Heavy Horses at work
Please note due to circumstances beyond our control, we are not able to use horses during 2014 - sorry.
Thomas and Ambassador, the Shire horses that help
us at Christmas Tree Farm, are working forestry horses. They are owned
and trained by Steven Jones, who is a highly skilled forester based in
We use horses both to add to the fun of selecting your Christmas Tree
at Christmas Tree Farm, Chesham, and because they leave the fields in
much better condition than modern tractors. Tractors running over the
ground can damage the soil structure and reduce its fertility by compacting it. Horses weigh
less than tractors and their hooves spread that weight over a larger surface
area. As a result, even in wet weather, the field is not damaged by the
use of the horses, and our farm tracks are left un-rutted.
Short History of the Shire Horse.
Shire horses are a breed of horse used as draft animals on English farms for centuries. They are believed to be descended from English "Great horses" which were also used to carry armored knights in medieval times. The Shire horse breed is the largest breed of horse. The horses stand at least 17 hands tall (5ft 8in - 6ft/1.7m-1.8m) and weigh slightly less than one tonne. The horses are black or brown and white. The breed has a convex face and their long legs have hair covered hooves - "feathered feet". Despite their size, the horses have a very gentle temperament.
For more information on the Shire horse breed The Shire Horse Society has a great web site.
More Photographs of our Shire Horses
1 Shire Horses having a rest
2 Shire Horses at the end of the day
Photograph 3 Shire Horses helping to unload some Christmas trees
4 Meeting some Christmas tree customers
5 Shire Horses working in Wales