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Canadian Horse Breed Description

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Breed Organization

The Canadian Horse Breeders Association CHBA

Native Country

Other Names

Adult Height
14h - 16h

Adult Weight
1000 - 1350 LBS

General Description

The old-style Canadian Horse resembles the Morgan. It is very compact and stout, muscular, with a crested neck. The Canadian Horse is sound, with hard feet, with animated gaits, and is extremely hardy with great powers of endurance. Most Canadian Horses are black, bay, chestnut or brown, although other colors exist. The breed standard is between 14-16h.


The Canadian Horse descended from the French stock Louis XIV sent to Canada in the late 17th century. His goal was to develop a breeding program in the colony, but only 2 stallions and 12 mares survived the difficult sea journey made in 1665. Louis sent two more shipments, bringing the total number of horses to more than 40. Most were Breton or Norman in breeding, but some included Andalusian blood.

The horses were leased to farmers for money or in exchange for a foal (although they remained the property of the king for three years). In 1679, there were 145 horses. In 1696, the number of horses in the colony had tripled. The Friesian blood was added to the French-Canadian horses in the late 17th and early 18th century, adding trotting ability and feathering to the legs. Breeders bred different types to meet the individual needs (one type was the Canadian Pacer.

The horses thrived despite the harsh conditions, including little food, poor shelter, hard work, and bad roads. Many of the horses were exported to the West Indies and the USA, influencing the breeds in those areas.

In the early 19th century, thousands of horses were exported to America, who needed to meet the growing demand for roadsters. Unfortunately, this lead to a drop of the breed in Canada in the 1870s, and the stud book was opened in 1886 to preserve the breed and prevent possible extinction. The Canadian Horse Breeders' Association was formed in 1895. Soon, the numbers increased.


They are hardy horses and easy keepers. Today, most Canadian horses are used as riding and driving horses, and are known for their jumping ability. They are seen in competition in almost every discipline, as well as for leisure riding.


The Canadian horse is a common animal symbol of Canada. In 1909, the Canadian Parliament declared it the national breed of the country, and in 2002 was made an official animal symbol of Canada by Parliamentary Act. In 2010, the provincial legislature of Quebec named it a heritage breed of the province.

most Canadian horses are used as riding and driving horses, and are known for their jumping ability. They are seen in competition in almost every discipline, as well as for leisure riding. They can also be found in light draft work, trail riding, and working as a stock horse.


Known for endurance and vitality.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

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Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.