About Gypsy Vanners
What are gypsy vanners?
Gypsy vanners are a breed of horse known for their gentle temperments, short yet bulky bodies, and long flowing locks. They can come in nearly every color and pattern.
What is the history of the gypsy vanner?
Through selective breeding over more than 100 years Gypsy men and their families in Great Britan and Ireland created this breed of horses. Their goal, was to create a small draft type horse with a sweet head and lots of color, that could pull their caravans yet was docile enough to be handled by their children and would work all day with small amounts of food and water. They also didn't want the horse to be too tall, so it could be easily ridden.
What can you use them for?
Everything! While they were originally bred to be solid mounts and pulling horses, many people use them in rodeo events such as cutting and barrel racing due to their eagerness to please and level head. Other people love them as dressage horses thanks to their beauty and graceful movement. However they are not known for their endurance.
WHat is considered good conformation?
The average Gypsy Vanner should stand about 14.3 hands high, and be most any color these days. They should have a thick, arched neck, smaller ears that curve inward, a round and correct heavy chest, thick boned legs with feather that start at the knee in the front and the hock in the back that tent-like cover the hooves. This horse should have a very chiseled and refined head with tapering towards the end of the muzzle, and kind, well set eyes. Their back legs are gently turned out, but the leg itself should be straight when viewed from behind. The neck should be a medium length with a nice arch, leading to a strong and short back. The body should be 2.5-3 times the length of the horse's head, starting at the point of the shoulder and ending at the point of the butt. You want the shoulder to be well sloped, and not steep. The Gypsy Vanner, or Gypsy Cobb horse as it is sometimes referred to, should have a very well rounded hindquarter, and a crease down the center of the hindquarter that is lovingly referred to as the “Apple Butt.” The breed should also have a very wide and thick tail that is not set too high, and may eventually drag the ground.
What are health concerns for this breed?
The most common health concerns in this breed are:
- Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM1)- a hereditary condition linked with muscles tying up
- Mites- a parasite that causes itching and irritation in horses, and when left untreated can cause Scratches
- Scratches- a skin condition caused by viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections
What is PSSM1?
Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM1) is a hereditary condition which can cause a genetic form of tying-up with muscle damage and inability to move. Horses with one copy have not been known to show symptoms, and those with two copies can be maintained with low-starch and low-sugar rations and precise exercise protocols. In some horses symptoms may begin by 2 to 3 years of age while others can remain subclinical. Clinical signs can include skin twitching, stiffness, firm painful muscles, sweating, weakness, and reluctance to move with light exercise. Occasionally gait abnormalities, mild colic and muscle wasting may also occur. In may cases horse that have tested positive have had no history of 'tying-up' or other symptoms associated with PSSM1.
-Animal Genetics Inc
-Animal Genetics Inc