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Discussion Starter #1
Ive not been into gaited horses very long, maybe a little more than a year. But I have noticed that almost every non walking horse owner has the same stereotyped idea that we all hurt our horses. That TWh are are made crazy by the training methods we use, and they are permanantly injured or ruined.Just three days ago I met a woman who I will deem friend even though she expressed that walking horses were made to walk the way they do by abuse. I corrected her by the statement that pitbulls recieve a similar bad rap in the media and that not all walkers are abused or made to walk that way.Just as not all pit bulls are viciouse man eaters.She owns a pit bull personally and so connected with me in the fact that the majority of these breeds are wonderful animals.Yes some trainers do wrong just like some pit owners do wrong as well.But can we blame all TWH owners and all pit owners for what the minority does?
I could argue about the abuse I see and read about in every other breed of horse known to man but I feel it would be whipping a dead horse so to speak.We all know that raceing is one huge money market, but do people realize that it also produces more unsound and abused animals than any other breed?Nearly every horse you see on the race track is kept stalled near constantly, especially the stallions. They are forced to start raceing before the bones have finished growing and they have developed completly as adults, and once their career is through they are put down.By career I mean a few short years.To rehabilitate them is dangerouse in most cases and very difficult. Did I mention that only a very small percentage actually make enough money to be kept alive and cared for?Did I mention that these race horses are put through drug enhancements, injections and I have even read of a hair brushes being shoved up there nose before the vet check to lower their resperatory rates. But for some reason the public ignores this.They prefer instead to focus on gaited breeds as the bad guys.
TWH's were going to be one of many breeds represented at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington Kentucky, but they have been banned.
It had been planned since 2008 and TWH had made a sponsorship pledge of 100,000 dollars. After some negative publications in Lexington newspapers the Tennessee Walking Horse was banned. My question is why? The TWH assosiation has went out of there way to abolish the misconception that all TWH owners breeders and trainers use these practices. To bring the true side of the TWH into the public eye would have helped the breed very much and regained the publics trust of these wonderful horses.
I feel that the media tells a one sided story of how things really are,considering that there are thousands of registered walking horses and only a hand full of cases of abuse. When TWHBEA finds that there is a justified accusation of abuse the member is banned from the registration and training of TWH's, the web site and Voice magazine has a web address and articles about their own initiated TWH rescue program. Which I might add has already came into service seizing a herd of abused 80 horses from a farm in TN. TWHBEA is very active in reversing the bad publicity that has been generated by the media. If all TWH owners were bad horse people then why do we all care so much about the bad face that has been put onto our beloved breed?
I dont know about you but I have been excited about the 2010 world equestrian games since I first heard they were planning it, I was planning on volunteering at the games, along with several of my friends. But now that I see the way they are unwilling to let us TWH owners represent our breed in their true form I plan to not attend the games at all and have like wise asked all my horse loving friends to reconsider their plans for the games.
How can the horse capitol of the world (LEX, KY) turn such a cold shoulder to such a wonderful breed? and likewise not extend a friendly hand to such wonderful horse owners?
Thankyou for reading my rant about this and I encourage you to contact Jamie Link (the chief executive officer) and let them know that we support our horses and the breed, and we support our fellow TW horse owners .

World Games 2010 Foundation, Inc.
2010 World Games Way
Lexington, KY 40511-2010
Phone: 859.255.2010
Toll Free Number: 888.WEG.2010
Fax: 859.254.0179
[email protected] <[email protected]>
 

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eh. I knew ONE trainer that put weights on his horses front feet, to make the exaggrate the gaits. I know MANY that dont, But most are enduance riders of course. The TWH isn't my breed so I can't speak much.. But thats BS they banned them.
 

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I just recently got my first gaited horse, who happens to be a Foxtrotter, but the Foxtrotter lady I ride with also has a Walker, and from what I can tell and what she says, the breeds are very closely related. And they are both naturally gaited and make wonderful trail horses.

I think the Walking Horse people need a new image, and since Tennessee Walkers make ideal trail horses, I would like to see them being bred and promoted that way. The Cadillac of trail horses, or something like that. :)

It's a shame they have the reputation they do, because the horses themselves are wonderful, just not all the trainers are. Like most show folks, they take the horse's natural talents to the extreme and make them a caricature of what they should be. Unfortunately, the TWH more than most.

But the horses are great, so it's a shame they are not promoted more as using horses.

It seems weird that they were banned from the equestrian games, considering how I always thought of Kentucky as gaited horse country (along with the TB's).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the replies and your thoughts. I just emailed Mr. Link and raised my concern. Dont know if it will do any good but maybe if enough people raise a concern they will rethink the venue. I plan on calling tomarrow and every day until I get my point across.
 

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Just a case of the few good owners/trainers/riders suffering for the bad ones.

What events was the TWHBEA planning for the Games?

Honestly I don't blame them for banning, sorry but that is how I feel. The blatant abuse was the norm in the big showing circuits until the public made a stink about it and now all of a sudden the association are a bunch of saints and deserve to get off scott free? No, I feel bad for honest people like you, but the majority deserve to not be allowed for a while. The association deserves to be banned for a while for just now stepping up instead of not promoting the abuse in the first place...

And yes I realize that there is abuse in every equine sport, but none as malicious, coldhearted, and ego driven IMO as in big time TWH showing.

Hopefully when the image is cleaned up a little more you guys will be allowed back in.:)

And I am really sorry that you have to be punished for the badness of others...
 

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so the breed itself is banned what about the other gaited horses?
I don't understand why they would ban the breed at all. There's good and bad trainers in all disciplines but I'm concerned why they would ban just TWHs.

I agree with TheKat TWHs are not my breed by any means but I do love them and have owned one and she was amazing. Gaited horses don't get credit for a lot of things in the horse world and I prefer a non-gaited horse but why just TWHs aren't other gaited horses trained the same way TWHs are?
 

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Where are you getting this information? It is not true that the TWH, as a breed, has been "banned" from the WEG in 2010. They will be there.

However, it is not the TWHBEA that will be promoting the breed at the Games.

The National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) will have a booth and put on live demonstrations of the breed throughout the Games in order to show and promote the breed in its natural gait, minus the stacks and flailing legs.

Have a look:

National Walking Horse Association World Equestrian Games
 

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While some good trainers don't sore, some do - unfortunately one cannot deny that it does happen. I'm probably going to throw kindling into the flame, but I don't see this as altogether a bad thing.
A lot of industries need reform, but they need a reason to reform; apparently animal welfare just isn't enough. While I'm saddened that it came to this, at the same time I'm glad, perhaps this might just be the push the entire TWH industry needs to do something about the underground soring. It happens, and people get away with it - that needs to stop.
Perhaps something good will come from this ban, and no TWH will ever be sored again. High hopes, I know, but I'm a dreamer :)
 

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Where are you getting this information? It is not true that the TWH, as a breed, has been "banned" from the WEG in 2010. They will be there.

However, it is not the TWHBEA that will be promoting the breed at the Games.

The National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) will have a booth and put on live demonstrations of the breed throughout the Games in order to show and promote the breed in its natural gait, minus the stacks and flailing legs.

Have a look:

National Walking Horse Association World Equestrian Games
Ah, didn't read this till after my post. Well, guess it's a moot point then!
 

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tbh, that doesnt suprise me, i think that too many TWH owners sore the legs and feet so they have just eradicated it :(, sad for the honest and legit ones i spose.
 

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The same things go on with the Saddlebreds as well, why only bring attention to one breed that is commonly sored when there are others as well?
 

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The same things go on with the Saddlebreds as well, why only bring attention to one breed that is commonly sored when there are others as well?
I'm just going to come out and say it. . .this ^^ finger-pointing mentality drives me nuts.

Saying "the Saddlebred people do this" and "the Quarter Horse people do that" may temporarily put the focus on problems going on in other breeds, but it is doing nothing to change what is going on in the TWH breed.

The people who come to Lexington this year for the WEG will still be able to see Tennessee Walking Horses demonstrate their versatility and smoothness. It's just that the demos will be held and organized by the National Walking Horse Association, instead.
 

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Off topic I know (sort of) but will they be televising the equestrian games?
 

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I could argue about the abuse I see and read about in every other breed of horse known to man but I feel it would be whipping a dead horse so to speak.We all know that raceing is one huge money market, but do people realize that it also produces more unsound and abused animals than any other breed?Nearly every horse you see on the race track is kept stalled near constantly, especially the stallions. They are forced to start raceing before the bones have finished growing and they have developed completly as adults, and once their career is through they are put down.By career I mean a few short years.To rehabilitate them is dangerouse in most cases and very difficult. Did I mention that only a very small percentage actually make enough money to be kept alive and cared for?Did I mention that these race horses are put through drug enhancements, injections and I have even read of a hair brushes being shoved up there nose before the vet check to lower their resperatory rates. But for some reason the public ignores this.They prefer instead to focus on gaited breeds as the bad guys.
I can understand your passion for TWHs but you need to get quite a few of your facts right. Some have already been discussed but I take great exception concerning your concussions about the racing industry - especially those remarks in bold print. It reads more like a Humane Society ad rather then fact.
 

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I'm just going to come out and say it. . .this ^^ finger-pointing mentality drives me nuts.

Saying "the Saddlebred people do this" and "the Quarter Horse people do that" may temporarily put the focus on problems going on in other breeds, but it is doing nothing to change what is going on in the TWH breed.

The people who come to Lexington this year for the WEG will still be able to see Tennessee Walking Horses demonstrate their versatility and smoothness. It's just that the demos will be held and organized by the National Walking Horse Association, instead.


Someone stated that the National Walking Horse Association will be showing the horses in their natrual gait, without the big shoes, is this true also?
 

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The same things go on with the Saddlebreds as well, why only bring attention to one breed that is commonly sored when there are others as well?
Wrong. Please get your facts straight before accusing people. While breeds like Arabians, Saddlebreds, and Morgans for example are routinely shown in stacked shoes to enhance their gait, virtually no actual soring has been accounted for. These animals possess a natural animation and high stepping gait, and the padded shoes are more then enough to enhance it.

The atrocities of soring are attributed almost entirely to BIG LICK TWH. You won't see it in the plantation/flat-shod classes because they desire a natural gait. The monstrosity of a gait you see produced in big lick classes is 110% man-made. These animals have zero joint action that you see in the actual Saddleseat breeds, so viciously extreme measures must be taken to produce the hideous gait that is completely unnatural to the breed.

I don't care how you hash it, until the TWH association abolishes the big lick classes, I'm beyond proud to see them out of the **** spotlight. It is sickening that it is still allowed to occur in this day and age, with a bunch of self righteous ******** somehow justifying what they do because "we own the animal, we can do what we like!"
 

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Someone stated that the National Walking Horse Association will be showing the horses in their natrual gait, without the big shoes, is this true also?
That is true. The NWHA does not allow those stacks/pads, and there are no Big Lick/performance classes offered at their shows. They are all about the naturally-gaited Walking Horse.

I think part of the reason TWHBEA lost out on the chance to represent the breed at the WEG is their apparent reluctance to really crack down on the soring. They continue to actively promote the performance classes in glossy pamphlets and videos. Who knows, maybe they really are trying to make a change for the better, but from the "outside" it doesn't seem like they're all that interested.

The TWH is kind of a world of its own, and many of the people who have grown up around Big Lick horses see it as perfectly "normal" for a horse to move like that. They talk about the stacks and chains as "just something you have to do," and it's not a big deal to them.

What they don't seem to realize is that other horse people, outside that segment of the TWH breed, are looking at those padded TWHs and just shaking their heads in disbelief. Or maybe disgust.

It makes me sad that the silhouette of the Big Lick horse is what generally comes to most people's minds when they think of TWHs. I think the organizers at WEG made a wise decision in choosing the NWHA to represent the breed at the upcoming games, because it will be a chance to show the world how true, natural Walking horses are supposed to move.
 

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That is true. The NWHA does not allow those stacks/pads, and there are no Big Lick/performance classes offered at their shows. They are all about the naturally-gaited Walking Horse.

I think part of the reason TWHBEA lost out on the chance to represent the breed at the WEG is their apparent reluctance to really crack down on the soring. They continue to actively promote the performance classes in glossy pamphlets and videos. Who knows, maybe they really are trying to make a change for the better, but from the "outside" it doesn't seem like they're all that interested.
Well good, then I'm glad the NWHA is getting the chance to promote the breed and hopfully kill some of the negative assumptions about such a nice breed.

I agree it doesnt seem like the TWHBEA is doing as much as they should. That, and I get the understanding that a lot of the top TWHBEA horses continue to test positive for drugs that are illegal in their competitions.... but that could just me miss-information becuase I don't remember who/where I heard that from :-|.
 

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I agree with FlyinSoLow and JollyBadger completely.

I am so glad the WEG chose to have the NWHA represent the Walking horses, they deserve to be shown in their true natural beauty and grace. Maybe I can watch the Walkers this year without getting sick to my stomach and shaking my head in disgust. I am looking forward to seeing them now!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thankyou to everyone who posted replies to my posting. I do agree with some points raised and disagree with some as well. Thankyou for the link on NWHA. I was not aware that they were allowed to continue their contribution. One point that i dont like about the TWHBEA being cut out is the fact that they were originally to have a big part in the 2010 equestrian games. They were to have examples of each discipline and a booth with videos and information as well. But after the negative news and the fact that they dropped their pledge of 100,000 dollar sponsorship down to the 25,ooo dollar level they were told they could not attend once again. it seems to me that the decision to exclude TWHBEA was due to the amount of contribution... not entirely the bad rep the breed has obtained lately.
I see that the NWHA will be attending.... but they do not represent the TWH breed alone. they represent every walking breed, including rocky mountains and kentucky mountains. i enjoy them as well of course but i would like a little spotlight on my preffered breed.
For some reason every one is under the impression that a big lick walking horse must have pads and be sored to hit the big lick while this is not true. Most of the big lick walkers are also racking horses.... which is a gate that the saddle bred performs as well isnt it?doesnt saddle breds also wear the big pads and chains?
Training methods for saddle breds are nearly identical to that of walking horses.their tailes are cut and set, they wear the big padds and yes they are chained on the ankles and yes they are sored by unscrupulouse trainers and owners. My point is that they are not all sored. some are naturally big lick hitters. which brings me to the point that it is why i think TWHBEA should not be cut off from the games since many of the other breeds there undergo the same misuse and bad treatment. ( in every discipline.) I am glad that so many people are concerned about the TWH... but what about the bad things happening in all breeds? why are other breeds over looked so often? If my consideration to the TB horse hurt anyones feeling i am sorry. But i feel that it is another industry that needs to be spotlighted in abuse. the things I wrote about tbs are true. not speculation. I have worked on the farms and i saw it with my own two eyes. I feel sorry for any and every horse misused. but i think to ban them from public eye under the disguise of bad publicity is not the answer. the only way to stop this is to bring it to attention with education. its real hard to do that if the TWHBEA is banned from the games.
Yes i think the games will be televised to some extent, especially im sure on RFDTV. But probably not as much as i would like.
I would just like to see the breed im so proud of displayed to its full extent. even the racking classes.
 
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