Rawlings Cobs

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About Us

We promote the Gypsy Cob across the world, so other horse lovers have the chance to share these incredible horses. A temperament such as theirs may be unknown in almost all other horse breeds, they are known to be placid, calm, dependable, sociable and loving, they are a real pleasure to own, work, ride, drive, show and hang out with !!

They have been carefully and selectively bred for many generations specifically for their calm and gentle nature, as well as their intelligence, versatility, hardiness, dependability and beauty !!

We are based in the South East UK, not far from London Heathrow Airport. We are a small family business started over 40 years ago by a Romany Gypsy family. We have been exporting horses across the world since 1999. We breed, buy and sell, work and show the Gypsy Horses.

We pride ourselves on doing business with intregrity, reliability, openness and in a trustworthy manner, something we have worked hard to achieve and maintain over the years.

Over the last twenty five years we have watched as the Gypsy Cob has developed into what is now a worldwide recognized breed. Working with our Romany family, meeting new breeders and traders, making a network of trustworthy and honourable like-minded horse folk. We are now at the stage where we can locate some of the best bred cobs available in England, working with various breeders, family and friends who have kept horses in their families for generations.

Being able to see thousands of cobs over the years, gives us the opportunity and experience to assess the quality and potential of each cob we see. Our standards are very high and we stick to a strict autonomous method, grading each cob, analytically weighing up the pros and cons of each, knowing exactly how the cob should look, and just as importantly act.


It is not always the case that a cob is assessed for their temperament as well as conformation, colour, breeding etc, and it is not something that should be taken lightly or can be seen in a photograph or measured in a short period of time. We only keep horses that are of the best temperament, disposition, character and personality, which is as intended by the early Romany people. These are family horses, and it takes an extraordinary cob that can be trusted with something as precious and cherished as the Romany?s children.

We spend a lot of my time working with our own stock and re-training those with little or no handling experience, some have problems with particular groundwork skills, or correcting previous bad handling, lots of general remedial work all done in a calm and sympathetic way with a mix of traditional Romany methods, conventional English equestrian practices and the modern natural horsemanship approach.

We take time matching new owners to horses, ensuring compatibility is very important, as is continuing to help new owners with as much advice as needed with their new arrival, this is vital to ensure your horses transition to the new climate, feeding and surroundings is problem free.

We provide a full worldwide door-to-door service, back up and advice. Worldwide references available.

Thanks for dropping by...


Loretta Rawlings © 2011


The Gypsy Cob (gypsy vanner, gypsy horse, irish cob, tinker etc etc) has grown in popularity all over the world in recent years. We have been exporting cobs since 1999 as far away as USA, Australia and New Zealand. Whether you have just discovered the gypsy cob, have had them in your life before, or have your own herd and are looking for some new bloodlines, we welcome you to browse our pages and call for  more details.The gypsy cob in general has an amazing temperament, one of the most honest, hard working and gentle breeds of horse in the world today. They are the true all round horse, bred for their temperament, stamina, strength and versatility. They have gradually found their way into the hearts of many a horse lover worldwide who recognize their practicality and adaptability, coupled with the intelligence suitable for many equine disciplines.

The gypsy horse has a history that is uncertain, no official records were kept and there is no definitve path that its inception took. There are many variations in its background and many elements brought in to make it the current type.
Having researched and learnt from the older generations, this is our guide to the history of the gypsy horse.
Firstly, we should point out that they are called by many names such as Romany Cob, Gypsy Cob, Vanner,Tinker, Irish Tinker, amongst many others across the world, all these terms relate to the same horse, its just the quality that varies.

During the First World War a lot of the horses in the Uk were bought by the Army and taken overseas, all sizes and shape of horse were utilized to pull canons, carry regiments into battle and carry injured from the fronts. The only type of horse the Army did not want to buy was the COLOURED horse, obviously these would not be very good in camouflage ! The Romany Gypsy, ever resourceful, had available an abundance of cheap, colourful, easily recognizable horses.
They had been using horses to travel across Europe for centuries and some settled to travelling in England and Ireland. In England we have our own native breeds, which used to roam freely across certain parts of the country, such and the Fells and Dales of North England.
Romany Gypsy's favoured the flashiness and availability of the coloured horse, the feather, hair and steady, hardworking nature of the heavy draft breeds, and needed the sturdy, compact, sure footed bodies of the Fell and Dales ponies. They continued breeding their horses using this mix of breeds, adapting their preferred size and type to suit their particular needs and likes. This continued and flourished as the Gypsies strived to have the best horse they could, that did the best job it could to fit in with their way of life. Eventually the travelling way of life was replaced with motor homes and brick houses, but the loyal gypsy stuck with their cobs, and continued breeding to their own requirements.

One thing they will not tolerate was a bad tempered horse. All animals in a Gypsy family have to be totally safe with all the family. This has lead to the gypsy cob being bred as one of the best natured horses in the world.
Selective breeding has eventually diversified the Gypsy Cob into three categories.

Up to 14.2hh, short, stocky, compact ponies used for pulling working flat carts.
Up to 15hh big, powerful cobs used for pulling the living wagons and heavier loads.
Over 15hh cobs with more Shire/Clydesdale blood, were used for heavy loads and agricultural work.

The Romany people were, and still are dedicated, knowledgeable and skilful in breeding their own preferred type of horse, even though they have come up against severe discrimination against there way of life and their horses have been ridiculed in the outside equine world.

But, now the Romany has within its own tight knit community one of the most popular and sought after horses in the world, and they are rightly, quietly pleased with themselves .

One of the most honest, hard working and gentle breeds of horse in the world today. Bred for generations solely in the Uk and Ireland by Romany Gypsy/Traveller folk for their temperament, stamina, strength and versatility. They have gradually found their way into the hearts of many a horse lover who recognize their practicality and adaptability, coupled with the intelligence suitable for many modern day equine disciplines.

Bred by Romany Gypsy families to pull their wagons across the length and breadth of England and Ireland all year round. They had to be hardy, fearless, powerful, yet docile and patient enough for the whole family.

True Romany folk have always loved their horses, still today the Gypsy Cob is highly prized and sought after amongst Romany Gypsy's, it was, and still is in some areas almost a currency. A mans' wealth and importance would be measured by how many and what quality horses he has. Some say a gypsy is not be complete without his horses.

They can fetch £100, 000 for a stallion , that's for a horse with no papers, no receipt or invoice and no guarantee ! These horses are still being carefully bred to ensure the type is as true today as it was generations ago. 


The gypsy horse is not all about hair, although it is the defining factor between a good one and an average one ! Conformation is conformation. Any horse of breeding quality should show the basic correct body and build expected from a cob bred from Native draft type horses. When assessing a horse you should ignore hair and colouring and view the conformation first and foremost. Inferior type horses will never be able to breed true to type or perform in many disciplines for any length of time


Placid, calm, dependable, sociable and loving. 




Clean, substantial short cannons and flat joints.  



3. BACK 

Short coupled, compact back for strength.  




Well built and sloped shoulder for free motion.  




From the knee/hock down all around the legs.  




Strong, muscular well formed hindquarters.  




Well angled and rounded croup. 




Training should be easier than other breeds.  




In proportion, petite, neat head with kind face.  



10. NECK  

Muscled, arched neck well set on shoulder.  



11. EARS 

Small, neat pony ears well set on the head.  



12. CHEST  

Deep, ample, powerful, well muscled chest.  




Well covered, rounded withers level with croup.  



14. FEET 

Large, round strong hooves with healthy frogs.  




Effortless and comfortable, higher on the front. 



16. MANE  

Full, thick mane should be at least to elbow.  



17. TAIL  

Thick tail should drag along the ground.  



18. EYES 

Large, kind, soft eyes, well set apart.  




Any colour is acceptable. 




Between 12hh-16hh. 



The Future for the breed....

It has become apparent that insufficient ancestry records have been kept during the decades since the establishment of the gypsy cob. This can result in incorrect background for horses being given, innocently or not.
We can give our clients the assurance that will we pass on all lineage information given to us by our agents, we will also back up this with photographic information and dna data for as many related horses as possible. We have previously located pedigrees going back seven generations !
It is sometimes the case that a horse may not have a established ancestry, this may not be to the detriment of the horse, in fact some of the best gypsy horses in the world today come from unverified lineage, original records were only kept by word of mouth, so it is quite common.
We will always state that the horse is either unknown breeding, believed to be bred from/unproven, or confirmed as status. In the case of unproven pedigree we will endeavour to uncover further background, sometimes for many years after the sale until we get to the bottom of it !
If purchasing an in foal mare, we offer the buyer the opportunity to have a vet of their choice do an ultrasound scan and report back to the buyer with the results directly, backed up with a vet certificate.

Loretta Rawlings © 2011