Draft (Draught) Horses – Friesians and Gypsy Cobs

The fourth of six articles, this one covers the Friesian and the Gypsy Cob. Both of those are smaller draft (draught) breeds.


Brief History

This draft breed is rooted in Friesland, Northwestern Europe, which is now part of the Netherlands. The authentic inventory was once descended from the order of Equus robustus (the large horse). In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Andalusian lineage was once presented to the bloodline within the type of Spanish stallions which have been deserted at the battlefield all through the conflict between the Spanish and the Dutch. This new blood endowed the Friesian line with upper knee motion, smaller heads, and arching necks.

Description and Characteristics

The Friesian is likely one of the smaller draft horses, in stature and weight. In order for Friesians to be deemed purebred, and allowed for use for breeding inventory for a purebred line, they should be no less than 14.3 palms (57.2 in., or 145.3 cm.) on the shoulder. And the topic should be cast black without a white markings at the legs or frame. The conventional peak is 15.3 to 16.1 palms (155.4 to 163.6 cm., or 61.2 to 64.4 in.). The Friesian is closely boned, and the grownup averages about 1300 kilos (92.3 stones). This breed seems to be quick and stocky. The thick manes and tails, and plentiful fetlock hair are historically allowed to stay complete and herbal. The Friesian has a just right temperament and makes sense however energetic. The breed can be utilized for pulling, or for saddle driving. And whilst Friesians have the standard gaits – stroll, trot, and canter – lengthy custom has emphasised the “big” trot which is conventional of the breed.

Gypsy Cob


This small draft horse strains its roots to the Romanys, who had little need for the bigger drafts. For virtually 100 years the Romany other folks, or Gypsies, have bred the cob to drag their conventional carts and “mobile homes” during the rustic lanes of Ireland and England. And even supposing most of the “Travelers” – as those who transfer concerning the nation are referred to as – have modified to extra trendy conveyances, there are nonetheless those that hang to the standard mode of trip.

Even although many of us of the Romany heritage not trip, they proceed to reproduce those colourful horses as some way of preserving custom alive. As way back the fashionable Gypsy’s wealth continues to be, in a big section, measured via the scale and high quality of his horse herd.

Description and Conformation

The Gypsy Cob has no person explicit colour. The maximum not unusual are pinto patterned, piebald, and skewbald. They are small, in that they historically stand 13 to fifteen.2 palms (52 to 60.8 in., or 132 to 154 cm.) on the shoulder. They are compact, but robust and sturdy. Their stamina lets them pull a loaded “living wagon”, at a gentle trot, all day lengthy.

In order to be categorised as a conventional Gypsy horse, they should have an abundance of hair and feathering. The feathering begins on the knee and grows everywhere the ground part of the leg to the hoof.

The Gypsy Cob has been bred for a specific kind for years, however can hint their ancestral roots again to Clydesdales, Shires, Friesians, and Irish Drafts as smartly a Connemara, Dales, and Fell ponies. This horse is usually identified to be very sound and sane, a loyal significant other, and to own unbelievable versatility.

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