Breed Profile: Gypsy Vanner

Find out more about the Gypsy Vanner including height, temperament and colours

Breed Profile: Gypsy Vanner
Gypsy Vanner

Gypsy Vanner

Origin: USA

Height: 14.2 - 15.2hh

Colour: The Gypsy Vanner is not a colour breed it is a body type, therefore all colours, markings and patterns are acceptable as follows:

Piebald - black & white
Skewbald - Red & white, brown & white, tri-colour
Odd coloured - Any other colour
Blagdon - Solid colour with white splashed up from underneath

Conformation:  Gypsy Vanners have the look of a small to average size horse with a draft horse type body.

- Back: 

Short coupled and in proportion to overall body.

a. Withers: Well rounded, not high and fine 
b. Chest: A deep, broad chest with well sprung ribs
c. Shoulder: Sloping shoulder with well developed muscle
d. 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.
e. 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 trot.



Ideal hair is straight and silky, with some wave, curl and body being acceptable, kinky hair is a fault. 

  1. Abundant feathering should begin at the knees on the front legs and at or near the hocks on the rear, extending over the front of the hooves.
  2. Mane, forelock and tail should be ample to profusely abundant, double manes are common but not required.


A female head is a more refined head than a typical shire might have, set on a strong neck in harmony with the horses overall look. 

  1. Throat and jaw: Clean throat-latch and jaw.
  2. Nose: Flat and tapered, a slightly roman nose is acceptable if it goes with the horses overall look. A heavy roman nose is not acceptable.
  3. Eyes: Any color, wide set, bright, alert and kind.
  4. Ears: In proportion to the head, not too large.

Temperament:   Gypsy Vanners have sometimes been described as 'Golden Retrievers with Hooves!'.  They are alert and willing with traits of intelligence, kindness and docility.


Ideal Disciplines: Gypsy Vanners areused for driving, dressage, showing and some ridden hunter classes.  Due to their gentle nature and versatility the Gypsy Vanner makes a wonderful family horse.


For more information on the breed visit the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society


If you are looking for a Gypsy Vanner for sale, take a look at a range of adverts on the Horse Deals website >