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Kathleen Jenson & Family


Conformation and Temperament is what the Gypsy Vanner is as a breed, the beauty is a bonus. Here are the Breed Standards that all Gypsy Vanners are held to and judged on.

Gypsy Vanner Horse®
Breed Standards

The Gypsy Vanner is a “people sized” draft horse with heavy bone and broad body, but on a smaller scale then the large draft breeds.

The Gypsy Vanner Horse® is not a color breed it is a body type, therefore all colors, markings and patterns are acceptable. In honor of the British Gypsy heritage of the breed, the following names will be used to describe a Gypsy Vanner horses color.
A. Piebald: Black & White
B. Skewbald: Red & White, Brown & White, Tri-Color
C. Odd Coloured: Any other color
D. Blagdon: Solid color with white splashed up from underneath

No height limits, all sizes have the same standards, all equally acceptable.

The Vanner has the look of a small to average size horse with a draft horse type body.
A. Back: Short coupled and in proportion to overall body
B. Withers: Well rounded, not high and fine
C. Chest: A deep, broad chest with well sprung ribs.
D. Shoulder: Sloping shoulder with well developed muscle
E. Hindquarters: Heavy, powerful hips with a well muscled rounded croup, tail not set too low. Slab sided or severely sloping hindquarters are considered a fault.
F. Neck: Strong and of ample length, stallions must display a bold look with a rainbow (well arched) crest.

Clean, heavy to medium heavy bone set on medium to large hoof.
A. Front: Set square, muscular with broad flat well developed knees.
B. Rear: Hocks that are broad and clean, a Vanner will have the modified closer hock set of a pulling horse, but not as close as the modern draft horse. Set back or sickle hocks are a fault.
C. Hoof : large round hoof , open at the heels with well developed frogs. Small contracted hooves are considered a fault
D. Leg movement, clean, straight, and true, with energy and a distinctive and effortless

Ideal hair is straight and silky, with some wave, curl and body being acceptable. Kinky hair is a fault..
A. Abundant feathering should begin at the back of the knees on the front legs and at or near the hocks on the rear, extending over the front of the hooves.
B. Mane, forelock and tail should be ample to profusely abundant, double manes are common but not required.

A sweet head is a more refined head than a typical shire might have, set on a strong neck in harmony with the horses overall look.
A. Throat and jaw: Clean throat-latch and jaw.
B. Nose: Flat and tapered, a slightly roman nose is acceptable if it goes with the horses over all look. A heavy roman nose is not acceptable.
C. Eyes: Any color, wide set, bright, alert and kind.
D. Ears: In proportion to the head, not too large.

A Vanner should be alert and willing with traits of intelligence, kindness and docility, a Golden Retriever With Hooves®.


This is suggested information that I follow for myself, I am not saying this is the only way to go or that you have to look for what I do, it's just what I found to like from my experiences with horses.

When picking out a horse, first of all look for one that has interest in you, I believe this to be very important when buying any kind of pet. You want a horse (whether Gypsy or not) that is inquisitive of you, (if it hasn't been handled) and friendly. Generally all Gypsies fit that category and easily grow a relationship with you but there could always be one that doesn't. 

Look for strong legs, when I look for strength in a horse's legs I watch for excessive angling of the pastern and fetlock area, I want a leg to have a sturdy angle, I don't want to see the fetlock close to the ground. Head, neck, legs, shoulders, back and hind quarters should all be in proportion and even the placing of the tail and eyes is important. The tail shouldn't be too low on the hindquarters or too high and the eyes shouldn't be too close together or too far apart.

Some babies are born with knees slightly bowed forward, this is usually grown out of but I prefer not to have it on my horse, if everything else looks real good though then I wouldn't let it deter me.

​​Here I am showing what I look for and want for a riding horse, this colt is a perfect example in my opinion. I have put some lines on the one picture to show the lines I look for. I don't want the legs too long to the body so I look for the Line from the curve of the rump down to the hock, I don't want the hock too far out or too far under the body. The dock of the tail is in a good position on this colt and the size of head is good for a Gypsy as well. The front fetlock and pastern are also the the angle I look for, the vertical line is from the front of the fetlock and isn't behind the back of the hoof and the other line is a nice 45 degrees. I wouldn't want too much more or less of 45 degrees. As you can see the colt is in very good proportion through out his body. The picture is of Firecracker when a week old taken by his breeders and this is the picture that brought me to buy him.

Hope this Helps!