A Shire horse is one of the breeds that everyone knows about. Even if you aren’t very clued up when it comes to horses, the chances are that you can identify a Shire horse. What’s so distinctive about the Shire horse is its immense size, and its fluffy legs and feet.
Despite their large stature, Shire horses are very docile, friendly, and eager to please, which is what makes them some of the most popular breeds of horses. If you’re looking to buy a Shire horse, then you should be aware of the costs, including the average purchase price, medical costs and the upkeep costs!
What Is A Shire Horse?
A Shire horse is a British breed of draught horse. This breed is typically black, bay or gray in color, and is known for its very large height and size.
The Shire horse breed is best known for its strength and height, and holds the record for being the tallest horse in the world, which is no surprise as a Shire stallion can often be more than 17 hands tall!
The Shire horse was initially bred for its size, strength and easy going demeanor, because its main use was to pull heavy carts filled with ale and barrels from breweries to public houses in Britain.
They were also used on farms to pull heavy wagons and work in the fields. As a result, these horses are very powerful, but are actually very easy to ride due to their eager to please nature.
If you would like a Shire horse for yourself, then you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to pay for one of these gentle giants.
How Much Is A Shire Horse?
When it comes to buying any horse, the price can range dramatically, depending on the age, sex, lineage, and training level. The same goes for purchasing a Shire horse. The price of this breed will differ depending on how old the horse is, the sex of the horse, the breeder, the lineage of the horse and its behavior.
In addition, if you are purhcasing a horse that is well trained, used to being ridden and able to perform, then you can expect to pay much more.
What Is The Average Cost Of A Shire Horse?
In general, a Shire horse can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $20,000. This will of course be affected by the bloodlines, training, size and color of the horse itself. On average, you can expect to pay from $5,000 to $10,000 for a Shire horse.
You may be wondering if a draft Shire horse costs more, as they are intended for farm work, but on average they cost about the same, ranging from $4,000 to $7,000.
How To Purchase A Shire Horse
It can actually be a little bit of a challenge to purchase a Shire horse, as the breed is actually rather rare. This makes them very hard to find, and they’re only becoming increasingly rarer! However, this does not mean that you’ll never be able to get one.
What it does mean is that it is unlikely that you will find one easily, or in your local vicinity. What you will have to do is really do your research, and look for breeders in your area, or in nearby states.
We would recommend that you only look for reputable breeders and horse rescuers so that you know exactly what you are getting. You should also make time to visit the horse before purchasing, and spend some time with them to see what their behavior is like.
It is also a good idea, if you’re not a professional to take someone who really know their horses. They can check the horses health, training level, and understand its behavior to see whether it will be a good fit for you!
Adopting A Shire Horse
On the other hand, you can adopt a Shire horse, but the process can be a little bit difficult, drawn out and complicated. What you may have to do is work with an adoption company to share the bills of the horse, whilst it remains owned by the organization.
For instance, there are organizations such as Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue hat will help you care for the animal, as the costs for keeping a Shire horse can be very high.
Costs Of Keeping Shire Horses
Whilst having your own horse can be one of the most rewarding experiences, it does come with some drawbacks, as it is a large breed that requires a lot of upkeep. So, let’s take a look at some of the costs, and what you’ll have to pay in terms of upkeep for a Shire horse.
Due to their size, as you can imagine, Shire horses tend to eat a lot more than smaller breeds. On average, Shire horses can actually eat twice as much as lighter breeds, and will need to eat about 25 to 50 pounds for hay per day.
They will also require about 5 pounds of concentrated feed too, so all of this quickly adds up! If you have other horses, you’ll soon see your feed bills rising with a Shire horse. Because of how much they eat, it can be more beneficial to have your Shire horse grazing in a field or on pasture, to cut down on some of the costs.
You will need to think about the cost to keep your Shire horse. For instance, you cannot really keep them in a stable, as they require bigger ones to be comfortable. You cannot keep them in your backyard either unless you have lots of space and fields for them to graze, and a shelter.
Therefore, you will need ot consider what facilities you will need for your Shire horse, and whether you will have to pay for a livery stable for your horse.
In addition to the living costs, you have to consider the upkeep costs such as the farrier costs. Shire horses have very large hooves, that will need quite a bit of trimming. As a result, they will need frequent farrier appointments.
Farriers will often charge more for draft breeds too as they are much larger than other breeds of horses. Therefore, it can take longer to maintain the hooves and keep them in the best condition.
Most draft horses will need to have their hooves done by a farrier every 6-8 weeks, which can cost upwards of $75 each time, so keep that in mind when considering purchasing a Shire horse.
Horses will also need to be vaccination against Tetanus and other diseases, which also adds onto the upkeep costs. You can also think about vet’s fees for treatments, so it is definitely worth having insurance to cover vet bills in case anything happens in the future.
Insurance costs depends on the coverage, company and the horse itself, but you can expect to pay around $200 per year to cover up to $5000 in medical bills.
Another cost you may not have considered is the horse tack. If you have other horses of a smaller breed, then the saddle, bridles and harnesses will not fit a Shire horse, so you will need to purchase a larger saddle and harness for your Shire.
You would also need to purchase or hire a larger trailer for transporting your Shire horse, both of which costs more than a regular sized trailer.
There are also additional costs that you may not think about at first such as lost shoes, grooming products such as brushes and combs, training servies, special feeds for dietary requirements, dental costs, deworming medication, fence repair and rugs and tack for your Shire horse. You need to be prepared for anything!
Things To Think About When Pricing A Shire Horse
As mentioned above, the price of Shire horse depends on many factors, such as the bloodlines. The bloodlines of the horse tells you whether it is purebred or from a great lineage, which will bring a higher price tag.
In addition, colors and patterns can make a horse more attractive to potential buyers, and age will determine the cost, as younger horses are often more valuable. Finally, if you have a horse that is well trained, broken and eager to learn, then it will be more likely to cost more than one that is not.
The Shire horse is a wonderful breed. These gentle giants are stong, magnificent and so calm. If you want one for yourself, then the cost ranges from about $2000 to $20,000, but there is also the upkeep costs to think about! However, these horses are rare, and are a very gentle breed of horse that will be a great addition.