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Wanted to share a photo of our new addition. This little lady is a newly turned 6 months old filly. She is a Canadian Horse which is unfortunately a endangered horse breed. Here is our little girl.

She is sweet as a button. Barely handled, so we have a lot of work to do.

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I love her! I had never heard of Canadian horses until a couple of years ago. They look like Morgans to me and I'm partial to Morgans.

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I love her! I had never heard of Canadian horses until a couple of years ago. They look like Morgans to me and I'm partial to Morgans.

The genetic study for them shows that the strongest gene in Canadians is actually Lippizaner and Andalusian horses, however there is some Morgan in them. That might be why you like the look of the breed.

She's adorable - hope you share your journey with us!

I would love to do that.

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I think that there now are enough Canadian horses, that the breed has been taken off of the endangered list, but is still a bit threatened.

The Canadian horse is the official horse of Canada, as it originated here. I have not looked into genetics, but far as I know, it is made up of many diverse breeds, including draft, and why many Canadians remind me more of the Percherons I learned to ride on. Nice baby!

The Canadian horse is a horse breed from Canada. It is a strong, well-muscled breed of horse, usually dark in colour. The horses are generally used for riding anddriving. Descended from draft and light riding horses imported to Canada in the late 1600s, it was later crossed with other British and American breeds. During the 18th century the Canadian horse spread throughout the northeastern US, where it contributed to the development of several horse breeds. During the peak popularity of the breed, three subtypes could be distinguished, a draft horse type, a trotting type and a pacing type. Thousands of horses were exported in the 19th century, many of whom were subsequently killed while acting as cavalry horses in the American Civil War. These exports decreased the purebred Canadian population almost to the point of extinction, prompting the formation of a studbook and the passage of a law against further export.

Experimental breeding programs in the early 20th century succeeded in re-establishing the breed to some extent, but mechanization, combined with two world wars, again resulted in the breed almost becoming extinct. In the 1980s, concerned with the declining population numbers, interested breeders undertook a promotional program, which resulted in renewed interest in the breed. By the 1990s, population numbers were higher, and genetic studies in 1998 and 2012 found relatively high levels ofgenetic diversity for a small breed. However, livestock conservation organizations still consider the breed to be at risk, due to low population numbers.

Here is that link , as to their origin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_horse

Edited by Smilie

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Far as genetic makeup, this is what that link states:

In a study of mitochondrial DNA published in 2012, the Canadian horse and the Newfoundland pony were found to be the most genetically diverse of the Canadian breeds studied, which also included the Sable Island horse and the Lac La Croix pony. The Canadian horse showed high haplotype diversity, sharing haplotypes with all Canadian populations, as well as draft breeds, Nordic pony breeds and British mountain and moorland pony breeds also tested in the study. The Canadian horse had been shown to be related to draft horse breeds, including the Percheron, Belgian and Clydesdale, in previous microsatellite loci studies. This relationship was supported by findings in the 2012 study.[17] The high levels of diversity in the Canadian horse supported the conclusions of a 1998 study, which determined that the small population size and historical genetic bottlenecks had not resulted in a significant loss of genetic variation. The 1998 paper also stated that the Canadian horse did not show inbreeding any more significant than other, more popular, breeds.[18]

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Sadly the numbers are so low that they are endangered, but you're right in that last year they had gone up enough to come off the list. Unfortunately the numbers have severely declined again. I work on a few different programs with the registry, which is why I have this info.

We are super happy about the filly. Excited to see how she turns out.

As for genetic study, I will provide you with the most current one from 2014, once I step out of the office.

Here I have added the Abstract of the study:

The Canadian breed of horse invokes a fascinating chapter of North American history and as such it is now a heritage breed and the national horse of Canada. The aims of this study were to determine the level of genetic diversity in the Canadian, investigate the possible foundation breeds and the role it had in the development of the US horse breeds, such as Morgan Horse. We tested a total of 981 horses by using 15 microsatellite markers. We found that Canadian horses have high values of genetic diversity indi- ces and show no evidence of a serious loss of genetic diversity and the inbreeding coefficient was not significantly different from zero. Belgian, Percheron, Breton and Dales Pony, unlike the light French horses, may have common ancestries with the Canadian and could be important founders. However, the Shire and Clydesdale influenced the Canadian to a lesser extent than French and Belgian draft breeds. Furthermore, our finding indicated that there was no evidence of a clear relationship between Canadian and Oriental or Iberian breeds. Also, the Canadian likely contributed to the early development of the Morgan. Finally, these find- ings support the ancient legends of the Canadian Horse as North Americas first equine breed and the foundation bloodstock to many American breeds and may help in the management and breeding program of this outstanding breed in North America.

Key words: Equine, Genetic Variation, Heritage Breed, Microsatellite, Population Genetics, Phylogenetic Subject areas: Conservation genetics and biodiversity.

Edited by CanadianHorses

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That info goes with what I have read in previous articles on this breed.

The wife of the barefoot hoof care provider that I know, endurance rides , using Canadians. Of course, for those aiming at the higher end of endurance riding, the Arabian still dominates by far.

A demo was also given by the Canadians at The Mane Event, and I believe they also had a team in The Battle of The Breeds, at Spruce Meadows,. Being an Appaloosa breeder, I do have to brag that Team Appaloosa won that event more than any other breed, over the years it was held

I can certainly see the Percheron in many of the Canadians, and also their influence on the foundation type Morgan

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Both studies then refute the following thing posted:

'The genetic study for them shows that the strongest gene in Canadians is actually Lippizaner and Andalusian horses, however there is some Morgan in them. That might be why you like the look of the breed.'

There appears to be little if any Iberian influence, and it is the other way around, far as Morgans and Canadians, as to which came first< LOL

Edited by Smilie

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The battle of the breeds is no longer, but why don't you compete and represent your breed in the demos?

I did not go on the team, but I did over the years, have horses in the booth, did reining demos on my reining mare and a western pl demo on my gelding Einstein, when he was a long two year old

As an AHAA member of the board, I spent time taking care of the booth

Yes, I am quite aware that the Battle of the breeds is gone from Spruce meadows

At one time, there was also a select sale at Spruce Meadows, where your horse was approved for the sale, then spent a few days there giving demos, being available for potential buyers to ride, and then the final sale, with buyers flown in form Europe even. I sold two horses through that sale

I also sold a few horses, directly through contacts from people viewing my horses in the booth, thus as a breeder, that is where the value of my time was.

Times when I gave demos,w as in the beginning, when there were more like 16 breed teams in the battle, versus the number it dwindled to, and before The Canadian horse was even part of that Battle

My old reininh mare is now 29, and was about 4, when I gave those demos.

My gelding, Einstein, I put down last spring at the age of 21, and he was two, when I had him at Spruce Meadows, and gave a demo on starting a young pleasure horse

MY husband even dressed up as a Mountain man, when the Appaloosa club (ApHCC at that time ) did a parade several times a day, showing the different cultures that have used the breed

If you were around in those days, you would have seen the owner of the Working Cowhorse(now also put down ) High Sign Nugget, much to his disgust, made to dress up like a Mexican

Never assume you know all facts, when you do not!

Edited by Smilie

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I used to work for a farm that bred Canadians and had a really cool stallion. I do like the breed, good minded and hardy. Your new gal is adorable, hope you have many great times together!

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The battle of the breeds is no longer, but why don't you compete and represent your breed in the demos?

I did not go on the team, but I did over the years, have horses in the booth, did reining demos on my reining mare and a western pl demo on my gelding Einstein, when he was a long two year old

As an AHAA member of the board, I spent time taking care of the booth

Yes, I am quite aware that the Battle of the breeds is gone from Spruce meadows

At one time, there was also a select sale at Spruce Meadows, where your horse was approved for the sale, then spent a few days there giving demos, being available for potential buyers to ride, and then the final sale, with buyers flown in form Europe even. I sold two horses through that sale

I also sold a few horses, directly through contacts from people viewing my horses in the booth, thus as a breeder, that is where the value of my time was.

Times when I gave demos,w as in the beginning, when there were more like 16 breed teams in the battle, versus the number it dwindled to, and before The Canadian horse was even part of that Battle

My old reininh mare is now 29, and was about 4, when I gave those demos.

My gelding, Einstein, I put down last spring at the age of 21, and he was two, when I had him at Spruce Meadows, and gave a demo on starting a young pleasure horse

MY husband even dressed up as a Mountain man, when the Appaloosa club (ApHCC at that time ) did a parade several times a day, showing the different cultures that have used the breed

If you were around in those days, you would have seen the owner of the Working Cowhorse(now also put down ) High Sign Nugget, much to his disgust, made to dress up like a Mexican

Never assume you know all facts, when you do not!

What are you talking about in your last sentence?! I started this thread to share photos of our new addition, and you've turned this post into something it does not need to be. Perhaps you should take your attention back on your horses.

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A great article about the breeding of Canadians-which is unfortunately quite sad as the breed is going extinct.


Consider the following
So you are a Canadian Horse mare owner and you are thinking about breeding your mare. Here are some facts regarding what is going on with the breed at present:



  • Foal registrations are at a catastrophic low, with 150 or less Canadian foals being registered per year. Keep in mind, that is 150 Canadian foals being born per year in the entire world! At these numbers the breed is simply not sustainable, and will likely die out within a decade or so. At least 500 foals per year are required to be able to sustain current population numbers, let alone to grow them.
  • At present, there are currently just over 3000 mares 20 years of age or less, left in the breed. Of this number, probably at least 1000 are too old or too young to be used by breeding. This leaves only about 2000 mares in the entire breed that are reproductively capable.
  • Recent surveys of horse ownership done in Quebec and BC indicate that nearly 50% of all mares owned, are in homes where they are used as the primary riding horse and where there are no plans to breed them EVER!
  • Thus, although breed numbers on first glance appear ok, the reality of the situation is that the number of mares left in the breeding pool may be as low as a 1000 or so which may actually contribute to the breed. Of those, very few owners are, or are planning on breeding them in the near future.
  • This coincides with declining stallion ownership. Prior to 2008, there were between 20 - 30 Canadian stallions standing at stud in BC. According to a recent survey, there are now only about 10 stallion owners left in the province who are currently breeding. Of these, the majority are located in remote areas of the province and do not offer shipped semen, so these stallions are not easily accessible to the majority of mare owners. This means that currently in BC, there are now maybe only 3 or 4 stallions that are centrally located and that offer comprehensive breeding services making them readily available to mare owners. This same scenario is being observed all across Canada.
  • Many stallions are aging out of the breed. Case in point, our stallion Zipper. Once he hit 20, his semen quality began to rapidly deteriorate. By the age of 24 we were no longer able to ship his semen. He is now infertile.
    Sadly, we can't tell you how many people have said to us "Oh, we have ALWAYS wanted a Zipper foal. If only we had known. We always wanted to breed to him but were going to do it in the future!".
    Our other stallion Fonzie will soon be in the same position. And we are not the only breeders facing this scenario. Many quality Canadian stallions are aging and will be unable to sire any more foals in the near future. Don't wait to do it in the future. Now may be your last chance!
  • Mares are getting older. As they age, they become less reproductively sound, and progressively harder and more expensive to get in foal. It is considerably easier to get a young mare (less than 10 yrs) in foal than one that is in her mid-teens. For those mare owners who keep waiting for "the right time" it very well may be that when the time is right for you, your mare will be well past her prime and difficult if not impossible to get in foal. This exact scenario occured with us ourselves last year. We had three mares (ages 15, 19 and 19) we were trying to get in foal. Despite extensive experience in breeding, fertile stallions, considerable veterinary intervention and considerable expense ($5000!) we were unable to get any of them pregnant. We had waited too long! Devastating financially and emotionally, and for the breed, very sad as as that is now three more mares who have now aged out and who will no longer be able to contribute. SO many valuable mares in the breed are in this position!
  • Many breeders (especially those who keep stallions) are getting older and they are not being replaced by an up and coming younger generation. Once these older established breeders and their breeding stock age out of the breeding business, there is NO ONE coming along to replace them!!!
  • This situation is echoed in each Canadian province. There is no question that the breed is in serious trouble. Registrations are at an all-time low, many breeders have gone out of business, and the vast majority of mares are in the hands of single owners who have no plan to breed them or to try to preserve their lines in the breed gene pool.
  • Victoria Tollman, Executive Director of the Equus Survival Trust very eloquently summed up the situation. She says, “Every worthy mare should be in purebred production and contribute at least two foals (or more if you can support that) back to the gene pool. Every mare should also have a good daughter to replace her in the breeding program when the mare is retired." "Still each person's situation is their own, and they must act accordingly. Only you know what you can support. And if you can't support any [foals] during the breeding life of your horses, I suggest you lease them out, trade them for a gelding or senior Canadian in need of a retirement home, or sell or gift them to breeders who can. You owe that to your breed. So, no ... it's not easy being a rare breed steward. The sacrifices are many. The challenges tough. The rewards? Priceless ..."
  • Those of us concerned about the breed’s preservation urge Canadian mare owners to seriously consider Victoria’s suggestions. To ensure that the breed continues, and that every mare’s genes contribute to the gene pool, we hope that all mare owners will consider breeding their mares at least once or twice.
  • In order to best contribute to the breed, choose the highest quality stallion possible, and which best compliments the mare. In order to make your breeding count, it’s not enough to choose a stallion based on convenience or the most affordable stud fee.
  • Be open to using reproductive technologies such as shipped cooled or frozen semen to produce the best foal possible.
  • If you are not in a situation where you are able to breed your mare and raise a foal, consider leasing her out to a breeder who can. There are various Canadian Horse lists (see links page) where you can put your mare's information out there to see if there is anyone interested and suitable.
  • Last but not least. We are currently losing a tremendous number of horses from the breed simply because their breed registration information is not being kept up. It may be that we have lost up to a third of the horses in the breed due to their being lost to the breed registry from sellers not doing the paperwork!
  • Transfers are not being done with sales, and foal registrations are not being completed. In Canada, the seller is legally responsible for paying for and doing the registration or transfer papers for any horse sold as purebred or registered.
  • ALWAYS be sure to register your foals after they are born, and especially before they are sold! It is unethical, not to mention illegal to expect the buyer to have to do this, or even worse, not to bother doing it at all.
  • It is unbelievable how many horses have been tragically lost to the breed registry due to their breeders/sellers not following through with these simple steps.
    See the top of our page on "Buying a Canadian Horse" for more information on this tragic subject that is slowly decimating the breed.

Help to maintain Canada’s beloved National breed before it is too late!

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