History of the Gypsy Vanner
The history of the breed also includes the history of the people. The Travellers of Great Britain and Ireland had the need for a stout, power packed horse that could not only pull a caravan full of their possessions as well as their children, but also be the horse that their children could play with after a long day of traveling. The Traveller’s Horse, aka Gypsy Vanner, Gypsy Cob, Irish Cob, was created in Ireland up to 200 yrs ago. The Traveller people would cross heavy pony breeds with the Shire and or Clydesdale. The process of creating 15 hand heavy cob with a small head and ear, feather, and heavy bone took many decades of skillful breeding. The Travellers horse is exquisite all on its own. The caravan, much like the horse, was a priceless piece of art that was taken care of with love. Each caravan was unique to the family. During the off season, winter usually, the husband would whittle and paint away to make the wagon more detailed, intricate, personal, and more colorful. The caravan was their life’s work and they of course took great pride in their work.
Late 2015, we were blessed with the opportunity to have our very own caravan made by a true Traveller, of whom himself was born in a caravan in Wales. Mr. David Bryan built our wagon from scratch while his wife Kristine and their granddaughter Emma painted the wagon with scenes of our own horses. This caravan has brought two families together. The Bryans are not mere friends anymore, but family. This is what makes this wagon a caravan. Family.
WillowWind Stable has dedicated this caravan to The Bryans and their history.