PDA

View Full Version : Why donít many people have Shires/ Clydesdales?


amandaxx1
11th February 2011, 05:02 PM
I was just thinking, there doesnít seem to be many people who own clydesdales or shires for pleasure purposes. I donít mean on the forum, I just mean in general.

There arenít really any show classes for them (at local level), and I personally have never seen anyone out hacking or schooling/ jumping on one. There was a couple of clydesdales at my old riding school, but Iíve never met anyone who owns one.

I know thereís a couple on here and I absolutely adore them. In fact, I get all giddy if I go in the pictures bit and see someone has put pics of their clydie up!!!

Why do you think theyíre not very common? Or have I got it all wrong? I would be surprised to see one at a show round me and it got me thinkingÖ..

eeek
11th February 2011, 05:08 PM
The reason I haven't got one is because I don't fancy feeding such a massive horse over the winter, and I've noticed that EVERYTHING is more expensive for big horses. A decent set of harness for a Shire costs well over a grand, for example (you can get a perfectly good cob set for £300 or less) and that's before you've even bought the cart. And I would have thought you'd need a lot of stuff made to measure... Ouch.

And for most people they are just unnecessarily big. If I had one I would work it, and make the most of its size and strength for pulling heavy loads. But very few people NEED anything that big for riding.

I would love to have a heavy horse (especially a Shire because I think they are just incredible animals) one day but there's no way I can afford one right now. And it wouldn't fit in any of my stables, or the trailer, and probably not the lorry either.

amandaxx1
11th February 2011, 05:12 PM
Interseting Liz. See I always think of them as being like Bertie but about a meter taller :lol: - as in they would be good doers and therefore cheap to feed?

BEX101
11th February 2011, 05:17 PM
When i had my percheron he could eat over a bale of hay a night and when it cost just £35 to shoe a normal horse it cost £70 a set for him.
Cydes and shires arnt traditional riding horses. There's a clyde colt for sale on dragon driving at the mo, and i think there was a very unusually marked sabino shire filly on the other week too.

HannahAndSydney
11th February 2011, 05:26 PM
I had someone ring up work a while ago and ask if we had any stables available for her shire x, 17.2hh, and I had to say no straight away. We just don't have a stable big enough, or doorways big enough for that matter! I guess that could be one of the reasons?

I can only say my personal reasons for not having one and that's because of size, as I'm only just 5ft3 they would be far too big for me to feel comfortable riding, and it wouldn't be easy to groom/tack up/lead without a stepladder :lol:

amandaxx1
11th February 2011, 05:35 PM
Hm quite a few reasons then that I didnt think of! I always thought of a horse of that type being a good doer sort

Loosey
11th February 2011, 05:42 PM
:love::love::love::love:

I've got one, I've got one, I've got one!!

My beautiful Princess Shire Pony is a real good doer amanda. She eats half a conventional bale of hay a night but if she looks a bit low at her 8.30pm check I'll chuck another slice in for her. She has half a stubbs scoop of chaff and a double handful of baileys lo cal with really sloppy fast fibre twice a day (much less than a TB!) This is what she looks like right now ...

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n317/looseyb-22/164792_10150159333559128_654469127_8461654_7410771 _n.jpg

Not a great angle and her head looks huge but she's about 940kg right now and looks good to me!

She's clean so used the same amount of bedding etc as the 15.2 next door to her.

Since having her I've learnt that even a lot of people who have shires are against them being ridden and think they should only be used for working the land. I used Bella to move 3 tree's in June and she loved it! But she also loves being ridden! Ta-Daa!

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n317/looseyb-22/ride.jpg

They take a long time to learn things and even longer to find their balance.

Her bridle is a Sabre XF and fits her well. Her saddle is an XW Bates Caprilli ... I could have gone for an adjustable syntethic but the fit wasn't half as good as this one so I paid the extra.

It is hard finding rugs to fit properly. I bought an unamed brand from ebay last year which is a perfect fit - then I spent £130 on a 7'3 weatherbeeta and could even get it around her neck!

I guess it depends how much you're prepared to spend and luckily for me, I'm terrible with money and like buying her nice presents! You can get XXF Draft horse webbing bridle for just over £20!

She actually hasn't got very big feet for a shire. My farrier charge £60 a set and for her it's £65. He always comments on how light she is to shoe too!

Just up the road from me there is a heavy horse show every year and there are hundreds of shires! I'm not really interested in showing her as a traditional but I'm keen to do some dressage with her this year if we get good enough!

Like Liz said, most people don't need a horse that big. I'm quite hefty but could still manage with a smaller, stocky horse if I wanted to.

I had a string of ex racers previously and I now can't imagine owning anything else. Heavy's are beautiful to ride, very comfy, not as slow and ploddy as you might think ... I'm totally besotted with her!:D

Sorry ... got a bit carried away!! :o

Loosey
11th February 2011, 05:46 PM
Hannah's got a good point about stables ... we only had 3 11x11 stables at our new house so my OH had to build bella a new 14x17 foot bedroom!

She has spent a night in a 12x14 once before and was absolutely fine although I wouldn't have her in one for any longer!

Sasca
11th February 2011, 05:58 PM
They are lovely horses but they have been designed to plough and a shire has rotated hips because of it. Simply as much as they can try, they find it very difficult to school balanced and hard to jump. So they are great work horses or hackers but hard to do much in between simply because of their bulk...and that reduces their suitablity for a range of people people.

My Crazy Clan
11th February 2011, 06:45 PM
Well if I am honest I am not overly keen on their roman heads but I would never say never, also there are not many of the bigger breeds around here.

I ended up with Monty Shire x tb, looks like a grizzly big headed bear in the winter but the summer he does actually look nice.

My Crazy Clan
11th February 2011, 06:46 PM
They are lovely horses but they have been designed to plough .

But were they though? we are the ones that ask them to do that but before even riding horses they wouldn't have knone what to do.

Ambers Mum
11th February 2011, 06:59 PM
My reason is size, they are just too big for me. I mean I struggle getting on anything bigger than 14.2hh....you only have to see me struggle to get on Tia who is 16.3hh and well out of my comfort zone lol

Ambers Mum
11th February 2011, 07:00 PM
But were they though? we are the ones that ask them to do that but before even riding horses they wouldn't have knone what to do.

yep, they are a breed that was developed by man for a job and also for heavy knights outfits lol

cuddie
11th February 2011, 07:14 PM
Well, as w all know I have had my lovely clydesdale for 16 years now, back when I bought her in 95, lots of people we appalled that I rode her, but now it seems to be becoming the in thing!

I wouldn't say she costs much more than a normal horse, if she's stabled 24/7 she eats just under a bale of hay a day, is a very good doer and has no concentrate.

She has nothing special tack wise, her bridle is a full size, if bited she's a 6inch, which can be hard to come by! She's wearsa bog standard gp saddle. The only thing I've found hard to get is cheap rugs, most things strangle her, she wears a fal pro viking, most fal rugs fit wonderfully!

Her feet cost no more to do than Joe's, she's barefoot trimmed, whiisl transitioning to barefoot it was a complete *** to find boots to fit.

As Veteran ponies mentions ... they were ridden by knights as any other horse would not have been able to cope with the sheer wieght of armour!

I used to do novice dressage, x country and she was capable of jumping 4ft, without batting an eyelid!

She's not roman nosed as she's a Clyde, shire tend to be more so.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another and am in the process of looking for a nice foal, hopefully find one this year.

OK, so you're never gonna travel as fast as your average tb ... but who cares!!!!! :D

My Crazy Clan
11th February 2011, 07:24 PM
:lol: its funny how you never seen these types of horses in the films these days its always fresians!

funkyboots
11th February 2011, 07:33 PM
i had a bloke come other day and said to me (while looking at mike) what do you do with that then..i said i got saddle,harness and when i'm rich chain harve the field..really! he went, his mate has 3 shires that have never worked and another woman refuses to work hers. whats the point!! i know a few that show them and used to work them on the farm and HUNT with them...they ain't that docile!!
me...i can't get on one!! haha

dun blonde
11th February 2011, 11:50 PM
I used to own a pure bred clydie mare,lovely girl if a bot on the chunky side:cheekywink:

I found her to be a very good doer TBH,I was prepared for a lot of feeding over winter,but all I did was add some corn oil to her chaff and nuts,provide ad lib hay,and she lived out 24/7 and came out of winter looking rather too well lol.
Nowhere near as difficult or expensive to keep as I was imagining when I got her TBH.Things like tack and equipment were a pain though,and I had to get a 7.5T lorry to travel her comfortably in,their sheer bulk just means you have to consider things you wouldn't normally have to.

I personally wouldn't have another one as I found her sheer bulk difficult from a riding POV.She wasn't actually that bad compared to some of the bigger ones,but was too wide for me,and too big all round after I had hernia surgery.I think the reason they aren't overly popular is just that people *think* they will be difficult to keep,and also they are not ideally suited as an all round riding horse.
They can be ok for riding of course and some do very well at certain things,but they aren't designed for speed or agility and will always be limited in what they can do compared to many other types.Maintaining fitness on heavy horses as well is incredibly hard,and fitness is more important in these breeds compared to lighter types if required to do anything more than light work.

They are lovely sensible types though usually (although don't be fooled into thinking they're all brawn and no brains ploddy types,I have found quite the opposite to be true,my mare was probably one of the cleverest horses I've ever known,very quick to catch on to things and no plod when it suited her!!),and there is something very genuine and honest about them.
My mare wasn't ideal for me,but she is with another family and they all love riding her,think she's the perfect family hack,so just goes to show they can be ideal for some,but probably not going to be top of most peoples list as an all rounder.

zoes87
12th February 2011, 12:47 AM
tom was a shire x tb & i loved him to pieces - personality wise, i have never known a horse with such an amazing cheeky personality!! Had always planned on my next horse being another shire . . . until i somehow ended up with a tb!! lol!

A favourtie horse of mine from riding school was a clydie. I ADORE heavy horses and would choose them over finer horses anyday! (even now i will openly admit that as much as i love jack, had he not have been in the condition he was in, i wouldnt have looked twice at him)

scewae
12th February 2011, 10:51 AM
It is my dream to own either a full shire or tb x shire. I drool over pictures of looseys Bella! I have a welsh x tb who is more of a welsh build but is a little too short for me at 16hh. I need bigger fuller bodied horses as i'm quite tall.

flambards
12th February 2011, 04:15 PM
I love them! I think a lot of people don't have them for pleasure, though, because of the costs and the fact that they're conformationally more built to drive/pull than ride. Not to say they can't be ridden of course - there are some really lovely riding heavy drafts out there that I completely drool over. It's just not quite as easy to find one who will be totally happy doing ridden work as it is to find a non-draft horse who is. :)

moorland
12th February 2011, 06:13 PM
i've ridden a couple of shires ,and they are just so comfortable,
one of the main reasons for me not to own one when i was offered and my head had to rule my heart is they really poach the soil in wet conditions and i'm fanatical about pasture management ,now give me enough land and it'd be a shire i'd buy , seeing as a cannot get one of the great war horses which i would love to have ridden just once
the one at the back is young paddy a shire x tb a more honest horse i haven't come across
the one in front was a clydie tbx ,not quite as honest ,never rode him ,but i was quite happy to hack out and enjoyed ridding young pappy ,he was sold if i win the lottary the person who owns him would get a phone call next morning ,
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y175/milkmaid_suz/169afa43.jpg

micki
12th February 2011, 08:00 PM
When i was looking for a horse i was asked if i wanted to buy a gorgeous shire x filly. She was only 17 months old and already stood at 15.3hh. She just wouldn't have fit in my stables when she had finished growing or i would have been up to the woman's place in a shot and bought her.

dun blonde
12th February 2011, 09:10 PM
i've ridden a couple of shires ,and they are just so comfortable,
one of the main reasons for me not to own one when i was offered and my head had to rule my heart is they really poach the soil in wet conditions

That is actually another very good point,I was charged more per week at a livery yard for my clydie girl because of the extra toll she took on the land,all that weight and those dinner plate feet are not kind to grazing in wet conditions!!

I could never have kept her where I keep my current lad,she would have trashed it in a week,as it's so wet.

amandaxx1
12th February 2011, 10:19 PM
Well lots of interesting reasons then!

Great pics Loosey, I inly started this thread to see pics of your lovely girl really ;)

CityLights
12th February 2011, 10:41 PM
Becasue they are massive so hard to find anything that fits, e.g rugs, bridles saddles, girths, difficult to trasport unless you have a wagon, expensive to feed and difficult to handle if they are not brought up very well and rarely you will find one that is already broken and going under saddle and if you do they are mostly not going so well, and i wouldnt personally like to graple with something that large to try break one in properly

smellycat
12th February 2011, 11:22 PM
Last week a woman at my yard told me MY horse was a clydesdale, i said - err no hes definitely a haflinger!

cuddie
13th February 2011, 02:00 AM
That is actually another very good point,I was charged more per week at a livery yard for my clydie girl because of the extra toll she took on the land,all that weight and those dinner plate feet are not kind to grazing in wet conditions!!

I could never have kept her where I keep my current lad,she would have trashed it in a week,as it's so wet.

Nic is barefoot and her feet aren't that much bigger than the average! She used to wear a size 6 equiboot. My little pony Joe makes more mess in the fields than her, buts that because he charges about and Nic is far to sensible for that!

Loosey
13th February 2011, 07:03 PM
Bella's feet aren't that big either ... she's shod but doesn't cause any more damage than the loopy unshod gypsy cob does!

I travel Bella in an Ifor 511. She wears a poll guard but she fits in there fine!

I'd get one time and time again!

ps ... today a novice fried rode her down the lane - the first person ever to ride her other than me ... PROUD! :D

daytona
15th February 2011, 08:17 AM
I am a big fan of all the heavies I just think they ooze personality and really are gentle giants. Becky was shire X TB and I really think this is a good combination for a cross.
I would love to ride a full blown Clydie, shire, Percheron as the power must feel amazing. I think the heavies often get overlooked as a lot of people tend to want speedy TBs for competing etc but for me it has to be the big steadies - even if it is a pain hacking under low branches LOL

dun blonde
15th February 2011, 05:42 PM
difficult to handle if they are not brought up very well and rarely you will find one that is already broken and going under saddle and if you do they are mostly not going so well, and i wouldnt personally like to graple with something that large to try break one in properly

I would half agree with this,teaching manners with something this size is of the upmost importance,as my vet once put it 'you don't want something this size realising it's bigger and stronger than you':cheekywink:.I have found them to be very clever and very quick on the uptake,so firm and consistent handling from day one is a must IMO.
The upside is that generally they have very kind and genuine natures so are easy to work with and teach things to.

I wouldn't really agree with the breaking in bit,AFAIK they are usually fairly easy to back and start as they have pretty calm natures and take most things in their stride.I never had to 'grapple' with my mare (she could have stubborn moments I will admit,but nothing that became a real battle),she was generally very willing and easy going.Despite their size they aren't usually bargy or bolshy,they can be a bit obstinate,but not ever met one that had any malice in it TBH.
Getting them going well could be another matter simply as due to their weight,size and non-athletic build they possibly are more difficult depending on the rider.Having said that with the right rider and a bit of effort they can go well (my mare went beautifully for YO whilst she was on schooling livery when I had my surgery),as they are usually quite willing,just don't always find the work easy and can take a bit of patience and time to get it out of them.

Nic is barefoot and her feet aren't that much bigger than the average! She used to wear a size 6 equiboot. My little pony Joe makes more mess in the fields than her, buts that because he charges about and Nic is far to sensible for that!

Well I guess they are all different,my mare wasn't huge,but she had feet like dinner plates lol.Remember my trimmer looking very sceptical when I mentioned the possibility of hoofboots when I first took her barefoot,we did measure her and if I remmeber rightly the biggest boas were the only ones that even came close,luckily she turned out to have great feet and was a proper rick cruncher so never needed them.

Personally I was a bit miffed at being charged extra livery for her as I don't think she would have churned it up anymore than a smaller shod horse,but I have to admit she was hard on the land in winter,when she came thundering across to us when we got there she did leave the odd crater or two in her wake:o:lol:

cuddie
15th February 2011, 06:17 PM
Becasue they are massive so hard to find anything that fits, e.g rugs, bridles saddles, girths, difficult to trasport unless you have a wagon, expensive to feed and difficult to handle if they are not brought up very well and rarely you will find one that is already broken and going under saddle and if you do they are mostly not going so well, and i wouldnt personally like to graple with something that large to try break one in properly

I have to somewaht disagree ... for a start Nic travels in a normal trailor, admittedly she takes up the whole thing, she travels with no center partition!

Granted, she has to have fal rugs, as they seem to be the only thing to fit her round her neck, without causing strangulation!

She eats no hard feed, just hay.

Her bridle is normal full size, but extra full size are becoming increasinlgy easy to come across these days.

I bought her as an unhandled 3 year old, she was the easiest horse I have ever had to start handling and the simplest that I've ever broken! Other than her son, who I'd handled since birth. I would far prefer to "grapple" with an unhandled clydie/shire than most other horses!

She rides nicely, I used to show her under saddle and jump her, she'd happily clear 4ft. Never bats an eyelid at traffic and now is generally ridden bareback and always bitless.

Teddybear
15th February 2011, 06:26 PM
I have 2 (well one pure bred and a cross) and I can say they are the best horses I have ever had. Kind and loving, genuine and they have the biggest personalities... And believe me neither of them are afraid to turn their wee hooves to any task. The young one (nearly 4 now) has loose jumped 90cm with the greatest of ease, has the most lovely springy fresh paces and has no fear of cross country fences either (lunged over some smaller ones)

So why do people not like them? Because I think a lot of folk do not think they are cool enough to own... They all want your "fashionable horses" who have for the past few years WBs and ISHs. I do also like these horses used to have two ISHs in fact but after discovering clydesdales feel slightly strange on them :lol:

When I bought my young one, people asked me why I did not buy a WB as apparently I had the talent to go far... So yeah that question pretty much brought me to my conclusion!

(sorry if this read a tad blunt it was a quick response before I forgot but have to get to the yard)

bicky
15th February 2011, 06:51 PM
I totally love clydesdales! I'm proud to own a clyde x cob who is 7 month old now and standing 13.1hh. I'm hoping my big boy ends up at approx 15.2hh! He's a tri coloured chunky boy, most people on here know him....but here's a pic in case someone has missed him. Introducing Teddy 2 shoes who is 3 month old in this pic ..............
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b212/gypsycob/IMG_2911.jpg

bubbles
15th February 2011, 07:01 PM
I own a clydes x and I agree with teddybear that they are not 'cool' to own or use for riding. My boy is barefoot and ridden in a biteless bridle, these horses need bulk feed and not the expensive feeds that some horses can require. Im charged £25.00 for a barefoot trim and his bridle is a full size nothing special. Some livery places I have tried have turned us away due to what 'type' he is!! We only hack out, and as I love spending as much time with him as possible, I not at all bothered by his laid back pace!:) Is a personnal choice, but I would always go for the heavies.

Susan
15th February 2011, 07:28 PM
I love them to look at, especially when they are all turned out for showing, but have never really thought of them as riding horses, it would never be a breed which comes to mind for me. I tend to like a middleweight horse, a WB or an IDxTB. There probably is some underlying snobbery that its a 'cart horse'. I'd definitely look at a Shire x TB or a Clyde x TB but not a pure, just not my type of horse - I'd also not look at a real lightweight TB or a coloured cob, plenty adore them but not my own personal preference.

Snowrider1
16th February 2011, 08:15 PM
It's not just the cost - they're just not that common these days, though they are seeing a good comeback since more people are switching on to the idea of using them as ridden horses.

For myself, I'd have nothing else, unless it was a Clydie crossed with, say, a cob (or maybe a Thoroughbred. I rode a stunner once at a riding school, and he was brilliant).

I share a 17.2 black gelding named Bracken (see avatar). I previously shared a 16hh bay mare (Sally) and she was the sweetest, gentlest and quietest horse I'd ever met, before or since. Bracken, by comparison, has the BIGGEST personality - he's friendly, gentle, but oh-so cheeky at times. But, he's also the most bombproof, steady and comfortable horse I've ever had the chance to sit on. That is, if you can stop him from licking you to death!

Snowrider1
16th February 2011, 08:21 PM
Meant to add that while Sally was a quiet ploddy hacker, Bracken has turned his hoof to pretty much most things - he's known to jump 1m 30 quite easily - and he loves it!

And I had a shot of riding him bareback at the weekend. That was interesting! :D

WeeB
27th February 2011, 12:16 AM
There are two (and a half!) clydies round these parts. one is on the yard (YO's horse) and the other is at a farm a stones throw from the yard. (the half is YO's daughters clydie cross)

I think they are beautiful, but as a die hard pony gal, they are waaaaaay too big for me!

Snowrider1
1st March 2011, 05:56 PM
Hannah, I think I went to look at that Clydie-X once. Might even have a couple of photos of her somewhere.

funkyboots
5th May 2013, 06:28 PM
I've just got a shire x. and my great gramps and gramps worked shires on farms BUT some had tb in um but in medieval times they where used by knights....for war and jousting. they can shift when they need to. apparently my new one doesn't need 2. haha I back!!!

Pwincess
14th May 2013, 02:37 PM
I had my big shire lad for 9 years. Most of the people on here know him as he had behavioral issues and i had to retrain him etc.

He out ran the fast fit horses by miles, he could jump and everyone admired him.