Are Shire Horses Gentle

Bob Roberts
• Tuesday, 13 October, 2020
• 15 min read

The Shire horse is a large draft breed in England. They are a handsome and docile animal, and when you are choosing a shire horse, I think it is a wise decision for you.

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The shire is the tallest and the largest horse breed in the world. The shire is a docile horse breed, and they have a personality that is inclined to want to work.

The shire has an easy-going attitude, and the temperament is friendly, peaceful and gentle behavior. Safe handling and horseback riding is a fundamental principle when you train your shire horse.

Your shire needs to be good feeding practice and the nutrient requirements of its vary depending on their age and stages of growth. You are grooming your lovely horse to prevent the bacterial infection and removing the dirt and mud from the body surface.

After removing the mud, use the body brush to clean and massage the skin. Give your horse a quick groom before you exercise it in the morning, to make it comfortable and tidy.

Grooming is essential to a healthy shiny and glossy coat of your shire horse. The most valuable unique characteristics of the Shire horse is the extreme strength and the lucrative height.

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The Shire is the most famous because they aim to please, and they are happy, loud noises, cars, water, and children. They are performed in skills tests and obstacle driving, agricultural shows and plowing matches are the most visible face of the working horse.

The Shire horse used in various purposes, primarily as drought animal. They are an excellent choice of many horse lover due to its distinct features.

Hopefully, I give you a clear idea for knowing all the information about the giant horse in a very concise form. He is hard-working, calm, and easy to train. The Livestock Conservancy shares that the Shire was moved from Critical to Threatened as the global population estimate is now greater than 2,000.

Farming developed a need for strong, docile horses that could work the fields in Yorkshire and Lancashire. These Flemish horses were noted both for their size and for colors and markings similar to what we think of as typical for the Shire.

We recommend visiting the Shire horse society as a resource for research. They have a section for horses for sale and publications that talk about the Shire breed.

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Like all the famous draft breeds, this draft horse is also known as a warhorse and Guide shared that there is evidence that black Flemish horses with leg feathering were brought to England in the early part of the 13th century. The typical colors include brown, gray, bay, and black, as well as chestnut, sorrel, and roan.

Horses of this cold-blooded breed are difficult to get out of their rest and are especially appreciated by their riders for their good-natured and calm nature. In contrast to many other cold-blooded animals, they have a lively temperament and are also extremely eager to learn.

The beautiful cold-blooded horses are not only remembered for their extraordinary character, but especially for their imposing appearance. Typical for this horse breed are not only their enormous size and mass, also the dense long hair immediately catches the eye.

A slender ram head, a slightly bent neck and beautiful dark eyes make the horses look graceful and elegant. In their homeland they already served knights as robust riding horses in the 11th century.

They managed to carry the heavy armor of the riders over long distances without any difficulty and intimidated enemies with their appearance alone. With an enormous pulling power, the horses were also popular in front of the carriage or plow.

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The population was stabilized by the foundation of the Shire Horse Society as a breeding association in 1878, but the advancing technological development caused the demand for Whitehorse to drop rapidly. It is thanks to the commitment of a few English breeders and breweries that the stock of cold-blooded horses has recovered.

That their movements can be very elegant and swinging despite their size, they have already proven in many demanding dressage performances. They are considered the noblest race in the world and are also called “sons of the desert”.

Height: 16.2-21.2 hands (84.8”) Physique: Heavy, tall, powerful Weight: 1,800-2,400 lb Lifespan: 27.5 years These animals were known for being large and for featuring hindquarters that were massive, but they were actually smaller when compared to the draft breeds that would develop from them.

As the need for war horses carrying knights declined, and as wheeled forms of transportation were developed, there was a new requirement. Evidence also points to the fact that black Flemish horses with leg feathering were brought to England in the early part of the 13th century.

They are also easy to train, despite their size, so they are suitable for all levels of horse owners, riders, and trainers, including beginners. In fact, shying, rearing, bucking, and spooking are rare behaviors for this breed.

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They do not mind being around other animals, such as dogs, and they are even comfortable around loud noises, water, cars, and children. Overall, this breed has a mellow personality and state of mind that is typically attributed to the fact that it was originally created to work as a war horse.

That occupation required that the animals stay calm and even-tempered during the most chaotic and dangerous situations, and those traits have been passed down through the generations to modern Shire horses. The Shire Horse is a massive animal, with several distinguishing features that include a long mane, large hooves, and furred feet.

The neck should be long and in proportion to the rest of the body, as well as slightly arched, and the shoulders should be wide and deep. The colors associated with this breed include brown, gray, bay, and black, as well as chestnut, sorrel, and roan.

Like all other equine breeds, the Shire Horse requires regular grooming sessions in order to maintain the health and beauty of the skin and coat. To keep the feathers on a Shire Horse’s lower legs looking healthy and clean, you can spray on a detailing product designed for equines.

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This makes them an exceptional horse for general work purposes and for recreational riding, even though many of them stand up to 19 hands. Over time, as conflicts subsided, the heavy nature of the Shire made it an attractive investment for farmers and those in agricultural work.

One Shire could pull a plow, take the family to town, and perform a wide range of jobs. This led to the development of a close relationship between this breed and humanity which still exists today.

Lumberjacks have heavy equipment to haul logs now instead of relying on the strength of a Shire. This has led breeders to work on refining the breed so that it can be adapted to the modern world.

Today’s Shire has had Clydesdale influences to help it become taller and improve the quality of the feathering. Yet the Shire horse temperaments have remained virtually the same throughout the entire improvement process.

There will always be individualistic exceptions to that rule, of course, but in general terms, the Shire is an excellent family horse that is ready and willing to put in a good day of work. In 2013, he was measured at just over 20 hands, making him the tallest horse in the country and competitive with the world record holder.

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Because Shires can keep growing well after their seventh birthday, there is always a chance that a new record holder could be crowned. The goal is to create horses that have a gentle disposition, but an imposing presence, so that the best of both worlds can be obtained.

Part of the reason why this pulling strength exists is that the physical makeup of the horse. Shires have wide shoulders and a long neck for a draft horse, which gives them some added leverage when it comes to driving.

Their hocks are set in such a way that they can achieve maximum leverage, especially with their hooves that are oversized and round. Unlike other horse breeds that become stubborn when they sense a perceived lack of respect, there is rarely any aggression that comes from a Shire.

Shires tend to stand still and refuse, putting the onus on the owner to provide an explanation. They are generally well-mannered and work hard, but they will not put up with an owner who doesn’t offer respect in return.

Shire horses are very hardy as well, partially due to their size, but their coat helps a lot as well. They can handle harsh environments, the cold in particular, and they don’t mind being asked to work in difficult locations, like a wetland lumber harvest.

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The feathering on a Shire has improved over the past few generations, but moisture and debris still tends to get caught in this part of the coat. Jessica Stammer Topographic The Shire horses are a massive draft breed, that’s built to work in fields and pull carriages.

Many people think the Shire breed is limited to pulling heavy loads, and they would be mistaken. These animals make great riding horses and are suitable for any level of rider.

Shires provide an excellent seat for large riders; they’re powerful and travel effortlessly. They move exceptionally well and have a kind, gentle nature, which makes them a desired breed for therapeutic riding.

The transition from walk to trot to a slow loping canter is graceful, and the gaits don’t jar its rider. If you’ve witnessed a man and horse plow a field, you likely remember the driver verbally directing his animal continuously with various sounds.

Their reaction to verbal commands illustrates the breeds’ intelligence, and these transitions well to horseback riding when trained correctly. The Shire quickly learns basic commands that increase the pleasure of riding.

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This draft breed is extraordinarily tall, which makes it virtually impossible to step into the saddle stirrups without aid. The Shires' girth makes it difficult for most of us short people to ride and train them with leg ques.

Stubborn horses are difficult to control for the rider not accustomed to handling large draft breeds. When a standard sized horse begins acting up, it’s natural to pull their heads to one side and take away their power.

Shire horses are calm and patient, and these are essential traits for a trail riding horse. We take a few long trail rides each year, and one thing I’ve learned is it’s of paramount importance to be on the back of an animal that doesn’t spook easily.

When you ride in public spaces, the unexpected yapping dog, wild animal, or breakaway horse is going to challenge you. No problem for the Shire, these big horses are sure-footed and can easily step over logs and debris.

Fit horses are recommended to be burden with no more than 20 percent of their body weight, and most Shires weigh over 2,000 lbs. Certain breeds, donkeys, and mules comfortably carry 25 percent of their body weight.

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The Shire descended from the Great War Horses,” which often carried men in full battle armor that weighed as much as 400 pounds and are naturally strong animals. Some signs your horse is overworked are excessive sweating, increased heart rate, and a sudden change in demeanor.

Shires are giant draft breeds for sure, but they aren’t clumsy, just the opposite; they are athletic and smooth. They compete and have a desire to please their owners; they don’t mind hard work and have a presence in the arena.

Shire horses originated in England and are believed to be descended from the “War Horses of the European continent. But the industrial revolution ushered in the age of the steam and combustible gas engine, which drastically reduced the need for draft horses.

Some horses are still used in typical draft occupations such as forestry, farming, and pulling carriages. Behavioral Traits Mild-mannered, noble, willing, adaptable, gentle Physical Characteristics structure is massive, with a big head, large eyes; the long neck is slightly arched ending in a wide chest and broad shoulders; the legs are muscular with the perfect hocks set for maximum leverage; the back of the legs are covered with dense feathering while the hooves are round and large Coat Colors Black, Bay, Gray, Chestnut (traditional colors) Height/Size Large; Stallions: 17 hands (68 inches or 173 cm); Mares: 16 hands (64 inches or 163 cm); Geldings: 16.2 hands (66 inches or 168 cm) (Up to 21.2 hands) Weight Heavy; 1800 pounds Life Expectancy 25-30 years Common Uses General riding, dressage, evening, pulling hefty goods Health Problems Healthy in general; no specific diseases Type Cart Horse, Heavy Draft Horse, Riding Horse, Sports Horse, Show Horse, Parade Horse Ancestors (Bloodlines) The Great Horse, Packing ton Blind Horse, Friedan, Flanders Popular For Extremely powerful, multi-talented, easily trainable Blood Type Cold Suitable for first-time owners Yes Feeding/Diet General horse diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.

However, with the introduction of more bloodlines, the influence of the Great Horse got slowly reduced in the stock, while the Frisian blood began to dominate. But many experts opined that the first Shires developed in Britain around the 16th century when the locals were in need of working equines for pulling their coaches and wagons over long distances through the rough terrains of the region.

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The resulting breed proved to be much efficient in pulling massive loads, as well as for military purposes. At present, the Whitehorse are quite well-known for their strength and are still used to haul heavy loads like granite and brewery wagons.

At a 1924 exhibition in England, two Shire Horses pulled a weight of around 45 tons. The Shire named Mammoth, born in 1848, is believed to be the world’s largest horse standing at 21.2 hands and weighing around 3,300 pounds (1500 kg).

Winston Churchill was an inspirational statesman, writer, orator and leader, and as the Prime Minister of Britain, led the people to victory in the Second World War. Winston showed amazing strength as well as kindness, and the ability to unite and inspire Britain during a dark time in history. It is this strength that is best represented in our shire Winston’s steadfast nature, an unstoppable working horse with a flowing mane and tail and just enough feathers to shield him from rough terrain. Winston is a gentle giant, sculpted by Kelly Sealed with every attention to detail. We feel she has brought every bit of this horse to life with her care, and we hope you enjoy him as much as we have. It is a breed that is relatively tall, standing between 16-17 hands on average, and have feathered feet that are similar to a Clydesdale horse.

Here are some additional Shire horse facts to help you get to know this breed a little better. Although 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 horse is also quite easy to train, with bucking or rearing considered to be an unusual behavior. Unlike other large horses, however, the size of the Shire was bred into them for war purposes, which is why they are believed to be so gentle.

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During his reign, Henry II recognized the need to have a horse that could bear the full weight of a knight that was in heavy armor. Add in the weaponry and gear weight to that and many horses just couldn’t perform.

It has been this way ever since the first breed registry for this draft and draft horse was established. In 1924, during an exhibition in England, it was found that a pair of Shire horses were able to pull a starting load that was estimated to be 45 tons.

No one knows for sure how much the pull weight actually was because the pair of Shire horses exceeded the maximum reading of the measurement equipment. In slippery footing, this same pair of horses were able to pull a documented 16.5 tons successfully.

Although his breed was not officially measured, it was believed that Mammoth was a Shire based on the descriptions given. The official measurement put Mammoth at a height of 21.25 hands and with a weight of over 3,300 pounds.

Documentation from Smithfield Market in London shows that horses were being sold that were “fit for the dray, plow, or the chariot.” This was even when many farmers were preferring to use oxen in order to manage their farms instead of horses, which goes to show the historical popularity of this breed in England and then later in the United States. Breeders used the Clydesdale horse in the 1950s and 1960s to improve the appearance of the modern Shire.

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There are fewer than 200 new registries for Shire horses that are made in the United States each year. There may be more unregistered Shire horses in isolated communities that still use the breed for farm work.

Many small scale farms in the UK are once again looking to use the Shire horse for the work that needs to be done to reduce the impact they cause on the environment. Forestry management services are also using Shire horses more frequently because their hooves cause much less environmental damage than modern equipment.

Although not everyone can handle a tall horse, many are finding or rediscovering that owning a Shire can be a highly rewarding experience in many ways. Shire horses have long been one of the tallest and most majestic horse breeds on the planet.

Today there are several charities that work hard to save this breed for future generations. The exact history of how the big, bold, and beautiful Percheron came to be is unknown, but we do know this breed originated in Normandy, France.

The earliest of the Percheron served as war horses because of their sure-footed gait and spirit. Once the wars were over and farming became a priority, Percheron's were bred for their strength and size to pull plows in the fields.

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In Australia, Percheron's are crossed with Thoroughbreds to create the perfect police horse. Known for its appearance on Budweiser commercials, the Clydesdale originated in Scotland, named after the River Clyde and the farmers that found the breed.

There is evidence that Shires were used as war horses back in the 15th century, rode by knights in armor galloping fearlessly into battle. Shires stand up to 17 hands tall and can usually be found in black, gray, bay, and chestnut colors.

Belgians were exported throughout Europe to help add build and strength to other horse lines. They were bred from Belgian, Zeeland, and Rennes horses to be big, strong workhorses that could help in the farm fields.

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