Gypsy Vanner Horse : Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

The Gypsy Vanner horse, also referred to as the Gypsy Cob or Irish Cob, is a breed of residential equine that stems from Ireland. It has actually been bred for greater than a Century to pull Gypsy campers and was first exported to the US in 1996.

Not just has actually the horse been reproduced to be solid and also have a lot of stamina, but the smaller examples of the type are more very revered due to the fact that they would certainly need much less food as well as consequently cost less money to maintain than the bigger equines.

They are understood for their athleticism yet likewise for their tranquility as well as pleasant nature.

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Quick Facts About Gypsy Vanner Horses

Understood for their superb personalities as well as recognized for their gorgeous feathering and also attractive layers, Gypsy Vanner horses are promptly growing in appeal today.

These steeds might have been elevated to draw caravans, yet they also make fantastic riding horses, too. With their calm nature, Gypsy Vanners can be well-paired with children, in addition to with novice and also advanced adult cyclists.

Species Name:Gypsy Vanner
Family:Cob Horse
Care Level:Moderate to High
Climate:Mild and Wet
Temperament:Friendly and Calm
Color Form:Especially Piebald and Skewbald
Lifespan:20 – 25 years
Size:13 – 16 hands
Diet:Hay and Balancer
Compatibility:Calm with Animals, Great With Kids

Gypsy Vanner Overview

Gypsy Vanner Horse galloping
Image Credit: Pixabay

The Gypsy Vanner originates from the UK as well as Ireland. In particular, it has actually been reproduced to draw Gypsy caravans in Ireland.

Traveling gypsies of the British Isles started to use equines to draw their caravans in the mid-19th century and the breed was further improved as well as enhanced during The second world war.

In 1996, the initial of the breed was exported to the United States, where it has remained to acquire in appeal thanks to its combination of excellent looks and also stamina, integrated with a manageable size and amazing drawing capacity.

The steed was not only considered vital to the continuous survival of the family members, drawing the household’s house campers from one area to an additional yet was effectively dealt with as one of the family members.

Gypsy Vanner History and Origins

The Gypsy Vanner equine’s background starts with the Gypsies of Great Britain, who sought a steed with the toughness and construct to draw their campers.

They desired a horse that was not only solid, yet that was additionally mild-mannered, gentle, and quickly educated.

The Gypsies very carefully reproduced their optimal equine, relying upon the County as well as Clydesdale for their dimension and strength, after that including the Dales horse and also the Fell pony into the bloodlines.

With time, these equines ended up being more polished and the type started to solidify. Gypsy Vanners were first brought to America in 1996. That same year, the type’s computer registry, the Gypsy Vanner Steed Culture, was established.

Gypsy Vanner Size

Gypsy Vanners are relatively tiny horses, standing between 12.2 as well as 16 hands high. While they might be much shorter than your normal draft, they are generally developed and are easily with the ability of drawing carriages and caravans, while likewise working as riding steeds that can support larger riders.

Breeding and Uses

While the Gypsy Vanner breed came from to pull caravans, they have actually gained appeal thanks to their suitability for lots of various other functions.

The Gypsy still makes an impressive cart steed, and also you’ll discover it completing at shows and also driving competitions, along with pulling carriages for satisfaction.

The Gypsy Vanner likewise creates a great riding equine, thanks to its laid-back character. Gypsies are ridden both English as well as Western, as well as they’re suitable for various disciplines, from dressage to trail riding as well as extra.

Since they’re frequently so calm as well as accommodating, they’re a preferred choice for a family horse, as well as have actually also located a place in the world of healing riding programs.

Colors and Markings

Gypsy Vanners come in any color, including solid coats. However, the breed is most commonly known for its colored coats with:

  • Tobiano: White patches on a dark coat color
  • Skewbald: White patches on a base coat that is any color but black
  • Blagdon: A splash of white on the belly of a darker colored coat

The type isn’t a shade breed, so the breed computer system registry will approve steeds whatever their coat shade or pattern.

The equine was kept in good condition, thanks to the extensive workout it obtained as well as additionally thanks to the range of greens that it obtained from eating hedgerows and also shrubbery.

The equines needed to reside in close proximity to the family, including children. This indicated that the type was expected to have a reliable and gentle mood to ensure that it did not hurt or otherwise scare youngsters.

Prior to 1996, the Gypsy Cob was considered a kind of steed, rather than a specific breed, but in this year, breed associations started to create in The United States and Canada, Europe, Australia, and also worldwide.

Although the requirements do differ a little from one area to one more, the steed is typically considered to be in between 13 and also 16 hands high, its face account needs to be straight, and it ought to have a muscular neck, breast, and also withers.

Functions like the feathered heels and the piebald coloring are preferable and usual, but they are not required according to the type criteria.

How Much Do Gypsy Vanners Cost?

The Gypsy Vanner is an expensive equine, not only to take care of yet also to get, as well as you can anticipate an average cost of around $12,000.

If you look around or want to jeopardize on the criteria, you might have the ability to find one for less than this, however, while prize examples with solid lineage might set you back more.

The expense and also quality of this type indicate that it is unlikely that you will certainly find one in rescues, although it is possible. The price of embracing is less than purchasing however varies according to the sanctuary you make use of.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

Prominent for its calmness and also sweet nature, the Gypsy Vanner is a good selection for novice and newbie bikers.

It has actually been reproduced to stay in close proximity to its family, consisting of little ones, as well as the equine would have been bordered by canines and also other pets.

Although there is no assurance, choosing a Gypsy Vanner breed does enhance the possibility that you are getting a sweet-natured as well as loving equine.

Appearance & Varieties

Gypsy Vanner Horses
Image Credit: Pixabay

Standards do vary a bit from one country and one breed link to the next, but some standards are uniform.


It is usually accepted that this type will certainly separate 13 as well as 16.2 hands high (hh). The much shorter equines are normally considered more desirable.

They are as stocky and also solid as the bigger equines, but due to the fact that they are smaller, they do not require as much food, so are taken into consideration to be much more economically practical.

A bigger steed will certainly set you back substantially extra, especially since the Vanner normally has intricate dietary needs that are past the criterion for horses, generally.


There is no solitary shade or pattern for the Gypsy Vanner type. They can be formed or have strong shade coats. Nonetheless, the piebald and also skewbald patterns are common in this breed. In particular, you will see:

  • Dark-colored horses with white patches, called tobiano
  • White patches on a coat that is any color but black, referred to as skewbald
  • Darker colored horses with a splash of white on the belly, usually called blagdon

The breed is not considered a colored breed, however, so breed registries will accept them with any color and with any marking or pattern.


Once again, there are few attributes or physical qualities that are taken into consideration essential to the type. Nonetheless, it prevails to see feathering on the lower legs.

The Vanner likewise has a tendency to have significant hair around the mane and tail, and also this long hair does need added treatment.

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How to Take Care of Gypsy Vanners

The Gypsy Vanner is a durable pet as well as if you look after it, it will certainly look after you and also your family members. It is solid, difficult, as well as resistant, and is sturdy to wet and chilly problems.

Nonetheless, owning among this type isn’t without its obstacles. Particularly, it has long hair that requires normal pet grooming, as well as it can be prone to some ailments and conditions.

Climate and Conditions

The Gypsy Vanner originates from Ireland. The location is understood for being wet as well as rather inclement.

Temperature levels can drop below freezing, and also this type can do well living outdoors, although it will certainly take advantage of having sanctuary against the chilly as well as wet of wintertime.

The Vanner can have a hard time in hot climates, considering Ireland has a mean yearly temperature of 50 ° F and also only a typical July temperature level of 62 ° F.

In a few of the hilly areas around Dublin, Ireland sees more than 254 cm of rains a year, also. If you will certainly be maintaining your Vanner in warm temperature levels, make certain that they have somewhere to run away the sun.


The Vanner requires a significant quantity of brushing to ensure that it continues to be healthy and comfy. In particular, it has a lengthy tail as well as mane, which require added attention.

This is specifically true if you reside in a sloppy location because the mud can get caught up in the hair as well as trigger issues.

You can braid the hair as well as tail to decrease the effect of mud and to stop knotting. The plumes around all-time low of the Vanner’s tail will need regular detangling as well as cleaning. This will additionally help you discover any type of cuts or scratches.

Unique Characteristics of the Gypsy Vanner

Gypsy Vanners sporting activity particular hefty feathering beginning at their knees and hocks. A lengthy, complete mane as well as tail are likewise usual attributes.

This substantial hair needs a lot of extra care and grooming, particularly when planning for a program.

Diet and Nutrition

The Gypsy Vanner has a tendency to have a slower metabolism than your normal lightweight riding steed, so they need to consume a details diet regimen.

Their slower metabolism can cause them to easily as well as quickly gain weight, and also it also leaves them vulnerable to metabolic concerns.

To combat these prospective issues, numerous proprietors put their Gypsy Vanners on a high-fat, low-sugar diet regimen.

Much of these equines succeed with a top quality hay and also a provision balancer, rather than a normal feed concentrate. Some Gypsies may require to use grazing muzzles during the summer if they’re out on lavish fields.

Common Health and Behavior Problems

While many Gypsy Vanners live very healthy lives, this breed is prone to a few certain health issues:

  • Scratches: These crusty scabs on a horse’s legs can lead to lower leg swelling and lameness.
  • Malleanders and Sallenders: If a horse’s body produces too much keratin (which is what drives the growth of the Gypsy’s thick feathering), it can cause thick, crusted growths on the front and hind legs that need to be removed and actively managed, or they can result in bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Chronic Progressive Lymphedema: This condition causes significant lower-leg swelling, as the skin on a horse’s legs can become thicker and lymph fluid starts to build up in the legs. There’s no cure for this condition and the swelling will continue to progress during a horse’s life.

Gypsy Horse Grooming

Gypsy Vanners call for a considerable amount of grooming to keep them healthy and comfortable. Their long manes and tails need certain focus, particularly if equines are staying in sloppy problems.

Several owners decide to braid their steeds’ hairs to help prevent tangles as well as to maintain the manes tidy.

The exact same holds true of tails; Gypsy Vanner proprietors often utilize mud knots and tail pigtails to aid stop breakage and to keep the hair tidy.

The Gypsy’s plumes likewise need constant detangling and also cleaning. If the horse has white lower legs, the plumes will conveniently become tarnished or stained, making preparing for shows a lot more difficult.

Regular pet grooming of the feathers is also vital so that proprietors can promptly discover any type of problems on the reduced legs, like a cut or the beginning of scrapes.

  • Suitable for children and adults
  • Excellent temperament
  • Easy to train
  • Requires higher-maintenance grooming
  • Can be expensive to buy

Champion and Celebrity Gypsy Vanner Horses

The Gypsy King is a popular stallion who was imported into America in 1998. He’s been very photographed and you’ve likely seen him in calendars, in publications, and also in posts concerning the breed. He was the ideas for a Breyer version equine that shares his name.

Is the Gypsy Vanner Horse Right for You?

Docile, very easy to educate, and also with an excellent temperament, the Gypsy Vanner sounds like a remarkable equine for practically anyone. But it’s additionally vital to be practical about what having among these equines requires, also.

Be prepared to very carefully handle your steed’s diet plan and also to do detailed, normal grooming that goes beyond the regular grooming your typical riding equine would need.

Gypsies are fit for family members and both skilled and inexperienced cyclists, alike. They’re great options for both pleasure and also for competition horses, and they’re ideal if you’re trying to find a horse that you can both trip as well as drive.

With their shorter elevations, Gypsy Vanners are an excellent option for adults who have health problems or pain that makes mounting as well as dismounting bigger equines challenging.

How to Adopt or Buy a Gypsy Vanner

Due To The Fact That Gypsy Vanners are so preferred, it’s coming to be less complicated to locate these horses in the United States.

These horses are expensive to purchase, conveniently regulating $10,000 or even more each, so they’re not likely to end up in rescue circumstances where you might adopt a steed.

If you wish to add a Gypsy Vanner to your equine, the best option is to find a respectable dog breeder or a personal seller in your location.

Do Gypsy Vanners Get Along with Other Pets?

Among the reasons for the boosting appeal of the Gypsy Vanner is its calmness and also tranquil nature. Not only was the steed bred to agree as well as continue to be calm around children, yet Gypsies would have maintained dogs as well as other animals.

The Vanner will certainly quadrate various other pet dogs, can be maintained with other horses, as well as is thought about a stable and also pleasant addition to any family members group.


What to Feed Your Gypsy Vanner

The Gypsy Vanner has a somewhat special diet regimen. Its metabolism is slower than various other, similarly-sized equines.

This implies that the type is prone to quickly gaining weight, so you need to adopt a high-fat, low-sugar diet regimen.

Feed good quality hay and also supplement this with a provision balancer and also not a feed concentrate.

If left in a lavish field, you may need to fit a grazing muzzle to avoid your Vanner from consuming way too much of the turf.

Keeping Your Gypsy Vanner Healthy

Regular grooming and a good diet will help ensure that this hardy breed remains in good condition, but there are a few conditions that you need to pay special attention to:

  • Look for signs of scratching around the lower legs because these can become inflamed and cause lameness.
  • Excessive swelling in the lower leg could be caused by Chronic Progressive Lymphedema, for which there is no cure and which will get progressively worse over the horse’s life.
  • Look for crusted growths around the legs, caused by excessive keratin production. Remove these to prevent bacterial and fungal infections that can result.

Are Gypsy Vanners Suitable for You?

The Gypsy Vanner is extensively regarded as being a friendly and also well-balanced horse breed that is terrific for novice owners and also even newbie riders, although it is more generally utilized to pull carts and caravans.

It is a stocky yet sensibly brief horse, is hardy to chilly as well as wet weather condition, and also can be maintained around children and various other animals without worry of creating injury to them.

The type is effectively thought about, yet it is costly to buy, has certain nutritional requirements, and also takes a great deal of brushing like make sure that it continues to be healthy.

Therefore, this breed appropriates if you have the cash and also time to purchase owning one, as well as are looking for an industrious equine that will certainly get along with all family members.

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