And what's more, Big Lick has made the TWH breed a freak show to the general public and most importantly, other horse owners. If someone says Tennessee Walking Horse, what comes to mind? Big Lick and soring. It gives the whole breed a bad name. Which is so sad, because I'm convinced the horses are good.Which, to me, is ironic. . .because it's the "Big Lick" which has done so much to encourage breeding of horses that lacked the natural talent to make them competitive against true Walking Horses.
Read this article last night and these are my feelings exactly.If soring/stacking pads, and all the other action devices used to create the Big Lick were to go away. . .they'll be gone. Good riddance to them.
But "the breed" is not going anywhere. In fact, the true breed is still going strong, in spite of all the things that have been done to cripple it.
They're still a very popular trail horse.TWH's used to be popular 50-60 years ago, right? Did they ever wonder why their horse has lost popularity while other horses (like the AQHA) have gained in popularity? It's not because the stock breeds make better riding horses. It's because they are versatile and have good dispositions and maybe, just maybe, because they aren't associated with abuse. No one wants to be associated with abuse. So if you love TWH's you have to love them in spite of the reputation of the breed, not because of it. And it isn't the horse's fault. It's the people that breed and show them in the big lick style.
I think there is a market for naturally gaited TWH's. Certainly there is out west.
Did you read the article? Most of it focused on TWHs, and most readers wouldn't know what was meant by "the coronet band".I fired off an e-mail to the fool that wrote the article, as she did not refer to TWH's but "gaited horses" as well as her "facts" were skewed too...
I agree with you that some of her "facts" were pretty fuzzy - but you also have to realize that the article is likely to be read by a lot of non-horsey people as well. So when it comes to talking about horse anatomy, getting too specific with terminology won't make much difference to the readers because they don't know what the parts are called anyway.This is what I sent to the reporter yesterday morning. Moron.
Sadly, there is no "right" way to do it. The "package," in and of itself, causes long and short term injury.A am all for a ban on soring or stiffer regulations, or whatever. My issue whether you agree with the package or not is that in truth the package itself has nothing to do with soring, and the weighted shoes whether they be a plantation shoe, a set of pads or some of the shoes I have seen on Dressage horses are only a small part of the picture.
I can see putting a weight limit on the shoes or the package a horse is shown in. I can see eliminating the chains, and I can certainly see stiffer punishment for soring, and more vigilant bans on soring and the people cought, but these witch hunts over shoes and scar rules are crazy. I have a weanling who can never be shown because he cought his foot in a gate and has a scar on his pastern. If i had this horse with a pro it could likely ruin someones career.
I do not own or have any desire to own a padded horse, but I do support those who do, as long as it is done right, and dont fool your selves there are some who are doing it without soring.
I'm not entirely convinced. I field trial with a lot of guys from TN and NC who are riding ex padded horses a few that were in stalls on pads until 10ish and are now 20 and don't seem to show any real I'll effects. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying I've seen evidence both ways, but no more than any other discipline.Sadly, there is no "right" way to do it. The "package," in and of itself, causes long and short term injury.
I'm sure the BL advocates are trucking out the tried and true "every breed has it's dark side" defense. That is probably even true. It does not, IMO, excuse or give a "pass" to anybody's dark side. Indeed, it's "sand box reasoning" that's common among five year olds ("Johhny played the fool; why can't I?"). I would hope that adults get past this; if they don't then they are not very adult.I just read a huge conversation on one of the TWH pages on FB about the hyperextension of the BL VS. say Dressage, a racing QH or TB and pacers, and to be honest there isnt much difference, it all depends on when the picture is taken and the angle from which it is taken, depending which side you want to argue. I have seen these "evil" packages, and have handled them and they ranged in weight from 1-2 lbs up to MAYBE 5ish. yes the 5lb package would provide some stress to tendons but these horses are built up to the packages and conditioned to them. so its not just like they are nailed on one day and expected to go.
As far as these horses being stalled all the time and getting no chance to be horses. I believe you would be suprised how many horses are stalled all the time, other than to be worked out or ridden, Id say that there are many here who board their horses that may only get out of the stall to be ridden or worked. That is certainly not unique to performance walking horses.