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Irish Cob Horse

Ashley Bates

May 25, 2021

Introduction

Irish Cob horses are head-turners, to say the least. Robust, dignified, and magnificent, these creatures are the epitome of beauty and grace. Looks aren’t deceiving in this case—their incredible personalities match their outer splendor.

If you’re interested in owning one of these horses, there are some facts you want to brush up on first. Whether you’re new to the equine world or you’re an experienced rider, this breed can be an ideal pick for your needs. But let’s find out exactly what you can expect when you call an Irish Cob your own.

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Quick Facts about Irish Cob Horse

Species Name: Equus ferus caballus
Family: Equidae
Care Level: Moderate
Temperature: Cold hardy
Temperament: Docile, intelligent, mild
Color Form: Piebald, skewbald
Lifespan: Up to 30 years
Size: Up to 16.7 hands
Diet: Herbivore
Compatibility: Beginners, experienced owners

Irish Cob Horse Overview

The wonderful Irish Cob is a real head-turner, combining Thoroughbred, Irish Draught, and Connemara horses. The long contrasting mane and tail and the feathering aspects of the legs make for a stunning specimen.

Irish Cob
Image Credit: Claire2003, Pixabay

Irish cob horses have a very confident trot and steady gait, smaller than other draft horses—and so unique! Originally they were bred for light farm work, but they’re mainly revered for their good looks and modest personalities today.

How Much Do Irish Cobs Cost?

Irish Cobs are costly horses, so get ready to toss out a few years’ worth of savings. The average price for one of these beauties is around $12,000.

Of course, certain factors can influence prices, such as breeding, training, and age. Since these horses are pricey and somewhat hard to come by, you might have a bit of an issue locating a breeder or owner who is ready to part with one.

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Typical Behavior & Temperament

Irish Cob horses tend to be very docile and kind. These soft-hearted beauties are loved for their incredible intuitiveness and tenderness. They have the typical disposition of a large draught horse in a smaller package.

Owners would describe the Irish Cob as easy to control and receptive of direction. They form close bonds with other horses and humans alike. These horses are often happy-go-lucky with positive, peppy attitudes.

Appearance & Varieties

Irish Cob horses have a fascinating look that sets them apart from any of their kind. This horse is often piebald or skewbald with fringe around the lower legs and hooves, screaming femininity and grace.

irish cob horse
Image Credit: naadjuuuh, Pixabay

Designed for their beauty and raw power, all forms of the Irish Cob stand beneath 16.7 hands. It is considered a small draught horse with muscular quarters and refined charm. They usually weigh between 1,000 and 1,700 pounds.

These magnificent creatures are Gypsy horses, which come in a variety of names and subcategories.

Some other names you might recognize are:

  • Gypsy Vanner
  • Gypsy Horse
  • Tinker Horse
  • Galineers Cob

Irish Cobs might also have solid colors—like white—in some cases. The manes are often rich silvery cream, creating a beautiful contrast against darker tones.

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How to Take Care of an Irish Cob Horse

Irish Cob horses require very similar care to other horses. It is important to fully understand the responsibility of owning one of these magnificent creatures. You have to have the proper setup and environment so they can thrive.

Proper spacing is extremely important as you need the correct amount of acreage per horse. And don’t even think that a solo horse is a good idea because your Irish Cob will definitely need a buddy.

Irish Cob horses
Image Credit: JACLOU-DL, Pixabay

Habitat Conditions & Setup

 Fencing

Almost every horse is a phenomenal jumper. For this reason, extra secure fencing is essential. Most people use traditional fencing followed up with one electrical wire unit. While they might get zapped a few times in the beginning, they quickly learn their boundaries.

Any grazing pasture needs to be fully fenced in and secure at all times. Most fences are about 60 inches from the ground.

Enclosure

Unlike some other barnyard friends, horses require a pretty different setup at night. They should never be left outside in the elements when they sleep. You should always be put in a stall that is at least 12 by 12 square feet.

The stall should be completely dry and free of any debris. There should always be a trough of fresh hay and water available in their living space.

Bedding 

Since horses don’t use bedding for cuddling up in, it’s not such an important factor. However, it is good to have some flooring of the stall semi-clean up a breeze. Many equestrians love sawdust or straw because it is easy to tidy up.

Field Friends

All horses are incredibly social creatures who thrive on interaction with their kind. You should never own a singular horse—always have a companion or two for them.

Do Irish Cob Horses Get Along with Other Pets?

Irish Cob horses are generally very agreeable with other equines. They tend to coexist peacefully with other farm life, too. These horses aren’t typically territorial or unpredictable, so they are safe for even the family dog to be around.

Irish Cob close up
Image Credit: JACLOU-DL, Pixabay

However, because of their massive size, always supervise your Irish Cob and smaller pets’ interactions. Just one spooked kick can do a heck of a lot of damage.

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What to Feed Your Irish Cob Horse

To keep your Irish Cob healthy, a well-balanced diet is essential. A full-grown horse should eat roughly 12 to 15 pounds of fresh hay per day. They should be permitted to graze if possible to get nutrients from the pasture, as they get up to 2% of their body weight in roughage a day.

You have to make sure your Irish Cob always has access to fresh water to keep them hydrated.

Keeping Your Irish Cob Healthy

All horses require particular and time-consuming care. If you don’t understand the full commitment, it is important to research thoroughly beforehand.

While having an Irish Cob can be an enriching experience, you will have to hold up your end of the bargain so that they stay happy and healthy.

These horses require a fresh water source, plentiful hay, commercial feed, and wild greenery. Make sure that they have a solid, well-rounded diet with or without supplements—depending on what’s needed for your particular Irish Cob.

These horses can suffer from certain breed-specific ailments – Pastern Dermatitis 

You also need to make sure that you keep the feathering on their legs very clean as they can get an infection if it’s not tended to properly.

Regular vetting is essential to ensure that your horse is there healthiest. This will also help you to get ahead of any issues that might be developing over time.

Breeding

The ideal age to breed an Irish Cob horse is between 4 and 12 years. Mares are generally pregnant 330 days—just a few weeks short of a year!

Irish Cob mares are seasonal breeders that typically go into heat cycles between May and October.

Mares give birth to just one foal at a time. While a mother can carry twins, typically, one passes, or the mother undergoes extreme delivery complications.

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Are Irish Cob Horses Suitable For You?

Irish Cobs are definitely rewarding horses to own—many owners can confirm. They have several attributes you might look for in a horse, such as an outstanding personality, impressive structure, and high trainability. They bond exceptionally well to other equines as well as all family members.

If you have the cash on hand or get a deal, owning one of these creatures is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you.


Featured Image: Best dog photo, Shutterstock

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.

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