Think what you will about the cosmetic alteration of the tail. I will not say you are wrong for being against it. Cruel? Not when done properly. Again, same with ear cropping and tail docking of dogs. It is completely cosmetic and if done and not taken care of, it can be devastatingly cruel. I am taking care of five youngsters in sets being prepared for the surgery. It is tedious and obnoxious and I wish unaltered tails were popular enough to matter in the ring. It is legal, but image counts for quite a bit.
As for weights and shoeing.... please refer to previous posts. If I can add a bit of weight to one side to change the direction the foot travels to keep my horse from hitting his opposite knee I'd be happy too. It is generally accepted that less is more when it comes to shoeing, believe it or not.
Shoeing is an art. The good farriers are coveted, the bad ones(Hey I know some of each too!) eventually shape up or move from barn to barn as the gain and lose business.
Sometimes the quality of the foot is not the fault of the farrier. Nutrition plays a vital role in the stability and soundness of the hoof wall. If you are losing the foot with the shoe, you need to carefully examine every aspect of the horses life. From food to farrier.
As for the Association taking care of the abusers... it is not the responsibility to babysit and make sure every horse in its registry is turned out and cuddled and spoken softly to. They have much more important things to worry about. When a problem is brought publicly to their attention, heavy fines, regulation of that individual, and potential banning from rated shows are possibilities. All of which has happened within the last few years.
Without an army of inspectors asking to regulate every action within a private barn is ridiculous, especially if doing so was through the parent brreed Association. What a great way to gt memberships pulled which are the life of the organization. And then where would they be, this army of inspectors with no barns to go to.
If they aren't caught on the show grounds, then what? Allow the judges to make a moral call on placing or not placing a horse because of a rider? That is called politics and often leads to several very bad things for everyone involved, except the abuser. What happens to him is he doesn't get a shiny blue prize.
Blatant politicing will potentially hurt a shows future attendance and also the reputation of the judge, who very likely is one of the top active trainers in the industry. Gossip and hearsay does a lot of harm in this small industry where everyone knows each other or has heard of everyone else.
The best way to stop the abusers who beat their horses, don't promote the mental well being for the horse as well as the physical, who are rough and cruel in nature and in practice is on a trainer client level. If you have horses in training, it is your responsibility to know how your horse is being worked with. If it is not to your standards, find another trainer who does. If the owners keep putting money in their pockets and good high quality horses in their hands, then the trainer has no real reason to adapt and change. Many times a cruel in nature trainer wins because he has the better horse.
Being involved in the industry, by owning, showing, breeding, training, promoting and so on is the only way you will see or hear about the punishments that befall the bad. Oh boy, gossip can be fun sometimes.
Being actively involved in the breed on any level and participating is the best way to help an issue too. The Convention is coming up. Would any of you like to come in and express your concerns to the Association, BOD, registry, dignitaries, trainers, owners and general members? I can get you the date and location and agenda.