Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
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.
Last edited by SilverMaple; 09-09-2019 at 11:59 AM.