Hair isn't everything,
but you can't have everything unless you have the HAIR!
Gypsy Horses can be put side by side with the same conformation, size, and temperament, and if one has heavier feather it’s worth twice as much. The saying among the Gypsies is “Every hair is a sovereign,” which in our culture would translate to every hair is a dollar. Most Gypsies think it is unlucky to cut even one hair on their horses. A horse advertised as a Gypsy Horse but barely has enough feather to cover the top of their hoofs is known in the Gypsy community as just another worthless horse.
Feather is important whether it be in a mare or a stallion. Feather is a recessive gene and it’s cumulative. With that said the best way to get a heavily feathered foal is for their dam and sire to be heavily feathered. Feather, abundant and thick, should start at the hock and continue down completely covering the front of the hoof and all the way around the hoof.
Take a look at BFSGH’s http://www.gypsyhorses.com/feather.htm illustrations and information about feather.
VITAL CARE OF YOUR GYPSY HORSES FEATHER, MANE, TAIL, AND FORELOCK
Since we have owned our gypsy horses we have asked for and been given tons of information about caring for feather. Most of the time we research this information before we try it and that’s just what we did when we were told to mix mineral oil and sulfur and put it on feather, mane, and tail to help it grow and become thick and also to help prevent scratches. We found a good website (http://www.wolfmanorestate.com/PreventingScratches.html) that not only explained how to mix it but it also showed how to apply it. The only thing we could not get from the website was the animal safe sulfur that was used. Randy and I began our search for animal safe sulfur talking to every feed store, horse product supplier, and even vets. We could not find it anywhere. We finally found a phone number of a sulfur supplier in Texas. After being transferred from one corporate office to another one we finally got the name of the one guy that knew, but of course he was out of town and so we left a message. He called back about a week later and come to find out all you need to buy is wetable sulfur that is 90% pure. Not knowing whether to trust his information or not, we told him what we were using it for and he informed me that he owns Clydesdales and that’s what he uses on them. OKAY problem solved. He said we could get wetable sulfur at Lowe’s or Home Depot. We hope that the information you read here will help you and your gypsies. Trust us when we say that we research everything we try and speak with our vets on a weekly basis. Hope this HELPS!
If you want to keep the Gypsy Horse's heavy leg feather and long manes and tails looking their best, care should be taken when turning the horse out in wet weather. Manes and tails may need braided up to keep them from dragging the ground or the horse from chewing on them as they eat. If you choose this route, extra care has to be taken for fly protection. Some feather loss will always occur throughout the year but it will also grow back quickly and this fact has no impact on the value of your gypsy horse. Some owners who want to show their gypsy horses in the summer will simply keep them on sand paddocks in order to prevent any feather loss.
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