As for what you should carry -- carry what you feel comfortable with. No sense in bringing a long a gun that you can't use.
Ryle, I forgot about handguns. In Canada it is such a PIA to get a handgun, I usually just discount them. Plus you have to get a permit to transport and double locks and blah, blah, blah... Legally you'd probably even have a fight to be allowed to take the handgun on a trail ride with you here, despite the valid protection required when in the bush near bears, wolves, coyotes and cougars. Canada! Baaaaa! Baaaa! Can you hear the sheep calling?
Man, I hate these friggin' gun laws. Had a bear in the yard 20 feet from the barn. By the time I had found the right key for the right gun, unlocked the gun and unlocked the ammunition, loaded up -- well, the bear just wandered off. Good thing she wasn't after anything. From here on in, during bear season, the gun stays out. That was just BS that day. I was sooo angry.