Among the horses to be showcased at Upper Canada Village’s Horse Lover Weekend (August 30-September 1) are the Village’s very own Canadian horses, now recognized as Canada’s National Horse.
“They [the Canadians] are indispensable to our programs, and they play a key role in bringing the essence of the 1860s to life. I can’t imagine Upper Canada Village without our horses! ” says Bruce Henbest.
This special Labour Day weekend event features three days packed with activities showcasing riding, driving and working horses.
Natural horsemanship demonstrations and a mock 1860’s horse auction will be part of the weekend’s activities.
It is a great opportunity to watch, learn and improve your understanding of all things equine, with demonstrations and performances by notable horse experts.
Farrah Green who states her mission as “helping horses with their people, as well as furthering my own horsemanship skills,” has an extensive background as both a rider and teacher. Green, a 3 Star Parelli Natural Horsemanship Instructor will share her knowledge about how to communicate more effectively with horses and will give multiple performances and demonstrations throughout the weekend.
Joining Green will be Gary Meek and the Spirit in Unity team from Drogheda Manor in Lunenburg, Ontario.
This team will demonstrate the principles of natural horsemanship in an educational and entertaining presentation that is fun for the whole family. You will never look at horses in the same way again! Free horseback rides will also be offered.
CTV Ottawa’s News at Noon Anchor Michael O’Byrne will be the honourary Parade Marshall on Saturday.
The Parade of Horses takes place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday & Monday in front of Cook’s Tavern and will feature Ken Reid’s six horse hitch of giant Percherons and Upper Canada Village’s six horse hitch of black Canadians along with a number of other breeds.
Following the parade O’Byrne will help with auctioneering duties at the Mock Horse Auction 1860’s style at 1:30 p.m.
To join in the bidding at the auction “horse lovers’” dollars must be purchased in advance along with an auction number.
The lucky bidder will receive a photo with the horse and Farrah Green.
Other unique items made by Village artisans will be sold in a real auction. Registration and purchase of horse lovers’ dollars takes place at the wooden booth in the fairgrounds.
Upper Canada Village will proudly feature the versatile Canadian Horse – now officially recognized as Canada’s National Horse – and the many different ways Canadians are used on site.
The Village has played an important role in the preservation of the Canadian Horse.
In the late 1970’s, when the Village began its breeding program, there were few pureblood Canadian horses outside of the province of Quebec and their numbers were dwindling.
The Village has continued to promote this historic breed and is now the owner of 25 registered Canadians.
Traditional horse-related skills will be demonstrated by Village staff and the ingenious ways horses were used in the 19th century.
This includes field work, drag saw and tow scow operation, horse-powered threshing, making deliveries and driving carriages.
“We are very excited to welcome 3 star Parelli Natural Horsemanship Instructor Farrah Green to Horse Lovers’ weekend,” says Henbest. “We also are appreciative for the support from the local horse community.”
“Upper Canada Village has a very special relationship to horses and for our visitors the horses are a seamless part of the Village experience. We rely on our Canadian horses to pull the carryalls with visitors, they are the power behind our Tow Scow in the canal and they pull the wagon to pick-up the bread from the Bakery every day just to name a few tasks they perform.”
The weekend will include musical performances by fiddler Robyn Howes on Sunday, and a special Celtic music performance by A. J. Benoit and The Blarney Show Band from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, September 1.
Visitors are cautioned to be careful around horses. Horses may cause injury. Always ask the driver or rider, first before touching the horse or riding in a vehicle.