Is "soring" used on Saddlebreds? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Is "soring" used on Saddlebreds?

Please pardon my ignorance on this subject , but I've read that Tennessee Walking Horses are sometimes "sored" .

Is this practice used sometimes with Saddlebreds too?

The Kentucky State Fair is having it's large Saddlebred show this evening, and I'm wondering now how the riders get their horses to gait the way that Saddlebreds do.

I thought that Saddlebreds were born with the tendency for these "extra" gaits, and that the rider just helps the horse develop them through training and advanced equitation skills.

Saddlebreds are a much loved breed here in Kentucky, and it's difficult to believe that these horses would be treated unkindly. Statues devoted to the beauty of the breed abound!

I've noticed that the front hooves of some show Saddlebreds seem longer than usual, and that the horses are sometimes placed into some kind of "harness" (for lack of a better word) when they are in their stalls. I'm not sure of the purpose of this harness, other than their tails seem to be lifted up and placed into what appears to be a bag of some sort.

To me, the extra "show gaits" of the Saddlebred seem more natural somehow that do the gaits of the TWH. But as I say, I know VERY little about this subject (kind of obvious, huh? )

Just curious so I thought I'd ask you experts out there.

Here is the ad for the horse show:

"World's Championship Horse Show
August 23-29, 2009

This prestigious event attracts over 2,000 horses and people from all over the country and the world, awarding more than $1 million in premiums. World champion saddlebreds are crowned in different divisions during this show, which is held annually in conjunction with the Kentucky State Fair. Competition categories include saddlebreds, roadsters, road ponies, hackney ponies, and saddle seat equitation."
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post #2 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 01:34 PM
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Unless one of these show horses has naturally perfect gait "high stepping" then measures need to be taken to enhance the step. One of the most successful methods is to change the angle of the feet either higher or lower in the heels so sometimes the limits of what a horse can endure regarding angles is stretched. Lowering the heel for example causes the foot to "Pop" off the ground at break over which raises the foot higher into the air, and the weights of lead on the foot will travel more due to extra weight momentum.

Whether these types of shoeing are damaging to the horse or not is obviously a controversial subject - some people scream at the sight of these horses being shod this way. Animal rights activists i'm sure start to go through the roof in alarm. anyway.


Mainly they just use heavy weights and hoof shifts. And of course the long shanks and such (yes, TWHs aren't the only ones).

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post #3 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 01:39 PM
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And the harness you are seeing is used for tail setting.
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post #4 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 01:41 PM
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^ Yep. Ginger is used as well to sting and make the tail get carried higher. And perhaps nicked and cut as well.

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post #5 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sunny06 View Post
^ Yep. Ginger is used as well to sting and make the tail get carried higher. And perhaps nicked and cut as well.
Ginger? You mean that the ginger is placed...er...um...on a "delicate" area of the horse's behind?
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post #6 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 02:30 PM
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I hate to see methods like this used. My grandparents used to raise saddle breds, and kept one after they sold all the others. This mare never wore shoes or anything but a halter twice a year for worming, and she picked her feet WAY up with a high neck and tail set. She had a gorgeous natural trot!
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post #7 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CANKLES View Post
Ginger? You mean that the ginger is placed...er...um...on a "delicate" area of the horse's behind?
You got it ;)

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #8 of 49 Old 08-29-2009, 10:55 PM
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I think I heard someone say that saddlebreds can't be sored because they are shown at the trot. If they were sored they would appear lame at the trot. (Which tells you how much soring hurts.)
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post #9 of 49 Old 09-01-2009, 11:48 AM
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Saddlebreds do rack naturally, but the high stepping is separate from the rack. The horses are naturally high stepping, but several methods are used to make the horses step higher, unfortunately including soring.

My mom rode saddlebreds and knew of several trainers whom it was generally known that they sored their horses or put glass in their shoes. This was in the 60s/70s. It was and is, of course, illegal. At the shows, if someone is suspected, the judges can require them to drop their shoes before or after a class. At some of the big shows, I think they do random checks.

Last edited by PoohLP; 09-01-2009 at 11:50 AM.
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post #10 of 49 Old 09-01-2009, 06:20 PM
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Goes to show that TWHs aren't the only ones.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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