PO Box 1090
Medicine Hat, AB
"The unique situation, and years of evolution, without man's
intervention, will never happen again! The resulting strong and
extremely intelligent survivors of this evolution will be lost forever if we
don't do all that we can to preserve the special horses that they
are......THE BLOCK HORSE"
- Sharon Holiday
So tell me... what is a Block Horse?
Before we can define a Block Horse, we must first understand the “Block.” Before 1941, the “Block” was a stretch of land within the Palliser Triangle that started just North of Suffield and spread towards Jenner and East. This land was ideal ranch land, and was being utilized by farmers and ranchers in the area. On April 11, 1941 however, the government signed an agreement to relocate the people of the area so that this land could be used for military training purposes.
In the 1950’s for sure, if not earlier, it is known that small bands of horses grazed the Block. Every year, or every other year, these bands were managed by the owners, offspring were taken out, and mares were either culled or added. In the 1960’s, military officials wanted the horses out of the Block. Once the proper fencing was up, and locked or guarded gates were complete, there would no longer be access to the horses. At this time, everyone in the area was breeding horses, and they were flooding the auction market, therefore, prices were very low. Older horses, and “favourites” were left in the Block to live out their years, rather than to be sold for meat. It’s almost certain that one Hancock Quarter Horse stud was turned out, along with a couple of Thoroughbred studs. A Clydesdale stud and a Pinto pony stud were left in as well. Each stud had their own band of mares. Some thought they would be able to sneak in andget the odd colt, and others thought that the safest place for the horses was in the base. It is unknown what horses were turned out for sure, but what we do know, is that they were good, strong, working ranch horses. With 20 years of selected breeding and 30 years of nature’s way, only the intelligent and strong survived.
In 1994, the horses were rounded up and adopted out or auctioned off. No one knows exactly how many horses were rounded up from the Block. This could have been the end of the Block Horses, had it not been for a few horsemen in the area who noticed the historical significance and genetic quality of these unique horses. Some of the folks who adopted horses out of the roundup joined together to promote and preserve the bloodlines. In present times, every horse is recorded and registered, and can be traced all the way back to the round up. These horses can never be called a breed according the Pedigrees Act, Agriculture Canada because they are a mixture and combination of many breeds. However, under the guidance of David Trus, head of agriculture Canada, Livestock Division, we have been advised that when we prove that these horse breed and hold these strengths and their intelligence, we can be recognized as an Historical Horse with a common denominator: the British Block.
Our goal is to preserve the horses that we have, to breed Nature's best, and to promote them for the unique horses that they are, with honour, integrity and dedication
To read more about Block Horses, click here
|Jessica McLean's "Black
Magic" beside Linda's mare
|Jessica Godlonton and "Hope"
preparing for the "Parade of
Power" at Heritage Acres.
|Jessica Godlonton's 2 year old
filly "Aspen" calmly hauling
MaKatey around the yard at
the Konosky Ranch.
|2 yr old "Tinker" coming in
with the herd.