First off, my opinion on the subject is changing.
I don't own show horses, nor have I ever engaged in any type of horse event other than trail riding.
As a child our family often went to several walking horse shows a year. I've always considered it a great tradition, or heritage, unique to the local area, that's spread throughout the world.
I've always thought the high stepping walking horse was a beautiful thing to behold and never considered the things some people do to get the horse to do it.
What's know known as the "big lick" to my recollection, has always been, although it was exaggerated from what the horse performed in the 1960's.
Some time in that period, the horses gait got higher and faster.
I seem to always remember pads at shows on walking horses.
When people first started pointing out the cruelty involved in making a "big Lick" horse I thought it just another attack on conservative america, or another attempt to undermine those unique traditions some of us americans look at as our heritage. This issue tears deep at my soul as the Walking horse I've partnered with is about the sweetest horse god ever created. Her name is Lacy but I call her "too sweet".
The idea that someone could abuse such a wonderful animal is foreign to me. I just don't understand how anyone could possibly do it, but it's clear to me that more than just a few show people engage in the practice.
I'd very much like to see the tradition continue, but there has to be something done to stop the madness behind it.
Honestly, I don't know if the people involved can make it happen.
I have a good friend who's been involved with showing walking horses and she tells me soring goes all the way to the roots of the sport, as early as the late 1940's. She has no reason to lie about it, and it upsets her just as much as it does me. That's the reason she got out of it. I've commented that I'd love to go to the celebration this year as I feel like the breed itself needs the support, and also to see for myself.
My mother always told me "believe none of what you hear and half of what you see".
In no way do I want to be associated with the practice of soring, yet I will admit, there is a nostalgia that draws me to enjoy the celebration again that I enjoyed as a child. It was a big deal then, to a lot of people. Were we blind?
So, judge me not in haste. I'm still struggling to make sense of the whole thing.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Last edited by gunslinger; 05-31-2012 at 06:07 PM.