocks. Also the long free flowing mane and tail.
They didn’t make their way to America until 1996. The first studbook for Gypsy Vanner was not established until 1996. The first known Gypsy Horses to come to America arrived in 1996, imported by Dennis and Cindy Thompson. They created the Gypsy Vanner name and started a breed society. In the United States, the Gypsy Horse is used in many equestrian sports, by amateurs and youths.
In 2004, the United States Dressage Federation accepted the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society as an affiliate member, allowing horses registered with GVHS to compete in its dressage and dressage-related events. The Gypsy Horse Association was accepted into the USDF program in 2008; two other colored horse associations had joined by 2011. Since gypsy horses were originally bred to pull Romany wagons, they make fine driving horses. They also make good pleasure and trail mounts. Because of their tractable disposition, they serve well as therapeutic riding horses.
The Gypsies of Ireland and the United Kingdom were dedicated to carefully developing the perfect caravan horse with lots of feather and color. It is because of them, that we call get to enjoy this stunning creature today.