Samuel Smith’s Shire Horses
Samuel Smith’s Shire horses are stabled behind the Angel & White Horse, the pub next to the brewery. The horses are used to make local deliveries in and around Tadcaster five days a week.
There is a whole new world of mystique behind the gates of the brewery stable-yard. To the uninitiated, it’s a world full of strange sights and sounds and smells. To the horseman and his Shires, it’s home.
Members of this world have different lives from the rest of us. Winter and summer alike, they rise from bed while most of us are deep asleep. Most noteworthy, through the day, there’s just one thing that really matters – the comfort and well-being of the horses in the brewery yard.
Everything is done quietly because that’s the way horses like it. Horses are, after all, creatures of quiet. When they were kings of the streets, those streets echoed to the sounds of other horses and that was all. The fact that they can work at all in modern towns is a tribute to the men who handle them. Everything is done to routine, because that’s the way the horses like it.
“I have always considered that the substitution of the internal combustion engine for the horse marked a very gloomy passage in the progress of mankind.” Sir Winston Churchill
Out on the road, horse serves man. In the stable, it’s definitely the other way round. The lorry driver can bring his lorry back to the brewery, switch off and go home.
Not so the horseman. His horses rely on him for food and water, a clean bed for the night and clean harness for the morrow. When they are dirty and sweat-stained, the horseman must clean them. If their feet are sore, the horseman must see that their steel shoes are replaced by the farrier. When they are ill, the horseman must tend them. Finally, when they are old and tired, the horseman must give them their retirement in some quiet field in the country.
Think of a good horseman, and dedication is the next word that springs to mind.