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luvsmygirls 04-09-2009 10:37 PM

question about "Soring"
Ok now i know that this is a sensitive subject and i don't want to be jumped all over for bringing this up but i do have some questions. I used to date a guy who has ridden gaited horses his enitre life and showed them sucessfully (not metioning any names at all so don't ask). however while with him i became aware of the fact that he and a lot of the people that he competed with 'sored" their horses, which from what i understand is applying caustic substances to the leg to create a "better gait". is this correct? if not what is soring and why do people do it? is it still going on or has it stopped. i don't see how anyone whould want to cause their horse discomfort but i will also be the first to admit that i know next to nothing about gaited horses.

smrobs 04-09-2009 10:48 PM

I am not a gaited horse person either but have read some on the subject. Yes it still goes on and there are many ways to sore a horse. Caustic substances combined with heavy chains, trimming the hooves too short, even putting half a golf ball under the enormous pads of the "Big Lick" TWH to cause pain like walking with a rock in their foot. People do it because it is the "easy" way to get big gaits and that is what the judges are looking for. Like with any discipline, so long as the judges are choosing the altered horses to win, the vicious cycle will continue because too many people are in it only for the money and care nothing for the animal.

walkinthewalk 04-10-2009 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by smrobs (Post 285961)
I am not a gaited horse person either but have read some on the subject. Like with any discipline, so long as the judges are choosing the altered horses to win, the vicious cycle will continue because too many people are in it only for the money and care nothing for the animal.

Very nicely and succinctly put from a non-gaited horse person.

Couldn't have been summed any better by anyone else, so I hope this is the end of the subject:-)

g8ted4me 04-10-2009 03:57 PM

I also have to say that you hit the nail right on the head. I makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.

Lori1983 04-10-2009 07:48 PM

I'm actually writing a research paper right now for one of my classes on the issue of soring. I think it's been pretty much covered, but I don't think anybody brought up that, under the Horse Protection Act of 1970 (here's a link to the USDA site: USDA - APHIS - Animal Welfare - Horse Protection) it is completely illegal in any form. It's still hotly debated how often it occurs (once is too often). I have a walker, that's how I became so interested in the topic. :) Anyways, I don't think you're going to have a lot of people speak up and publicly say they endorse it or think it's ok, since it's illegal under federal law. As brought up earlier, it's a really disturbing subject...but since I started doing this paper, I think it's important to educate people about the fact that the budget to enforce the Act every year is only $500,000...which is the same budget that was alotted in 1970. Kind of ridiculous, right? No wonder it still happens...LoL, sorry guys, I'm rambling and preaching. It's just something I feel really strongly about. Stepping off soap box....

luvsmygirls 04-11-2009 01:08 AM

well that is interesting if totally disturbing. things like that make me really sad. it always seems o come back to money doesn't it?

Zab 04-11-2009 05:17 PM

I've read about it..

I so need to sore Crow to get a better gait! >D

Oooor.. I could just keep training him as I do and love him the way he is :) Yeah.. I think that's a far better choice..

Btw, a question popped up in my mind; if a horse is severely sred by those substanses on his hooves, how long does it take for it to heal?
Could he be ridden immediatly again without discomfort - if he had no chains or weird shoes on? Or how long would it take before he could get ridden with tose small harmless chains without having discmfort of any kind by them?

Just asking, as far as I know, soring doesn't occur in sweden at all. Mainly because we don't have any big gaiting competitions or any gaited horses (except icelandic horses, a few gaited standies and some imported gated breeds I suppose, but not many enough for me to have met or heard of any gaited horse except icelandics and my standie, even tho I've met many horses and horsepeople) I don't think they do soring on icelandic horses, but they do use rather heavy weihts and sharp bits sometimes.

luvsmygirls 04-13-2009 01:50 AM

from what i understood the substance had to be applied every day or every other day to preserve the level of sensitivity so i would guess it would only be two or three days but don't quote me on that it is only a guess. i do know that you can spot soring by the characteristic "bleaching" of the hair on the pasterns but i know that many people use the colored aresol sprays to hid the bleaching at shows. still its just so wrong. i dont think a stupid ribbon is worth all the time and effort to sore and then hid the marks left by those actions. worse it seems like nothing more than a stop gap for real training. those horses will never retain the movement that was achieved through discomfort. it just makes no sense to me what so ever.

twogeldings 04-14-2009 12:30 AM

Soring is cruel and the gait it creates is ugly.

My two cents. :|

zyanya 04-17-2009 05:13 PM

I was born and raised in Shelbyville, Tn, which is the home of the TWH National Celebration. I've moved 25 minutes from there, but it's no different. Middle TN is infested with horse abusers. I pass countless barns (more like concentration camps) on the way to town everyday. It makes me sick. I've seen and heard some disturbing things.

Soring will always haunt the Walking horse. They're not the only breed being sored though. Spotted Saddles horses are HUGE here as well...and they're treated just the same.

My mare (siggy) is actually and ex padded horse. She was abused in every way possible and we're still trying to work out the kinks. Her legs are scared, and her tail has been cut. She's been through so much and she'll never see a show ring again.

As far as I'm concerned the big lick crap is just that.....crap. It's a man made gait. Show me a Walker or Spotted Saddle Horse that moves like that on it's own with no shoes, saddle, bridle...nothing and I'll change my tune.

Here's a video to help you understand a little better. It's old, but some of these methods are sadly still used today. Since the government started popping in at shows, these "trainers" have found new ways to sore. There's no end to it. Maybe one day.


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