Over half a century ago, a vision was born to create a very special horse. A magical, almost mythical, colorful, compact, small Draft horse. A horse powerful enough to pull the decorative caravans known as Vardos, that the Gypsy calls home, yet gentle and trustworthy for the keeping of their children and worldly possessions. The horses had to be hardy and easy to keep, as they were often tethered on the side of the road or in fields, eating whatever grass they could find and living without shelter in the cold winters.
The selective breeding of a few dedicated Gypsies or Romany people (as they are also called) has produced what is now known as the Gypsy Horse. Up until the late 20th century, the Gypsy Cob was not a recognized breed. Not much is known about the bloodlines of Gypsy Cobs because pedigrees were usually kept secret and only family members knew the details. Today, the Gypsy Horse or Gypsy Cob is no longer used for pulling Vardos, but it is still looked upon as a symbol of power and strength among the Romany.
The horse breeds utilized for the foundation of this breed, Clydesdale, Shire, Friesian and Dales Pony each have imparted some traits and characteristics individual to their heritage. All of them combined have contributed to the long flowing hair characteristics that the Gypsy Horse will be remembered by. A true Gypsy Horse will have feather emanating from the knees in the front and just below the hocks in the rear, long flowing manes, forelocks, and tails that will drag on the ground. There's an old saying, which goes "Gypsy Gold does not chink and glitter, it gleams in the sun, and neighs in the dark". This proverb believed to be from the Claddaugh Gypsies of Galway refers to the magical relationship between gypsies and their most treasured objects, their horses.
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