Gyspy vanners

I'm Dun

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20 May 2021
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1,470
Nope. I dont mind them to look at but dont want one of my own. Riding with all that mane is irritating and keeping feathers sparkling and silky takes work. Lots have appalling conformation half-hidden by hair, and often fat. I much prefer a nicely put together hogged cob :)
 

PurBee

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23 November 2019
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Those glorious flowing locks and masses of hair make them a beautiful beast…but as others have said, i too wouldnt relish looking after one due to the hair maintenance!
 

GoldenWillow

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15 June 2015
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My cob has full mane, well until this summer when he lost a lump of it, ridiculously thick tail and full feathers. I honestly don't find it that much work, don't do much with his mane apart from untangling with my fingers when it needs it and pretty much ignore his feathers other than checking his legs through them. Like CT I'll keep his tail shorter through winter, it soon grows!

There's nothing better than under a thick mane to warm cold hands 🤣
 
Joined
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A massive 'no' here, but I do need to explain the reason as I do have some mad logic. ;)

The rebrand of Gypsy Cobs to Gypsy Vanners is one of the most cynical money-grabbing enterprises that I have read about. IIRC it was started by one couple that exported the first cobs from the British Isles and took them over to America, bred them and sold them for $$$$$$. The Gypsy Vanner breed society was also set up over there. The whole magical hairy horse thing I read about in regards to GV's is a bit odd as a non-American.

So why would I buy a 'Gypsy Vanner' that costs loads, then import it back to the UK when I can go on Dragon Driving and buy a nice Cob for far less money that might even be registered with the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (although if they had a generic passport but were a nice enough horse I'd be happy anyway).
 

Widgeon

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30 January 2017
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N Yorks
I think traditional hairy cobs look beautiful, but I wouldn't want to look after it all. A non-traditional lightweight Irish cob is bad enough! And agree that they often seem to have funny confomation underneath all the hair. If it's a nice square cob underneath then I'd argue they look just as good (and easier to care for) with a short neat mane (or hogged) and tail and the feathers clipped off. Please don't chase me with pitchforks.
 

Northern

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28 February 2013
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837
A massive 'no' here, but I do need to explain the reason as I do have some mad logic. ;)

The rebrand of Gypsy Cobs to Gypsy Vanners is one of the most cynical money-grabbing enterprises that I have read about. IIRC it was started by one couple that exported the first cobs from the British Isles and took them over to America, bred them and sold them for $$$$$$. The Gypsy Vanner breed society was also set up over there. The whole magical hairy horse thing I read about in regards to GV's is a bit odd as a non-American.

So why would I buy a 'Gypsy Vanner' that costs loads, then import it back to the UK when I can go on Dragon Driving and buy a nice Cob for far less money that might even be registered with the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (although if they had a generic passport but were a nice enough horse I'd be happy anyway).
This. A coloured, hairy "Gypsy Vanner" starts at $15kAUD here, even if they haven't been touched. Madness. Can't really comment on them, never met one personally. But I have also never seen one out doing anything remotely useful here.
 

Errin Paddywack

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20 June 2019
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I used to work at a RS beside a canal. My boss got asked to help the owners of one boat to find a horse to pull it. They duly acquired a hairy legged coloured cob and proudly showed it off. My first comment was that it needed its legs trimmed. I was shouted down.
 

Nudibranch

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21 April 2007
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Shropshire
I don't mind hair and feathers - I have a Dales and a Fell - but a gypsy cob, bargepole. Just not my thing at all but then neither are Arabs, or anything spotted or palomino.
What I really don't like to see is very thick, heavy manes past the shoulder and tails dragging on the floor. A welfare issue. Plaiting 24/7 is also unacceptable imo.
Hog and clip, or keep them sensible at least. Horses aren't supposed to be Barbie toys.
 

katastrophykat

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24 November 2011
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1,132
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North and East, of England
I ride one, and have driven her too… she’s a turbo cob, 14hh and too long in the back for ‘best’ conformation really, and has a blue eye- id never have bought her myself but her owner has put thousands over the years into her schooling and at 16 she is every bit as nice and polite a ride as anything I’ve sat on. Her lateral work is wonderful, I can place her shoulders and quarters anywhere I ask for them, she has a ‘perfectly passable’ passage and still hacks out on the buckle end.
On the not-so-plus side, she has suffered with Lami in the past, is EMS and is starting to show signs of arthritis, so we’re careful about where she works and nothing above walk on hard ground.
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Peglo

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1 June 2021
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704
I like them and occasionally think I would like one. Love the mane and tail and the feathers 😍(clearly a person who has never looked after those feet 😂) and then I think of a TB and thats the end of the hairy horse dream 😂
 

smolmaus

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3 December 2019
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Belfast
We have one very hairy, feathery specimen at the rescue yard, lots of white, one blue eye, big chunky fella, lots of presence, the whole package. He could be stunning but he was left running feral with mares for years (I think only surrendered because they were all so feral they were unsellable!) and late gelding has made him even more of an anxious mess so he's a tangled, wind-knotted, filthy bog monster. He still looks pretty spectacular when he does his big look-at-me trot, if you squint a bit so you don't see the details.
 

honetpot

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27 July 2010
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Cambridgeshire
I think, like all man made breeds, there is a huge degree of variation. The modern traveller wants a short coupled min version of a larger horse, that can live on a small plot, it's about looks, so pretty colours, red and white, duns, champagnes colours are in with masses amount and feather.
Then there are the solids, usually with long silky white feather, add drivers, which are high stepping and tend to be bigger, and those with the pretty colours.
My main concern with any breed is that a lot are bred for looks, not how long they can have a healthy life. My biggest bug bear with small breeds, is they compress them, so their back is so short there is little room for a saddle, especially Welsh A.
I have mainly native, I have a Connemara x CHAPS cob, with a moderate about of feather, and I think its the best of both, good movement, cheap to keep, and unless its really muddy his feathers look pretty good. He can grow a massive mane if left, but then he live out 24/7 in all weather unrugged. He no harder to look after than the Highland.
 

Fransurrey

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27 April 2004
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Surrey
I was lucky to buy mine before prices got silly and he was just backed. I love the feather, mane and tail, but I have to confess I'm close top chopping off the lot at the moment. Normally I manage it well by trimming up feathers for winter and thinning mane and tail, but stuff has got on top of me this year and I'm really struggling. Thought I'd found a great product (Farrier's shire oil), but just like pig oil, it made the mane and feathers so grimy it was disgusting and attracted dirt. I had to wash his legs and tail yesterday to try and get rid of it, but they're still dirty. He ended up in a grump and I went home feeling terrible because I shouted at him.

Any recommendations for super duper shampoo welcome. I've always used dermolene, but that's just not up to oil removal!! This is him with almost full feather - he's somewhere in between this and fully trimmed at the mo. full feather.jpg
 

GoldenWillow

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15 June 2015
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2,124
I think like any horses or ponies you can get ones with good conformation and ones with very poor and everything in between although the explosion of bin end breeding of coloured cobs has meant there is a lot of the latter about unfortunately.

J is the second hairy cob or gypsy vanner I've had. Previous one I did keep with mane pulled and feathers clipped, she was a wonderful mare, jumped successfully up to 1.05, competed xc, was successful in showing classes and a wonderful hack and genuine all rounder.

I've done little competing with J but that is due to my limitations rather than his. He'll happily jump up to 80 but I wouldn't say he is the most talented jumper, according to a successful show producer he would do ok County level showing not win but would be right end of the line, will do a nice dressage test and is as bomb proof a hack as you can get whilst being forward and fun to ride.

I don't see why hairy cobs/gypsy vanners are as likely to be useless as any other horse as long as they receive the correct training and education?

I never went out looking specifically for a gypsy cob, just a nice horse and certainly wouldn't pay a premium for either coloured or hair although my mare was bought in an era when coloureds were "cheaper" than solids.
 

TheHairyOne

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18 January 2012
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636
Location
Berkshire
My sisters is a 'big hairy cob', but would probably sell as a vanner in the usa (not that he is going anywhere!).

He looks disgusting 95% of the time in various shades of orange, just have to not see it! The fat we do look at and deal with as best as possible - he is a lot thinner now but couldnt find any recent pics.

However, he does scrub up well!

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