It is hard to imagine the Gypsy travelers without envisioning colorful horses, with their flowing manes and tails, and feathered legs. An ideal caravan horse and companion, the Gypsy Vanner is widely considered a calm, sound and eye-catching horse.

  1. History

  2. Gypsy travelers originally bred Gypsy Vanners to pull carts. They were also used as baby-sitters for children at camp, as well as for currency.


  3. Gypsy Vanners come in all colors, though the most common, and highly prized, are the black-and-white or brown-and-white colors. They are normally between 14 and 15.2 hands high (a hand measuring four inches), with a short neck and back.


  4. Originally bred in Ireland, the Gypsy Vanner can be found all over the world, though they are still rare in the United States.


  5. The interbreeding of four breeds--Friesian, Shire, Clydesdale and Dales pony--developed the Gypsy Vanner horse.

    Fun fact

  6. Gypsy Vanners were bred for their docile nature and ability to remain calm. In Gypsy camps, any horse showing ill temperament was banished immediately.

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The Gypsy horse--also known as Gypsy Vanner, Gypsy Cob and Tinker horse--is a strong work horse, yet gentle and attractive.

  1. History

  2. The Gypsy horse was originally bred in the 19th century by the Romani (traveling) people of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Gypsy horse was bred for work purposes--to pull the wagons in which the Romani lived--as well as for their beauty  and docile nature.

    Time Frame

  3. The Gypsy horse was introduced to the United States in 1996 and remains a rare breed--only around 200 Gypsy horses are presently in the U.S.


  4. Gypsy horses have piebald (black and white) or, less commonly, skewbald (brown and white) coloring. They usually have abundant hair and feathers (feathered hair) that begin at the knee in front and at the hock in the back.


  5. Gypsy horses range in size from 13 to 15 hands (one hand equals four inches).


  6. While most Romani no longer live in wagons, they still keep and breed Gypsy horses for use as draft horses. They are also used for showing in dressage, western and driving competitions.

Gypsy horses, which are also known as Gypsy vanners or Gypsy cobs, are small sturdy draft horses that are notable for their long manes and tails and their heavily feathered feet. They are a popular breed for both riding and drafting. They are known for being steady, willing horses.

  1. History

  2. According to the Equine Post, the Gypsy horse was originally bred to pull the wagons of the Gypsy caravans. The breed originally came from England, where it was developed from a combination of different horse breeds, including the Freisian, the Clydesdale, the Shire horse and the Dales pony. They were bred for patient temperaments and a strong, muscular build. The Gypsy horse is a relatively new breed in the United States, and the breed's registry was created in 1966.


  3. The Gypsy horse is small and sturdy, with an arched neck that comes up high off the shoulder. The limbs should be well-muscled and straight, but proportional with the horse's body. The Gypsy horse's body is well muscled, with heavy feathering on all of the four legs.


  4. Though the Gypsy horse is not a breed that has color requirements, there are colors that are desirable and which set the Gypsy horse apart from others. Gypsy horses that are black and white with the tobiano pattern, where there are splotches of colors across the neck and chest and flanks, are known as piebald, while hoses with the tobiano pattern in other colors are known as skewbald. Blagdon Gypsy horses are solid with white splashed on their legs and abdomen, while the term odd-colored is used on all other colors.


  5. Because of its long history as a draft horse, where steadiness and patience are key virtues, the Gypsy horse is relaxed, respectful of its environment and willing. Stallions are expected to be showy, curious and proud, while mares, which need to raise foals should be sensible, easy-going and quieter.


  6. The Gypsy horse excels at driving, where it is hitched to a carriage or cart, but it is also a capable jumper. It's attitude and beatuty also make it a strong candidate for dressage, the art of training a horse's athletic ability and responsiveness to its rider.

Gypsy Vanner horses get their names from the caravans ("vans") that they pulled. A palomino is a horse with a golden body and a white or cream-colored mane and tail. Although rare, solid palomino Gypsy Vanners do exist, although they often have a wide blaze, four white stockings and some small white spots about the body. Palomino pintos with large splashes of white along the palomino body also rarely occur.

  1. CGypsy vanner in a more common color.olors

  2. Solid-colored Gypsy Vanners, palomino or otherwise, are known as "odd colored" in the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. If the odd-colored Gypsy Vanner has some white markings over the knees, on the belly or chest, though, then it is known as a Blagdon. Palomino pintos are known as skewbalds. Palominos come in several shades, ranging from a pale champagne to a dark chocolate gold.


  3. Gypsy Vanners are bred in two sizes, known as "classic" and "cob." Palomino or palomino pinto Gypsy Vanners should ideally be these sizes in order to be registered. The classic size is from 14.3 to 15.2 hands high. (A hand is equal to 4 inches.) The cobs are to be 13.2 to 14.2 hands high. The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society notes that horses smaller or larger than the ideal still can be registered if they fit the breed standards in all other ways.


  4. Gypsy Vanners were considered a type rather than a breed in England until an American horse breeder named Dennis Thompson began importing horses to America in 1994. Such enthusiasm existed for the new breed that by 1996 the breed's first registry, the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, opened and allowed solid palominos and palomino pintos, according to "Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America."


  5. Gypsies and Irish tinkers of the United Kingdom often preferred splashy pintos to pull their caravans. They had easy access to pinto horses and ponies because the upper classes preferred solid-colored horses. Pintos were seen as mongrels or somehow impure. This is how Gypsies and Irish tinkers were able to breed a strong yet colorful breed such as the Gypsy Vanner, according to "Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America."


  6. Gypsy Vanners are a very rare breed, even in the United Kingdom. "Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America" estimates about 5,000 are in the world, and 90 percent are cob sized. It is unknown how many are palomino or palomino pinto. The most common colors are piebald (black and white patches), and dark brown and white pinto.

Gypsy vanner horses (gypsy cobs, Irish cobs, colored cobs and tinker horses) were bred by the Gypsies as colorful, charming additions to their caravans. These horses were only recently recognized in the United States, where they number about 200 (in 2010). The horses come in several colors, including black. They are kept as both performance horses and pets.

  1. Characteristics

  2. Gypsy vanners are the smallest of the draft horses. They are short and compact with heavy, dense bone structures, dense musculature and large feet. Like most draft horses, gypsy vanners have characteristic "feathers," or sections of long hair below their knees and around their ankles. Besides black, gypsy vanner coloring includes black and white, brown and white, pure white and pure black. Black gypsy vanners are unique only in their coloration; otherwise, they are identical to differently colored gypsy vanners.


  3. The gypsy vanner breed was born in the United Kingdom and Ireland during World War II, when Gypsies decided to breed flashier horses. The Gypsies bred for small, sturdy horses with the strength to pull carts, for dramatic coloring and for flashy movements. The breed has been recognized by international associations.


  4. The gypsy vanner breed is not yet set, and so breeding is selective and subject to approval by the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, which monitors the breed. When foals are born, they must meet certain standards before they are approved and registered. These restrictions combine to make gypsy vanner horses both rare and expensive.

    Mature Horses

  5. Gypsy vanner horses reach maturity at 5 to 6 years. They generally attain a height of 13 to 15 hands and weigh several hundred pounds. Once they reach maturity, gypsy vanners are trained for riding, parading and pulling carts.

    Fun Facts

  6. Gypsy vanners have been crossed with other draft horses to produce "drum" horses. Both gypsy vanners and drum horses are used as parade horses in official ceremonies in the United Kingdom. They also are commonly displayed in the royal British stables in London.



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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


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Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

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We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

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After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

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