Opinion on owning a shire

ejbflicker

New Member
Apr 7, 2009
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Hi, 'm Ilooking for a horse, a nice steady cob or something similar. My last one was a feisty tb/x. she threw me and havent sat on a horse since, that was nearly 2 years ago. Im having a lesson next week to get back into it, but really want my own again. I've been given advice from 2 different people about shires. one told me to stay clear, too expensive to keep and feed. The other person recommended them to me as they are cheap and easy to keep and contrary to belief they don't actually eat that much. Please can some one advise me, should i consider one or stay well clear :confused:
 

claireandnadia

New Member
Feb 8, 2009
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Middx
Hi,

A freind of mine bought a 2 year old unbroken shire. When I was at the yard I used to do all the feed ordering and her bill used to come to £250-300 per month for feed, hay. I think that was extreme but as he was young she only wanted the best of everthing and his meals were huge and he was the same size as my mare as I didn't give her anywhere nr that much.
The worst thing is the shoes. Our farrier charges £180 every 6 weeks.
IMO I would stick to a nice safe cob around 15 hands. I have a 16.1 IDxTB but next time round I will be going for a cob but at the time when I was looking to buy they were too expensive.
Good luck !!
 

katylast

Clydesdaleclopper
Jun 4, 2007
26
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Scotland
We have a Clydesdale. Feed doesn't have to be expensive - it depends on the quality of your grazing and their age. We have our boy barefoot so it just costs £35 every 6 weeks to get him trimmed. What can be more expensive is the tack. It is difficult to get stuff to fit from mainstream suppliers. That said, once you've got it you aren't paying out constantly so overall they aren't more expensive than any other horse.
 

Louby*eko

Member
Jun 19, 2008
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Berkshire/Hampshire border
I was looking for a big cob but accidently ended up with a Shire! Would not be without him now.

Kitting him out was expensive (think double for everything!) shoes are £130 a set. he hardly has any hard feed but does eat an enormous amount of hay (hes on box rest atm, getting through a bale a day)

Bear in mind they are not always the gentle giants they are made out to be and can be a handful.

There have been times when i have thought 'why on earth did I buy a shire?' even with his recent lameness (for example, finding a lorry big enough to fit him in to get him to the vets)
but I love him......
 

Wally

Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
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A friend has a Lithuanian draught horse, he's an absolute darling, but he does need a lot of hay to keep him looking good.

Shoeing will be a big bill....mind you I have shoed him and he was easier than the Shetlands to shoe.....but HUGE nails and lots of shoe metal.
 

ejbflicker

New Member
Apr 7, 2009
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Thanks for the responses. Think I may just stick to looking for a cob, better to wait for the right horse rather than regret it later. Not quite the same as returning a sweater to m & s because it doesnt fit right.

Loving the site, loving the site.
 
M

my belle

Guest
Hi - Belle is a shire X - She's my first horse, I'm a novice rider and she was made for me. She is calm and reliable without being a total plod. She lives on fresh air and costs me very little in feed, her shoes cost me £65 every 7weeks and believe me she has big feet!!!. She is a good doer and so so easy to do !! I don't find rugs etc., cost me any more than anyone else as they cost the same regardless of size - I cannot recommend shires enough !! Go for it !! :)
 

Jackblack

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Sep 4, 2008
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i would say go for a cob, over the age of eight so they are a bit calmer if you want a confidence builder, shires can be expensive and if you get a black cob you can pretend you have a shire (thats what i would do) ha good luck getting back in the saddle
 

RRA

New Member
Jan 30, 2008
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Hello, unless you are dead set on getting a cob or shire there are probably other horses out there that could be suitable and finding the perfect one is hard enough especially if you focus on a particular type. I can understand that you may be put of by TB types because of a bad experience but there are lovely IDx types and those of mix breeding that might be just what you are looking for.

I was looking for a middleweight IDxTB when I started searching because I thought it would have the height, weight carrying ability & temperament I was looking for but I ended up trying other breeds of similar proportions that I probably wouldn't have considered and I'm glad I did because otherwise I think my search might have taken forever.

BTW Shire x TB is a lovely combo and there are quite a few obstinate cobs out there too! Good luck with your search though :)
 

Bangers & Mash

New Member
Oct 15, 2007
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Having bred shires I would advise against buying one for riding.

They are lovely on the ground and low maintanace but they arn't very versatile. the shoeing alone would be a stupid amount for a 'plody the cob'. And they arn't always as half soaked as people think they are. The list could go on.

My advise would be something along the lines of small irish draft.
 

MrKia+Me

Non member
Aug 1, 2008
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If I was getting a horse just for Scott it would be a big shire or clydie cross!!

Nice and sturdy and capable.

Nikki xxxx
 

Twigletz7

would rather be riding...
Jan 3, 2007
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Devon
I would suggest looking for a cob if you just want to ride:)

I work with 2 shires and a clyde and as lovable as they are they are not the most practicle or versatile. Shoeing is expensive and everything is doubled compared to a 'normal' horse. Also temperament does vary, we used to have a big (19.1!!) shire and he was very sharp and flighty. He wouldn't drive as a single and would try and back up and rear in the shafts:eek:

Obviously not all are like this but they are not all dopes on ropes:p
 

Lacetti

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Jun 24, 2008
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I had a 17.3 Shire x Oldenburg... very good doer, lived on fresh air ALWAYS fighting a battle to keep the weight off him....

XL Headcollars and XXL Bridles, not cheap, but once you have them...... couldn't find over-reach boots to fit him....
He wore a 7'6" rug..... only a few manufacturer's sell them that big.... Masta and weatherbeeta (I think)....

Shoes cost me £75.00 every 6 weeks......

He was rock steady eddie.... totally, totally bombproof - I sold him to a good friend who lost her confedence after a nasty riding accident.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
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I had a shire horse for 4 years. She was the most perfect horse in the world for me. All we did is hack around slowly (walk and trot) as she had a heart problem so couldn't go fast. She was totally bombproof and restored my confidence no end. She was the kindest, most gentle horse I could ever hope to meet.

She could eat 3/4 bale of hay per day and needed hard feed to keep her weight on. Her shoes were more expensive (just because she was bigger) and rugs etc. cost more. However, she didn't cost significantly more than any other horse - just slightly more.

I think that you have to view horses as individuals and not judge by the breed. If you are lacking in confidence and looking for a quiet hack, then you could find a shire to meet your needs.
 

Ben Colman

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
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I own a shire (Sampson) and he is great. I've had him since he was an entire 2 year old and now he is 6. I hunt him, jump him. He is intelligent, calm and looks after me. He is a real star of the yard and costs the same to shoe and feed as a 'normal' horse. No regrets, he is a privilege to own. Just get one OK!
 

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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Old thread, but I do love shires! Have compromised and got an Irish cob - mini shire really! Yours is beautiful :)
 

Lisa&Mo

New Member
Apr 24, 2019
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Hi, 'm Ilooking for a horse, a nice steady cob or something similar. My last one was a feisty tb/x. she threw me and havent sat on a horse since, that was nearly 2 years ago. Im having a lesson next week to get back into it, but really want my own again. I've been given advice from 2 different people about shires. one told me to stay clear, too expensive to keep and feed. The other person recommended them to me as they are cheap and easy to keep and contrary to belief they don't actually eat that much. Please can some one advise me, should i consider one or stay well clear :confused:
I was just wondering did you get your horse? I am now looking and could do with come advice
 

Ben Colman

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
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I brought my shire as a youngster and we now have a strong bond. He is innately calm and intelligent with no vices. He is a big horse but surprisingly athletic and nimble. He is snaffle mouthed and very controllable in the hunting field. He does need a fair amount of fuel to keep his weight on however shires don’t mature until around 8 years old! They maybe a bit more expensive to feed (depending on livery charges etc) but the sheer presence of the animal and immense satisfaction I get from owning this stunning lad outweighs any of that.