Gypsy Cob/Irish Cob/Gypsy Vanner are all the same. The last, just being a name some clever money-spinner slapped on them to sell them for big money in America. In the UK, gypsy cob refers specifically to one with a loud paint pattern, wheras Irish cob can refer to either, in general.
I know looooads of them and I think they're fab. There's no height limit really, but the average size for cobs is around 14 or 15 hands, so they're not huge unless specifically bred for it. The idea of the type is to be a weight carrier, and 'tall' doesn't often help with that, contrary to common thought.
Gypsy cobs in England have the reputation of being slow, steady and bombproof, as well as rather unathletic, but I've seen them defy all those stereotypes! They are fab, usually sensible little horses though, with bags of character.
Thank you. The one I'm going to look at is around 15 hands. It is really hard deciding which one to buy!
Most Gypsy Vanners don't break 14.3 HH so 15 hh seems about average :)
From my experience of handling horse at the varity of stables that I have been to it has been common that irish cobs are gentle giants, they are good natured and good doers. The ones that I have ridden in my time have always been good either alone or in company. Generally I have come to the understanding most of the time they are bomb proof, but this can never be guarnteed as they are living animals and can be unpredictable, but most the time they are better for being safer than other breeds of horses.
About Gypsy Vanner Horses
Personality and equitation
Gypsy horses have been called "golden retrievers with hooves." Their natural disposition is to be friendly, calm, and gentle. As you can see from the photograph to the right, my daughter decided to rest on top of one of our horses while it was lying down in a paddock. The animal simply would not stand up until she was safely out of the way! And if you click on the image, you can view other examples of how "easy" these creatures are.
Gypsy Vanner horses excel at virtually every equestrian activity, including driving, dressage, and both English- and Western-style riding. They can even jump tolerably well — an amazing feat for a big-boned animal that was originally bred to pull heavy caravan wagons!
As of 2004, the United States Dressage Federation now officially recognizes Gypsy Vanners as an accepted dressage horse and list them in their All Breeds program.
It is this mix of beauty, versatility, and temperament that makes Gypsy horses such appealing animals and an ideal choice as a family horse for riders young and old alike, and of all skill levels.
I am really tempted to buy this breed if I like it when I see it!