Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meet The Little Iron Horse

This is Cherry Creek Fonzie Merit.*

Otherwise known as "The Canadian Horse."


It would seem we have a national breed.

Way back in the 1600's, at the request of Intendant Jean Talon, horses from the stables of King Louis XIV were sent to New France to help establish the struggling colony. (Along with the Filles du Roi, but that's another tale.)

Once they got here, they interbred in isolation for about 300 years. Apparently the result was a unique and wonderful horse with incredible pulling abilities. It was also sturdy, took the harness well, and gentle. It had remarkably good feet and could endure the harsh winter on little feed. Apparently their dispositions are fabulous: if a bit "in your face" at times.
But truly, what better horse for the family farm?

Of course, the poor thing nearly went extinct in the late 1800's. (The reasons why are actually quite interesting. See the links below). In spite of a government breeding program, only 400 existed 100 years later. Now, however, thanks to independent breeders there are about 3,000.

credit: Clix Photography

Sturdy, hardy, survives on little and modest in stature.

Best of all, Canadian Horses are renowned for their kind, sensible, sociable
natures, intelligence and willingness to please.**

What great qualities to have in a National Horse, eh? Especially a Canadian Horse.

I love it. And I like it even better that I have learned this and can pass it on to my kids.

First photo from

Last two photos and information from


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