I saw this article on USA Today and thought I would post a link: Priscilla Presley campaigns against 'soring'
I'm really glad she's trying to do something about it. It's hard to understand how she could have been around Walking Horses for so long and not noticed the unconventional ways in which the show horses are shod. But maybe she really only had a couple of them for pleasure and didn't actually go to the shows, I have no idea.
Anyway, she's doing something to fight it now, which is great in my book. Go Priscilla!
I really don't understand the big lick folks. They are afraid of their industry going down the drain, but don't they see it's already in the sewer? Every single horse owner outside their small niche finds it grotesque and disgusting. And they are worried about their businesses? What about their reputation and the future of the breed? Shouldn't that count for something?
I still think the future of the Tennessee Walking Horse needs to be that of a Cadillac trail horse. So many people out west are looking for and riding gaited horses because they are so smooth and fun out on the trails. And they cost good money out here. I mean, $8,000-$10,000 some people are asking for gaited trail horses. It's outrageous. So why don't they re-promote the breed and breed for high-class trail horses? Surely they throw-out a lot of young stock when they are breeding for big lick. For every one horse that is a show ring star, how many are thrown out as basically worthless? Wouldn't it be better to get a fair price for each and every horse than breed to cull for show horses?
Or is the breed too far gone to be saved as an actual using horse? I hope that's not the case! I understand the show bloodlines are not the best trail bloodlines (or so I'm told) because they are high strung and pacey. But there just HAS to be some good naturally gaited horses still out there being bred. Right?
I was just talking to some ladies I was riding with the other day. I have an older Fox Trotter mare who is unsound and I was lamenting on how hard it is to find a decent gaited horse that is also affordable. And the gal was like, "yep, if I need another I will go back east." Sigh. I guess I just hate to see the breed ruined by the big lick show people when a lot of us would LOVE to have nice gaited trail horses.
The TWH definitely has an image problem. I just don't understand why they don't reinvent themselves as the Cadillac of trail horses. I'm sure that's why the Presleys ended up with them to begin with. That's why I have a Fox Trotter and most of the ladies I ride with have Fox Trotters or Walkers or Spotted Saddle Horses or Rocky Mountain horses. Peruvian Pasos.
Anyway, just thought I would post a link to the article. I wish TWH breeders would dump big lick and reinvent themselves. Maybe I am an eternal optimist, but I think the breed can be saved.
Just look at Midnight Sun. Why don't they breed for that? HE doesn't look like the horses of today. He looks like a total blast to ride!