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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
"It is going to be much harder for you to gain support by playing the pointing the finger and passing the buck game."...Im sorry you seem to think that i am passing the buck by mentioning other breeds of horses. What I am truly trying to point out is the misuse and abuse of other breeds. It may have come across as put downs to other breeds, but what I mean is that it should be stopped all together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
"It is going to be much harder for you to gain support by playing the pointing the finger and passing the buck game."...Im sorry you seem to think that i am passing the buck by mentioning other breeds of horses. What I am truly trying to point out is the misuse and abuse of other breeds. It may have come across as put downs to other breeds, but what I mean is that it should be stopped all together.
To lady dreamer. yes you can sore any breed of horse, and yes it does happen in attempts to produce more action. The way I saw it done in saddlebreds was to nail the shoe on in such a way as to "pinch" the hoof. causing pressure.which caused the horse to step higher and exaggerate its reach trying to excape the pain. Im not trying to pin point every single breed... but i am trying to illustrate that bad things are happening in every single breed. I love and enjoy all breeds of horses and think that every single horse, from the poorest looking horse to the highest priced TB should be used as naturally as possible without introducing pain or surgery (tail cutting, and setting) in any form for any reason.
It just happens that I think that more education to the public is the way to go. If people can observe the walker in all show forms they can make the judgement for themselves. Again I will state that not all high stepping big lick walkers are hurt to become that way. My old X brood mare will do it naturally on ruff ground or high grass.Shes never had chains or pads to my knowledge.
Macabre, every breed association knows that people are cheating every day to win, and harming their horses in the process.
You may never see a saddle bred being shown in chains.... but what about when they are in training at the barn? and yes i have seen them use weighted shoes and pads on them to get the lift up that they want. and i have seen them use chains many times. only not in the public eye. walking horse pads are also titled "show regulated pads" just like the saddle bred pads -that doesnt make it right. Im not saying i dont like sb's. fact is i think they are beautiful. i just enjoy the smooth gate and gentleness of the walker more. by the way... the third photo you posted of the lady riding side saddle where you stated " lets take a minute to appreciate what a walking horse is supposed to look like" is not a good example as this horse is PACEING. not walking. bad example.
The main point of owning a walking horse is the smooth ride and showy looks. this horse has nice looks, but i wouldnt want to ride a side winder.
I believe that people who decide to show in padded classes are going to do it wether we like it or not, but by getting more education on it they may be less likely to turn to soreing and other gimmicks as a short cut to a blue ribbon. If they see that a well trained healthy horse standing in pads can win the blues as well as one that has been "doctored" they will usually go the right way about showing their horse. but if all they see are the trainers that are available around their locality, they may not realize that there is a better option for their horses.that option would be available by showing the public those trainers and riding instructors who are ligitimate and knowledgeable and the horses that are the product in the correct way of breeding, raising and training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
to address the chains and pads issue....that has spun off from my original post. where do you draw the line? i have seen many more horses with halter rubs and sores than from chains. i have seen saddle sores that make a horse unusable for several months and sometimes years. girth gall has happened to just about every one at one point in their equestrian life. what makes people think that a 4 or 6 ounce chain would possibly be worse than a 30 to 40 POUND saddle? the chains do not hurt, they do not "panic " the horse or "bite" no more than every single one of your bridles. the pads are not permanant. have you ever noticed the band across the hoof that holds the pad onto the hoof? the pads are called quick pads because they can be put on and REMOVED quickly. they are added in increments of ounces at a time. They are no differant than ankle weights that people wear to build muscle. or the high heel shoes that woman wear. If you really want to say that chains are horrible why not start riding bare back and bridleless. tack is in no way natural for a horse and in many cases are used in the wrong way. people in every discipline ask their horses to do things they would never do in nature. from jumping fences to dressage. the TWH high collection on pads, if done right, is beautiful. just as the SBs high stepping grace.the morgans action, the thouroughbreds speed.the western pleasure nose to the ground slow lope. they are all accomplished through human manipulation and use of tools to accomplish a certain frame or manuever. I think that the efforts of TWBEA is just and that they are trying to clean up the bad eggs in the breed, but if the bad eggs arent brought to attention and rooted out they will continue on with the way they are now. the more people who are familiar with the breed the more people that will be concerned with its welfare. thus the more the public will take action in stopping soreing, and misuse. which will result in better horses, better trainers and better riders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Honey suga...I will agree to disagree.
To say that 4 to 6 ounces hurt more than 30 pounds is hypocrytical. neither actually hurt the horse if used properly. If used inproperly they can harm a horse indeffinitly. as can any other piece of equipment you care to name.
Nailing myself in a coffin? No not in my view point. I write what I have learned and my opinion from that view point. Sorry I dont conform to your ideals.
The high grass and ruff terrain only effects my walker that way, i have several other horses and none of them give two hoots or a holler about it. they trot the same in any condition. the higher a walker steps the more steady they are over ruff ground, its not something i train her to do its what she does naturally, not trying to excape but to carry herself with the best balance she has. As to why your mare picks up quickly I have no idea?
the chains do not stress them out because they are desensitized to them, just like a bridle or other equipment.why would you think a horse feels any differant about a halter on its head? by the time they are used in the show ring they are ornament only, like the braids on the main and forlock. Training is what makes the horses carry themselves the way they do. Have you ever seen a horse jump, collect, extend trot or prance with a rider on their back without being asked or made too? heck no. it is not natural for them to do it with someone (predator like) astride their back. training and desensitiseing is what changes them. Its not the horses choice to do those things for you. why do you think its so hard to "start" a young colt? if they were born to do it they would not reject it so much.
not to mention that some disciplines take years to perfect since the horse has to build muscle and balance for it.
first you have to invest hours of time to get trust from the horse and the relationship goes from there. that trust is never existant without a human initiating it.
Ruined legs? I have yet to see a TWH that has been ruined by the use of chains and stacks alone. Most of these show horses are retired to brood, stud or trail after 3 to 5 years of showing.the majority fulfills a long life of usefullness long after their career ends. on the trails they are as calm and useful as a horse that has always been used on trail. their are a few spirited ones that enjoy to speed down the trail but most are placid and easy going.My old mare is as easy as you can get but once she is pointed to a trail head she picks up her favorite speed at a gaited walk and just does her own thing. i do not encourage her to do it, i let her pick her own way. She enjoys the speed and i enjoy the ride.
How can you assume that they are ruined for life with no proof or knowledge of that?
TWhs have a average mortality age of between 20 and 30 years old. regardless of shown or trail ridden only.
By the way, in the video the grey roan horse was lurching because he was breaking gate. if you watch the horse behind him as they go through the far side of the ring and the announcer asks for the running walk you can see how fluid they move while in gait if trained and ridden properly.also i noticed the grey gathered himself as if he was going to rear or crow hop just before the video cuts off. If you are reffering to the head bobbing up and down.... that is a trade mark of walking horses. they all do it and the more rythm they get the more they nod. some even let their ears flop or teeth pop in rythm. my mare does it and like i stated before she has no training other than my trail training and i havent done anything more than teach her qeus from seat, hands, and legs, and to stop and start on voice command. she does it naturally even at the slowest normal walk, its just less up and down then. these walking horses are the old type, which have extra long hind leg conformation, this allows them to engage the hind end up under them and reach their hind legs forward several inches in front of the front hoof allowing them to glide which gives them the "squatting" appearance.it is how they balance and support their weight which gives them the extremely smooth ride.usually they are also very tall which makes them look even more squatty when placed on pads.they were developed in the south as a smooth means to travel over acres and acres of a plantation for crop inspection, they rode long hours which meant they needed a smooth gait coupled with being sure footed over ruff plowed sod. my mare is of the padded body type and is smoother the more she reaches up under herself with the hind legs. this is collection for walking horses.padded or not padded.
 
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