History & Heritage

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February 24, 2006 was a routine day when Police Constable Kevin Bradfield saddled Brigadier and, with Constable Ron Gilbert on Blue Moon, rode out of the Horse Palace on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, home of the Toronto Police Mounted Unit, on their way to patrol the Scarborough area on the east side of Toronto.

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If a dog is man’s best friend, then the horse is his most loyal servant. – Joseph V. DiBianca, Loudly They Speak: The Memoirs of a Horse Listener - What is it that makes the vast majority of horse people love dogs? Dogs indeed possess some of the same admirable traits as horses and complement the lifestyle of a horse person very well.

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“I had a home-bred [Morgan] gelding named Duncan,” says Tina Collins, office administrator, Canadian Morgan Horse Association. “Duncan was the type of horse that had to investigate everything. He not only had a humorous personality, but he was incredibly trustworthy and a superior trail horse.

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A Treasure for Over 350 Years - Good things were happening in New France in 1665. The New World colony had been under the tight control of the Company of One Hundred Associates since 1627. It capitalized on the fur trade while expanding French colonies along the Gulf of the St. Laurence and the river valley. But they were sporadically under siege from either native Iroquois tribes disrupting the fur trade, turf wars with the British, or conflicts with Quebec settlers resenting the company’s monopoly on trade.

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Job Description: Draft horses guided by riders pull baskets through the surf to harvest sea plants from ocean beaches. Did you know that on the east coast of Canada, horses pull baskets through the surf to harvest sea plants from ocean beaches?

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In England, the Romans were the first to build canals as irrigation or land drainage waterways. They used mules to haul boats loaded with cargo along those canals and it became a highly effective and economical way to transport goods. A horse towing a boat with a rope from a towpath could pull 50 times as much cargo as it could pull in a wagon on the road.

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Life for a 19th century cowboy was a steady routine of guarding cattle, moving them to grazing ranges, and driving them to market, often on long and difficult trails. But in those open range days, cattle belonging to one outfit would mingle and graze with cattle from other outfits. Twice a year in spring and fall, ranchers joined in a round-up of hundreds of cattle to sort out the different brands and reclaim their herds.

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