Horse Breeds And TypesHorse Types

Cob Horses: What They Are Explained!

In this article...

Are Cobs horses or ponies? Explore the exciting and diverse world of Cob Horses and discover how they defy conventional categorizations. Get ready for some startling revelations in our intriguing article!

Have you ever seen a Cob Horse? 

These hardy horses are common in the U.K. with an undeniable presence and charm.

Whether they’re trotting around the arena at a show or casually walking down a country lane.

Cobs are incredibly versatile animals that can be used for many purposes, from dressage to driving and much more. 

But what exactly is a Cob Horse? 

This blog post will cover everything you need to know about these smart, family-friendly horses. So if you’re curious about this handy animal, then read on for all your questions answered about Cob Horses.

What is a Cob Horse?

I am going to go over what the Cob Horse is and is not, as well as go over some other terms used about Cob Horses. I want to help answer all your questions regarding Cobs, so if you have a question that is unanswered, feel free to ask it in the comments.

Is A Cob A Horse Breed?

A Cob is not a specific breed of horse, although there are breeds of horse and pony that are considered to be Cobs or have a Cobby body type.

What Is A Cob In Horse Terms?

The term “Cob Horse” refers to a horse’s body type and is a much more common term in the U.K. than in North America.

With stout legs and sturdy round builds, Cob Horses resemble draft-type ponies and include breeds like the Welsh Cob, Irish Cob and The Norman Cob. 

A Cob is a type of small horse that is said to be able to carry a heavier rider than a pony. They have a higher weight-carrying capacity due to their wide loins and thick bones.

However, in America, every so often you do hear someone say a horse is “Cobby” or a Cob, or you may end up using a Cob-size bridle or another piece of tack.

I will go over Cob-sized equipment further on in this article.

Are Cobs Horses Or Ponies?

Cobs can be horses or ponies. Let me explain.

There are different opinions on whether Cobs are horses or ponies, like many other things in the horse world. 

I feel like a broken record saying there are different opinions. That is something you will hear me say frequently, but it is important to be informed on both sides of the coin, even if you believe one is correct.

So a Cob can be considered a horse or pony depending on height, with 14.2 and below being a pony. A Cob is traditionally a draft-type pony if you are reading Wikipedia

However, today they are more often seen as small horses, often being above 14.2 hands. 

And, just to be clear, but also to add to the confusion. Ponies are genetically the same as horses, but they also have different characteristics than horses. 

This means that, for example, a horse can be a horse or pony by height, but often there are characteristics that make them more horse- or pony-like.

This is true with Cob types as well, which also have different characteristics from the typical pony, horse, and draft horse.

So based on these insights, it can be said that a Cob can be a horse or pony depending on height, characteristics, and possibly the breed.

However again most commonly Cobs nowadays are considered to be small stocky horses. 

Although some prefer to call them Cobs instead of horses or ponies, welcome to the horse world!

Is A Cob A Draft Horse?

Cobs can be small draft horses or ponies, but not all Cobs are drafts. 

However, Cobs do have a more drafty appearance than ponies or light horses. Some Cob breeds can be considered draft horses, for example, the Gypsy Vanner.

Cob Horse Definition

I thought it would be helpful to share some definitions of Cob Horses from a couple of different sources.

The British Show Horse Association rule book defines it as:

The Cob is a type rather than a breed. A short-legged animal, with bone, substance and quality, capable of carrying a substantial weight. The Cob should be well mannered and ideal for nervous or elderly riders. Cobs should have sensible heads, (sometimes roman nosed), a full generous eye, shapely neck, well muscled, with a hogged mane (showing no significant growth) and well defined wither. The Cob should also have clean, strong hocks and all the attributes of a good hunter; low movement and a comfortable ride.” 

The Merriam-webster Dictionary: “a stocky short-legged riding horse.” defines it as: “a short-legged, thick-set horse, often having a high gait and frequently used for driving.”

The Collins dictionary defines it as: “A Cob is a type of short strong horse.” 

Here are some definitions of the word Cob which I thought were interesting and maybe had something to do with the naming of the Cob-type horse.

  • According to the Merriam-Webster one of the meanings is “a rounded mass, lump, or heap.”
  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary one of the meanings of Cob is “a small round loaf of bread.”

What Is A Maxi Cob?

A Maxi Cob is a type of Show Cob in the UK. With the British Show Horse Association, Maxi Cob is one of the divisions your Cob can be registered as.

According to the British Show Horse Association rule book a Maxi Cob is a:

Mare or gelding, 4 years old and over, exceeding 155cms – with a recommended height limit of 160cms – to be judged as Cobs. Judges must pay particular attention to type (i.e. short legged animals of Cob type). To be shown hogged (showing no significant growth). First and Second prize winners of Maxi Cob classes are NOT eligible for Open Cob Championships at shows ONLY holding Open Cob and Maxi Cob classes.

I want to clarify some things for those who don’t know some of the terms or how to convert cm to hands. 

The height for a Maxi Cob is over 155cm (15.1h) with a height limit of 160cm (15.3h). 

Being shown hogged means that the horse’s mane and forelock are basically clipped off.

If you need clarification on anything, write it in the comments. I can always add to my articles to make them more comprehensive and helpful. I like updating content as new information becomes available too, as outdated information is obviously not as helpful.

What Is A Mini Cob?

A Mini Cob is currently of the Gypsy Vanner breed. They are called Mini Gypsy Cobs. This is where it gets a little confusing.

There are Mini Gypsy Cobs and Mini Gypsy Horses. They are being differentiated and going two separate ways as far as breeding goes.

According to the International Gypsy Association Mini Cob Horses are purely Gypsy Vanner bloodlines, just a smaller version. 

A Mini Gypsy Cob is 13 hands or less. 

They are using selective breeding within the breed to produce smaller and smaller Cobs. Also, Gypsy Ponies are considered to be Mini Gypsy Cobs.

Now, I said Mini Gypsy Horses are different, and this is because they are considered by the association to be a developing breed. The Mini Gypsy Horse is not purebred. Along with the Gypsy bloodlines, they are crossing genes with miniature horses and ponies to try to create a true Miniature Gypsy Horse. 

The word “Cob” was removed and replaced with “horse” to try to differentiate the Mini Gypsy Cob and Mini Gypsy Horse.

What Is An English Cob?

An English Cob is another name for the Cob type developed in England and around the UK.

What Does Cobby Mean

Sometimes you may hear someone say something like, “That horse has a Cobby appearance.” 

Cobby doesn’t necessarily mean a horse is a Cob just that the horse or pony has some characteristics that fall under the Cob appearance. 

Such as being thick-set with a powerful-looking body and compact, short legs

Cob Horse Breeds

Here are some breeds that are considered to be Cobs and also some breeds that are considered to be of the Cobby type. The Welsh Cob and The Gypsy Cob are the most popular cob breeds.

Also, some of these breeds I included because I saw mention of the breeds as a Cob type in several different places. 

Though it is not mainstream, I am sure fans of these breeds may disagree. But they do have the look of the Cob type in terms of appearance. 

Also, some of the breeds have variations in their build. So some horses or ponies in the breed may be considered a Cob. Whereas another horse or Cob in the same breed might not be a Cob because they don’t have the body type.

Cob Type Horse Breeds

  • Welsh Cob
  • Gypsy Vanner
  • Norman Cob
  • Irish Draught Crosses
  • Light Draft Horses
  • Haflinger
  • Finnhorse
  • Norwegian Fjord Horse
  • Cheval du Vercors de Barraquand‎
  • Vyatka horse‎ 

Welsh Cob Stallions Picture

Welsh Cob 

Origin: 11th-12th century

Geographical Origin: UK: Wales

Height: Stands between 14.2- 15.2h

Colors: All solid colors.

According to the Welsh Pony and Cob Society, the Welsh Pony comes in 4 different types, and 2 of those types are considered to be Cobs. 

  1. Welsh Pony Of Cob Type- Section C
  2. Welsh Cob- Section D

They are only considered to be a Welsh Cob due to the build and type. A Welsh Cob bred with a Welsh Pony may produce a Cobby type or a pony type.

The Welsh Cob Section D is a commonly sought-over type and must be 13.2 hands or taller with no limit to height. These horses are highly versatile, have fantastic gaits, and make great sport horses.

 The Welsh Cob has power, excellent legs, and hooves, and is known to have some personality. They also have slightly more refined heads than other Cobs and are known to be more energetic and witty as well. This is most likely thanks in part to their ancient Arabian horse ancestry. 

Is it a Welsh Cob, a horse or pony?

The Welsh Cob Section D is considered a horse. Although Section C is considered to be a pony.

What is the Welsh Cob lifespan?

The average Welsh Cobs lifespan is around 35 years old.

Piebald Cob

Gypsy Vanner

Origin: In 1996, the first registry to recognize breed opened.

Geographical Origin: UK: Wales

Height: Stands between 14-15h

Colors: Comes in any color, solid, tobiano, and splash.

The Gypsy Vanner can be a horse or a pony depending on size and goes by many names. 

Other names Irish Cobs go by:

  • Traditional Cobs
  • Galineers Cob
  • Gypsy Cob
  • Gypsy Vanner
  • Coloured Horses
  • Tinker Horses

Gypsy Vanners are known for their many colors, flowing manes, and full feathering on their legs. 

These horses are increasingly popular among equestrians. This is because of their beauty and hardiness as well as their versatility. They can be used for many purposes including pleasure riding, show jumping, dressage, eventing, and driving. 

Although you won’t often see a Gypsy Vanner at the high levels of competition.

These horses have powerful hindquarters combined with strong limbs. This makes them surprisingly decent jumpers despite their looks.

They also have some problems due to their leg feathering that you should keep an eye out for that I will talk about later.

Norman Cob

Origin: 11th-12th century

Geographical Origin: UK: Wales

Height: Stands between 14.2- 15.2h

Colors: All solid colors.

Norman Cobs also known as Normandy Cobs, and French Cobs are more of a rare breed.

These horses have heavy muscling throughout their bodies along with powerful hindquarters. 

These horses are typically known for their black coats and stocky build. Norman Cobs have a proud, alert demeanor and are said to be an intelligent breed. They are also known for being good-natured and willing to please making them suitable for riding, driving, and showing. 

Norman Cobs were originally bred in France for agricultural work but today they can be used for many different activities due to their intelligence and willing nature.

Irish Draught 

Origin: 12th century

Geographical Origin: UK: Wales

Height: Stands between 15.2-16.3h

Colors: All solid colors.

Not all Irish Draughts are considered Cobs.

Some small stocky Irish Draughts could be considered Cobs. But larger ones are more like draft horses and other Irish Draughts can be built lighter and taller built closer to a big-boned thoroughbred.

Often Cobs and ponies breeds are sometimes crossed with an Irish Draught creating a Cob-type horse.

The Irish Draft horse contributes good bone size, strength, substance, and good sense.



Origin: 18th-17th century

Geographical Origin: Austria: Tyrol

Height: Stands between 13.2- 15h

Colors: Chestnut with Flaxen Mane

This is a breed that I think many would say is not a Cob type. But according to the description of a Cob, there are some Haflingers, usually the heavier stocky ones that demonstrate the Cob phenotype.

This breed originated in Austria in the late 19th century from crosses between Arabian horses and native Tyrolean ponies. They are chestnut in color with flaxen manes and tails.

Haflingers stand around 14 hands high at the withers and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Although they typically range from 13.2h to 15h and weigh between 800-1300 lbs. 

Their temperament is gentle but spirited; they make excellent riding horses due to their agility and intelligence.



Origin: Pre-Ice Age

Geographical Origin: Finland

Height: Stands between 14.2- 15.2h

Colors: All colors

The smaller Finnhorses can be a Cob type.

The Finnhorse or Finnish Horse is Finland’s national horse breed which has been bred since the 16th century. It was developed by crossing local Finnish ponies with larger European warmbloods such as Dutch Draft Horses.

It stands between 15–16 hands high (60–64 inches) at the withers, weighs up to 1,400 pounds (635 kg). The Finnhorse has a muscular body with strong limbs, an arched neck with long mane flowing down its backside. It can be any solid color including bay or black although roan colors are also seen occasionally among this breed’s population.

Its temperament is calm yet alert. These horses excel at dressage competitions due to their natural gracefulness. This is combined with the strength & stamina needed for endurance events like trotting races & driving trials.

Norwegian Fjord Horse

Origin: Pre-Ice Age

Geographical Origin: Norway

Height: Stands between 13-14.2h

Colors: Dun

Another breed that would be argued not be a Cob but can sometimes have a Cobby-type body build.

The Norwegian Fjord Horse originates from Norway where it has been bred since Viking times over 2 thousand years ago!

It stands between 13–14 hands high (52–56 inches) at the withers weighing up to 900 pounds (408 kg).

Its coat comes only in dun colors ranging from yellowish cream to reddish brown shades. Sometimes even having dark stripes on their legs & muzzle area giving them an almost zebra-like appearance!

This breed’s personality traits include being intelligent yet willing. Which makes them great companions both on trails & show rings. But while still possessing enough power necessary for farm works such as logging & tilling the soil.

Cheval du Vercors de Barraquand‎

Origin: 18th century

Geographical Origin: France

Height: Stands between 14.2- 15.2h

Colors: Seal Brown and Bay

The Vercors de Barraquand horse is a rare French mountain horse breed. 

This French Cob type horse was developed during World War II by crossing local mountain ponies called “Vercors Ponies” with larger draft breeds like Ardennes & Percheron stallions resulting into what we now know as Cheval du Vercors de Barraquand‎ standing anywhere between 14 – 16 hands high at withers while weighing up to 1200 lbs.

These animals possess great stamina enabling them not only to pull heavy loads but also to perform well under saddle thanks to their naturally balanced gaits making them suitable mounts even for novice riders who wish to learn how to ride without getting too intimidated by the size of bigger equines out there!

Vyatka Horse‎ 

Origin: 14th- 18th century

Geographical Origin: Russia Federation; Northern Russia

Height: Stands between 13-14h

Colors: Dun, Roan, Bay, Seal Brown, Black, Chestnut

An endangered horse as of 2007 originating from Russia in the regions of Vyatka and the Obva river basin. 

The Vyatka Horse has been around as early as the 14th century. They are believed to be descended from the extinct Tarpan and have heavy influence from Estonian Horses.

The Vyatka stands anywhere between 13 – 15 hands tall while weighing up to 1100 lbs. 

These animals possess good conformation coupled with friendly personalities, they have good speed for their size and great endurance. 

These horses are extremely hardy from the many years of adapting to the harsh climates of Northern Russia and they grow impressively thick winter coats.

Cob Characteristics

Cob Appearance and Conformation

Cobs look different from the average pony, light horse, and heavy horse. In this section, we will go over what a Cob looks like. Of course, there is room for variation between Cobs but these are some of the standards used to determine a Cob between other types.

How tall are Cob Horses?

The average Cob height is 15 hands. They typically stand between 14.2 and 15.3 hands high, with a maximum height of 15.1 hands allowed for showing in Cob-related classes.

How much do Cob Horses weigh?

On average, an adult Cob Horse will weigh between 900-1200 pounds (408-544 kg).

Cob Horse Head

Cobs have attractive heads, sometimes with a roman nose. Their expressions are sensible and honest. The Cob Horsehead is usually short and broad with a large, wide forehead.

Cob Horse Eyes

Cob Horses typically have bright, alert eyes that convey intelligence and curiosity. 

Their eyes also tend to be slightly larger than those of other breeds of horses.

Cob Horse Mustache

 The Cob Horse has a unique mustache made up of long hairs growing from the muzzle area down to the nostrils or lips.

This gives them a distinguished look that many people find attractive in this breed of horse.

Cob Horse Mane

Often Cobs used for the show will have their manes hogged also called roached which means the hair is completely clipped off as this enhances the look of their topline. 

Though Welsh Cobs and Gypsy Vanners usually keep their manes.

It is common for Gypsy manes to reach down past their shoulders when fully grown out, making them appear even more majestic than they already do!

Cob Horse Build

Cobs have strong bones and a sturdy solid build, giving them the ability to carry substantial weight without compromising their health or well-being.

When it comes to conformation they have shapely short arched necks that crest on top and are in proportion with their body. 

Cobs are generally upright in the shoulder which gives rise to a relatively short but upright stride.

Their shoulders blend into a broad muscular back.

They should be compact through the barrel with well-sprung ribs and great depth of girth which makes their short legs look shorter. 

The hindquarters are muscular, broad, and well-rounded.

Cob Horse Legs

Cobs are known for having sturdy short legs with good bone and well-defined, large, flat joints as well as good feet with deep heels and hard-quality hooves. 

Cobs have a broad and deep chest with good spacing between the front legs.

The Gypsy Vanner breed also has an abundance of feathering around its lower legs which can range from light to heavy. 

Cob Horse Colors

Cob Horses come in all colors and patterns including bay, black, chestnut, gray, palomino, pinto, and roan among others; however it is not uncommon for Cobs to be born without any markings at all!

Here are some color terms used with Cob Horses:

  • Blue Cob Horse: A Blue Cob Horse typically refers to a Gypsy Vanner that is blue roan.
  • Piebald Cob Horse: A piebald cob typically refers to a Gypsy Vanner that is a Black and White Tobiano.
  • Blagdon Cob: This is a term also referring to the Gypsy Vanner. It means “splashed from underneath”. It is a phenotype that shows up with some pattern genes, but not a gene in itself. You may sometimes hear a Blue Blagdon Cob or a Pink Blagdon Cob. These are blue roan and red roan with the Blagdon phenotype.

Cob Horse Clip

Gypsy Vanners are typically not clipped however for showing it is common for Cobs to be hogged with legs clipped and tail pulled clipped. I mentioned before what hogged meant. Legs clipped means any feathering to be clipped off.

A pulled or clipped tail is at the dock of the tail to present an appearance that flatters the horse’s hindquarters. The hairs on either side of the dock of the tail are basically trimmed down so there are no loose scraggly or baby hairs sticking out.

Cob Temperament

Cob Temperament and Personality

Cobs are expected to have personality but also the best of manners. Considered to be the gentleman’s gentleman, and is to behave as such. 

Cob Horse Temperament

They have a calm, steady temperament that makes them ideal mounts for beginners or amateur riders. Cobs tend to be very tolerant of people and other animals, making them great companions as well as riding partners.

Cobs are generally quite intelligent and eager to please their owners. They can learn quickly with consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training. They also respond well to verbal commands and body language cues from the rider.

As far as blood temperament they can be coldblood or warmblood depending on the breed.

Cob Horse Personality

Cob-type horses have a broad range of personalities, but in general, they are known for being intelligent, kind, and responsive.

They are often described as being loyal, and patient, and tend to be very tolerant of their riders. Cob horses are also known to be very forgiving when mistakes are made.

Other great traits of the typical Cob are their willingness, trainability, bravery, and eagerness to please.

Cob Horse grey

History And Origins Of The Cob

The term ‘Cob’ has been used for centuries to describe a type of horse that is strong, sure-footed, and suitable for riding or driving. 

The origin of the cob type was in the 18th-19th century in Ireland and England. On the whole, the breeding of cobs was likely accidental instead of deliberate. 

Cobs existed as early as the Middle Ages before they became a recognized type. Many have died in war and battle. However after the wars around the 1950 pleasure riding became popular and this type of horse continued to be bred as riding horses, because of their hardiness and good temperament.

This combination created an animal that was both hardy and agile, making it ideal for working on farms and pulling carts.

Now let’s take a look at the uses of the Cob.

Black Cob Horse picture

What Are Cobs Used For?

They have become increasingly popular in recent years due to being easy keepers, versatility, and good temperament. 

Cobs used for riding


Cob Horses make excellent riding companions due to their calm demeanor and willingness to please. Their strength makes them suitable for many disciplines such as dressage, show jumping, eventing, and western pleasure. Beginner riders can benefit from the Cob’s steady temperament while more advanced riders may find them an enjoyable challenge in the ring or on the trail. They excel as a horse used for everyday riding. 

How much weight can a Cob Horse hold?

Cobs are said to be able to carry riders who weigh between 170-200 lbs.

Despite their relatively small size, cobs are strong and capable of carrying heavier weights than ponies and horses of the same height. 

They are supposed to be able to carry a man out hunting all day. They are built as powerhouses and have confirmation resembling heavy horse breeds more than light horse breeds. 

Cobs used for driving


The Cob’s strength also makes it a great choice for driving activities such as carriage driving or combined driving events (CDE). Many Cobs excel at these activities due to their agility and responsiveness when driven by an experienced handler. 

Cobs that were used in harnesses often had their tails docked as a common practice to prevent their tail from becoming entangled as well as for cosmetic reasons. However, docking has been illegal in the UK since 1948.

Show Cob


Cobs can be seen competing in various classes at local shows including hunter/jumper classes, dressage tests, western pleasure classes and even reining patterns. With proper training, they can look just as impressive in the show ring as any other breed of horse – if not more so.

Cobs used for the disabled association.

Riding For The Disabled Association (RDA)

Cob-type breeds have become increasingly popular with RDA groups around the world thanks to their kind natures and dependability under saddle or harness. 

Riders with disabilities enjoy working with Cobs because they provide a safe mount that is easy to control but still capable of performing challenging tasks when asked by its rider/handler team.

Are Cob Horses good for beginners?

Cob Horses can be a great choice for beginner equestrians. They are generally known to have an even temperament, making them suitable for those just starting out in the saddle. 

Cob Horses tend to be quite responsive and willing partners, which makes them easier to handle than some other breeds. 

Additionally, their size and strength make them ideal mounts for carrying heavier riders or pulling carriages. 

With proper care and training, Cob Horses can provide many years of reliable service as dependable mounts or companion animals.

Do Cobs make good riding horses?

Cobs can make excellent riding horses, depending on the individual horse and its suitability for the rider. 

They are typically known for their steady temperament, sure-footedness, and strength. 

Cobs tend to be more compact than other types of horses, making them well-suited for riders who prefer a shorter mount or those with limited leg length. 

Can Cob Horses jump?

Cobs typically are good jumpers and are a common horse used out in the hunt field jumping natural obstacles. You can see cobs in all different disciplines of jumping. However, you won’t see cobs jumping at the top levels of jumping.

Showing Cobs

Showing Cobs

In this section, I will share some information on what you need to know about showing a Cob.

Showing Cobs is a popular pastime in the United Kingdom and is overseen by the British Show Horse Association (BSHA). 

Types of Cobs Horses For Showing

Cobs are registered in three divisions, which are lightweight cob horses, heavyweight cob horses, and maxi cobs.

Lightweight Cob Horses:

  • mare or gelding
  • 4 years old and over
  • exceeding 148cms (14.2h)
  • not exceeding 155cms (15.1h)
  • capable of carrying up to 14 stone (196lbs)

Heavyweights Cob Horses:

  • mare or gelding
  • 4 years old and over
  • exceeding 148cms (14.2h)
  • not exceeding 155cms (15.1h)
  • capable of carrying more than 14 stone (196lbs)

Maxi Cobs:

  • mare or gelding
  • 4 years old and over
  • exceeding 155cms (15.1)
  • height limit of 160cms (15.3h)
  • to be judged as Cobs
  • To be shown hogged

Cob Judging

Cobs are judged on how they ride, their type and conformation as well as their manners. Their manners are particularly important. The judge will ask the class to gallop and the same procedures are used as the Hunters.

Working Show Horse

This is a jumping competition class that is open to Cobs including Maxi Cobs. They are scored based on jumping, style, conformation, movement and type, the ride and manners, as well as any jumping penalties.

Cob Sized Tack

Cob Sized Tack

There are different sizes when it comes to specific tack and horse gear because just look at all the different-sized equines out there. 

Not only are there different sizes to fit the many unique horses, but there are different sizing systems. 

For example, some items are labeled as small, medium, or large, then another tack may have sizes called pony, Cob, horse, draft or oversize, and blanket and saddle sizing are a whole other kind of sizing. 

Today we are going to talk about what a Cob-size halter is and a handful of other equipment.

What is a Cob Horse size?

The Cob Horse size generally fits cobs, large ponies, and small horses. The cob size is in between full horse and pony. 

The following pieces of equipment can be found in Cob Size:

  • Halter
  • Bridle
  • Reins
  • Browband
  • Noseband
  • Fly Mask
  • Boots

Let me know in the comments if I am missing any items.

When it comes to finding the right tack for your horse, size matters. If you have a Welsh Cob or any other breed with a short, triangular-shaped head, then you’ll probably need Cob-sized tack. This includes bridles and halters that are designed specifically for these types of horses.

Cob-sized bridles usually feature shorter cheek pieces than regular bridles. The noseband is also narrower. Additionally, they often come with smaller browbands as well as reins that are not too long or wide in order to fit comfortably on a Cob’s head without slipping down its neck while being ridden.

It is important to note that Cob-sized tack isn’t only suitable for Cobs; many Morgans, Arabians, some American Quarter Horses and other breeds with short heads will benefit from this type of gear too. 

However, there will inevitably be cobs that don’t fit in the cob size whether they need a larger or smaller size.

Cob Horse Problems

Cob Horse Problems

There are some problems that can arise when owning a Cob Horse. Some serious and some more annoying than anything. 

Correct & Secure Saddle Fit

One problem you may have when owning a Cob is finding a saddle that fits properly. The wide flat back with little to no withers makes it not the easiest when it comes to finding a correctly fitting saddle.

Cob Horse Mites

This problem is common with Gypsy Cobs as they have leg feathering. Sometimes they can get mites in their leg hairs.  These mites are called ‘Chorioptes’ and they can increase inflammation and infection in horses that have a disease that I am about to mention.

Chronic Progressive Lymphoedema

Yet another problem with Gypsy Cobs which is most serious is CPL, or Chronic Progressive Lymphoedema. This develops most often in horses with full feathers on their legs, including other draft breeds.

This is a disease of the lymphatic system, and it usually affects draft horses and Cobs with leg

feathering. Not all will have this condition but it is something to check for because it is common. There is no cure and if they have you need to properly manage the disease.

It is believed to be a hereditary element that is activated by environmental conditions. Without correct care for these horses, they can easily have flare-ups.

When the lymphatics in the lower legs don’t work right, lymph fluid gets stuck. If the horse didn’t have CPL, the fluid would drain through the lymph nodes. When waste and toxins build up in the legs, they get progressive swelling, increased swelling of the skin, ulceration, and scarring. In really bad cases skin lesions can occur.

Prone To Obesity

Cob-type horses and ponies are easy keepers and are at increased risk of obesity development. 

Equine Metabolic Syndrome

Equine metabolic syndrome is common in UK native ponies and cobs and this puts the horses at risk for laminitis.

FAQs in Relation To Cob Horses

When do Cob Horses stop growing?

Cob horses usually reach full maturity at about 5 years old. However, some may continue to grow until they’re 8 or 9 years old depending on the individual horse’s genetics.

Generally speaking though, cob horses will be fully grown by 5 years of age and won’t get any taller after that point.

Are Cob Horses expensive?

Depends on the breed. Cobs tend to be more affordable in the U.K. where they are plentiful. Cobs are highly sought after in North America and are rarer so they cost a pretty penny. 

You can find a Gypsy Vanner averaging around $12,500 in the USA. Whereas in the UK it would be closer to £4000 on average.

What do Cob Horses eat?

Cob horses tend to be easy keepers and can live on a sufficient amount of hay and little grain.

A balanced diet should also include vitamins and minerals supplements which can be found in most feed stores. This is specifically designed for any missing nutrients in the hay or grain. This helps ensure your cob gets all the nutrients it needs without overfeeding them. Which could lead to obesity issues down the road if not monitored closely enough.

Are Cob Horses fast?

Cob horses are generally considered slower than other breeds due to their shorter legs and heavy bodies. But they still have impressive speed capabilities when conditioned and trained properly!

Depending on how much exercise your particular cob gets regularly will determine just how fast it can go. However, even untrained cobs tend to move faster than expected given their size so don’t underestimate them!


Cob Horses are an incredibly versatile breed that can be used for a variety of activities, from riding to showing. They have a unique appearance and personality that make them stand out in the equestrian world. 

Whether you’re looking for a family horse or something to show off your skills, Cob Horses may just be the perfect fit. With their intelligence and willing attitude, they will surely become your best friend if given the chance. 

So if you’re considering getting a Cob Horse, remember all of these facts about this amazing breed. So you can make an informed decision on whether it is right for you.

Cheers, Kacey

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Disclaimer Notice: Please be aware that horseback riding and related equestrian activities carry inherent risks. The advice and experiences shared on this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional training or advice. Ensure your safety and that of your horse by wearing appropriate gear, practicing safe horse handling, and consulting with certified equestrian professionals. Remember, each horse is unique, and techniques may vary accordingly. Always prioritize safety, respect, and patience in your equestrian endeavors.

Kacey Cleary Administrator
Kacey has been an equestrian since 1998. She was a working student at several eventing and dressage barns. She has owned horses, leased horses, and trained horses. Kacey received an A.S. in Equine Industries from UMass Amherst, where she rode on the dressage team. She was certified with the ARIA and is licensed to teach riding in MA. She has been a barn manager and has run her own horse farm.
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