History & Heritage

who are some of canada's horse industry builders? John Scott, Cara Whitham, Jack Pemberton, Alfred Fletcher, Guy Weadick, Dr. Sherman Olson, Dr. Gillian Lawrence, David Esworthy, Gayle Ecker, Bill Collins, Peter Cameron, Faith Berghuis, Ian Miller, ron southern, Marg Southern

This article shares the careers and stories of extraordinary horse industry builders who blazed new trails and took Canada’s equine industry to new heights, while at the same time motivating and inspiring the next generation of equestrians. Driving the growth and success of Canada’s horse industry are thousands of people who demonstrate an amazing level of skill, talent, dedication, diversity, and vision. This feature profiles just a few of these luminary individuals who have helped place Canada among the very best of the world’s equestrian nations.

It’s hard to believe that the Government of Canada would own a spectacular horse ranch adjacent to the Rocky Mountains, where trail riders are welcome to camp and ride. But it exists. Ya Ha Tinda Ranch — owned by Parks Canada and the only federally operated working horse ranch in the country — turned 100 years old in 2017.

Pit Ponies, Pit Horses, pit pony history, miner Ceri Thompson, Canadian Coal Mining history, Sable Island, underground stables, Underground haulage, Coal Mining Canada

The human race has long had a love affair with coal. Coal is a fossil fuel that started forming in the Carboniferous Period 359 million to 299 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era.

horseback riding Trans Canada Trail, backcountry horse riding, canadian horseback, riding in canada, horse riding in canada, tania millen, pack em up ride em out, horse packing canada

Click. Nothing. I pressed the button on top of my headlamp again. Click. Still nothing. Oh crap. My headlamp batteries had just died, and on the worst morning possible. Today was the day I would be riding Chocolate through 912-metre long Bulldog Tunnel as part of our 550 kilometre solo journey along the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).

riding with bison in canada, bison in the canadian wilderness, horse riding with bison, Bison in Grasslands National Park

Canada’s prairie country always seems barren to me, as though something is missing and the ecosystem is incomplete. Probably because it is. For tens of thousands of years, as many as 30 million bison formed the cornerstone of a complex ecosystem, which dominated the Great Plains. In 1890, bison were perilously close to extinction, with less than 1,000 animals scattered across the continent. Today, largely due to conservation efforts by Parks Canada, bison thrive in parks and private herds, worldwide.

sable island horses, margaret evans, endangered equine species, endangered horses, wild horses

Nowhere in Canada will you find a more unique, self-contained ecosystem than the one found on Sable Island. Nestled in the 42 km arc of sand, 300 kilometers southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is an array of beaches, dunes, marram grass, wildflowers, shrub-heath, and ponds – which 300 bird species five species of seals, and 500 Sable Island horses call home. These horses came to the island during the dark days of deportation of the Acadian people 250 years ago.

history of cowboys, cowboy qualities, modern-day cowboys, 21st Century Cowboy, cowboy history, cowboy traditions, cowboy clothing

If you watch a cowboy at work today, forget that it’s 2018, and skip back in time to catch a glimpse of a working cowboy in the 1870s, they would look surprisingly similar. They would be doing basically the same cattle management tasks, be dressed in similar clothing, have similar core skills, and be thriving with the same horsemanship abilities that have made cowboying one of the most enduring careers for centuries.

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