Breeding for the future of the breed.

Gypsy Cobs


History of the Gypsy Cob

 

The Gypsy Horse was bred by the Romani people of Great Britain to pull the vardos in which they lived and travelled. The Romani arrived in the British Isles by 1500 A.D., Prior to that, they travelled in tilted carts or afoot and slept either under or in these carts or in small tents. The peak usage of the Gypsy caravan occurred in the latter part of the 18th century through to the first two decades of the 20th.
Some aspects of training, management, and characteristics of a horse used to pull a vardo are unique. For example, the horse is trained not to stop until it reaches the top of a hill; otherwise it may not be able to get started again due to the heavy weight of the vardo. Training begins at a very early age with the young horse tied "with a short rope from the head to the trace-ring on the collar of the shaft-horse", and led along on the off side. A horse used to pull a vardo which was a permanent home was usually in very good condition due to a combination of exercise, grazing a variety of greens, and good quality care; the horse was considered part of the family.  Since the family's children lived in close proximity to the horse, one having "an unreliable temperament could not be tolerated". The Gypsy Horse was also used to pull the tradesman's cart used in conjunction with the caravan as a runabout and work vehicle.

Click here to continue reading