COMMON HORSE BREEDS
Romany people (Gypsies) of Great Britain and Ireland
Photo supplied by Wattlelane Stables, Gympie, Australia ©
Gypsy Cobs were selectively bred by the Gypsy travellers to pull their wagons. They combined the best of the Clydesdale and Shire for size and stregth, plus the hardy qualities of the Fell and Dale ponies.
The Gypsy children often cared for the horses, so it was essential that the horse be both strong and kind with a willing disposition. They were bred to exhibit a high front action at the trot because it meant
fast moving gait being economical so that the horses could continue for a long time. The popular pinto colouring was bred into the breed to avoid the English government conscripting their horses for the army.
Docile, small yet heavyset, abundant hair, intelligent expression
Head: well rounded with an appearance of an apple shape
Neck: compact but not short and carried with a nice arch
Shoulders: are expected to be deep, well laid back and sloping, powerful with good length
Body: normally short and compact with well sprung ribs and the back should be short with a strong top line
Chest: Show the powerful muscling that allows these horses to pull heavy wagons
Legs: flat well formed knees, short cannon bone carrying flinty flat bone below the knee, show strong muscled qualities
Feet: feet of good size
Mane and Tail: mane, forelock and tail should be ample to profusely abundant, feathering should start from the knees and hock joints down and ideally cover the entire hoof, tail well set on.
Height: 13hh - 15.2hh
Color: all colours, markings and patterns are acceptable
Temperament: docile, willing nature, gentle, dependable, sensible disposition
Qualities: intelligent, fast moving gait, fairytale looks, strong, good doer
The beauty of these horses is surpassed only by their gentle and intelligent nature making them now highly sort after. Today they have found many new uses besides driving, such as dressage for their willingness
to please and really nice extended trot. Overseas they are used for jumping as they have a fabulous jump, commonly used for fox hunting. They are often used at Pony Clubs and even as therapy horses due to their
gentle nature and all round abilities. A Gypsy Cob will no doubt surprise anyone prepared to train them in any discipline.
Gypsy Cobs were introduced to Australia in 2004. To date there are few breeders of purebred Gypsy Cobs. The cost of importing horses has made it prohibitive for many fans of the breed.
The Gypsy Cob’s fairytale looks with super long mane and tail along along with heavily feathered feet makes for a magical dream horse. Their temperament is also the big draw card, being very gentle and safe around children.
Typically all Gypsy Cob horses will be very friendly, willing, strong and robust. They excel at driving, dressage, endurance, pony club and western sports.