Photos and informations about the rare Shire Horse breed, Forgotten Horses a photographic project about endangered equines by The Pixel Nomad

Shire Horse

Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Vulnerable
Listed by DAD-IS, RBST
Draft horse breed from Great Britain

Informations about the rare Shire Horse

The Shire Horse, a breed of remarkable stature and English lineage, stands as an enduring testament to equine strength and adaptability. Originating in medieval England, the Shire Horse’s evolution over centuries reflects a harmonious blend of functionality and gentle demeanor.

Origin and history of the Shire Horse

The Shire Horse, hailing from England, has roots entrenched in medieval times, where meticulous breeding aimed to meet the demands of heavy farm labor, transportation, and military service. The breed’s nomenclature, “shire,” signifies its regional ties to English counties. Over the centuries, Shire Horses became synonymous with reliability, adeptly navigating various terrains and fulfilling multifaceted roles.

Character and features of the Shire Horse

With a commanding height ranging from 163 to 178 cm at the withers, the Shire Horse possesses a regal stature. Its broad forehead, expressive eyes, and feathering on the lower legs contribute to its distinct appearance. Despite its imposing size, the Shire is characterized by a calm and amiable temperament. This juxtaposition of strength and affability has endeared the breed to enthusiasts across diverse equestrian activities.

Utilisation of the rare Shire Horse

Traditionally, Shire Horses were indispensable in agriculture, excelling in the demanding task of plowing expansive farmland. Their strength and endurance were pivotal in heavy draft work. In the contemporary landscape, Shire Horses seamlessly transition into roles beyond traditional agriculture, engaging in leisure riding, historical reenactments, and competitive events. Their docility and willingness to work make them versatile companions for riders of varying experience levels.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Shire Horse

While the Shire Horse doesn’t face immediate endangerment, its population encounters challenges due to shifts in agricultural practices and the mechanization of farming. Organizations like the Shire Horse Society actively participate in conservation efforts, prioritizing the preservation of genetic diversity and advocating responsible breeding. These initiatives aim to educate the public about the Shire Horse’s historical importance and ensure its continued prominence.

Conservation efforts extend beyond preservation, emphasizing the Shire’s adaptability in modern contexts. This strategic approach seeks to highlight the breed’s relevance beyond traditional roles. As advocates work persistently to secure the Shire Horse’s future, it remains an iconic symbol, bridging England’s agrarian heritage with contemporary equine excellence.

Native country

Great Britain



Risk Level

Vulnurable: ca. 6.000


170-183 cm

Coat colour

Bay, black, grey



Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Other names of the Shire Horse horse

Shire — Shire Horse

Explore my Shire Horse Photos

Shire Horse

All my pictures of rare and endangered horses can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage, and ordered as Fine Art Print as well. In addition, the albums only show a part of my large archive. Contact me directly if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Where to find the rare Shire Horse

Here are some places where you can see where you can support the rare and endangered breed. Above all I want to thank everybody who works with me.



Breed show

Event calendar

Forgotten Horses Group on Facebook

This group is part of the Forgotten Horses project and aims to raise awareness of endangered horse breeds and therefore to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of horse breeds, further free living and wild horses.
The group provides information and facilitates international exchange on rare and endangered horse breeds.
Take part in my project

Shire Horse Photoshooting

Take part in my projects Forgotten Horses and Free Horses and consequently make an impact that matters. By photographing rare and endangered horses we can raise awareness to disappearing horse breeds and therefore preserve equine diversity.

photo archive

Professional photography of Shire Horse

Are you looking for professional photos of rare and endangered horse breeds? You will find a small selection of my pictures in the breed posts, however you may ask for more specific photos directly. In short, all my pictures can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage.


Do you want to see more of my photos? Please follow my accounts on Instagram and on Facebook and don’t miss any new updates and pictures of my projects.