I was born and raised in Shelbyville, Tn, which is the home of the TWH National Celebration. I've moved 25 minutes from there, but it's no different. Middle TN is infested with horse abusers. I pass countless barns (more like concentration camps) on the way to town everyday. It makes me sick. I've seen and heard some disturbing things.
Soring will always haunt the Walking horse. They're not the only breed being sored though. Spotted Saddles horses are HUGE here as well...and they're treated just the same.
My mare (siggy) is actually and ex padded horse. She was abused in every way possible and we're still trying to work out the kinks. Her legs are scared, and her tail has been cut. She's been through so much and she'll never see a show ring again.
As far as I'm concerned the big lick crap is just that.....crap. It's a man made gait. Show me a Walker or Spotted Saddle Horse that moves like that on it's own with no shoes, saddle, bridle...nothing and I'll change my tune.
Here's a video to help you understand a little better. It's old, but some of these methods are sadly still used today. Since the government started popping in at shows, these "trainers" have found new ways to sore. There's no end to it. Maybe one day. CNN