By: Reginald Tiangha
On Saturday, I did a spotlight on Heavy Horses, so it only makes sense to do one on Light Horses as well.
The definition of a Light Horse is any breed of horse that is used primarily for riding or for light work such as pulling buggies. There are dozens of breeds, and they typically weigh 900 to 1,500 pounds. Many of the horses used in the Stampede that you may be familiar with (like thoroughbreds for racing) are classified as light horses.
The Light Horse committee is responsible for putting on most of the events during Stampede specifically showcasing light horses. There will be around 16 breeds on display this year, and you’ll find their events at two main venues (both free to attend with admission): the Big Top, and the Horse Haven Stables/Northern Lights Arena (NLA) in the Agriculture Barns.
The marquee event of the Light Horse committee is the Light Horse Presentations in the Big Top. Here you will see most of the various light horse breeds participating this year showcased, as well as different demonstrations of skill and talent that are both entertaining and educational to watch.
For a more in-depth experience, visit the Horse Haven Stables at the North end of the Agriculture Barns (the entrance facing the Saddledome). There, each light horse breed participating in this year’s Stampede will have a booth dedicated to them where you can interact with both horse and owner. There are various presentations put on in the NLA all day as well that are more in-depth and intimate than the ones in the Big Top, usually focusing on only one breed. My favourite presentation is “Horse Sense 101” where they teach you everything you need to know if you ever wanted to own a horse or was curious about what it takes to ride one.
The Light Horse Presentations at the Big Top only occur on certain days and times, so if you wanted to make time during your Stampede visit to check them out, make sure you consult the schedule first. The Horse Haven Stables are open every day during Stampede and usually have something different going on at any given time. It’s a great place to visit when you have a spare moment.