Its the same thing with Saddlebreds. They want that REALLY high stepping movement, and very high head carriage, so they also pad the horses feet, though not near as much as Walkers, and also do chains, ect., though I've never heard of them soring a saddlebred, but I'm sure that its probably been done. And then all the equipment, and harsh bits they use to keep the horse's head jacked up. I know someone who worked at a Saddlebred and Hackney farm, and when they started training the horses, one of the first things they do, is use a bitting rig. They put a bridle on the horse, and a special surcingle, and essentially the equivalent of an overcheck rein, and tie the horse's head so that the ONLY way they can eat is if they break at the poll, and hold their head "just right", and then they leave them like that for a couple of days in the stall, and feed the horse in the feeder. They already breed for huge front leg movement, and then they try to make it even more dramatic. The horses that don't want to step high at all are still forced to move like that, instead of being "culled" out of the herd, and sold or used for something else. All these enchancements, whether they be drugs, tack, shoes, ect., to over exaggerate movement, or attitude, or muscling ect, kind of defeat the entire purpose of selective breeding. It should be enough to breed for that time of movement, and use what the horse was ALREADY born with, and just breed the more animated horses together, than to accentuate it in any way possible.
This is so ridiculous. I'm so tired of people bringing Saddlebreds into every single thread about soring, and I'm tired of explaining it calmly. Saddlebreds ARE NOT SORED. Saddlebreds are BRED to move the way they do, as are Hackneys, Morgans, Arabians, Friesians, etc. Tennessee Walking Horses were NOT bred to move like that. They were bred to have about as much leg action as a Paso Fino. THEY are abused and forced artificially and inhumanely to move the way the Big Lick Walkers do. They took a horse that moved nothing like a Saddlebred and forced it to move even more dramatically. It's horrible and I don't agree with it one bit, but it is NOT the same way with Saddlebreds.
Please read my post here, and especially look at the pictures I posted of trotting Saddlebred foals: TWH's banned from 2010 equestrian games.WHY? RANT
I hate Big Lick Walkers - obviously because of the abuse that goes on and the absolute destruction of the breed that they once were - but also because of how they've ruined the reputation of other saddle seat breeds. People like YOU, dressagebelle, ruin the reputation of other saddle seat breeds with your ignorance. You either don't take the time to understand our training methods (because they look so different to yours that you just automatically assume they are abusive) or you find ONE abusive barn to base your entire opinion of the breed on.
One example of the complete ignorance of you Saddlebred-bashers is how they go on and on about the harsh bits we use. Well guess what? Saddlebreds are ridden in SNAFFLES at home. They are put in a double bridle one or two rides before the show, they are ridden in it AT the show, and they are immediately put back in a snaffle when they get back home. That's how it's always been done.
Another example of YOUR ignorance is the statement "I've never heard of them soring a saddlebred, but I'm sure that its probably been done."
Uh, what exactly is that opinion based on? It's because Saddlebreds and Walkers move in a similar way, right? And Walkers are sored, so Saddlebreds must be too. Right?
No... Saddlebreds have been moving that way LONG before Walkers were. The TWHBEA INVENTED soring. Saddlebreds CANNOT be sored because ALL Saddlebred disciplines require them to trot. NO TWH disciplines ask for the trot. At the trot, it would be blantantly obvious that they were sored.
Yes, some Saddlebred barns abuse their horses. But the majority of them don't. That's how it is in EVERY single breed. With Big Lick Walkers, the opposite is true. The majority of them are abused and the minority is not (although I still think forcing a horse to move that unnaturally is abusive - even if they haven't been sored).
I'm really failing to see why it's so hard for some people to comprehend that Saddlebreds ACTUALLY move like that naturally. Once they get to the show ring they have been somewhat enhaced, but that's how it is for every breed and every discipline. You can't train show horses without changing them somewhat. You can't grab a WP-bred colt out of a pasture,w/j/l him just enough to keep him in shape, and expect him to win. It doesn't work like that. ALL show horses have to be trained and conditioned. Saddlebreds are changed just as much as any other show horse, and Big Lick Walkers are changed MUCH, MUCH, more.