Horse Industry

Job Description: These large, powerful draft horses are used to pulling heavy loads.

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It would be some 700,000 years before Duane Froese, an earth sciences professor with the University of Alberta in Edmonton and his team excavated a metapodial (cannon) horse bone from permafrost in the Thistle Creek gold mine in west-central Yukon in 2003. The team was hunting fossils embedded in permafrost while gathering data on the sediments that preserved them. Many other horse fossils found in Yukon had been pony-sized, but Froese and his team knew this find had come from a larger horse.

Horses and oxen have been used to haul logs since pre-industrial times. Much of it was small scale harvesting, but it was hard and hazardous work. Unstable and snagged trees, falling branches, and loose material were the “widow makers” of a rapidly growing but dangerous industry. But as settlers arrived in Canada, more land had to be cleared for home-building, farming, and travel. Ultimately, horses and oxen were replaced with machinery and logging trucks. But today, some people have kept the heritage of horse logging alive.

Ever since the wheel was first invented around 3,500 BC in Mesopotamia as a wooden disc with a hole in the middle for some form of axle, creative Sumarian minds were buzzing. They were, after all, already planting crops, herding animals, and had a pretty impressive social order. But getting the wheel contraption right took a bit of creative genius. The holes in the centre of the disc and at the ends of the axle had to be perfectly smooth and round in order for the wheel to fit and turn. Otherwise, too much friction would cause breakage.

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A recent poll on the Canadian Horse Journal website asked the question: Should equines be cloned? Some 83 percent of respondents said no, not until more research has been done; 15 percent said maybe, in special situations with strict parameters; just two percent said yes, and that registration of clones should be allowed.

Jim Garner and his wife had just 20 minutes to grab what they could and get out of the ranch that has been their home for over 30 years as a wall of fire from the massive Kenow wildfire bore down on them from Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, on Monday night, September 11, 2017. Understandably, the successful horse breeder and owner of Rocking Heart Ranch just outside the national park boundary fretted about the stallions left in the barn and some 100 horses on his property.

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As livestock and property owners worriedly watch the skies praying for rain, the wildfire season in British Columbia shows no sign of abating and could continue until the first snows fly. According to the BC Wildfire Service, the 2017 wildfire season is officially the worst on record in the province.

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