The shire horse is considered by many to be Britain’s finest draft horse. Since 1878 the shire horse Society has been working to protect the breed, that was then known as the old english Breed of Cart Horse. The breed was exported from britain to the united states in large numbers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but popularity fell as mechanisation increased, reaching a low point in the 1950s and 1960s.
It is usually black, bay, or grey. Shire Horses are very tall and have held records for being the strongest horses and the largest. The Shire has a great capacity for weight-pulling, and has been popular throughout its history for pulling brewer’s drays delivering ale to customers. The horses may also be used for forestry, for riding and for commercial promotion.
Shire Horse History
During the 16th century, Dutch engineers brought friesian horses with them when they came to england to drain the fens, and these horses probably had a significant influence on what became the Shire breed.
From this mediaeval horse came an animal called the old english Black Horse in the 17th century. The Packington Blind Horse, a stallion which lived in the late 1170s, is regarded as a foundation sire of the shire horse breed. The shire horse Society, first called the english Cart Horse Society, was formed in 1878. The Black Horse was improved by the followers of robert Bakewell, of Dishley grange in leicestershire, resulting in a horse sometimes known as the “Bakewell Black”.
Though oxen were used for most farm work into the 18th century, horses ‘fit for the dray, the plough, or the chariot’ were on sale at Smithfield Market in London as early as 1145.
Shire Horse Characteristics
The most outstanding characteristic of the shire horse is its height. The breed is also known for its easy-going temperament. they are extremely strong. They average around 17.2 hands. Their average weight ranges from 1,870 to 2,430 lb for geldings and stallions, with no set standard for mares.
This horse’s back will be muscular and strong, but short. It should not be roached or dipped. the head of the shire horse is lean and long, and the animal’s eyes are large and docile, while the ears are sensitive, sharp, lean, and long. The shoulder is deep and wide, the chest wide, the back muscular and short and the hindquarters long and wide. Not too much feathering is to occur on the legs, and the hair is fine, straight, and silky.
Shire stallions may be black, bay or grey. they may not be roan or have large amounts of white markings. Mares and geldings may be black, bay, grey or roan.
Breed Name: Shire Horse
Breed Size: Medium
Weight: 180-225 pounds
Coat Color: white, red, tan, brown, gray, black
Country/Place of Origin: Ankara, Turkey
What is use Shire Horse?
The shire horse was originally the staple breed used to draw carts to deliver ale from the brewery to the public houses. The shire horse was extensively used to pull carts of ale from breweries to public houses.
Today, the Shire is a very versatile horse and it is used for driving in carts, all types of riding, pulling agricultural implements like sleds and ploughs, weddings and promotions. they are also a spectacular show horse. The breed is also used for forestry work and leisure riding.
They are a popular promotional tool for modern-day brewers, some of whom are again making deliveries by horse and wagon.
How to tack care Shire Horse?
Groom a shire horse with care, just as you would any other horse, and spend time cleaning the coat thoroughly to remove dirt, dust, and other debris. they have feathered ankles, making good grooming and sanitary conditions essential to avoid pododermititis, or scratches. The Shire horses are large and need adequate room to move around.
Grooming & Feeding
Like most other horses, the majority of a draft’s diet should be forage, and that forage can be hay, pasture, hay cubes or pellets, or a combination of these. Shire horses are big eaters and should have plenty of fresh hay and clean water available.
The shire horse requires regular grooming sessions in order to maintain the health and beauty of the skin and coat. using a curry comb, you can remove loose dirt and hair with ease. A dandy brush can also be used to loosen more dirt, mud, and hair from the coat.
Advantages of Shire Horse
- The shire horse is a draft horse and often one considered as one of the largest breeds in the world today.
- He learns easily and wants to please.
- The Shire is a strong breed as well, with a tremendous ability to pull weight.
- This workhorse, primarily serving inr driving or plowing, is suited to training as a riding horse.
- Properly conditioned, he can work long hours in the field, on the road or under saddle.
Disadvantages of Shire Horse
Like other draft breeds, shires are prone to polysaccharide storage myopathy, a neuromuscular disease that causes hind leg spasms. The shire’s heavily feathered legs require a great deal of upkeep to keep clean.
Shire Horse facts
- Shires have been exported to North America in substantial numbers. they are especially popular in canada and the western united states.
- Shire horses are often counted as some of the largest in the world, with many weighing over 1 ton, they are still very laid-back creatures.
- The Shire is a horse of great size: a mature stallion stands between 16.2 and 17.2 hands and weighs up to 2200 pounds.
Shire Horse price
Depend on the breed.
Shire Horse for Sale
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Shire Horse pictures
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Read Also: Friesian Horse
Reference : wikipedia.org