The Shire breed’s claim to fame is their height. The breed has much more to offer beyond the height and charisma, they are docile, hardy, and eager to please. Being the tallest breed, they often come off as arrogant, but it is very far from the truth.
Many horse lovers wish to buy the Shire but are unaware of the costs attached to keeping a heavy draft breed. A purchase price would not be the only cost a buyer would be billed for, the upkeep cost needs to be in consideration as well.
How much does the Shire Horse Cost?
Let’s get you some answers for what you are here for. Many presume that the larger the horse the more the cost but it is not entirely true as the price of a horse depends on many factors. Here is a quick answer to shire horse price.
How much does the Shire Horse Cost? Shire horse price ranges between $2,000 to $20,000. Shire breed price varies depending on a number of factors such as age, sex, training, and behavior.
The average cost of Shire Horse
The price of the Shire horse varies considering the effects of some biggest variants in Shire horse cost like bloodlines, training, size, age, and color. An average price of a shire horse is around $5000 to $10000.
Average Cost of Draft Horse
Often horse lovers wonder, do draft horses cost more than the saddle horses? You can not get a definite yes or no for the answer.
It is not the purchase price that troubles rather the external costs that come afterward. There is not much difference between the average purchase price of the draft and riding horses. An estimated buying cost of a draft horse ranges between $4000 to $7000.
How to buy the Shire Horse?
Finding a Shire horse to purchase would not be a walk in the park. Shire horses are not easier to find because of the breed’s rarity. It is highly unlikely that a buyer will find any local sellers.
Finding reputable breeders and horse rescuers online is your best shot. Spend some time with the horse before buying or take the help of some professional to know more about the horse’s health, behavior, and training.
Shire Horse Adoption
Adoption of wild, free-roaming horses like Mustang is quite popular. In the case of heavy breeds, adoption is a bit complicated process and you can not take them home.
Most draft breed adoptions work by choosing your favorite horse and sharing the bills while the horse remains the property of the organization. You can lend a helping hand by sharing the expenses as there are many organizations working to rescue the draft breed. Few of them are
- Cotebrook Shire Horses Centre and Stud Farm
- Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue
- Northcote Horses & Animals
Upkeep Cost of Shire Horses
Any horse owner knows that it is the expense of keeping the horse that burns holes in the pocket rather than the buying cost.
As the draft breed is bigger in size than the typical saddle horses, the tack and services for them are also somewhat expensive. The following costs are attached to keeping the Shire horse
If you are a first-time draft horse owner, investment in the horse tack is imminent. The tack/equipment of lighter horses does not fit the draft breed. A larger saddle, bridle, or harness needs to be purchased.
Shire horses, being heavy eater, consumes twice as much as other lighter breeds. You will notice the surge in the feed bill after the Shire’s arrival. On average, their daily feed consumption is 25 to 50 pounds of hay per day. In addition to the feed, 5 pounds of concentrated feed is also required in a day. When the horse is grazing on posture, the feed expense is somewhat sliced.
Shire horses have big hooves that require frequent trimming. Farrier services, rightfully so, charge more for the draft breeds than the standard-sized horses. The spike in farrier cost is justified because of the size of hooves and the effort that goes into maintaining them.
It is highly unlikely that a Shire horse will fit in a backyard unless you have a spacious area. Even though making a shelter for them in the backyard will be costly.
Keeping them at a stable would not be economical either as they would require a bigger stall to live. The cost of living in a barn varies depending upon the facilities provided.
Medical and Insurance
Horses require annual vaccination against Influenza, Tetanus, and other diseases. The vet’s fee in case of any ailment or accident contributes to the medical cost.
Many horse owners in order to save themselves from the hefty vet bills pay the monthly cost of insurance. Monthly insurance cost fluctuates depending on the type of cover taken.
Since Shires are big horses it would not be possible for them to fit into the trailer meant to carry standard-sized horses. Special horse transportation vans will charge more than the regular ones.
Other expenses include dental cost, deworming, special feed cost when recovering, supplements, rugs and tack, hired help, fence repair, lost shoes, grooming products, and training.
Factors that affect the price of Shire Horse
Many elements come into play when pricing a horse. Few of them are
- Age: Horses fell out of demand as they become older but it is unfair to undervalue an older horse. Horses in their prime years attract buyers the most.
- Bloodlines: Horses with registered records are more likely to fetch a higher price. Purebred horses are the most expensive.
- Color & Patterns: Horses with common equine colors fail to attract as many buyers believe they do not bring anything new to the table. Horses with rare equine colors and distinct patterning are sold at a higher rate.
- Training & Behavior: Another factor that influences the price is how well behaved and trained the horse is. Unbroke and Green horses are priced at a lower rate than the trained one. The horse’s temperament also affects the price.
Many horse lovers fancy the Shire breed for their magnificent size and gentle temperament. The estimated purchase price of a Shire horse ranges between $2000-$20000. Before pursuing to buy the Shire, do not lose sight of the cost of keeping a draft breed.
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Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers.
I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.