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It is easy to lose yourself in a daydream of the Shire when you have one of these figurines. Endless amount of untold stories are waiting to unfold through this adorable horse and will bring delight to anybody’s bedroom or collectible shelf.
FUN FACTS about Shires that you could weave into your colorful stories during playtime:
This true “gentle giant”, is renowned for its docile temperament and strong work ethic. Also referred to as “Great Horses,” they are well known for being very kind, patient, and desires to develop a strong bond with people. Because of their gentle nature, the Shire horse is popular for parades and other events or petting zoos. From battlefield to farmland, this noble horse has been a well-mannered servant and faithful companion. The Shire’s great ancestors came from the “Old English Black Horse” of the central regions of England, counties commonly referred to as the “shires”.
Shire horses are a family friendly breed.
Even though they are often counted as some of the largest horses 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. This breed has to be calm on a battlefield that was anything but calm.
Henry II saw the potential of what the Shire horse could be.
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. The weight of the individual alone could be upwards of 400 pounds. Add in the weaponry and gear weight to that and many horses just couldn’t perform. The king looked for horses with specific characteristics that were needed, started encouraging selective breeding, and that’s how the Shire horse breed was born.
Shire horses can pull an enormous amount of weight.
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.
The largest horse ever measured in the world is believed to have been a Shire.
The measurement took place in 1848 for a horse that was named Mammoth. 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.
Many Shire horses are finding themselves getting back to 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.
Shire Horses are often used for the pleasure of tourists, pulling carriages in a city area. Most are used in the bigger cities like New York and Chicago.
Back in the days of Julius Caesar, over 2000 years ago, Shires were popular horses for use in pulling chariots as well as in Roman Chariot racing. For centuries in London, they were used for delivering beer and performing other tasks around farms. They still deliver beer in some parts but it’s only within a 5-mile radius of the beer brewery. They are also often used in the timber business; the extraction of timber by Shire horse is quite common. They have also been known to pull steam fire engines.
Shire Horses have