The 7 'musts' for Purchasing your Gypsy Horse
Now that you have fallen in love with the gypsy cobs, how do you go about purchasing one of these beautiful creatures? Luckily it is now not necessary to import from the UK or the US, which is very costly and full of unforeseen risks. There are now enough breeders situated in Australia and New Zealand, from which to purchase good quality stock. There are plenty of people who would think nothing of asking far higher prices than what their horses are actually worth. This applies to breeders worldwide, so it is a buyer beware market out there. AGHS is here to guide you through your purchasing transaction, whether locally or abroad. The AGHS committee welcomes all inquiries and is more than happy to help people find the gypsy cob of their dreams.
1. Not every breeder has your interest at heart. Stories abound about people buying gypsy cobs and not getting what they were looking for. Some of the common tall tales are height, parentage and believe it or not the horse that some buy might not even be a purebred. To the unsuspecting first time purchaser it is easy to be fooled. It is not until you horse reaches maturity that you begin to notice that there is very little feather, the mature height is not what you were led to believe or your gypsy cob DNA does not match the supposed sire or dam. By then it is too late and if you have imported your horse, although you still love him or her dearly, you have out layed a fortune for a horse that probably could have been bred in you own country for a fraction of the price.
2. Visit as many gypsy cobs as possible as there are many types. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small to tall, light to heavy boned, little to lots of feather and varying colour and temperament. Your heart may be set on a 15.1hh gypsy cob, however, that may change once you view a fully mature 15.1hh cob and find that you are not comfortable with the enormous bulk as they are much bigger in stature than you normal horse. It is not uncommon to find people riding 14hh high gypsy cobs who would never have dreamed of riding anything under 15 hands before!
3. Make a wish list of all the characteristics that you want in your cob. For instance, who and what are you buying the gypsy cob for? Is it for yourself, your children or both? What are your intended purposes, are you going to drive, breed, show or just ride your cob? It is very hard to find everything that you want in one gypsy cob, but a wish list will help you decide what points are more important to you and which ones you are willing to give or take a little on.
4. If possible view your gypsy cob to be in person, or send a knowledgeable horse person you have 'educated' about cobs instead. Pictures can be touched up and also very deceptive from the angle that they are taken. If you are looking at purchasing a foal then it is wise to view both parents and possibly ask the breeder if they have other progeny from this mating or at least from one parent. This will give you a general indication of how your foal may mature.
5. If you can not find what you are looking for in Australia or New Zealand and decide to purchase from overseas, then it is wise to talk to other owners who have already imported gypsy cobs. They have a wealth of knowledge that most wished they had known when importing their gypsy cobs. They can give you a general indication of costs and steer you in the right direction, to help your purchase go smoothly.
6. If a seller tells you that a horse is from a certain sire or dam, then ask for parent verification with DNA tests before moving forward with your purchase. If the DNA is not forthcoming or the breeder stalls then more and likely they do not have it or are not being truthful. Unless you have lots of money to fight your seller in international court, you will have no come back once your gypsy cob has been imported.
7. Above all do not be in a rush. Take your time and do your homework and like most things it will pay of in the end.
Taken from http://gypsyhorsesociety.com.au