The Gypsy Horse was bred and developed many generations ago by the Romany Travelers of Wales, England and Ireland. The Gypsies desired a small draft horse colorful enough to match their caravans. These horses are easily recognizable by their long, flowing manes and tails, and the abundance of feather on their legs.
The Gypsy Vanner Horse, was first imported by Dennis and Cindy Thompson in 1996 and this is when the registry was created. The mission behind the registry is “to bring honor, recognition and a better understanding to one of the world’s most colorful and least understood societies and the horses they so dearly love” by respecting the standards established from the spoken words of Gypsies who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of their dream.
A perfect caravan horse is strong, intelligent, docile, athletic, colorful and has excellent endurance. These same traits make this breed ideal for any number of disciplines.
Colorful and compact, this breed averages between 13 and 15 hands, although individuals do vary at both ends of the size spectrum. Its short neck and back give the animal the power to pull. An abundance of mane, tail and feather give this animal a magical look, true to its heritage. Piebald (black and white) and Skewbald (brown and white) are the most common, however, all colors are prized.
Heavy bone, flat knees and ample hooves give this magnificent animal the foundation to sustain a body that includes a broad chest and heavy hips. The withers are rounded making the horse very suitable for harness and riding.
The Gypsy Vanner Horse was developed from a combination of the Friesian, Shire, Clydesdale and Dales pony. All of these breeds have the wonderful personality of a cold blooded horse.
The Gypsy lifestyle cannot tolerate animals that might endanger lives. Any horse displaying ill temper is banished immediately. The result of this culling has led to the Gypsy Vanner Horse being one of the most docile horses in the world. The intelligence and kindness that the Gypsy Vanner Horse exhibits must be experienced to be believed. A sound horse that is easily kept is essential for a lifestyle of travel. The Gypsy Vanner Horse by nature of its evolvement is sound and easy to maintain.