Gypsy Vanner - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 22 Old 09-08-2019, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 17
• Horses: 0
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!
SueC likes this.
SSC is offline  
post #2 of 22 Old 09-08-2019, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Posts: 6,454
• Horses: 3
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
Avna is offline  
post #3 of 22 Old 09-08-2019, 08:54 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: A good place
Posts: 9,267
• Horses: 0
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.
AnitaAnne, JCnGrace, SueC and 1 others like this.
boots is online now  
post #4 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 01:06 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 15,846
• Horses: 0
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.
boots and Avna like this.
Foxhunter is offline  
post #5 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 11:28 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 35,021
• Horses: 3
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.
boots likes this.

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is offline  
post #6 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 11:44 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
Posts: 4,105
• Horses: 3
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.
JCnGrace likes this.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 09-09-2019 at 11:59 AM.
SilverMaple is offline  
post #7 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 02:32 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: A good place
Posts: 9,267
• Horses: 0
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.

boots is online now  
post #8 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 02:53 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hildreth, FL
Posts: 2,886
• Horses: 5
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.
AnitaAnne, JCnGrace and LoriF like this.
knightrider is offline  
post #9 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 5,290
• Horses: 5
if you are in the states be careful of leg cancer. and get a PPE and tripple check the legs.
KigerQueen is offline  
post #10 of 22 Old 09-09-2019, 04:24 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 3,787
• Horses: 8
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."
AtokaGhosthorse is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome