Gypsy Horse Journal Article
Winter 2010

The Gypsy Horse Association bids a warm welcome to this new publication dedicated solely to the Gypsy Horse. Like Equine Journal, GHA believes that the Gypsy Horse is at a turning point in North America. Once a rare, expensive import, it is now becoming accessible to many new owners attracted by its beauty, temperament, and athleticism. We believe that America’s discovery of the Gypsy is in its infancy.

In some ways, the Gypsy is very like the Arabian Horse, another American success story. Both originated as family horses in their native lands and, as such, worked and lived with their humans every day, all day. The result is a horse with a gentle and forgiving temperament who bonds closely with his owners.  Also like the Arabian, the Gypsy possesses breathtaking beauty, although of a completely different kind. Whereas the Arabian is delicate and fine boned, the Gypsy possesses heavy bone and substance and, of course, hair—lavish mane, tail, and feathering.

The Gypsy shares another important trait with the Arabian—versatility. In an article entitled “The Arabian Horse—His Versatility” published in The Arabian Horse Times, Linda White points out that most horse breeds in existence today were adapted to be specialists (e.g., the Thoroughbred to race). However, she says, perhaps optimistically, that only 10% to 15% of the members of these specialist breeds go on to stardom within their specialties. The rest, possessing “task specific conformation and temperament,” must find places outside it. With its versatility, the Arabian, she states, “Turn[s] those numbers upside down.”

The same can be said of the Gypsy Horse. Gypsies are successfully doing dressage, cutting cattle, reining, barrel racing, jumping, trail riding or driving, pleasure driving, competing in CDEs and HDTs, and showing in halter. Some are being shown by professionals, but the majority of current GH handlers, riders, and drivers are amateurs and youths, and the GH is ideal for both. Although a Gypsy will probably never be capable of doing Grand Prix dressage or competing in Olympic level eventing, the majority of riders will not seek these rarified levels of achievement. For them, the Gypsy, with his can-do attitude and calm, tractable temperament, will be the perfect partner in whatever equine sport they choose. He is also excelling at what he was initially bred to be--the ideal family horse.

Please join the Gypsy Horse Association as North America continues its discovery of this beautiful, versatile breed.

Fourteen-year-old Chloe Kott jumps gelding Pour L'Amour de Garcon.


Laken Adkins of Bootleg Express Draft Farm, at Breyerfest 2009


gypsy's hunting
Villa Vanners Flash and Tango "hilltop" with the Tennessee Valley Hunt Club.
Photo Courtesy of Riverplains Farm

Blarney Stone Acres Sailor ridden by Full Circle Dressage's Mary Jo Wicker
competes in 2nd Level dressage.

Gail DeMarco and stallion Storm King cut cattle.
Photo copyright XSIGHT Photography.

Amateur driver Sandra Pelton & stallion D'Jango Jazz of The Pelton Vanners
compete in a marathon.

Five-year-old Laken Adkins and mare Tara (front)
of Bootleg Express Draft Farm, place 1st in a Walk Only Class - All Ages.