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I Love Black Friesians and Gypsy Vanners - The Horses of Fairy Tales

image credit - creative commons

image credit - creative commons

Introducing the Horses of Fairy Tales - Gypsy Vanners and Black Friesians

I am crazy wild for these two horse breeds. I absolutely love Black Friesians and Gypsy Vanners. Often, I cannot make up my mind which one I prefer. The Friesian is a very tall, graceful, gorgeous horse, and the Gypsy Vanner is as cute as a button with a most loving, gentle disposition. They are both incredibly beautiful and totally superb regal beings. I hope you like them too.

If you aren't aware of these two breeds, I feel you are in for a real treat. They are the horses of fairy tales. One doesn't even need to have had a general interest in horses to get caught up in the magical presence and beauty of these animals. They are jaw-dropping magically magnificent.

My dream is to one day have two of these beautiful creatures as companions, and I swear if it wasn't dangerous for the horses, I'd let them live right in the house when they wanted to come in. It's true!

Okay, I know what you may be thinking. What's up with choosing only these too? Don't you like other breeds? Yes! I love all horses. I believe they are truly amazing creatures. They are often referred to as "Mans, Second Best Friend," which of course the first best friend being dogs. These two breeds simply just take my breath away every time!! ...and you'll see why! :)

Origin of the Gypsy Vanner - an interesting history of the Gypsy Vanner


The history of the Gypsy Vanner is an interesting one. There is some speculation as to exactly when this breed came to be and also as to their ancestry. Most agree that Shires and Cob horses were crossbred to produce the Gypsy Vanner.

The Gypsy Vanner is a relatively new breed of horse bred by the Romani Gypsy people of Indian origin who live across Europe. The Gypsies needed a strong, athletic horse that was also loving and gentle towards humans. The Gypsy Vanners pulled the gypsy living quarters across the land with ease. Once the gypsies found a nice place to temporarily settle, they enjoyed their time spent with their be-loved horses. Today, the bond between owner and horse is very strong. One could say that the Gypsy Vanners are more like canine companions for these people.

Origin of the Black Friesian Horse - an interesting history of the Black Friesian

image credit - creative commons

image credit - creative commons

Friesians! These are the horses of the Medieval Knights! Friesians are thought to go back as early as the 16th century. They were originally bred to carry knights into battle. With their tall stature, endurance and strength, grace, and warm-blood characteristics, this horse was an easy choice for battle.

Friesian horses are most probably descendants of The Forest Horse, an all black horse living wild before the time horses were domesticated. Friesians almost became extinct a few times throughout history, but with concentrated breeding efforts, their numbers are increasing today.

Collectible Friesian and Gypsy Vanner Statues - Breyer and others

When I was a little girl, collecting Breyer horse statues was a must.

I would walk into a tack shop, and there they all would be. It was my version of a girl's dollhouse haven. If you need gifts for young girls who have an interest in horses, start them on these and watch their eyes light up!


Gypsy Vanner Characteristics

  • Other Names - Gypsy Horse, Irish Cob, Tinker Horse, Colored Cob, Gypsy Cob
  • Origin - European Gypsies!
  • Ancestry - Shire and Cob Horse
  • Height - Up to 16 hands
  • Colors - Black, White, and Chestnut
  • Weight - Up to 1,400 pounds
  • General Uses - Sweety Companion, Work, Dressage, General Riding
  • Temperament - Gentle, Docile, Loves People, Super Social, Athletic, Strong
  • Other Distinguishable Characteristics - Super Soft Smooth Silky Coat, Extra Long Mane, Tail, and Feathers

Friesian Characteristics

  • Other Names - Frisian, Belgian Black
  • Origin - The Netherlands
  • Ancestry - The Forest Horse
  • Height - Up to 17 hands
  • Colors - Black, Chestnut
  • Weight - Up to 1,300 pounds
  • General Uses - Beautiful Companion, Work, Dressage, Racing, General Riding
  • Temperament - Strong, Graceful, Intelligent, Likes to "Go to Work"
  • Other Distinguishable Characteristics - Thick Gorgeous Extra Long Mane, Tail, and Feathers

Understanding the Characteristics

If you are new to horses

If you are new to horses, you may not understand exactly what some of the characteristics above mean. Therefore here's an explanation for some.

Hands - When talking about height with horses, the unit of measurement is called a "hand." "How many hands is the horse?" is the question one would ask to inquire about a horse's height. One hand is equal to 4"

So, for example, the Friesian horse is typically 17 hands. This means the horse measures 68" or 5ft. 8" up to its withers. The withers are the highest point of the horse's shoulder blade. So, if a horse measures 5ft. 8in. up to it's withers and this measurement does not include that long neck and head, it means 17 hands is HUGE! These horses are very large. Try to pay attention to the people in the videos and pictures. You can get a feel for just how big and tall these animals are. To stand next to one is real life is pretty neat. You just can't get over how big they are. They're awesome!

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Dressage - Dressage is a type of training with horses. The training shows obedience and flexibility with the horse. Dressage competition is lovely to watch. The horses appear to be dancing. Movements are choreographed to music, and the choreography shows a bond and trust between the horse and rider.

Watch a Friesian in Action - Frederick the Great by ThePinnacleFriesians on Youtube

This guy is an absolute beauty! Just as stated in the video description, this Friesian stallion is "jaw-dropping." Enjoy!!

Watch a Few Gypsy Vanners in Action

Please Rate

Comments Welcome - Kindly Sign and Share

Carolyn Bennett from Longview, Washington on November 06, 2013:

This lens was so wonderful I shared pictures from it and a link to the lens on FB Page.

Carolyn Bennett from Longview, Washington on November 06, 2013:

Absolutely love these horses..

Melanie Wilcox (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on October 23, 2013:

@darciefrench lm: thank you!

Melanie Wilcox (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on May 25, 2013:

@CoeGurl: Yes! Friesians are beyond awesome! I'm glad you got to see the Vanners here.

Melanie Wilcox (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on May 25, 2013:

@darciefrench lm: Thank you darcie :)

Melanie Wilcox (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on May 25, 2013:

@StrongMay: Hello and thank you for visiting this page. Morgan's are gorgeous. I like Shire's too. Oh, who am I kidding. I love them all.

Melanie Wilcox (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on May 25, 2013:

@JenwithMisty: thank you! I thought you might prefer the Gypsy Vanners - big cows just like you're little cow :) Your horse is really super pretty!

Jen withFlash on May 25, 2013:

Both of these breeds are absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful page!!

StrongMay on February 24, 2013:

They are all so beautiful! I have a friend who owns a stable. Her favorite are the Gypsy Vanners, although she doesn't have any of those in her stable.

Another breed I think is similar is the Morgan. Beautiful.

darciefrench lm on February 19, 2013:

What beautiful horses, thank-you for doing them justice in this lovely showcase :D

CoeGurl on February 17, 2013:

Friesians are my very favorite horse! I didn't know about the Gypsy Vanners before this. They are gorgeous horses as well. Both breeeds are magnificent!

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