Brief History of The Gypsy Vanner Horse

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Ancient Romany tradition meets modern day USA




The Gypsy dream was to breed the perfect horse to pull their colorful vardos or living wagons through the hillsides of England and Ireland. The Gypsy Vanner had to be  strong and athletic so that they could manage the heavy vardos with the Gypsy family and his belongings. The horses had to be hardy and easy to keep,  as they were often tethered on the side of the road or in fields, eating whatever grass they could find and living  without shelter in the cold winters.   And when the days work was done, the beautiful Gypsy Vanner, had to be gentle and docile enough to teach Gypsy children how to ride. 

While most Gypsies do not live in vardos any longer, they still keep and breed quality Gypsy Vanner horses.   Now, as in the traveling days, the Gypsy Vanner is a symbol of status, and a source of great pride among the Romany Gypsies.


Until now, the Gypsy Vanner was not a registered breed.  While the breeding of these magical horses was careful and deliberate,  the detailed history of the breed bloodlines, was kept in the collective memory of the families who bred them for  many generations.  Due to the recent interest and importation of  Gypsy horses, registries are being established here and abroad to protect and continue the established bloodlines.  Many names are associated with a gypsy type horse; Cob, Coloured Horse or Tinker.  Gypsy families often own many gypsy type horses, but there are only a few that possess the potential to reproduce the quality of horse that is most sought for breeding purposes.  Enter the Gypsy Vanner - The word Vanner simply means "caravan" and is a registered trademarked name for the  promotion of Gypsy Vanner Horses by The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society .  The Gypsy Vanner Horse must possess a certain look and meet a clear conformation standard, ensuring that we may reproduce the same quality horse that the ancient Romany Gypsy dreamed of.

The sheer beauty of the Gypsy Vanner will captivate both young and old alike.  Bred from a combination of draft and pony breeds they range in size from 13-15 hands.  They are sturdy horses with heavy bone, flat knees and a short back.  They come in a variety of colors;  bay/white, red/white, blue and tri-colored.  The most common color is black/white and occasionally you will find a solid color, however, all colors are prized!  Gypsy Vanners have an abundance of mane and feather.  The feathers should begin at the knee/hock and fully cover the hooves.  Manes and tails are long, thick and flowing.  The Gypsy horse is truly magic in motion, appearing to float as they move!

The Gypsy Vanner has many wonderful qualities.  Their beauty is immediately noticed, but time spent with a Gypsy Vanner and their warm, gregarious nature, is a true blessing!     Years of selective breeding has developed a personality that is likely the most gentle and docile in the world.  They are extremely social and eager to participate in your activities and will do so with beauty and style!

Highly admired, the Gypsy Vanner is still extremely rare in the United States, numbering around 200 at this time.  Due to their increasing popularity, we expect to see many more in the very near future.  Traditionally used for driving, they also excel at dressage, hunter jumper and both english  & western riding. 

Enchanting,  incredibly versatile and with temperament that is unequaled, they will quickly become your dream of the perfect horse! 


We would like to invite you to share the magic and mystery of the Gypsy Vanner!



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