Today’s Horse Facts: The Canadian Horse – “Little Iron Horse”

Have you ever heard of a Canadian Horse? Do you know what he looks like?

The Canadian Horse: “Little Iron Horse”

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men,

for he breaks down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” 

(Psalm 107: 15-16 NIRV)

In the late 1600s, King Louis XIV of France sent two different breeds of horses, the Breton and Norman, to a region we now call Quebec, Canada. Those two breeds are believed to be the ancestors of the modern Canadian Horse. Today the Canadian Horse possesses traits similar to the Arabian, Andalusian, and Barb that the Breton and Norman horses had so very long ago—rugged, strong, dashing, and quick.

The Breton and Norman multiplied with little interference for hundreds of years, resulting in a beautiful yet tough little equine, the Canadian Horse or Cheval Canadien. The limited number of those first horses in the newly-founded Canadian colony meant they were highly valued, and since they were so isolated from the rest of the known world, the breed remained pure. Thus, the horse became a versatile helper to the new colonists even through harsh weather and sparse food supplies. His jobs included farm work, driving stagecoaches, riding, and racing. Because this equine trooper excelled at any task he was asked to do, he earned the nickname “Little Iron Horse.”

Because the Canadian Horse had such strong traits, in the mid-1800s he became popular in the United States as well as in Canada where he was crossbred to improve the strength of other breeds. The Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred, and American Saddlebred can all thank the Canadian Horse for their stamina and determination.

Soon the Canadian Horses earned such a reputation, many were exported to southern Africa to work on sugar plantations in the West Indies and to pull wagons and cannons in the U.S. Civil War where many were killed. With so many horses leaving Canada, the war, and the invention of farm machines and automobiles, the Canadian Horse nearly became extinct.

But that’s when Canadian Horse lovers saved the breed in 1886, starting the first studbook. Nine years later the Canadian Horse Breeders Association was formed to further preserve the horse. However, today the breed is still listed as critical by the American Livestock Conservancy with only an estimated 2,000 Canadian Horses on record. Yet, the future of the breed is looking brighter as horse lovers in Canada work endlessly to preserve this special horse.

The Canadian Horse stands 14 to 16 hands, weighs 900-1000 pounds, and is usually black or bay with a long flowing mane and tail. He has lots of well-developed muscles and has a handsome arched neck. This overachiever is energetic without being nervous and has great strength to fulfill the tasks asked of him. Is it any wonder he’s called the “Little Iron Horse?”

The word “iron” always indicates strength and power. Do you know there are verses in the Bible that tell us that God is so powerful, He can bend iron?  Our Wonderful Lord has the strength and might to do anything He wants. He’s so strong and mighty, He created the universe and the heavens in just six days. If we worship a God who is so powerful, don’t you think He’s able to help us with our troubles?

God can, and will, help us. All we need to do is ask. The next time you have a problem that seems to overwhelm you, take it to the Lord in prayer. If God can bend iron, He certainly can give you the wisdom and strength you need.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for being such a strong God, strong enough to cut through bars of iron. I know I can depend on you for my strength to solve problems in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Think about how God displays his power and strength in your life or in the world around you. Write some of the things you’ve observed.


Take your ride: (Do you know?)  A few chestnut-colored Canadian Horses have been found occasionally with flaxen manes and tails, and the cream gene appears rarely as the result of interbreeding with just one cream-colored stallion.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood” (Job 41:27 NIRV).






Today’s Horse Facts: The Suffolk Punch

The Suffolk Punch is a powerful draft horse breed that is extremely valuable to farmers.

Today’s Horse Facts: The Suffolk Punch

Suffolk Punch Draught Team

We’ve been looking at breeds of horses that aren’t “ordinary” or on the tips of the average bear’s tongue. We’ve learned about the Rocky Mountain Horse, the Gypsy Vanner, and the Fox Trotter, among other breeds. On our ride together today, we’ll pass a farm that has Suffolk Punch horses. Wow, are these big guys or what?  We’ll take our ten-question true/false quiz to see how well we know this magnificent draught (draft) horse breed. So are you ready? Let’s go:

  1. The Suffolk Punch is a short stocky horse.
  2. This breed is usually only different shades of chestnut.
  3. This breed can drink up to 25 gallons of water a day.
  4. Another name for this breed is the Suffolk Brown.
  5. It can have “feathering” on its feet.
  6. The breed originated in theSuffolk region of southeast England.
  7. The breed dates back to the 1500s.
  8. It is more massively built than the Clydesdale and Shire breeds.
  9. This breed’s head is refined and delicate.
  10. Because the breed is popular with farmers, there are thousands of Suffolks in theUSA today.

    Nice Suffolk Punch Team

 So, do you think you know much about this fabulous breed? Let’s see how you did. Here are the answers to the questions:

  1.  F   The Suffolk Punch is a large breed starting at 15 hands and going taller.
  2.  T
  3.  T
  4.  F   It is also known as the Suffolk Sorrel.
  5.  F   It has no feathering on its feet.
  6. T
  7. T
  8. T
  9. F    The breed’s head is what you’d call a “Roman nose.”
  10. F   There are only about 1200 registered in the USA; however, there’s no way of tracking those that are unregistered. The breed is considered rare and endangered.

How’d you do? I knew seven of the questions, mainly because I live in central PA where the Amish farmers use this breed to pull their plows and wagons. Therefore, I’ve seen them in this area frequently and had known a little about the breed.

For more information, go to:

Next time, we’ll look at a really unique breed called the “Curly.”

Happy riding!