ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

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

Updated on February 9, 2017
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!

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

Gallery of Friesians and Gypsy Vanners - can never see enough of this magnificent beauties! -photo sources are all from flickr creative commons

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Please Rate

4.7 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Friesians and Gypsy Vanners

Comments Welcome - Kindly Sign and Share

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • CSBSEWS profile image

      Carolyn Bennett 

      6 years ago from Longview, Washington

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

    • CSBSEWS profile image

      Carolyn Bennett 

      6 years ago from Longview, Washington

      Absolutely love these horses..

    • MelanieKaren profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Wilcox 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @darciefrench lm: thank you!

    • MelanieKaren profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Wilcox 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • MelanieKaren profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Wilcox 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @darciefrench lm: Thank you darcie :)

    • MelanieKaren profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Wilcox 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @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.

    • MelanieKaren profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Wilcox 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @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!

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 

      6 years ago

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

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      6 years ago

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

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      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!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)