The closest facial feature to mustaches in most mammals is whiskers. From cats and dogs to rodents, horses, and seals, you can often count the long, coarse hairs protruding from their muzzles, jaws, and sometimes above the eyes.
However, one gorgeous breed of horses can grow something that brings them just an inch closer to humans: full, hairy mustaches that naturally sprout in “handlebar” or “imperial” styles. No curling required. I know a few humans who would give anything to grow healthy ‘staches, and here they are thriving in full glory on horses who don’t even realize what they have.
This trait is common in the Gypsy Vanner, one of the most beautiful horse breeds in the world, native to the islands Great Britain and Ireland.  The Gypsy looks like something straight of a fairytale or a legend, and they are just as powerful as they are gorgeous. The horse is famous for its stunningly flowing mane, a long swishy tail, and adorable feathers on their hoofs. With a gentle demeanor uncharacteristic for an animal so powerful, the Gypsy is every horse lover’s dream.
The same gene responsible for the abundance of hair in the Gypsy horse is also responsible for the mustache-growing trait. Fun fact: it’s not just the males who can grow the mustaches in this case. Whether it’s a stallion, a gelding, or a mare, they all tend to grow hair on their muzzles that curl up exactly like a human’s ‘stache. Most of the Gyspy Vanners will also grow normal horse whiskers along with their unique mustaches.
Shave or nay?
According to an experienced horse farmer, leaving the hair on a gypsy horse’s upper lip to grow unclipped gives rise to the moustachey appearance that may stretch down to become a full beard. Many horse breeds may grow these hairs but gypsies grow the longest. 
When pictures of the Gypsy Vanner’s mustache went viral online, people were divided on what they would do the ‘stache if they ever owned one of the dreamy horses growing facial hair.
Some people were immediately in love. One Twitter user wrote: “I just found out a horse can grow a mustache and it’s everything I could’ve hoped for. #stache #flavorsaver Just look at this handsome fella.”
Others were utterly jealous. “This horse can grow a better mustache than me,” one person wrote.
Then there were those who would have given anything to un-see the horse ‘staches. “I just saw a pic of a horse with a mustache… I hate twitter.”
More dislike: “I find it to be the vilest thing ever…shave it! Shave it! Ugh!”
And finally, the ones who didn’t know how they felt about it. “It’s kinda cute in a weird way, but if it were my horse I would shave it off!”
Well, the mustaches are adorable and apparently, Gypsy breeders do not like to shave them off. They happen to real sales boosters and are also rumored to bring good luck to their owners.
- “If You Ever Feel Sad, Just Remember That Horses Can Grow Moustaches.” Bored Panda. James Caunt. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- “About Gypsies and Drums” Gypsy Drum Horses. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- “The Gorgeous Gypsy Vanner Horse.” Horse Journal. Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne. Retrieved October 19, 2020.