ABOUT THE CANADIAN HORSE

The Canadian is our national horse. Not only incredibly beautiful, this versatile breed’s scope of talent spans an array of athletic achievements including dressage, eventing, driving working equitation and jumping. Their incredible intelligence, personalities, conformation, and work ethic make them ideal candidates for almost any equestrian discipline.

 

The Canadian Horse originates from the various breeds of horses that were sent over by King Louis XIV beginning in 1665.

 

The initial genetic diversity of the Canadian combined with the limited breeding options and harsh living conditions in New France ultimately created this stunning and sturdy breed affectionately referred to has the "little iron horse". Studies have shown that despite the closed breeding pool the Canadian horse maintains an impressively high amount of genetic diversity for an at risk breed. 

 

They gained massive popularity in the 1800s with thousands shipped south where it is believed that they became the foundation for Morgan horses as well as American Saddlebreds. They were also critical to the cavalry of the North during the American Civil War -- the outbreeding and war casualties played a large role in the decimation of the Canadian breed. The Canadian government was heavily invested in the maintenance of the breed until world war 2 (as we moved away from trench warfare and the advent of mechanization reduced the need for warhorses). They remained invested in the breed until the 1970s when the federal government withdrew all funding -- and the breed reached an all-time low of approximately 700 worldwide. The Quebec government continued to subsidize breeding programs until the 1980s but since there has been zero assistance to keep the breed alive. It is an endangered breed that the government named a national symbol in 2002.

 

In this act the government states "WHEREAS, since 1885 and all during the present century, widespread and increasingly successful efforts have been made to re-establish and preserve the Canadian horse" -- which is fundamentally untrue. The government has not made any true efforts since the 1980s. Canadian horses are not used in reenactments or mounted ceremonies. There are no subsidies for breeding them. There are no government funded campaigns to get the breed out there. We all know about beavers, moose, and maple trees but I guarantee you 90% of my friends list has NEVER heard of the Canadian horse (unless I've ranted about this to you already hahaha).

 

The Canadian is known for its bravery, willingness, intelligence, and loyalty. They can test you but if you call them on it they will listen. They are not just a pretty face, though they have that too. Donalf Farms, currently housed at Churchill Chimes Equestrian Centre, is doing its part to keep this magnificent breed alive but we need to raise awareness of this spectacular breed. We need to regenerate interest in the horse world, and beyond. If you've gotten this far, thank you.  

 

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-10.7/FullText.html

 

"Breed Facts

 

Status:

Critical

 

Use:

Riding, Driving

 

Adult Weight:

900 - 1000 lbs

 

Temperament:

Alert

 

Experience Level:

Novice - Intermediate

 

Notes:

Versatile, strong,

well balanced,

mostly black or bay"

 

https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/canadian