Look... I am neither for nor against big lick. While I have no use for a padded horse, I have friends in the industry whom I trust and respect, so I just hate to hear them all lumped into the same pile of soring trainers. I did indeed watch your videos and they are certainly a better depiction of the TWH breed than a padded horse. However, I have said it on this forum before and will likely say it again....... folks striving for a "trait" within a breed that is harmful to the breed as a whole is not limited to the TWH or big lick...... I just get very tired of all the propaganda on the WWW, by folks who have no real idea of what's going on other than to "me too" or to reference BS YouTube trash that is about as reliable as wikipedia.....
Some of us get tired of the "propaganda" from the Sore Lick community contending that the creation of this extreme way of going is completely harmess to the horse and represents some epitome' of beauty and grace.
The bio-mechanics of the Big Lick gait, with or without soring, are that the animal suffers long and short term injury from its creation. Do you "trust and respect" folks who inflict injury on an animal in the name of crowd pleasing? One of the arguments heard from the Big Lick creators is that "every breed and/or discipline has some sort of negative practices used to maintain a tradition or entertainment value." This is likely true. As an example, I'm not a fan of flat racing, but I do enjoy watching good cross country riders. That is a discipline that puts horse and rider at risk of injury. What would be the difference? The word "risk." The cross country rider hazards himself and his horse but if he's properly trained himself and his horse then he can manage that risk and keep it at a reasonable level. The Big Lick horse is not at risk
of injury it is being injured
. The injury is intentional and knowing. That, IMO, is morally and ethically monstrous.
Beauty, of course, exists in the eye of the beholder. So there's no reason to even go there.
I'm not so naive as to think that elimination of action devices will end abusive practices. As long as front end action is the Object of the Exercise trainers will engage in questionalbe practices to get it. But their elimination would be a major step in the right direction.