Is ginger considered a breed

An English draft horse in North Frisia : Meek and beautiful giants

Manuela and Ingwer Leddin from Bargum are among the few German breeders of Shire Horses. Without any horse experience, the couple fell in love with this special breed from England in 2001 - and started breeding.

Green pastures as far as the eye can see. Some of them are grazed by horses that look extremely imposing. They are the Shire horses from Manuela and Ginger Leddin from East Bargum. The animals with a height of 180 centimeters are characterized by curtained legs and long manes. When fully grown, they weigh at least one tonne live. Horse lovers appreciate the special characteristics of the Shires. They are trusting, calm, and gentle. Her walk is impressive. Walkers and cyclists who pass the Shire-Hof in Bargum get into raptures and often stop to look at the beautiful animals.

The cold-blooded horses are native to England. They come from the Shires, the central English counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Staffordshire. The breed was already valued in the Middle Ages, it served as a draft and work horse, but also as a fighting and tournament horse, because a heavily armored knight has weight. . .

Ginger Leddin - he wears a leather hat and a plaid shirt - stands by the fence and looks at the herd. The current 20 Shires in Bargum have plenty of space. 14 hectares of their own land in the immediate vicinity belong to the Leddins' farm. "The property comes from my parents," says the breeder. Agriculture was once practiced there. But that has been a thing of the past since the 1970s. “At that time, many farmers gave up their farms and worked in the nearby Bundeswehr depot.” The bargumer himself works in shifts as an industrial bookbinder and has also been at sea for ten years. TV evenings? There is hardly any such thing for the couple - especially not in summer. There's too much to do on the farm for that: the horses have to go out, the paddocks have to be peeled off. Then there is mowing, threshing, making hay, building fences, checking and repairing. And then of course the feeding. It is individual for each horse: water and hay, oat-free muesli, soaked beet pulp and corn. Minerals are also fed. And then there is the grooming and hoof care. Shire day starts at 7:30 a.m. and often ends around midnight. "We do everything ourselves. It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun," the couple agree. Manuela and Ingwer Leddin often sit in a quiet minute and just watch their horses over a cup of coffee.

The former cow pastures are a paradise for their Shire horses. Heavy rain, grazed areas? No problem. There is plenty of space to relocate. "Such breeding would not be possible without a lot of land," says Ingwer Leddin.

How did Manuela and Ingwer Leddin come up with the idea of ​​setting up a Shire farm? “It was 2001. Back then we had no idea about horses, had never owned one before, had never ridden. We taught ourselves that later, ”says Manuela Leddin. They “stumbled” over an advertisement in which a Shire horse was offered. “We found that they are the right horses for us.” This is how they fulfilled a dream - and had to pay hardship. What they noticed too late: The animal had a sway back. Robin stayed with the Leddins, however.

They found more Shires for their breeding in Denmark. “We bought our first pregnant mare there.” It was a stroke of luck for the young breeders when they came across the stallion Kevin while looking for a farrier in Kropp near Schleswig. A year and a half later, he too had his new home in Bargum. Kevin is 13 years old, pitch black, with white lower legs and a seemingly endless mane.

All horse skin colors can now be discovered on the Leddins farm. The oldest of the cold-blooded horses is the 23-year-old "Braveheard Stable Prince". And then there is Gipsy. Two days before the slaughter date, Leddins rescued the now eleven-year-old gray mare and pepped her up again. “Getting the tail clean on a white horse is very difficult,” laughs Ginger Leddin. Two of the Shires are used as carriage horses. It is always difficult to get the right equipment for the huge animals. “Conventional bridles or halters don't fit. You have to get involved with Shire clubs - or go to England. ”Twice a year, the bargumers take part in the Shire Horse Stammtisch Northern Germany in Hamburg. The community of Shire fans in Germany is small, but also a tight one. “There are maybe 1,500 animals in the whole country,” the couple estimates.

The money for her horse breeding comes from the sale, accommodation and catering of guest animals as well as the rental of holiday apartments to horse lovers ( And what do the Leddins love most about their draft horses? “The calm they radiate,” says Manuela Leddin. “And the moments when the foals are born,” she adds.