Pepperwood Gypsy Cobs

Pepperwood GypsyP Cobs 

    Western Australia 

The Gypsy cob

The breed – Gypsy Cob

The Gypsy Cob is a hearty little draft horse which usually stands between 12 and 15.2 hands. Their exceptional stamina allows them to go all day at a steady trot while pulling a loaded living wagon with the whole Gypsy family.  They are sturdily built with solid bone and in order to be a "traditional Gypsy horse" they must have a good deal of feathering and hair. The Gypsy horse comes in all colours, with the most common being the pinto patterns, piebald and skewbald. Although they have been bred for a particular type for generations, they are originally descended from several draft horse and pony breeds, namely the Shire and Clydesdale along with the Dales, Fell and other native British breeds.


Due to the lack of written records on this breed, most of what is known of the Gypsy Cob has been passed down from generation to generation through the spoken word. Gypsy Cob's were originally bred by the Romani People of the UK and Ireland, who we know as the Gypsies.


It was in the past century that the breed we now know as the Gypsy Cobs came into existence, when the Gypsies actively started breeding for particular characteristics. They are in such high demand for many families from all walks of life, due to their willing disposition, beautiful flowing mane, extensive feathering and performance in many disciplines, such as the show ring, dressage, jumping, pony club and even working cattle. Powerful yet gentle and quiet in nature, they are an ideal breed for pleasure riding or working horse. If you are looking for a horse that is known for its soundness and sanity, that will be a faithful companion to your family, and is incredibly versatile, the traditional Gypsy Cob may just be the perfect horse for you.

The Gypsy Cob......Beautiful, brilliant, kind and now enjoying tremendous growth and popularity in Australia

Gypsy Cob Breed Standard

The Traditional Gypsy Horse will have heavy, flat bone. His body must be comparatively short and he will have a thick neck and a sloping shoulder, which should tie in well down his back. He should have a wide and powerful chest and his hindquarters should be round and large. He should sport a very thick mane and tail and his feet should be covered with a profuse amount of long hair or feather. This feather should start behind the knee or hock and fall to the ground and be on both the front and back of the leg. Feather can be noted as curly, woolly or straight and silky within the breed. Many prefer straight, silky feather but it is not usually demanded. What is demanded is that there is 'profuse Feather' which covers the hoof.



The Gypsy can be

Of any size and may be of the pony, cob or horse variety.

Generally speaking gypsy cobs range between 13 and 15.2 hands but heights either side of this are equally acceptable.


General Appearance

The overall appearance of a Gypsy Cob should

Give an impression of intelligence, kindness, strength and soundness.

Be of good bone, either medium or heavy weight.

Be well muscled, with a sturdy compact body, and abundant mane, tail and feather.



The Head should

Be neat, noble and expressive, a sweet head, meaning without coarseness

Be in proportion to the overall body.

Have a generous jaw, even bite and rounded cheek bone.

Have a good width between the nostrils.

Have a straight profile (a heavy Roman nose or overly dished profile is discouraged).

Ears should be neat, well-set, in proportion to the head and not too large.

Have a broad forehead.

Have eyes that are large and set well apart with a bright, intelligent, kind expression.



The neck should be

Clean through the throat with a slightly deeper throat latch than lighter breeds

Slightly arched, more prominent in stallions

Strong and well-muscled

Not too short, in proportion to back length

Tie in well at the shoulder and withers.


Shoulders & Withers

The shoulders should be

Deep, well laid back and sloping.

Powerful with well-developed muscles

The withers should be

Well covered, rounded withers

Level with croup


Chest & Body

The chest should be


Broad and powerful allowing for a large lung/heart cavity.

The muscle along the bottom on the chest should appear as in inverted “V” shape as it ties into the forearm.

The barrel should

Be deep with well-sprung ribs

Have a solid covering of muscle

Have a flank as deep as the girth



The back should be

Short coupled, broad and strongly supported.

Have ample muscle sloping slightly upwards towards the croup.

The loin should be short, wide and strongly muscled.

Be in proportion to the rest of the overall body


Legs & Movement

The legs should

Be set well under the body,

Be straight, clean, with plenty of dense, flat bone and well defined joints

Hocks should be broad and clean with the modified closer hock-set of a pulling horse, but not as close as the modern draft type

Pastern angle should match the angle of the shoulder

Have medium  round shaped hooves capable of carrying the frame without stress

Well-developed frogs, hard, strong hooves and wide heels

Stride should be correct, supple and powerful showing good impulsion from behind. Effortless in appearance.



The hindquarters should

Be well-rounded, with a muscled croup tying into powerful hips giving the appearance of an “apple butt” shape.

Good length from the point of the hip through the haunch, should balance the shoulders.

Tail well set, should not appear too low.



The hair should

Be thick and luxuriant in the mane (Double manes are common but not required)

The forelock should be full and long

Have abundant leg feathering starting at the knee and hock and run down the front and back of the leg (though silky, straight feather is preferred, curly or wavy is acceptable)

Most importantly the feather should cover the hooves all the way around

Be abundant in the tail

Often the gypsy cobs will have a beard, whiskers and muzzle hairs (moustache)



Gypsy Cobs come in a large variety of colour.

All colour, markings and patterns are acceptable

All eye colours are accepted



Stallions must portray the male characteristics of the breed

Presence, ‘a look at me attitude’


Muscling and pride while being controllable and willing

Arched, well crested neck

From 3 years of age must have two fully descended, normally shaped testicles.

Mares must reflect the feminine qualities of the breed

Easy-going, sensible and willing. The disposition of the mare is critical when raising her foal.

Mares may have slightly longer backs than males

Mares tend to have slightly longer ears than stallions whose ears are short and shapely.



The Gypsy Cob should be, above all else,

Be a strong, kind and willing partner, loyal and eager to please

Display a very intelligent character

Be manageable, mannerly and respectful

Be alert, confident and courageous

Display a docile temperament, tractable nature and sensible disposition with a genuine sociable outlook