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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.