top of page

Gypsy Cob


A traditional Gypsy Cob should be heavy, powerful with dense, flat bone. Their body should be comparatively short and well muscled. They should have a thick, slightly arched neck and a sloping shoulder, which should tie in well at the shoulder and wither. Their chest should be broad, powerful and have ample muscle. A Gypsy's hindquarters should be smooth and round across the croup with well muscled buttocks. The mane and tail should be long and thick and there should be abundant feather starting at the knee and hock, running down the back and front of the leg. Feather may be either straight or curly and it should cover the hoof. 


The Gypsy Cob will be of any size and may be of the pony, cob or horse variety.

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:

  • display kind expression and abundant hair

  • be in proportion to the body

  • have a generous jaw, even bite and rounded cheek bone

  • have a good width between the nostrils

  • have a straight profile, although a slightly a heavy roman nose can be common, however, an overly dished profile is discouraged

  • have ears which are neat, well-set, in proportion to the head and not too large.


The neck should be:

  • slightly arched, more prominent in stallions

  • strong and well muscled

  • clean through the throat with a slightly deeper throat latch that lighter breeds

  • not too short, in proportion to back length

  • tied in well at the shoulder and withers.

Shoulders and Withers​

The shoulders should be:

  • deep, well sloped

  • powerful with well-developed muscles.

The withers should be:

  • average in height and not too high with a good cover of muscle.

Chest and Body​

The chest should:

  • be broad and well muscled

  • have the muscle running along the bottom of the chest appearing as an inverted "V" shape as it ties into the forearm.


The barrel should:

  • be deep with well sprung ribs and a solid covering of muscle

  • have a flank that is as deep as the girth.


The back should:

  • be short, well muscled and tie in strongly at the loin. 

Legs and Movement​

The legs should:

  • be well set under the body with straight, clean with plenty of dense, flat bone

  • should have clearly defined joints, in proportion to the diameter of cannon and pastern bones. The knees, hocks and fetlocks should be obvious junctures of the leg structure, with heavy to middle bone

  • be slightly turned toe-out (when viewed from behind), with the horse being narrower in the placement of the hindlegs than the forelegs

  • reveal heavy smooth muscles in the gaskin, with the outer gaskin being large and round, whereas the inside gaskin will be less muscular, appearing flat when comparing the inner and outer gaskins

  • have hooves that are symmetrical shape, with ample width and angle at the heels. Flat hooves with low heels are not desirable

  • have a walk that is naturally forward flowing with a four-beat gait.  The length of stride reflects the power of impulsion from the muscular hindquarters, with a slight overstep of stride. This stride can vary from a laid-back amble to a powerful, purposeful gait

  • have shoulder movement that moves forward in a free, unrestricted reach, with this motion carried down the entire length of the limb. The knee and hock action must be balanced in elevation and reach as the horse moves forward with pride

  • have an initial gait at a walk of that for a draft type of horse to move their load, therefore the Gypsy must move with deliberate forward, powerful strides. 


The hindquarters should:

  • have the same characteristics and traits of the forelegs. Those include the definition of the bone and joints, size and shape of the hooves, length of the pastern, and the slightly base narrow leg position

  • be smooth and round across the croup

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

  • have hocks which are broad and clean with the modified closer hock-set of a pulling horse, but not as close as the modern draft horse

  • be more toward the vertical, usually over 50 degrees, when compared to the same anatomical region on the forelegs

  • have medium sized, round shaped hooves capable of carrying the frame without stress

  • well developed frogs, hard strong hooves and wide heels.


The hair should:

  • be long and thick 

  • have a forelock that is full and long covering the eyes, as a natural sort of protection

  • 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)

  •  have feather which covers the hooves all the way around

  • be abundant in the tail

  • have a beard, mustache, with excessive whiskers and muzzle hairs


  • Gypsy Cobs come in a large variety of colours

  • all colour, markings and patterns are acceptable, some common colours include:

    • Tobiano – Broken coat (pinto)

    • Solid – Solid colored coat 

    • Sabino (Splash) – Solid or Broken coat with white hairs splashed or spread over base colour, usually high white legs and facial markings

    • Blagdon* - Solid color with white splashed up from underneath

    • Odd coloured* – All other colours and patterns   

  • all eye colours are accepted. The colour of the eyes will vary from solid to party-colour regardless of coat colour. Partial and solid colours of blues and browns are acceptable, along with a white sclera

  • ​it is important to note, the Gypsy is not a breed based on colour, although the easily recognisable coat colours, and patterns set the breed apart from others. 


Stallions must portray the male characteristics of the breed including:

  • presents, a "look at me" attitude

  • masculine characteristics with a sense of pride while being controllable and willing

  • an arched, well crested neck

  • two fully descended, normally shaped testicles from 3 years of age.

Mares must reflect the feminine qualities of the breed, being:

  • easy going, sensible and willing. The attitude of the mare is critical as it assists in raising her foal


The Gypsy Cob should be:

  • a strong, kind and willing partner

  • display an intelligent character with docile temperament

  • relaxed, mannerly and respectful of its environment

  • alert, confident and courageous.

Unacceptable Characteristics and Traits 

  • clean legged horses (no feather)

  • aggressive behavior.

  • definable malocclusions

  • stallions, 3 years of age and older without 2 fully descended, normal testicles.

  • broken crests

  • overly slopped croup (goose rump).

Gypsy Cob Standard.jpg

Image courtesy of the Australasian Gypsy Horse Society Inc. 

bottom of page