History & Heritage

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.

Conn Smythe's winning horse rare jewel, how did conn smythe raise money to build Maple Leaf Gardens?

1930. The Great Depression. Money wasn’t flush anywhere. But savvy and successful businessman Conn Smythe had become the newly minted owner of the Toronto St. Patrick Hockey Club, or Toronto St. Pats. This hockey club was no slouch. It had won the Stanley Cup in 1922.

Do horses have just one toe or several? do horses have five toes? understanding equine foot

Researchers at the New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) are suggesting that, in fact, the four side toes did not completely disappear but remain even today as remnants still present within the horse’s modern lower leg and hoof. Scientists widely accept that the essentially redundant splint bones – the small bones found along the outer sides of the metacarpal or cannon bone - are remnants of the second and fourth toes.

Przewalski Horse, are Przewalski Horses wild?, evolution of Przewalski Horse, Przewalski Horse Chernobyl

Recently, genetic research published in the journal Science showed that the Przewalski’s horse, also known as the Mongolian wild horse and the Takhi, was actually not wild as defined by its heritage but descendants of the horses first domesticated by Botai people of Kazakhstan over 5,500 years ago.

Inspiring horse stories, equestrian Juliet Graham, equestrian Nick Hlmes-Smith, equestrian Sandra Donnelly, equestrian Bruce Mandeville, equestrian Rob Stevenson

Representing Canada at the Olympic Games is the Holy Grail for many riders, but not every rider has the good fortune to get there. Those who represent Canada at the Games all have very different stories about how they qualified, the experiences they had, and the exceptional horses they were fortunate to ride. Canada’s top-placed three-day event riders from the 1976 through 2008 Olympic Games have had many years to reflect on their Olympic experiences and fortunately, five of those determined men and women were happy to share some of their life lessons, anecdotes, and wisdom with those who want to follow in their hoofprints. These are their stories.

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