The Little Iron Horse

The Canadian Horse breed just celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2015, providing a rich history in the formation of Canada and in North America.  The breed’s rare status has just been changed from threatened to critical.

While researching for a breed of horse that would represent our school and equine program, our attention kept getting drawn to the hardy ‘little iron horse’ known as the ‘Canadien’.  After owning several horse breeds, we added our first Canadian in 2001 and have never looked back. 

It soon became our chosen breed due to its wonderful temperament, disposition and being an “easy keeper.” Once brought to the verge of extinction, we feel a responsibility to promote this incredible bloodline so that it will survive for future generations to enjoy.



Du Coteau Dynamo Janek

D.O.B.  July 1, 1999

Canadian Heritage Bloodline

(Ferme Des Berges Inc)

She is the dominant mare of the herd, ensuring a balanced and social hierarchy. Her favorite hobby is free ranging on the campus during summer. You will absolutely love her gentleness and patience with new riders.


Phoenix Cushing Stables


Du Coteau Gap Phoenix

D.O.B.  June 8, 2007

Canadian Heritage Bloodline

She is a mischievous princess who could get away with just about anything with the herd. Known to crawl under fence lines, her loveable personality gets her out of all sorts of trouble. She is the definition of "free spirited."


Du Coteau Dynamo Luna-CJ

D.O.B.  May 29, 2001

Canadian Heritage Bloodline

(Ferme Des Berges Inc)

On Christmas Day of 2001, Corie Jo awoke to a new bestfriend. As only true horse lovers know of, an incredible bond of mutual understanding and respect exists between the two. Together, they have traveled across North America pursuing natural horsemanship seminars and adventure.


Cascades Dandy Palou-JL

D.O.B.  May 19, 2004

Canadian Heritage Bloodline

He has an incredible personality and has the movement and disposition to go with it. Expect him to explore the back country while free-ranging, and gallop at top speeds to show off his good looks in front of the ladies.


Friesian Sport-Horse

Friesian Heritage Bloodline

Always aware of the slightest changes in the environment, she is a very smart and loyal horse. You can expect to find her grazing next to Jo Ellen. The two of them have a unique bond, developed over months of hard work and dedication.



Newfoundland Pony

D.O.B.  Unknown

Canadian Heritage Bloodline

Rescued during the middle of winter in 2008, he has the attitude of a stallion and heart of a fearless mare. He'd never been with any other horses before arriving at Indian Lake, so it was fascinating to see him establish his social position within the herd. He is everyone's best friend.


My Napoleon Trenegade

D.O.B.  May 04, 2007

Canadian Heritage Bloodline

 In July 2007, we heard that there was a large Canadian herd being neglected; mares with foals were emaciated and dying. It prompted investigations and further media attention. From that herd, we found Trenegade. He is a charming and enthusiastic character, who loves running through the snow at high speeds.

History of the Canadian Horse

It all began in the late 16th century when King Louis XIV of France, sent shipments of some of his finest stock to the ‘habitants’ (french settlers) of the new world. Arriving on the St. Lawrence shores of what is now Tadoussac, Quebec the settlers were happy with this small, stocky well-built horse.  Showing the strength and ability to survive and thrive even in the harshness of the Canadian winters they were given the nickname, "the little iron horse" or the Canadian horse of Cheval Canada.
Coming from some of Europe’s finest stables, these horses were of Norman/Bretton breeding and it is presumed that much Arab, Andalusian, Barb & Friesian blood was present.  Thriving, the population grew to over 150,000 but their numbers were soon to be decimated.  With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, thousands of horses found their way south to be used for cavalry and artillery.
One equine historian even went so far as to state that the North won, only due to the fact soldiers were riding superior mounts.  A few years later in 1899 Canada got involved in its first war overseas in South Africa - the Boer War.  Troops and their mounts were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and once again were on foreign soil. These horses were never brought home.
By 1880, the Canadian had almost become extinct because of exports and war casualties.  With the advancement in agricultural technology, horses were no longer required and in 1979 it was estimated only 400 Canadian horses remained in the United States and Canada.  Since then the breed has slowly made a comeback.  As of 2007 there are over 6,000 Canadian horses worldwide with an estimated breeding pool of only 2000 mares.
The Canadian horse is one of the oldest recognized North American horse breeds and is considered a rare breed. Earning and deserving its place in Canadian history, on April 30th, 2002 the Canadian horse was made an official animal symbol of Canada by Parliamentary Act and pronounced the “National” heritage horse of Canada. In 2010, the provincial legislature of Quebec named it a ‘heritage breed’ of the province.