SHIRE HORSE CENTRE FARM &
The history of the horse began 70 million years ago, with the minute, terrier sized, four toed horse. Two types of horse developed. One was the slender racing horse, while the other was the large, heavy horse which carried armoured knights into battle in the Middle Ages and was subsequently used for farm work.
The height of a horse is measured in HANDS (10 centimetres), from behind the shoulders to the ground.
The Shire Horse, which can be over 17 hands high, is the heaviest of the breeds, weighing more than a tonne. It is usually black, brown, or bay, with feathered legs. It originates from Belgium.
Horse harness is known as TACK, short for tackle. The harness buckles and ornaments are brass. Brasses were once worn as charms to reflect away evil spirits. The oldest designs represent pagan symbols, the sun, moon and stars, or Celtic spiral patterns. Noise was another way of warding off evil, and so bells were added to the harness.
The Morgan brothers were born in the Victorian era, though it was not until the Edwardian age that they discovered Dan-yr-Ogof cave. The models represent a Victorian blacksmith at work, and a Victorian kitchen, both of which would have been synonymous with the time of the Morgan brothers.