Why are they shoed like this?
   

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Why are they shoed like this?

This is a discussion on Why are they shoed like this? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Saddlebred chains on front legs
  • Racking horses

 
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    05-20-2011, 01:17 PM
  #1
Foal
Why are they shoed like this?

Hello,
I came across this picture and was brought back to the day when I boarded at a saddlebred showing barn. And all the questions I had back then. I really don't understand the training methods.... I've seen and heard horror stories, and would really like some educated people to talk to me about them because I would really like to understand.
This picture for example, absolutly horrifys me to see a horse with big blocks clamped to his feet. Why is that done? Thanks ahead of time
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File Type: jpg racking-horse-2.jpg (24.3 KB, 467 views)
     
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    05-20-2011, 01:22 PM
  #2
Started
They're shod like that to win $$$$. It's cruel and disgusting. The gaited horses are amazing movers and to do this is just horrible. The horse is in constant pain. Go to makingthegait.com and you may learn a little more than you want.
     
    05-20-2011, 01:25 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Are you sure it was a saddlebred barn? SBs gait high naturaly. That is a picture of a Big lick Tennesee Walking Horse. They think it looks good or some thing? I don't understand it. It's just for looks.
     
    05-20-2011, 01:49 PM
  #4
Showing
From my understanding, some people use many of the same methods with saddlebreds as well (pads, chains, soring, etc).

Tami, it's all about the money. People back in the early days of the breed took notice and fell in love with the action of the horses. And, like it happens so many times, people began to believe that more action = better appearance. So, they started breeding for horses with bigger action. When that wasn't enough for the extreme that they wanted to see, they started to look for mechanical ways to create big action in those horses and started shoeing them with long toes and no heels and using weighted chains on the pastern to encourage them to pick up their feet more. It has just progressed from there to the point that you see now. It's all about the money and the prestige of having the "flashiest" moving horse regardless of how they got it.
     
    05-20-2011, 01:58 PM
  #5
Foal
Yah it was a saddlebred and morgan barn. This picture is just one I came across on the internet. But I can remember when I was very little watching the trainer there...'train' their horses but putting chains around there fetlocks... stretchers..neck sweats... someone once told me they broke their horses tail so it would be set properly??... keeping them in their stalls days before shows. No wonder PETA thinks horse riding is cruel if they look at stuff like this.
But you know this is just what I've experienced and my personal opinion and everyone is intitled to their own. Im not trying to bash the discipline. I just don't want to be ignorant if there is actually a purpose for some of theses 'training' methods. Although there is NEVER a good reason to break a horses tail.
Wow man.... all about the looks, so its like modeling for the horse world then.
Thanks for the website, im going to check it out now.
     
    05-20-2011, 02:55 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
From my understanding, some people use many of the same methods with saddlebreds as well (pads, chains, soring, etc).
Pads? Yes, but no where NEAR the stacks that the big lick horses get. Chains? Yes, lightweight ones, generally not weighing more than 10 ounces. Soring? No. You can't sore a trotting horse without it coming up seriously lame.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamibunny    
Yah it was a saddlebred and morgan barn. This picture is just one I came across on the internet. But I can remember when I was very little watching the trainer there...'train' their horses but putting chains around there fetlocks... stretchers..neck sweats... someone once told me they broke their horses tail so it would be set properly??... keeping them in their stalls days before shows. No wonder PETA thinks horse riding is cruel if they look at stuff like this.
But you know this is just what I've experienced and my personal opinion and everyone is intitled to their own. Im not trying to bash the discipline. I just don't want to be ignorant if there is actually a purpose for some of theses 'training' methods. Although there is NEVER a good reason to break a horses tail.
Wow man.... all about the looks, so its like modeling for the horse world then.
Thanks for the website, im going to check it out now.
The tail is not broken, a ligament is cut. When it isn't kept in a bustle or a tail set, the tail relaxes back down with time. I don't think it's great, but no, they are not broken.

I don't know what you mean by 'stretchers'.

While chains are controversial, as I said above, the ones used by trotting breeds are generally under 10 ounces. Many people also choose to use them not as action devices, but because the sound causes the horse to be more rhythmic.. and those people use very lightweight chains. People also use leather bracelets, weighted bell boots, etc instead of chains as action devices.. but you have to remember that these horses trot very high naturally as it is.

Personally I find nothing wrong with neck sweats, or keeping a horse in their stall for a few days before a show. People in many disciplines do both of those things.

It may be blatantly obvious, but yeah, I know about the show industry because I am involved in it, although I have hunters, and dressage/western. (Show type, Morgans).

If you ask anyone that rides saddleseat or is involved with show-type breeds what they think about big lick, you're going to get the same reactions. It's disgusting, cruel, and wrong. The horses are sored, and that is disgusting. Pressure devices are put in the shoes, that is disgusting. They don't move like that naturally at all, and yes, we don't consider that okay. A saddleseat horse in a trotting breed has to show naturally high gaits.. but with the big lick horses, they shove a huge stack on each front foot, use chains far heavier than trotting people would consider (remember, a lame horse can't trot square, it's especially obvious when they also have knee action, and heavy chains would cause bruising), and some do sore.
     
    05-20-2011, 03:55 PM
  #7
Yearling
The padding and chains of the TWH come from the ASB world. The spring with mechanical & chemical means is home grown.


The purpose of the pad/stack is lo lengthen the toe and elongate the phalangeal lever. This means the foot at break over "explodes" off the ground with a lot of energy and the weight of the package means longer hoof flight time.

G.
     
    05-20-2011, 04:04 PM
  #8
Green Broke
You don't want to know what I found out they do to make those horses pick those feet up. At least some of them. Bad!
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    05-20-2011, 04:22 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
The padding and chains of the TWH come from the ASB world. The spring with mechanical & chemical means is home grown.
The original idea, yes. But they took it a lot farther.. from pads like this:







(all images from google)

To the stacks you see in the OP.. not to mention far heavier chains.
     
    05-20-2011, 05:39 PM
  #10
Foal
Anaeternalflame is completely correct. Whether you agree with chains or not, that's one thing. Pads, that's one thing. But just to add, the same pads that you may put on an ASB have been seen on other horse breeds as well. My farrier does all types of horses and he said he regularly puts the same pads on his ASBs as he does with QHs. They are not the same type of "pads" that TWHs uses. It's quite obvious from the pictures, where it looks like the TWH has a block under his foot-- the ASB only has a thin piece of leather.

And soring? It always confuses me how people don't understand you can't sore a three-gaited horse. You can sore a Walker because big-lick do not trot. If you sore a horse that is supposed to trot, they will be three-legged lame. There is just no way that it is possible to sore a three-gaited horse. If you sore a QH, it's going to show lameness. If you sore a ASB, it's going to show lameness. If you sore a TWH that isn't required to trot, it won't show lameness.

I've grown up riding ASBs and Morgans. If you around it, you see what happens-- and soring does not. Our people are disgusted by what the TWH people do, just as everyone else is. We would not and cannot do that to our horses.

Here is a discussion about it on a SADDLEBRED forum. You can see how the ASB people feel about it for yourselves. And, not everyone agrees either. Some people almost agree with you guys; but if you actually read it, you may understand a little more.

Some quotes from it:

Quote:
Why does you seriously think soring (actual intended soring as opposed to outsiders' perceptions) is an issue for ASBs and Hackneys? I'm genuinely shocked anyone thinks it deserves a poll on trot. I understand concern about inspections being ramped up to non-walking horse shows etc. and all that would entail. But why would anyone with knowledge of the breed think people are deliberately "soring" ASBs?

I'm no Pollyanna but, frankly, there is no advantage to soring ASBs (or Hackneys).

Far from enhancing their performance, being sore is a detriment for ASBs. It conveys no competetive advantage but considerable disadvantage. A sore horse doesn't use its legs more - it uses them less, and unevenly. A sore animal loses bloom and expression, atributes which are strong competetive advantages. An unhappy, hurting horse is not a good show horse.

Moreover, with the trot being such an important gait in our breed, even for 5 gaited horses, soring to keep horses racking makes no sense whatsoever . If a horse has no aptitude to rack, or if it isn't sound enough to continue in gaited classes, there are plenty of other ASB divisions where the rack isn't required and such an animal can be more comfortable.

I've been showing ASBs saddle seat since 1965 in IN, KY, OH, IL, MI, MO, WI, TN, PA, MN and I've never seen intentional soring of our breed. On the contrary, a great deal of time and money (vets, blacksmiths, meds) is expended on keeping horses sound, or at least as sound as possible, since a sound horse is a better show horse. A stingy, sore, ouchy show horse is not performing at its best. Having been in center ring many times as a show manager over the decades and I can tell you that traveling balanced and square and being sound is important to judges.
Quote:
Laura, yes, if trimming them short makes them sore, even temporarily, on show grounds, that is soring.

But it would defeat the purpose. They might get their pony card, but their horse would be so lame it likely wouldn't do its gaits properly, much less have a square trot. You'd have an unrideable horse. Unsound horse = poor or no ribbon or even being excused from the class.

And since anyone can protest a pony card and require the steward to remeasure at any time, just having one doesn't guarantee you're safe once those feet grow back out and your horse is sound again. You'd have to keep him short and gimpy year round, and that means, again, not doing well at shows if your horse was even sound enough to go.

Soring a Saddlebred is pretty much a pointless activity, whether it's intentional to get more motion or for some other purpose.

Quote:
There would be absolutely no benefit to soring a trotting horse for motion because if it hurts it's not going to want to go forward, it's not going to want to bridle up (both of which would be cause for battle) and it's going to look lame at which point you would have to block the horses feet (extremely dangerous to both horse & rider) now that the horse can't feel its feet the "soring" would also not be felt which puts the horse right back to its original movement. So why bother? IMO if people are actually doing this they are morons looking for a magic potion to hide their own & their horse's lack of knowledge, talent and ability and I don't care which pond they are swimming in.

Quote:
A kind horse will go forward but w/a short on eggshell stride. A non-tolerant horse is going to blow up and say screw you it hurts. Both will move w/a pronounced head bob which makes keeping it in the bridle next to impossible...WE DON'T LIKE HEAD BOBBING TROTTING HORSES.

The vet I work for takes care of the majority of the national level SS Arabs (so let's not go there) and I can guarantee you there is no intentional soring go on. If it worked, you know the names we are taking care of and you know they would be using it. Instead when a horse gets sore feet because of bad shoeing or bad footing at show they pull shoes and pack them w/icthanamol(sp) and the horse stands in its stall between classes not getting its shoes put back on until moment before it's next class. And furthermore, most these people are big enough to say "whatever is best for the horse" there is NO whining "I spent all this money".

If you were aware of the amount of work, energy & money spent keeping these horses sound and comfortable at this level, not to mention the number of not the horse show's vets at these shows to take care of these animals, you would laugh everytime you see these accusations.

If anyone doubts me go try it out on your own horse, have your farrier cut its feet too short, give it a negative solar plane, quick it w/a nail, put too much silicone packing between it's foot and the pad. Tell me how it works out for you. I'll look forward to hearing how much more motion it has.
Quote:
Well maybe there should be some sort of ASHA "police"... Some branch of the ASHA that investigates cruelty in our horses... Maybe they could take complaints involving barns or whatever and they can just pop in and investigate any complaints... I know that sounds like we are getting into you can't come in my barn without my permission but perhaps the ASHA could add this policy into its membership saying something like if you choose to be a member or show in ASHA sanctioned shows you give permission to be investigated if complaints ever arise.....

I guess its kinda radical maybe and from the sound of most people on here I know that this is not going to be a popular idea but to me it seems like an option... that way we keep inspections to a minimum and still protect the horses from the occasional idiot who tries to hurt a horse in order for it to get a little more action for a short time at the cost of the horses soundness (I know there are some who say it never happens but I'm willing to bet it occasionally happens in every breed discipline whatever because there are some pretty evil people in the world)
Now, why would an ASB person (and many others on this discussion) say they think there should be a rule that our barns should be inspected, if there is something going on? That would make no sense if we were soring our horses.
     

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