I read this earlier while I was at home. Then went outside to spend time with my boy. Rascal got a bath today and was feeling awesome. I turned him loose in the yard and he went gaiting out across the fresh mown grass. It was beautiful. AND it was totally natural. No shoes, no rigs, no special crap, not a thing on him except a purple halter.
He was clean, well fed and felt great after a bath, some hoof care and some loving. I can't imagine what I would do to someone who even thought about putting my horse in a place (mental) that the big lick horses are put in on a consistent basis.
Anyone who would do these things to a horse aren't horsemen. Horsemen care about the health and well being of their animal. Stock horses, gaited, jumpers, hunters, dressage beasties, endurance buddies, any of the "show" horses or your average back yard love bug of mixed origin; it won't matter to a true horseman, They'll look out for it just the same. True horsemen won't put a ribbon, prize money, titles, prestige or glory before the well being of their animal.
Normally I'd say this is just my opinion, but in this case, it's my mind and it's a fact there. Not an opinion.
I miss you Rascal. Every day, all day.