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Breeding the Facts

Gypsy Horse Baby All new owners eventually want to breed from their new gypsy horse, many because they have spent a fortune on importing others because they want more gypsy horses, to start a breeding herd, some just to get an offspring from their own lovable horse, for what ever reason as with any foaling the joy to be had is indescribable.

With gypsy horses there has to be a word of caution, many have been imported from apparently some of the best breeding in the UK with many as offspring of a couple of well known sires, or at least having the name in the pedigree, if this is indeed correct the gene pool is going to be very limited.

Luckily it is not possible for a mare to produce 25 offspring in her life, some breeds may be, but highly unlikely. It is a fact that, gypsy’s do not keep a horse to old bones, so would never know how many they would produce often the horse has been sold well before the age of 10.One has to question there fore why a mares name appears so often.
So double check all the lines and research as far back as you can, check with the seller of the horse and get written confirmation that it is correct. Ask as many questions as needed to verify your horses breeding. Then your careful hunt for a suitable stallion can begin

Until the new found interest in these horses most were reared for meat purposes, only the top gypsy families kept top class breeding herds, some families started crossing them with trotting horses for road racing and the like. So this all rather limits the true breeding knowledge of most horses.

Many horses do not have names attached, usually the stallions are the only ones named, and that is perhaps a name to describe a marking or a car or an event something simple, sometimes it can even be named after the owner as in that is Jo’s stallion.

If a colt is sold for £500 UK then it will have no breeding to it and to be honest will be a bad representative of the breed, A colt sold for a huge amount between the lads is worthy of Colt status and potential stud status, so if you wish to breed and buy a colt for the purpose get ready to pass good money for it, it will be worth the amount spent as many generations will have that sires stamp of quality on it.

Mares, it has taken the gypsy families many years of clever breeding to create the quality gypsy horse of today, no amount of crossing and a quick introduction of another breed will breed back quality into unworthy stock, Mares must be of the best to compliment the stallion. Yes of course this is common sense but many try to take short cuts to economise, at the expense of the breed.

It is a sad fact that many substandard of unknown breeding leave the UK/Ireland shores only to appear later with a registered passport with known breeding stamped all over it.
This will not help the breed and should not be encouraged.

HERDS

The gypsy herds are made up of many solid coloured horses, these play an important role in keeping the strong well marked foals appearing each spring.

It is vital that anyone wishing to start a breeding herd uses solid bays and blacks within the herd status, in the gypsy world the more well marked and different the colour the more prized.

In many countries marketing has been done on the black and whites, if it is black and white and has some hair then it is a gypsy horse!!!!!!!! This is not so, yes a gypsy family may own it, but that does not necessarily make it a well bred gypsy horse, it may have other breeding in the line like trotting horse or just a plain cob of no value or indeed any quality.
This is where there is such a mix of information.

Like any breed of any animal check out the breed standard, yes of course that can be interpreted by anyone to read as something different,, but get good pictures of top stallions that the gypsy’s own and don’t want to part with and use those as your guide line of quality and breed status and work hard to produce stock of that quality, type and temperament.

It is a known fact that the gypsy’s of recent years do not breed horses over 15 h.h. I am often asked for a gypsy horse of around 16hh, these until the new found fame did not exist very often, I admit the odd one just kept growing a bit higher, but they have gone out of their way to get the size smaller and smaller, the ultimate gypsy horse between the lads would be one that stands around the 12.3hh to 13hh with all the qualities of the bigger type they used to breed. The horses started getting smaller to accommodate the London trolleys they pull when the Bow Tops started not being used as often.
The horse needed to be smaller to keep the shafts level.

Within the lads the big ones are reffered to as trade cobs bigger in the head longer in the back and not the quality required for the gypsy breeding herds.

With all that been said lets get back to breeding, most gypsy fillies are put in foal in their second year, so they foal late in their third year, this works well and the horses cope remarkably well. Many breeds of dogs are bred like, this the feeling is the pelvic bone is still pliable so birthing is easier.

Colts are fertile at around the age of 2 years and usually have a high fertility rate. AI and frozen semen has not been widely used in this country, for obvious reasons, it is not a way of doing things for the gypsy’s.
At the time of writing I have been reliably informed it actually does not freeze well either, and it has a short life span when chilled.
With its new found popularity abroad it will be interesting to see what the success rate is. For frozen and chilled semen.

It is an untrue statement that the gypsy’s do not know who the sire of the foals is. They run the herd stallion with his herd for most of the season until all are covered, the stallion is then often wintered in and grain fed to gain condition for the following years covering. Once again I am referring to true breeding gypsy herds.





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