Gypsy Vanner - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-08-2019, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Gypsy Vanner

Hey, anyone have experience owning gypsys? I have recently found one for sale and am extremely interested in him. In my past I have worked with a gypsy, but I haven’t ever owned one or a breed close to (just TBs and QHs) but ever since my past experience I have always wanted to own a gypsy - they’re amazing.

Anyway - can you tell me the good? The bad? Anything particular about this breed? I know of the CPL issues which is slightly concerning but it seems as though with good thorough care you can minimize that developing, is that correct?

We would be primarily trail riding and casual arena riding - no eventing.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-08-2019, 08:39 PM
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I'll give you the jaundiced view: what I mostly hear about them is how difficult it is to manage the feathers. Mud and scratches, burrs and snowballs. Otherwise, they are a typical cob/small draft, with all the qualities those have -- fairly phlegmatic, amiable, steady, can be willful and stubborn. I have met a few but never ridden one.

I would be a particularly wary buyer, because they are a fad breed. That means they are going to be overpriced, and very often carelessly bred.

Short horse lover
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-08-2019, 08:54 PM
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I have friends that have vanners. They keep them just for fun.

They aren't fast. Tire before the QHs and TBs do. And the feathers are high maintenance.

Still they are fun to bomb around on.

My daughters all love to groom. All that hair! A buddy who is like an aunt to the girls had two vanners and my daughters kept them beautiful for her.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 01:06 AM
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Not for me especially for hacking out.

Often, being driving horses, they are straighter in the shoulder, more upright in the pastern and not as comfortable as a QH or TB.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 11:28 AM
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When the Gypsy cob craze hit the US the people that bought them over also bought into a ‘story’ they were sold at the same time. They invented a breed out of something that had never been recognized as a breed before.
The colored cobs (‘coloured being a UK term for a horse/pony that is any other color and white) had gained popularity in the U.K. some time before the US market picked them up but the plain looking gypsy cobs didn’t make the same top money that a gypsy cob crossed with an Arabian or a Welsh breed made
I say this because a lot of the cobs that came over here had some ‘hotter’ blood in them.
They aren’t always quiet and happy to plod along, they can also have a lot of attitude which can result in too much horse for some people

If you want the full feather and long mane and tail then be prepared for a lot of hard work to keep it nice.
If you just want the build and a sensible, solid personality the you can clip the feather off and keep the mane and tail short.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 11:44 AM
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They're a dime a dozen in the UK and ridiculously overpriced in the US. That said, I'd love to have one. I like the kind temperament, stocky build, and smorgasboard of colors. It would be a ton of fun to have one to dink around on and ride and drive. If I were to have one, I would probably *gasp* clip the feather or look for one with less feather and thus worth less money. Still, $10,000 for a decently-built weanling is a but, uh, ridiculous which is why I don't have one.... Huge mane and feather commands more dollars. Some of these animals get by very well with minimal feather care, and for others it's a full-time job to keep them clean, neat, and to prevent skin problems under the feather. If you are the type of person that enjoys quiet time in the barn grooming, washing, and braiding, you will get along very well. If you have a muddy paddock, no place to groom during the winter, and barely have time to feed the horse most days, this is probably not the breed for you unless you clip the feather and shorten the mane.

They are a fad breed, so be very careful to purchase from someone reputable, and be sure the animal fits your needs. For the most part, they seem to have a very amiable disposition, but some are stubborn and willful, or completely shut down. They tend to be very easy keepers, and prone to all of the problems that entails. PSSM is a problem in the breed, so be sure your horse has been tested.

They short back and WIDE build can make them very difficult to fit a saddle to.

If you just like the look of the cobby-type horse, a draft cross will net you a similar-looking animal at a fraction of the price. If you are being sold a Vanner at a Vanner price, be sure the horse has papers. In the US, anything spotted and cobby is often sold as a 'vanner cross' or 'gypsy horse' even if they bought it grade at the Saturday night sale. Without papers, it's just another stocky horse. Some of the horses in the US being sold as Gypsies are downright horribly put together. So buyer beware.

If I were to ever have enough disposable income to make it feasible, I did find it would be cheaper to purchase several Vanners in the UK (particularly mares in foal), and import them to the US, then keep a few and sell the rest to cover the cost than it is to purchase a well-built, papered, quality Vanner here in the US. So keep that in mind. The last one I inquired on was a lovely looking yearling stud colt and they quoted me $25,000 for him. Yeah no.
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Last edited by SilverMaple; 09-09-2019 at 11:59 AM.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 02:32 PM
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I had no idea they cost so much in the US. Everyone I know ( admittedly a small number) that had one or two got them free. I wonder if people tire of the upkeep.

And now @Foxhunter had me looking at shoulder angle.

Interesting.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 02:53 PM
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I have a new neighbor who just moved in a few weeks ago. Her weanling Gypsy Vanner is arriving Sept. 12. She's wanted one for a long long time. I know nothing about them and look forward to sharing the journey and adventure of raising and training him. She is going to drive him . . . annnd, she's had horses all her life and raised and trained horses . . . so it will be an exciting and fun adventure, not frustrating or worrisome. None of my business, of course, what she paid for him, but he is coming from a reputable breeder in the Midwest. She picked him out and messed with him quite a bit before she moved here. I can hardly wait.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 03:35 PM
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if you are in the states be careful of leg cancer. and get a PPE and tripple check the legs.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots View Post
I have friends that have vanners. They keep them just for fun.

They aren't fast. Tire before the QHs and TBs do. And the feathers are high maintenance.

Still they are fun to bomb around on.

My daughters all love to groom. All that hair! A buddy who is like an aunt to the girls had two vanners and my daughters kept them beautiful for her.

That group that came out of DFW area to 'trail ride' had one with them. The rider was incredibly out of shape and over weight... and I understand the horse was too. Hooves the size of dinner plates, trying to negotiate the trails... entire group had to stop every 15 minutes to either double back from him and the horse or wait on them to rest and get their breath.


I'd love to have one just as a pasture ornament, but maintaining those feathers would be a massive pain.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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