Canadian Horse History
In the late 1600s, King Louis XIV of France brought Breton and Norman horses to the region of North America now known as Canada. They are believed to be the ancestors of the modern Canadian Horse, which still possesses traits similar to the Arabian, Andalusian and Barb bloodlines that the Breton and Norman horses also displayed.
These French horses bred with little interference for hundreds of years, and the resulting breed became known as the Canadian Horse, or Cheval Canadien. Met with harsh weather and sparse food supplies, the Canadian Horse became a sturdy animal and remains hardy today.
In the mid-1800s, the Canadian Horse could be found in Canada and the United States, and was crossbred to improve the strength of other breeds. The Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred and American Saddlebred are said to trace back to the Canadian Horse.
Canadian Horses were exported to southern Africa for the Boer War, to work on sugar plantations in the West Indies, and for the Civil War in America. With this exportation and the introduction of machinery replacing horse power, the Canadian Horse nearly became extinct.
The first studbook was produced in 1886 by a group of concerned enthusiasts, and the Canadian Horse Breeders Association was formed in 1895. Today, the breed is still listed as critical by the American Livestock Conservancy.
Canadian Horse Characteristics:
The Canadian Horse has a beautifully arched neck with a long, flowing mane and tail. Its head is refined with a short forehead and small throatlatch. The chest is deep and the back is short and strong. Long, sloping shoulders and broad hindquarters give way to muscular legs with clean joints and bone structure.
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