Originally Posted by nucks93
Hey everyone, I want to first off say that I have never ridden or owned a gaited horse, but I have seen a lot of footage about people soring, shoeing with stacked pads, etc to the Big Licks. I was just wondering how chains around the horses legs is abusive, and what exactly they do. Thanks guys!
Abusive? "Action devices" that are legal under the HPA are probably not "abusive" when used alone. If used with soring chemicals the answer changes.
They work by irritating the the coronary band, causing the horse to "flinch" and raise its foot higher.
While not abusive, they are the sign of an incompetant trainer. They are an "anti-training" device. When you apply pressure with, say a bit, when you get the response you desire you release the pressure. You repeat this process. Over time you can form a positive habit in the horse.
Put another way, you can turn "on" the pressure to get what you want and turn it "off" when you get it.
The "action device" is always "on." If the horse performs well it's "on." If the horse performs poorly it's "on." Every time the horse moves it's "on." Remove the chain and the movement you want quickly goes away. So it's not really a "training device" it's the "shortcut" of the "shortcut artist."
This opinion generally wrankes the Devil out of some folks, but that's the Physics and Equine Bio-Mechanics of the process.