Breed 's development has been met with a lot of
controversy, mainly over the correct "name"
for the breed. This breed has numerous registry
associations and it is being developed basically
online, which has caused a lot of confusion.
"Gypsy Horse", known in America as
the Gypsy Vanner, was bred by Gypsy Travelers
to pull their ornate caravans and carts. They
come in a variety of colors from pintos to solid
blacks as well as the rarer buckskin and paliminos.
Long flowing manes and tails, and of course,
an abundant amount of leg feathering is highly
desirable. The Gypsy Horse's intelligence, stamina,
hardiness and sensibility of these horses are
unsurpassed by any other breed today!
(This type of horse may also be called Gypsy
Cob, Irish Cob and Romany Horse, etc... Technically
to "be" a "Vanner", they
must be registered with the Gypsy Vanner Horse
This remarkable horse
was involved in just about every aspect of the
Gypsy Traveler's life! During the day the Gypsy
Horse pulled the caravan for miles, entrusted
with the families' worldly possessions. Once
camp was established they took watch over the
Gypsy children, taking them on small rides and
allowing them to climb and crawl over them!
The horses were so valuable to the travelers,
that in some areas, these horses took the form
No other established breed
will compare to the history that the Gypsy Horses
hold. What other breed of horse do you know
of, that will fetch tens of thousands of dollars,
with no papers and no guarantee? They do just
that in the UK and Ireland. These
horses are still rare in the US, but are quickly
gaining popularity among horse enthusiasts,
excelling in just about every discipline put
to the test.
of course the first distinguishing difference
between a "normal" horse and a Gypsy
Horse would be the leg feather. The feather
should abundant and thick. Then you will notice,
if the horse is not clipped, that it will most
likely have a mustache that curls up along the
horse's lips and an abundance of jaw hair, often
referred to as a beard, will also be much longer
than that of other breeds. Some may be so long
that the beard hair comes down to the horse's
bottom lip! In general a Gypsy Horse should
have a thick mane and tail and heavy long hair
(feather) starting at the knee that covers the
entire front of the hoof, around the back and
up the leg to the back of the knee or hock.
They also have a fairly short back in proportion
to it's overall body, a neck that matches their
build and in general give the appearance of
a "miniature" draft horse. Their temperaments
are even and they have very willing personalities.
our Registered Gypsy Vanner Stallions Cobalt
(Cobalt has won 6 Championship titles and Slainte
11 plus was the 2005-2006 DAC
company representative, seen in their product
booths, on their 2005 catalog and in their 2006
DAC Oil description, as well as on their website.)
difference between Gypsy Cobs and Gypsy Vanners
is not height...They are simply different registries
(the GCDHA and GCSA register "Cobs",
The GVHS registers "Vanners") All
have different standards and different registration
Gypsy Vanner Society calls them "Gypsy
Vanner". The name came from the horses
being bred by the "Gypsy people",
and the horse's job was to pull a "caravan".
The registration process includes several requirements
each different depending on the sex, age and
lineage available on each horse. Videos are
required for all stallions and of course pictures
are required on all horses regardless. Horses
must pass inspection by a board of five individuals.
The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society does not register
crossbred Vanners and frowns upon crossbreeding
any registered Vanner.
There is currently a certification program in
place for registered Vanners, however it is
not sponsored or sanctioned by the Gypsy Vanner
Horse Society. It is a private program owned
and run by the founder of the GVHS. It is basically
a "buy-in" marketing program, in which
the owner of the "Certified Vanner Program",
solely, labels a horse worthy of participating.
The participant then pays yearly dues to continue
to participate. The owner of the certified horse
has stated that 99% of the Gypsy Vanners currently
registered would qualify for his certification
program. Old Mill Farm, has decided not to participate.
Not all "Gypsy Horses" will automatically
be registered in either association. There have
been horses that were turned down by either
one or both registries. If you are purchasing
an unregistered horse, please do your research,
and even ask that the horse be registered prior
to the sale.
as to what makes a Drum Horse or a Gypsy Cob?
Read the Breed
below to see more photos and learn more interesting
facts about the breed and the people involved!
Actually named after a
“job” performed by the horse, The
Drum Horse is an indispensable part of the Band
of the Life Guards. These horses carried two
large solid silver kettle Drums, plus a fully
outfitted rider, through crowds of thousands,
during the Queen’s processions! The extraordinary
part was that these horses were controlled entirely
by reins attached to the rider’s stirrups
as they had to use their hands to beat on the
drums. (See picture below) The Calvary Drum
Horse is one of the most popular and recognizable
members of the regiment. Nearly
always "Pinto" or "Sabino"in
color in the present day, it is still common
to see solids.
Drum Horses must be strong and steady enough
to carry the stout kettle drums during ceremonies.
It takes a very special horse to carry such
a prominent role in the Queen's Household Cavalry.
Actual performing, Drum Horses were always geldings,
however they now have a mare in use! They were
never sold, however retired after their services
Horses of the past. (Various Military Branches
are being represented)
Horse of the Present
would like to thank Anthony Hope for providing
the pictures of the Drum Horses above. He has
an extensive collection of Drum Horse photos.
To view more in his collection, please go to
or search for scarletlancer165.
Drum Horses are
taking on a new meaning in America, as we have
no Queen’s processions to attend! When
crossed with another feathered breed, for example
a Clydesdale, Shire or in most cases a larger
Gypsy Cob, the offspring will most likely be
of Drum type and be eligible for registration
with the American Drum Horse Association (ADHA).
(Please see www.drumhorseassociation.com
for the exact standards and registration requirements)
Drum horses are perfectly suited for taller
heavier riders that need a horse with more substance
and height, but still want a calm, level headed
riding horse. Because of their quiet nature,
some Drum Horses may even be suited for pleasure
driving. To view in person, this magical creature
of history, will render you speechless, they
are unlike any other breed in the world!
our Registered Drum Horse Stallion Chew
Mill Guinness (Son of Galway Warrior, grandson
of the world famous Shire, Edingale Mascot)
American Drum Horse Association (ADHA) Formed
Jan 2006, to date, the ADHA is the only registry
dedicated to the sole registration and promotion
of the Drum Horse here in America. Vist them
is the difference between the Gypsy Cob / Gypsy
Vanner and the Drum Horse? Breeding and registration
requirements! The Drum Horse must be a combination
of Shire, Clydesdale and Gypsy Horse. Gypsy
Cobs and Gypsy Vanners are full-blooded and
have been in existance for a debatable, 50 years
can not stress enough, A Drum Horse is NOT a
large Gypsy Cob or Vanner. A Gypsy Cob/Vanner
is not limited to size and a Drum Horse that
is under 16 hands is NOT re-classified into
the Gypsy Cob category. The term "gypsy
drum" is incorrect...they are one or the
feather topic, seems to be a controversial one!
Here are some facts regarding feather.
are basically two types of feather, the straight
silky type or the course (sometimes curly) type.
The straight silky type is desired by most breeders,
of course subject to opinion, however it requires
a lot more maintenance. Because the hair strand
is usually thinner, it will usually not look
as full as the course feather will, it also
will burn off a lot quicker.
course type, it is hardier and looks fuller.
But because the hair strand is thicker, it holds
more water, and does not dry as quickly, which
means the feather may need to be dried after
baths or turnout, in order for the skin underneath
the feather to stay healthy. (Continous moist
skin invites fungus and bacteria to breed)
feather simply means that the feather was subject
to environmental changes. Wet to dry conditions
over time will dry out the hair causing it to
break off. Mud left on to dry will also dry
out the the hair causing breakage. It is also
important to note feather is also something
that develops with age.
a Gypsy Horse
of course on quality, age, sex, breeding and
training, you should look at spending anywhere
from 15,000.00 and up on a young Gypsy Horse.
Drum Horses may start a little lower in price,
however still seem to average around 10,000.00.
Be realistic in what you are planning to spend
and do your research on all breeders. "You
get what you pay for" in most instances.
on Lineage/Genetics. A majority of these horses
do not have known lineage. Those that are being
marketed with generations of pedigree should
be researched carefully. Many of the horses
that are coming over to the US with claimed
parentage, are being tested and are indeed not
who they were thought to be out of. Do your
research, and contact registries to see what
DNA is available on the horse that you have
purchased or are importing. Remember, that because
DNA is required by all US registries, even if
you think you know the lineage of your horse,
if you can't prove it by DNA testing, some registries
are noting that parentage is not proven on the
horse's official registration papers.
See our Frequently
to see a Gypsy or Drum Horse in person. We welcome
visitors by appointment. Please contact
us to arrange a visit. No Sunday visits,