History Of The Gypsy Horse
For over one hundred years, the people known as Romany or Travelers more commonly known as Gypsies have bred the beautiful breed known today as Gypsy Horses. Many of today’s known bloodlines have come from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Within Gypsy Horse breeds, the most traditional color is black and white, although many colors and patterns can exist.
Throughout time, these simple, sweet horses have borne many names, including: Coloured Cobs, Proper Cobs, Tinkers, Gypsy Vanners, Gypsy Cobs and Irish Tinkers. At a Gypsy Horse show, an acquaintance we met from Holland even called them Play Ponies.
An honest “purebred” Gypsy Horse is one that has been bred consistently back to a pure Gypsy Horse generation after generation. Interested in purchasing a Gypsy Horse for breeding purposes? Look for the following characteristics:
- Gypsy Horses are known to be around 13-16 hands tall;
- Thick, heavy, flat bone;
- Good-sized feet (the Gypsy folk are not kidding when they say dinner plate-sized feet);
- Long, thick mane and tail;
- Long hair (feather) starting at the knee covering the entire front of the hoof, around the back and up the leg to the back of the knee or hock;
- Long beards
- Generally shorter back; Stallions will have the shorter backs. Mares tend to have longer backs in order to carry their foals, but their backs should not be excessively long.
- Thick neck and long shoulder established well with the back, wide chest, and round apple rump ;
- Some Gypsy Horses even have a mustache!
The temperament of a Gypsy Horse is just as important as its conformation. A Gypsy Horse should be very kind, gentle and willing to work with its owner. The Romany breeders would not tolerate an ill-natured horse and would even banish it from their clan. As a result, Gypsy Horses are well-known worldwide for their gentle nature, willingness, stunning beauty and exceptional athletic abilities.
The Romany people bred these sturdy horses to pull their vardos in caravans and considered the horses to be members of their own family. While designed to be strong and endure the work, Gypsy Horses were gentle with children and trusted to pull the vardo full of the family’s possessions to their next resting place. The Gypsy people took pride in getting their beautiful horses ready for the journey; before hitching, the horses would be washed and groomed, harnesses cleaned, and brass polished. Still today, when you see the Gypsy Horses in the UK, the Romany has them well groomed and cleaned and their tack is immaculate. They have a huge amount of pride in their horses, after all, they are a part of their family.
At Gypsy Fortune Farm, the same care and consideration remains within the proud tradition of breeding Gypsy Horses today. We look forward to sharing our love for each precious horse with you.
Jimmy and Cindy Patterson
410 Green Spring Road, Abingdon, VA 24210
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