The fight against the soring and "pads" is a different issue from individual trainers who physically beat their horses, bleed them, etc. No one is denying that those things exist. I have also been around WP Quarter Horses (as much as I'd ever want to be, frankly) and am fully aware of the practice of bleeding, of "blocking" the tails, of tying young horses for hours in their stalls with their heads high so that they are worn out when the time comes to work them. I think it's disgusting. It was enough to make me so burnt-out of the horse world that I nearly quit horses altogether at one point.
But this thread is about the Tennessee Walking Horse.
The pads/chains/action devices/chemicals are considered a commonly-accepted method of creating the very thing that most of the general public thinks of when they hear the name of the breed. High-stepping show horses. The Big Lick. Whatever the QH people do, or the ASB people do, or the Arabian people do. . .does not excuse what the TWH people do to "create the gait." Which is, they make a horse move a certain way out of pain and discomfort, and they get ribbons, trophies and titles based on who does it the best.
No one is saying the other breeds don't have issues. They do. It's one of the reasons I have ZERO interest in breed show "rail classes." To me, they are a poor example of demonstrating a horse's natural ability or movement.
"Parelli horsemanship is just like painting by the numbers. You need absolutely no skill. You just put this color here and this color there, and when you're done, you have ... a mess no one wants." mp