Gypsy Vanner Horses: History, Characteristics & Cost

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The Gypsy Vanner is a rare and unique horse breed originating from England and Ireland. It is well known for its beauty, intelligence, strength, and stamina. It has been used as a working horse for centuries, carrying goods, and pulling caravans and wagons across Europe. The Gypsy Vanner is also popular among recreational riders due to its smooth ride and strong, yet gentle temperament.

History of the Gypsy Vanner Breed

The Gypsy Vanner Horse is a breed of draft horse that was developed in early 19th century England and Ireland by the Romani people, also known as “Gypsies”. The goal was to create a strong and dependable horse suitable for their lifestyle of traveling from place to place in caravans. The Gypsy Vanner Horse was bred using a combination of Irish Cob, Shire, Clydesdale, and Dales Pony bloodlines.

The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society (GVHS) was established in 1996 to help preserve the breed and maintain its standards. The GVHS works with breeders, owners, and judges to ensure that all Gypsy Vanner Horses are bred according to their strict guidelines. They also offer registration services for the horses and host events such as shows, trail rides and parades.

Physical Characteristics

Gypsy Vanner Horses are known for their long manes and feathering on their legs. They usually have a dark coat color with white markings. Other common physical characteristics include an arched neck, thick mane and tail, broad chest and strong hindquarters.


Gypsy Vanner Horses typically range from 12.2-15.2 hands but may be as large as 16 hands in some cases. They weigh between 1,000 and 1,700 pounds and are considered to be a medium-sized horse breed.


Gypsy Vanner Horses have a lifespan of approximately 20-25 years.


Gypsy Vanner Horses are known for being friendly, gentle and loyal horses. They are also very intelligent and easy to train. Because of their calm nature, they make excellent companion horses with or without riding.


Gypsy Vanner Horses can come in many colors, including black, brown, bay and dun. They are also known for having white or cream-colored coats with several different kinds of distinctive markings.

How Much do Gypsy Vanner Horses Cost?

The cost of purchasing a Gypsy Vanner Horse varies depending on the individual horse and its age, breed, gender and training level. Prices for a well-trained adult Gypsy Vanner can range from $3,000 to $20,000 or more. Breeding stock or horses with show potential may be priced even higher. It is important to research the horse and its background before making a purchase. Working with an experienced breeder or trainer can help ensure that you find the right horse for your needs.

What are Gypsy Vanner Horses Used for?

Gypsy Vanner Horses are often used in horse shows, for both pleasure and competition. They have an easy-going, friendly demeanor that makes them excellent mounts for all kinds of riding styles. Many owners use their Gypsy Vanners for dressage, show jumping, endurance events, and even cross-country events. As working horses on the farm, Gypsy Vanners can also be used to pull wagons and carriages.

Regular Monthly Gypsy Vanner Horse Expenses

The monthly expenses for owning a Gypsy Vanner Horse can vary widely, depending on the individual horse’s needs and activities. Basic costs of ownership include food, veterinary care (vaccinations, deworming, etc.), hoof care (trimming/shoeing), and tack/equipment. Depending on the activity level of the horse, other costs such as training and show fees might also be incurred. On average, monthly expenses for a Gypsy Vanner can range between $1,000 to $2,000 or more per month.

  • Boarding – Boarding a Gypsy Vanner can range in pricing depending on location and the amenities offered. If you are unable to keep your horse at home, you may expect to pay up to $1,500 per month for board.
  • Feeding – Much of a horse’s diet depends on age, size and activity level. Typical feed costs can range from $100 to $300 per month. Additionally, hay and bedding will have to be taken into consideration when budgeting for ownership.
  • Training – If your horse needs additional training or help with any issues it might have, you can expect to pay additional fees. Depending on the trainer and experience, this could range from an hourly rate of $50 to $100 or more.
  • Farrier – A farrier is a trained and skilled professional that cares for the feet of a horse by trimming and balancing them. Additionally, farriers may be responsible for placing horseshoes to help protect the hoof. The cost of a farrier can vary depending on your location, but you should budget anywhere from $100 to$350 or more per visit.
  • Veterinary – A veterinarian should be consulted at least once or twice a year for a routine check-up and vaccinations. More frequent visits may be necessary for horses who are ill, pregnant or need additional medical attention. Prices and services will vary depending on the vet and type of service, but you should budget anywhere from $75 to $200 or more per visit.

FAQ About Gypsy Vanner Horse

Are Gypsy Vanners hard to take care of?

No, Gypsy Vanners are fairly easy to take care of. They do require regular grooming and hoof maintenance, but with proper care, they can live for upwards of 25 years or more.

Are Gypsy Vanners easy to train?

Yes, Gypsy Vanners are generally very intelligent and eager to please. They tend to be quick learners, especially when it comes to dressage and show jumping.

How fast can a Gypsy Vanner run?

Gypsy Vanners can reach speeds of up to 30 mph. However, they are often used as show horses, so their speed is usually kept at a more leisurely pace.

Can Gypsy Vanners jump?

Yes, Gypsy Vanners are talented jumpers, and they often compete in show-jumping competitions. They have the potential to clear jumps up to 4 feet high.

Can Gypsy Vanners do dressage?

Yes, Gypsy Vanners make excellent dressage horses. They are agile and light on their feet, making them very suited to the discipline.

What age do Gypsy Vanners stop growing?

Gypsy Vanners generally reach their full height by the age of three. However, they can continue to develop until as late as five years old.

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