Where did they come from?

The Ojibwe Horse has been known by several names, including the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony or Indian Horse. In Canadian government archives they were commonly referred to as Indian Ponies. They are noted as Critically Endangered on Canada’s Conservation List.

Elders affirm that that Indigenous peoples have had a spiritual and working relationship with the Ojibwe Horse throughout time. Some say that small groups of these horses were in North America prior to European contact. This contrasts with Eurocentric histories that assert horses were re-introduced to North America by settlers. DNA evidence shows they are distinctive from European-introduced horse breeds. As research continues, we can say with certainty that culturally, they have been an integral and harmonious part of the North American boreal forest in unique ways.

Breed Standard

    A strong, active animal, full of spirit and giving the impression of a small horse rather than a pony.
  • HEAD: 
    A broad forehead tapering towards the muzzle.
    A bright, kind and gentle eye.
    Small, profusely haired ears set wide apart.
  • NECK:
    Strong and deep at the base where it joins the shoulder.
    Stallions may display an arched crest.
    Long, flowing mane that can lay on both sides/either side of the neck.
    Well-laid, long, sloping shoulders.
    Withers not to fine or prominent.
  • BODY:
    Straight back (top line).
    Low withers.
    Sloping croup.
    Low-set Tail.
  • LEGS / FEET:
    Small iron-hard hooves and legs but with a relatively thick cannon bone.
    May have feathering on the backs of the cannon bones.
    Often have raised or elevated frogs.
    Hooves should not require shoes for strength or stability.
  • SIZE:
    Average mean height of 13hh at maturity (6 years of age) with a range from 12hh to 14.2hh. [females generally 12hh to 13.2hh and males generally 13hh to 14.2hh but there are exceptions in both areas] 
    Predominantly varieties of Dun [Bay, Black or Grulla, Red] but any solid colour except white, creams or variations thereof.
    White markings permitted on the face providing they do not extend from eye to eye and/or be classified as a “white face”.
    White markings permitted on the lower leg below the knee.
    No patterned colours.
    Often exibiting one or more dun markings on any colour.
  • ACTION: Clean, straight and true. The trot should be smooth and flowing.

Learn more

“Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony”. The Canadian Encyclopedia

Dissertation: “The Relationship Between the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and the Horse: Deconstructing a Eurocentric Myth” by Yvette Running Horse Collin, DPhil, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 2017.

Archaeology and genomics together with Indigenous knowledge revise the human-horse story in the American West