‘Cold-Blooded’ Horses

Taking a spin around the Urdenbacher Kämpe today, I came across a group of three handsome horses happily consuming huge quantities of fresh grass:

Urdenbacher Kämpe Rhenish-German Draft Horses 1Urdenbacher Kämpe Rhenish-German Draft Horses 2

These are Rhenish-German draft horses, which were once the main source of local transportation in this part of Germany. After the advent of the automobile, the breed went into decline, but a local horse-breeding family, the Reuters, continue breeding them (g), and make a living by offering wagon and carriage rides.

The German name for this general variety of draft horses is Kaltblutpferde — ‘cold-blooded horses’. As the Wikipedia entry po-facedly explains (g), this does not mean that these horses are reptiles: “they are warm-blooded mammals which have an average body temperature of 38°”. They’re called cold-blooded because they are mild-mannered, unflappable, and don’t mind being harnessed for man’s purposes.

They are pretty friendly: one came up to me and stuck his head at me over the fence. He just stood there, chewing a big ball of grass, and examined me with mild curiosity.

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