What can You expect when purchasing a Gypsy Horse/Vanner or a Drum Horse?
Of course the experience varies for everyone. However, these horses are different than that of a typical riding horse!
Importing. You’ve found your dream horse, now you need to get it here! The process goes something like this… your purchasing agent or seller should be able to arrange a charter flight to help keep expenses to a minimum. After the horse flies over to America, all horses must go thru USDA quarantine, depending on their age, over two years, and if they are Breeding Stock (Mares and Stallions, NOT applicable to Geldings)will need to go thru Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) quarantine. (CEM is a venereal disease caused by bacteria and is spread through breeding.) CEM quarantine can cost anywhere from 2000.00 to 5000.00 depending on where you choose to quarantine your horse. Most importers include this in the cost of the horse, however you should double check!
Because most of these horses do not receive the same care as they would here in the US, you can expect to put a lot of time in grooming, handling and de-worming when you first get your new horse home! (We would advise you have a vet come out and look the horse over and perform parasite tests prior to doing any self worming. Certain wormers are so powerful that they de-worm the horse so quickly the results may be fatal. Please take caution and always seek a vet’s approval.)
Also, be aware that there are several circumstances in which a horse may have to stay in USDA quarantine longer than the average imported horse. For example if a horse on the same flight as yours would test positive for any disease, even a false positive, your horse would be held for the designated period, normally an additional 2 weeks. The additional time would cost around $2000.00. This is a risk you take in importing a horse, you should be aware that it does happen.
General Care. If you want to keep your horses’s feather and underlying skin healthy, their manes and tails long, these horses are higher maintanance It can take several hours to bath and fully groom just one! They should also be kept out of mud or wet conditions as much as possible. Please take this into consideration before choosing to own one.
On average these horses are incredibly easy keepers requiring very little concentrates and only good quality grass hay. They are also very hardy, however they still need the basics. A sturdy, dry shelter, fresh water at all times and at minimum routine vet care. Because of their size and metabolic nature, they are prone to founder, tie up and colic, care should be taken in daily visual checks and of course their weight should be monitored closely. We suggest low carb concentrates if you choose to feed them.
Bringing up Baby. These guys go thru a lot of changes from birth! Don’t expect your new little bundle of joy to look anything like he/she does at birth, once he/she has fully developed! As a weanling they of course should be all legs, vibrant and very alert. As they grow into a yearling, they look gangly and disproportional. Their feather will come in curled above the coronet band and slowly lengthen. They should start looking more like the breed at two years old, but still long legged and built lighter than the average mature horse of the same breed. Their feather should completely cover their hooves, but most likely it won’t be as thick as their mature counterpart. At three to four, they should start to hit close to their mature height and feather should thicken. At five to six, you can expect them to bulk up and feather to be at it’s fullest. Their mental maturity will also level off. Don’t expect a whole lot out of a majority of these horse before four. They usually are not mature enough either physically or mentally. We don’t suggest hard training until four-five years of age. Although, we start all of ours at 2-3 years of age, we take them through the paces slowly.