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Shire horses are thought to be descendants of the Old English Great Horse and the Friesian Horse with the origin of this great horse first mentioned in around 1066 and probably brought back into England after the Norman Conquest. Used first as a war horse carrying knights and armour and then they were the main source of power for agriculture for 250 years.
There were once an estimated one million Shire horses worldwide but after the WWII their numbers plummeted and in 1959 there were only thought to be 2,000 left worldwide. It was only through the dedication of breeders that this wonderful horse has not been lost from our countryside forever.
We sent our top reporter down to Hurst Green Shires who sent back this report after speaking to a very good looking, middle aged man attending a try ride today.
On a recommendation from a friend, and being a very long time since we had ridden a horse, we booked a try ride at Hurst Green Shires. This involved a brief introductory spin around the training ring allowing us to get used to the horses, how to make them go and how to stop and steer them, then it was off into the woods for ride in the beautiful, autumn countryside. The stables here house a number of shires and provide all manner of riding options to suit every type of rider from beginner all the way up. The staff here were very friendly and the horses are really well looked after. Meeting these horses face to face you really get to see that they are all gentle giants each with their own personalities. After it was down to the Grass Hopper Inn for a spot of lunch, a mince pie and a glass of steaming mulled wine. Lovely!