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Thank you for posting this!

Once again, the people who defend the practice of soring use the "scare tactic" that restrictions on performance classes, or the methods used to create the "Big Lick" will eventually result in "the end of the breed."

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.

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.

The TWHBEA still sticks its fingers in its ears and goes "lalalalala" when it comes to acknowledging the thousands of naturally gaited trail and pleasure horses it currently registers.

It's like our horses don't even exist to them - but they'll still happily take the money for registration and membership dues.
 

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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.
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.

It's kind of like pit bulls. I know there are probably some very nice pit bulls in the world, but when you hear "pit bull" what do you think of? Dog fights? Gangs? Attacking people and killing other animals? That is similar to what people think of when they hear Tennessee Walking Horse. Abuse, big lick, soring! Even other horse owners are turned off by the bad reputation of the TWH industry. Which is such a shame, because I believe the horses are good. I don't know why they don't promote themselves as the Cadillac of trail horses. And breed accordingly. Out west, gaited trail horses still bring good money. I know people who have paid $10,000 for trail horses (Fox Trotters) just for trail riding.

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.
 

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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.
Read this article last night and these are my feelings exactly.

So people won't be able to ruin the breed anymore. So people will lost their big prize money and have to go back to breeding a horse true to it's breed.

Sure do hate that for 'em.
 

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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.

Hooves are not chemically treated. Chains are put on for action, and the rubbing of the tender flesh...but bands have nothing to do with the leg, nor do they touch flesh.

Other breeds may have bands on, or use clips on shoes to keep them on better.

And there are many gaited breeds that do not sore, and never have. Saddlebreds, Foxtrotters, RMH, Fiords, Standardbreds, McCurdy horses...and for this idiot to lump them ALL in the same article just made my blood boil.

I for one am sick and tired of "gaited horses" all getting tarred with the same brush.

As for the fool in office? Imagine she has someone that shows them, or is getting money to oppose the act. She's about another fool.
 

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Do you actually do any research on the articles you write, or do you just take a stab at what you think you know about it and then go to typing?



For instance...WASHINGTON -- The cruel practice of "soring" championship gaited horses by wrapping their hooves in corrosive chemicals and then applying chains or bands to the wounds in order to create an artificially high-stepping gait came under heightened scrutiny this week in Congress....

There are MANY breeds of “gaited horses” and only ONE breed and the idiots who show “big lick” Tennessee Walking Horses are the ones guilty of this. To lump all gaited horses into this one terribly misleading sentence is an outright lie. Yet you throw this out there without knowing what you are writing about at any level.

And furthermore, the hooves are similar to our fingernails and any chemicals applied to TWH’s are NOT put on the hooves but on the legs between the coronet band and the rest of the legs. And bands and chains are NOT applied to the wounds....there are usually no open wounds to begin with, just extremely tender flesh.

And the chains these morons use, are heavy and used to make horse lift legs even higher, like weight training bands for humans. The bands you so blithely throw out into cyberspace are used to keep the stacks or horseshoes on. They are not on there to “sore” the horse, but on there for an entirely different reason.

And trust me...many a horse is being sored that is as far from a “champion” as you are from a fact checking reporter.

Shame on you for NOT doing any background into what you write. If you had done one teensy little bit of research you would have found out that soring is a Tennessee Walking Horse problem, peculiar to their industry, and does NOT constitute what goes on in the “gaited world” at all.

This is what I sent to the reporter yesterday morning. Moron.
 

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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.
They're still a very popular trail horse.

They're swift, they're smooth. Unlike the show walkers, that have to stop and "blow out" after just a couple of laps around the ring in that awful crawling flailing thing they call a "gait," true Walking Horses can move down the trail all day.

It does sadden me that the first thing most "horse people" think of when it comes to Walking Horses is often the image of the Big Lick, and the abuse that goes with it. The TWHBEA has done a great job of marketing the Big Lick horse so much that most people just assume that's how they all move.

And now they've backed themselves into a corner, because many flat-shod naturally-gaited TWH owners won't join or pay to register with the TWHBEA anymore. I mean, why support an organization that has basically turned its back on all the qualities that made the breed so popular to begin with?

So the TWHBEA is stuck with a bunch of crippled-looking show horses and knob-headed trainers who are too set in their ways to even want to try to change, and a judging system that has totally lost sight of the concept of natural movement.
 
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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...
Did you read the article? Most of it focused on TWHs, and most readers wouldn't know what was meant by "the coronet band".
 

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This is what I sent to the reporter yesterday morning. Moron.
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.:)

As far as the "gaited" word - again, most of the American public doesn't know what makes a breed "gaited" or "not gaited." When non-horsey people find out I have a horse, one of the first things they ask is "oh, is it a race horse?" Because that's about the extent of their horse knowlege.

(then they go on to talk about what expert riders they are because they went on a two hour trail ride during a vacation one year and "galloped"):lol:

Someone who reads the article and wants to learn more could certainly find better, more detailed information about what is involved in soring. The article in question is more about the fact that a Congresswoman actually opposes a ban on the practice. It still leaves me shaking my head, wondering why a public elected figure would go out of their way to basically say that they think trainers ought to be allowed to continue what they are doing.

I wonder how many performance Walking Horses she or her family owns?
 

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I'm just happy it's still getting national attention. I'm actually hopeful an end to the sore lick is near.
 

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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.

Jim
 

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When there is so much being done to encourage people to have their horses barefoot as much as possible and wherever possible because its healthier for the horses feet how can having these elongated hooves, pads and built up weighted shoes not be causing long term problems?
It all done for 'fashion' - to create an artificial high knee action that serves no actual purpose at all other than to look 'flashy'
And that goes for all the breeds that do it
 

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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.

Jim
Sadly, there is no "right" way to do it. The "package," in and of itself, causes long and short term injury.

G.
 

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Sadly, there is no "right" way to do it. The "package," in and of itself, causes long and short term injury.

G.
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.

Jim
 

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Marsha Blackburn is really a pretty smart woman IMO. When I see her, I'll ask her about it.

While we all want the abuse stopped, over regulation isn't the answer.
 
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I remain convinced that the Big Lick process, which commonly starts by putting yearlings in "colt packages," is damaging to the horse in and of itself.

Here's a photo of a Big Lick horse.

http://fbcdn-photos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1001279_637256842983514_1251709635_o.jpg

I'd be interested in hearing just how this movement can be "benign."

The physics and equine biomechanics of "nailing" the foot to the ground while the horse is moving (which is what the "package" does) confirms for me that the process is never benign. This does not mean that some former BL horses can have "after lives." For those that do, I'd be interested in seeing how much Bute (or other pain killers) are routinely administered to keep the horses sound. Of whether the owners just ride them sore.

When your interests are being adversely affected it's very easy to cry "over-regulation." I'm sure the TN Congressional delegation is getting a real "ear full" from people who will lose a lot of money if the BL process is outlawed. This loss is quite real. Is the loss acceptable in a broader context? IMO, yes. But, then, I don't own any BL horses. If I did my answer might change.

G.
 

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Its my understanding (I could be wrong) that once any horse has these padded and raised shoes on elongated hooves they stay on for the whole of that show season which means they can't enjoy any free time in the field as a normal horse - which also can't be any good for the circulation needed to promote healthy feet
 

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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.

Jim
 

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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.

Jim
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.

It's not the weight of the package that is the issue. It's the MOVEMENT that the package causes. The photo dramatically shows one aspect of that movement. As for the "it happens in other breeds" defense how about we ask the advocates of such defense for photos of this sort thing in other breeds? Mind you, if we get them it doesn't really make any difference. Idiocy among, say, dressage riders, is not a license for idiocy among TWH riders.

Frankly, turn out is not required for healthy horse. A healthy horse will likely be a "happy horse" (which, of course, presumes a fact not in evidence, i.e., that horses can ever be "happy"). A complaint about "lack of turnout" is a "red herring."

G.
 
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