Breed Spotlight: Vanners, also called Tinkers

Breed Spotlight: Vanners, also called Tinkers


A relatively new horse on the scene, at least in terms of formal paperwork, the Vanner, also called a Tinker, is commonly referred to as a cob rather than a draft. However the breed association in Astranar has requirements that make it similar to a light draft. It is one of the options for the player to purchase a draft horse, though it isn’t available in the same district that supplies that quest.

From about the 1850’s in the British Isles, traveling families used a trademark horse for pulling their carts that were also their homes. The color and characteristics of the breed were further refined after the second World War. It is a heavily-muscled horse with a medium, strong neck, and a “sweet,” refined head. There are strict rules for the proportions of the horse’s frame, legs, and build that can vary a little between association, but usually fall within a set range. Feathering is usually abundant, but not necessarily required. They are also judged by their gaits and strides, including a flowing, effortless appearance to them. Larger horses within the breed are considered something of a status symbol, as after a while smaller horses were bred into the bloodlines to bring their size down without losing the strength.

Tinker 1

Tinkers are known for being sweet, kind horses that are intelligent and eager to work with their riders and drivers. Because the breed book was primarily spread through oral communication for many years, tracking lineages before the founding of associations can get a little tricky. The general consensus is that the foundation horses were the Old Coal Horse and Sonny Mays’ Horse. Tinkers came over to America in the 1990’s, which is about when various associations came into being wanting to promote the breed and give it formal credence. They are still used for draft purposes, but they are also accepted as dressage and show jumping horses due to their intelligence, strength, and dexterity.

Tinker 2

Breed Characteristics:
Vanners come in all solid colors, with white markings and particularly white paints are highly sought after. Some, however, can be harder to get since the greying gene is prevalent in the breed. The feathers match the hair underneath in the same way hooves do–so if there is light or red hair, it’s white, but if it’s black, it’s dark. Feathers aren’t usually a requirement in the breed, but almost all of Astranar’s have them.

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    2                                              Discipline:       4
Endurance:         3                                               Agility:             3
Strength:             5

* Note, these numbers aren’t set in stone. They are Becca’s way of trying to reduce her knowledge/research of breeds and their particular skills and traits into numbers so when animators and programmers have to look at these horses, they can go, “Oh, this horse can’t turn worth beans but this one can on a dime, noted!”