Getting to know the rules of keeping horses of the Tinker breed
Tinker horses or Irish mares received official status only 20 years ago, but are already very popular among horse breeders. This breed is highly regarded for its spectacular appearance, endurance and excellent working qualities. Due to its merits, the Tinker is considered the most expensive breed in the world – its cost is 20 times more than an ordinary stallion..
Features of the breed and description
Tinkers are spotted horses that are also known as gypsy draft horses. Their historical “ancestors” were medieval gypsy working horses.
A distinctive feature of this breed is a long tail and mane, as well as shins covered with thick wool and piebald color, reminiscent of their nomadic past. The gypsy horse breed combines the stamina and physical strength of a heavy draft horse with the aesthetic appeal of the Friesian horses..
Parameters and weight
Tinker horses are small and large – the growth of animals can reach 130-170 cm at the withers.
Among horse breeders in the United States of America, horses are classified according to height:
- mini – up to 143 cm;
- classic – 143-156 cm;
- grand – more than 156 cm.
The weight of Tinker horses depends on their height. Large animals weigh up to 600-700 kg, mini – 250-300 kg.
Tinker horses can be identified by their wide and powerful body, straight and strong neck, strong shoulders. The head of the animal has a rounded, sloping profile and beard, straight and elongated ears.
The legs of horses have large knee joints and lower legs, covered with thick and long hair that falls down to the hooves. The tail and mane are thick, lush, with small “waves”. The hooves of the animal are completely hidden under the fur, which looks like flared trousers.
Color of animals
A characteristic feature of all horses of the Tinker breed, regardless of color, is the presence of asymmetric white spots.
Varieties of colors:
- Tobiano – white spots are located on the neck and chest, legs are light in color, the forehead is black, sometimes decorated with a light speck.
- Overo – light spots are located on the sides of the animal, legs are dark in color.
- Tovero – a combination of the previous two varieties.
In most cases, Tinker is characterized by a combination of asymmetric dark and white spots. An exceptionally dark shade is considered the main one – it is according to it that the color of the horse is determined.
Tinker horses are characterized by a calm, phlegmatic temperament. They are very patient with riders, so they are great for learning to ride. Some animals show noticeable laziness in harness..
Tinkers have a positive effect on riding horses with a restless, nervous temperament, due to which they are often bred together in various competitions for the start. This breed is not intended for racing, as the gallop quickly makes the animals tired..
Gypsy horses move with a soft, calm, wide gait, and are also distinguished by excellent artistry and jumping ability..
Tinker horses: growing and care
Tinker belongs to the elite horse breeds. Keeping animals requires special conditions and regular, careful care. These horses need a comfortable, spacious stable, high-quality and balanced nutrition, as well as regular hygiene procedures..
The best option for keeping Tinker horses is a separate stable. If they are kept together with representatives of other breeds, they must be fenced off..
A stable for gypsy horses should consist of three sections – a room with stalls, a hall for veterinary and water procedures, as well as a walk. You will also need a special pantry designed to store cleaning equipment and animal feed..
Basic requirements for equipping a stable:
- high-quality ventilation system – fresh air is very important for Tinker horses, but they must be protected from penetrating drafts;
- heating system – in winter, the stables need heaters or good central heating;
- water supply – must be in the stable, water is required for automatic drinking and veterinary procedures.
When setting up a stable, it is important to pay attention to the flooring of the stall – the floor must be lined with bedding made of peat, straw or sawdust. They must be replaced with clean ones every 2-3 days..
Removable feeders for gypsy horses are equipped in the stable, fixing them at the level of the animal’s chest.
The ration of Tinke horses should consist of a variety of feeds:
- root vegetables (raw beets and carrots, raw and steamed potatoes);
- corn and sunflower silage;
- crushed barley and oats;
- fresh grass.
The feed rate is calculated depending on the weight of the animal. For every 50 kg of body weight, there should be at least 2 kg of hay. The amount of grains in a horse’s diet depends on his level of physical activity. With light loads, the animals are given 2 kg of the mixture per day, with intense physical training, the portion of grain feed is increased to 6-7 kg.
Hygiene and care
During the summer season, the horse should be rinsed with plenty of warm water after each training session. In winter, no rinsing is required for animals. To care for the coat, a special scraper is used, which pipes the animal on the sides.
The tail and mane of the horse, as well as the hair on the shins, are combed out with a thick comb. To prevent them from tangling before physical training, the mane can be braided into a braid, and then unbraided.
The mane and tail of a gypsy horse must be washed every 3-4 days with a special shampoo; for additional care, you can use a conditioner. If the animal is not shod, the hooves also require special care. They are cleaned with a special hook and washed in warm water after every walk outside..
Grazing and horseshoeing
When keeping horses in herd farms in the summer season, they can be kept in free grazing. The animals will get their own food on their own. They must make hay for the winter..
During grazing, animals need to be taken to a watering hole three times a day..
Tinker horses can be released into the field only in summer, they should spend the winter in a warm stable.
Horse diseases and their prevention
Tinker horses need an annual veterinary examination for infectious anemia, glanders, leptospirosis, and breeding disease. Animals must be vaccinated against rabies, tetanus, brucellosis, influenza, anthrax and dermatophytosis.
To maintain the health of horses, you must follow the basic rules for the prevention of diseases:
- regularly devote time to animal hygiene;
- eliminate dampness and drafts in the stable;
- provide the horse with a balanced diet;
- do not forget about preventive veterinary examinations and vaccination of animals.
Tinker horses are a combination of spectacular appearance, calmness and excellent physical strength. These qualities have provided the animals with wide popularity among horse breeders and their use in various spheres of life – from horse riding to performing complex circus acts..