Shire Horse


















Both in height and weight the shire horse is the greatest of England's agricultural horses and was used to a considerable extent in all large towns throughout the country. Its origin may be traced to a breed of heavy horse whitch was certainly in existence in Elizabethan times and was reffered to by historians of those days as the Great Horse of England. That a horse of bulk and great strenght was requiret in those days is certain, when it is remembered that the war horse was needed to carry man in armour weighing perhaps 30 st (190 Kg). He had also to draw heavy, rough, springless carts over tracks, which is the best that can be said of the so-called roads of those days, or over country where roads did not exist. This, then, was the forbear of the Shire Horse, which some 200 years ago came to be known by that name.
In England the horse is bred largely in the deep and heavy-soiled counties of Lincoln, Cambridge and Huntingdon, where his enormous strenght makes him popular as an agricultural horse. The best of the breed stand over 17 hands (170 cm) and are capable of pulling a net weight of 5 tons, and although perhaps the slowest worker of the heavy breeds, the shire is a steady, level mover of great honesty.
Bays and browns are the predominating colours, while blacks and greys are less frequent, and all Shires have a considerable amount of white on the feet and legs.
In characters this great horse is of a docile nature, and at three years old it can be worked on the farms, soon becoming a commercial proposition. Representatives of the breed are to be found at most horse shows where agricurtular classes are to be seen.

Colour: predominating colours bays and browns, then blacks and greys.
Height: 16.2 to 18 hands; average about 17 hands.
head, lean in proportion to body, neither too large nor too small.
Forehead, broad between the eyes.
Eyes, large, prominent and docile in appearance.
Nose:nostrails thinand wide, lips together and nose slightly roman.
Ears, long, lean, sharp and sensitive.
Throat, clean-cut and lean.
Shoulders, deep and oblique and wide enough for the collar to rest on.
Neck, fairly long, slightly arched, well set up to give the horse a commanding appearance.
Breed Society: The Shire Horse Society.