Hidden Meadow Farm – Canadian Horses

Breeders Horse Sales Sleigh & Carriage Rides Town of Erin

hidden meadowHidden Meadow Farm is a 47.5 acre farm with stables, arena and a number of outbuildings. We are dedicated to the preservation and breeding and training of Canada’s National Horse – The Canadian Horse. Our mares, stallion and youngsters roam in large paddocks. Other animals roaming our property are free range laying hens, cattle, pigs and meat chickens that we raise for personal use and limited sales.

Background

Hidden Meadow Farm was founded in 1987 when Brenda and Geoff Pantling purchased the 47 acre property. The original barn and the farm house (circa 1897) are still in use. Other facilities that have been added include run in sheds, a riding arena that holds a staff apartment, carriage house and meeting room, a hay barn and an equipment storage shed. Maintained trails are used for sleigh rides, cross country driving and trail riding.

Hidden Meadow Farm is dedicated to breeding Canadian Horses that continue to show the versatility, athletic ability, and intelligence of “The Little Iron Horse.” Breeding stock is carefully selected for quality of conformation and temperament. Hidden Meadow Farm’s breeding program has produced horses that win both ribbons and hearts.

Besides horse breeding, Hidden Meadow offers group & romantic sleigh rides and naturally raised beef, pork & chicken.

Canadian Horses

The ancestors of the Canadian Horse were sent to Canada in the mid 1600’s.  These horses were of Norman, Breton and Andalusion bloodlines. They endured brutally cold winters, mosquitoes and flies in summer, poor feed and long hours of work, breeding in isolation for almost 200 years. They became smaller in size and hardy, a distinct breed all our own. They gained quite a reputation for their toughness and stamina – thus the title “Little Iron Horse”.

Canadian Horses cleared and worked the land, carried children to school, pulled the cutters and carriages and provided great entertainment for their masters in the form of racing. As settlers moved west across this nation, their horses carried the goods needed to build their new homes. Before the railways, supplies moved back and forth on red river carts, pulled by Canadian Horses.

From the height of their population in the mid-1800’s the Canadian Horse became less and less important to the people of Canada until many Canadians are unaware of its existence. By the late 1960’s the population was only 400 registered animals.

Many Canadians had been sold to the United States and entered in to the stud books of the Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred, and American Saddlebred. More Canadian Horses were exported out of Canada for the Boer war, and for working the sugar plantations in the West Indies. Heavy draft horses were imported for farm work and later the advent of mechanized farming caused the breed to almost become extinct.

Luckily, due to the efforts of a handful of dedicated breeders, the Canadian Horse now has a population of about 6000. No longer on the critical list of endangered species, it has made a remarkable comeback.

Predominately black or dark bay, the Canadian Horse can also be chestnut, brown or lighter bay.  Standing between 14 and 16 hands tall, the Canadian is a sturdy horse with clean cut strong legs and remarkably tough hooves. Attractive to look at, and a joy to work with, the Canadian still demonstrates the versatility and intelligence developed when they were the only horses in Canada. A Canadian can show dressage in the morning, trail ride in the afternoon and pull logs out of the bush in the evening. The Canadian Horse today can be found performing in most riding and driving disciplines.