Does anyone own/loan a Shire?

georgie1

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Jul 23, 2006
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Hi there

Do you hack him/her? Do you school him/her? Just interested really, in these beautiful gentle giants.

Many thanks

Gx
 
X

x_Broomy

Guest
Me :]
She's 2 years old and the last time we measured her she was 17.1hh :D
When she's all grown up we'll be doing everything! Hacking,hunting,schooling,Low level SJ, XC =D
Not too much jumping though as they're bones aren't built for it.
Might even get a foal or two out of her aswell!
x
 

Yummymummy

New Member
Aug 7, 2007
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My house
Shire

I have a shire x cob if that helps. Her feather is nearly all grown back!!
DSC01159.jpg
[/IMG]

She looks tiny but she is 16.2 and is huge!

She is 18 years old and is fabulous, she will do anything, hacks out beautifully, schools beautifully, free lunges from voice commands, leg aids, seat aids, everything, fantastic teperament, gentle. She can be strong so I rider her in a kimblewick which has improved everything no end, she loves water and galloping on the beach. She is fantastic:D

What do you want to know?
 

georgie1

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Jul 23, 2006
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Thank you x broomy and Yummymummy.....BTW...she is just lovely...my share didnt go as planned :( and saw an advert and just was interested in anyones experiences.

Yummymummy does she live out? I have always been a fan of bigger rather than smaller!! :eek: Do Shires have any special quirks?

xBroomy - 17.1...she has some growing to do then!! :D you say not much jumping so just fun stuff, ie no shows just pleasure would be fine?

Just another random question (please dont answer if you dont feel you would like to) but as a 16.2 and 17.1 ( and growing) would you recommend being particularly tall to ride them both. Its just i am 5.3...do you think that is too short?

Many thanks for your time.

Gx
 

Alfies-slave

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May 24, 2006
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Hi, I have had Shires and Clydesdales for over 20 years now :D

They are wonderful, but forget the 'gentle giant' myth! They are only 'gentle giants' if correctly handled. If they once have the oportunity to fnd out how big they are then you have lost the game. They weigh in at about a tone and maintaining ground manners is more important than with a light horse. A heavy can quite inadvertantly kill you.

They are totaly the wrong conformation for riding, although people do ride them sucessfuly. they mature late. They are not up to breaking till at least 4 YO. Then you have to go easy till they are 7-8 as before then they are not mature.

It will take about 2 years of ridden schooling, (when they are physicly up to it) to get them balanced and in to any thing aproaching an outline.

They are ruinously expensive to keep. Your farrier may not want to shoe one, so you might have to take them to a specialist forge. Their shoes are on average 120 pounds a set and need new shoes every 5 weeks on average. All that weight makes the shoes wear out faster.

Most heavies need special xx full tack.... this comes at extra expense! You can't just walk in to a saddlery and buy a 7" bit! A plain 7" snaffle costs about 30 pounds, if you want any other sort of bit then it will cost 100 pounds plus as a special order.

In the winter they will eat a bale of hay a day. Some are very poor doers and need buckets of extra feed.

Double the costs of wormers and suplements.

They are notoriously unsound! Lots of problems related to joints (arthritis and djd) EPSM affects half of Shires at some time http://www.ruralheritage.com/vet_clinic/epsm.htm They also have lots of problems if allowed to grow to fast as youngsters. They need to be grown very slowly to prevent bone and joint deformities. Sadly you see a lot of young heavies forced to look big in the ring. They are usualy in a tin by 10 years old.

Their life expectancy is shorter than an average horse. A heavy is lucky to reach 19 years old.... when you take in to account that they don't realy mature/get going work wise till about 10 years old, it is a very short working life!

This sounds like doom and gloom, but they are beautiful animals and worth it... best way of putting it is that they are specialist horses for enthusiasts!:rolleyes:
 

Lucyad

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Mar 30, 2006
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Renfrewshire, Scotland
Very informative, Alfies Slave - can I butt in and ask, do cross breds suffer from similar problems? Mine is CD x TB and is just 7 - I am hoping for a long active life from him!
 

georgie1

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Jul 23, 2006
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Thanks Alfie slave for the info, really interesting.:) Appreciate you taking the time to write that.

Lucy Ad....of course... no worries - butt away..:D:D

Gx
 

Alfies-slave

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May 24, 2006
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Sadly the same problems do apply to heavy X's ... but to not such an extent as the full heavies. There is currently a big hoo-harr going on in the warmblood world over PPSM (another descriptin of EPSM) The EPSM thing seems to equaly affect drafts and their crosses.

The problems associated with fast growing late maturing large horses affect the crosses. Stands to reason that anything bred unnaturaly big has a chance of encountering problems... they are made out of the same stuff as light horses, they just have to carry round twice the weight!

This all sounds very depressing... however I seem to have slowly turned my place in to a heavy horse rescue centre (on the quiet... don't tell my husband!) I have 6 'rescues' at the moment. Either the EPSM has got them or they have had to have radical re-breaking because they wern't handled properly. One of them has wobblers due to being frced for showing (he does logging now!) The posh Clydeie babies that I breed get sold to fund the rescues.:rolleyes:

All these things have always been known to heavy horsemen. However, if your horse is walking all day working on a farm (ie, not being ridden, doing dressage or hunting etc) these things don't matter so much because the horses are still up to their jobs. Instances of EPSM are probably the same as they always have been.... it is just that people notice it more because heavies are being asked to do jobs that they wouldn't do in the past.
 
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X

x_Broomy

Guest
Thank you x broomy and Yummymummy.....BTW...she is just lovely...my share didnt go as planned :( and saw an advert and just was interested in anyones experiences.

Yummymummy does she live out? I have always been a fan of bigger rather than smaller!! :eek: Do Shires have any special quirks?

xBroomy - 17.1...she has some growing to do then!! :D you say not much jumping so just fun stuff, ie no shows just pleasure would be fine?

Just another random question (please dont answer if you dont feel you would like to) but as a 16.2 and 17.1 ( and growing) would you recommend being particularly tall to ride them both. Its just i am 5.3...do you think that is too short?

Many thanks for your time.

Gx

Yep, lots of growing to do :D Yeah, not too many jumping shows, maybe a few local ones but i doubt we'll ever go affiliated:p Pleasure is fine, just have to be careful as 1 tonne of horses landing on two front legs is quite a bit of weight to take.
Well i guess i'm tall-ish, 5ft 7, but i still have some growing to do also =].
I think smaller people may have to work harder on them,with them being so big but if you are a capable rider then you should be okay :]
x
 

Lucyad

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Mar 30, 2006
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Renfrewshire, Scotland
Thanks, Alfies Slave - sounds like a very worthwhile set up you have, and thanks for taking time to reply so informatively.

I love the heavies, and the influence they have on TB when crossed. Mine isnt very heavy compared to say a HW cob, and I hope to BSJA (lower levels) with him eventually. I just hope that it wouldnt be to the detriment of his long term soundness though. I know someone with a lovely Clydesdale cross cob (much, much heavier and smaller than mine) who was a great jumper (just 2'6'' and under I think), and has had joint problems over the last year at only 14. He is now coming back into lighter work, but wont be jumped again. I would hate this to happen to my boy, and wonder if there is anything I could do to make it less likely.

Here he is - sorry for hijacking, but it seems to be a real consideration when it comes to the heavier types.

oscar-ingliston2.jpg
 

Emerald_city

horse insane!
Jan 6, 2006
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Brinkworth, wiltshire
Ive not had a full bred one but ive had shire x's :D

First I had Prince - 18.2hh shire x tb gelding - we did hacking mainly and some schooling with the odd jump but i 'think' his new owners were interested in XC

Then Bess - Fell x Shire 14.1hh - we did hacking , schooling , jumping , the equivilant of XC (in the local woods :p) she loved it :)

and then last year i had Sunny for a while - 16.3hh Shire x TB - we did mainly schooling and bits of hacking , he had an amazing jump on him though , but hes back with his owner now :)

I want to get a full bred at some point but ive got my hands full atm so think i'll wait a while ! :D
 

Alfies-slave

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May 24, 2006
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Dr Beth Valentine (the Oregon Professor who first described and studied EPSM in drafts and their X's) has found that even non EPSM horses can be fed the EPSM diet with no ill effects.

For many drafts and their X's being fed this diet will arrest and control the condition before any clinical signs are exhibited. So, it is probable that feeding a 'normal' draft the EPSM diet will prevent it ever getting the condition, even if it would have become a sufferer if fed traditionaly.

Basicly, high fiber, high fat, low sugar, low starch diet.
Grain and molasses to be avoided at all costs. In 'normal' horses this diet is highly benificial as digestive health is improved and instances of colic decrease. It also helps excitable horses.:D

There is lots more about all this on Rural Heritage. Great reading for anyone with a Shire! http://www.draftresource.com/



This sort of feeding is becoming more popular (although less oil is fed) with competition and light horses. A whole new generation of oil and fiber feeds are apearing in the feed merchants
 

Yummymummy

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Aug 7, 2007
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My house
True Blue

Well yes she is a shire x cob and her brother was 17.2 and identical to her, she is just a dainty lady ;) I am quite tall at 5'10" and can mount from the floor when required, I try not to though its a long way up! I got her from a lady 5'4".

She can be very strong in a snaffle so after a few changes she is in a ported kimblewick and the change is amazing, no more ripping my arms from the sockets and I have arms like the terminator!!

Blue was from a lady who bred show cobs and she was too big. She won all the classes locally for 6 years, as there were no restrctions on height here. Dressage, HOYS, cross county and jumping. She is 18 now and gets a bit knackered. She did have problems with her back legs but this was due to her upright confirmation and the farrier sorted it.

She is shoeless and a fantastic doer and costs next to nothing to keep, bless her and she just fits into full size gear! I have heard that shire x thoroughbreds are amazing. I have just bought a friesian and would have another cob all day long, Blue is amazing :D
 

Susie Bods

New Member
Aug 28, 2008
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Tarleton, Lancashire
Shire x

Hi there

heres my shire cross he over 17hds, in response to question of activities he is going into side saddle and does general schooling work. and no you are too small at 5ft 3" but on fudge it would extremely hard work as he very flat backed and is ridden in a treeless saddle as no english to if without being made and his weight fluctuates so would have to be altered all the time, his side saddle is 19" and extremely wide, :)
 

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~*Saree*~

June's River
Oct 4, 2005
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Plymouth, Devon
My best friend bred a Shire X American Quarter Horse, and I totally fell in love! He was loopy (not that I'm in any way suggesting his breed was responsible for that - it was just him!) but would do anything. Miss him lots x
 

MelanieD

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Aug 27, 2002
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I don't own one but there is a shire at the yard that I ride occasionally, he's 18hh and I'm 5'2" I can ride him fine but he's nowhere near my ideal size. He has the strangest trot, really bouncy and a bit out of rhythm but otherwise is really comforable. He hacks out and schools but hasn't tried jumping. The smallest person to have ridden him is under 5' and weighs about 6 stone and she was fine on him. He will school but difficult to get canter in our little school and I can't remember ever seeing him properly on the bit.

He's sound and never had any real problems. He's barefoot now, since he's quite well behaved to trim he doesn't cost much more to do than an average sized horse, I actually find him easier to do than some tiny ponies but more wear on the tools and takes more time. Getting shoes to suit a shire that hacks instead of ploughs has been a bit of an issue for him in the past. His saddle was made to measure but his bridle is off ebay and some of his rugs were cheaper since he fits into 7' or 7'3" and they're easier to find in the sales and clearance sites than the more popular sizes. Travelling him is difficult since he's too big to fit into most trailers.

A shire with an itchy a*se can make gates an interesting shape and his stable is re-inforced so its not destroyed by the itchy bum. Since there isn't a shire sized stable he's cramed into a 12x12 but he loves his stable and doesn't seem to mind it being a bit small. He does know he can barge and sometimes tries to barge out of fields and a tonne of horse wanting to get out isn't something you can do much about! Mites are a nuisance and he has to have his legs clipped and injections to kill off the mites.
 

monique

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Jan 17, 2006
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Hi Georgie 1 we have a shire x and do pretty much everything with him in fact he is in the local paper as he has become a bit of a thespian and had a part in A Midsummer Night's Dream admittedly only a small part but he had to put up with alot of loud music and drums and fairies running up behind him and he accepted it all like a pro and didn't even squash any fairies with his feet or Poo I was really worried he would stop and drop on a fairy:eek:.

This is a picture of him just before the performance having a snack to keep him going

Titania.jpg


and one during the performance

herecomesthequeen.jpg
 

horseriderdeb

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Feb 15, 2008
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nottingham
www.equinesection.com
I have an 18 year old 18.2hh shire gelding. He is now retired but I used to just gently plod round the streets on him.

Everything Alfies-slave has said I have to agree with. When trojan doesn't want to do something he doesn't and its a lot of horse to argue with. His bridle is xxx full and cost a fortune. He was ridden in a liverpool driving bit. Saddles are hard to find to fit. Shoes used to cost me £80 a set but now he is barefoot. rugs used to cost me a fortune as fal used to be the only people to make 7ft 6" ones No weatherbetta do them which is good as they only cost aroung £50 instead of £200. They eat an enormous amount of food so feed bills are high and hay is definitely a bale a day. My old YO once said he had watched tro and he was just like a baling machine, when he was eating his hay. You need a big stable for them if you keep them in in winter. And they do suffer with back leg problems.

But putting all this aside I absolutely love trojan to bits and am so glad I have him.
 
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