BLANCHARD — One step inside the paddock and the herd of Gypsy horses belonging to Randy and Brenda Hearon swarm a visitor like curious cats.
Shaking their thick manes and sidestepping on feathery legs, the horses vie for position, thrusting their heads forward for petting, nickering for the visitor’s attention.
Brenda Hearon laughs as she sorts them out, nudging some of them backward and sending a couple galloping across the lot in a spectacular display of flying hoofs and hair.
Gypsy horses are known for their gentleness, intelligence, strength, agility and affinity for human companionship, Brenda Hearon said.
"To us, they’re our babies,” Hearon said. "They’re magical creatures, each with a distinct personality.”
The Hearons raise, care for and handle 10 Gypsy horses on their 4C’s Gypsy Horses ranch 30 miles south of Oklahoma City in Blanchard. The 40-acre ranch also is home to six wild mustangs and three miniature horses.
About the breed
The Gypsy horse is fairly rare in the United States and even rarer in Oklahoma, Randy Hearon said. Only four ranches, including the Hearons’, are listed in the Gypsy Horse Registry of America.
The traditional Gypsy horse is a cob-type horse. The native breeds of Clydesdale, Shire, Dales pony and Fell pony were crossed to arrive at the breed seen today.