Ive not been into gaited horses very long, maybe a little more than a year. But I have noticed that almost every non walking horse owner has the same stereotyped idea that we all hurt our horses. That TWh are are made crazy by the training methods we use, and they are permanantly injured or ruined.Just three days ago I met a woman who I will deem friend even though she expressed that walking horses were made to walk the way they do by abuse. I corrected her by the statement that pitbulls recieve a similar bad rap in the media and that not all walkers are abused or made to walk that way.Just as not all pit bulls are viciouse man eaters.She owns a pit bull personally and so connected with me in the fact that the majority of these breeds are wonderful animals.Yes some trainers do wrong just like some pit owners do wrong as well.But can we blame all TWH owners and all pit owners for what the minority does?
I could argue about the abuse I see and read about in every other breed of horse known to man but I feel it would be whipping a dead horse so to speak.We all know that raceing is one huge money market, but do people realize that it also produces more unsound and abused animals than any other breed?Nearly every horse you see on the race track is kept stalled near constantly, especially the stallions. They are forced to start raceing before the bones have finished growing and they have developed completly as adults, and once their career is through they are put down.By career I mean a few short years.To rehabilitate them is dangerouse in most cases and very difficult. Did I mention that only a very small percentage actually make enough money to be kept alive and cared for?Did I mention that these race horses are put through drug enhancements, injections and I have even read of a hair brushes being shoved up there nose before the vet check to lower their resperatory rates. But for some reason the public ignores this.They prefer instead to focus on gaited breeds as the bad guys.
TWH's were going to be one of many breeds represented at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington Kentucky, but they have been banned.
It had been planned since 2008 and TWH had made a sponsorship pledge of 100,000 dollars. After some negative publications in Lexington newspapers the Tennessee Walking Horse was banned. My question is why? The TWH assosiation has went out of there way to abolish the misconception that all TWH owners breeders and trainers use these practices. To bring the true side of the TWH into the public eye would have helped the breed very much and regained the publics trust of these wonderful horses.
I feel that the media tells a one sided story of how things really are,considering that there are thousands of registered walking horses and only a hand full of cases of abuse. When TWHBEA finds that there is a justified accusation of abuse the member is banned from the registration and training of TWH's, the web site and Voice magazine has a web address and articles about their own initiated TWH rescue program. Which I might add has already came into service seizing a herd of abused 80 horses from a farm in TN. TWHBEA is very active in reversing the bad publicity that has been generated by the media. If all TWH owners were bad horse people then why do we all care so much about the bad face that has been put onto our beloved breed?
I don't know about you but I have been excited about the 2010 world equestrian games since I first heard they were planning it, I was planning on volunteering at the games, along with several of my friends. But now that I see the way they are unwilling to let us TWH owners represent our breed in their true form I plan to not attend the games at all and have like wise asked all my horse loving friends to reconsider their plans for the games.
How can the horse capitol of the world (LEX, KY) turn such a cold shoulder to such a wonderful breed? And likewise not extend a friendly hand to such wonderful horse owners?
Thankyou for reading my rant about this and I encourage you to contact Jamie Link (the chief executive officer) and let them know that we support our horses and the breed, and we support our fellow TW horse owners .
World Games 2010 Foundation, Inc.
2010 World Games Way
Lexington, KY 40511-2010
Toll Free Number: 888.WEG.2010