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And to gaitedguy. No my emotions are not clouding anything. I simply cannot fathom how any person could justify padding a horse, causing unnecessary physical strain and damage in the name of vanity.
Then you and I are in agreement. What I objected to in your first response to me is you somehow making me a supporter of pads and chains. I was merely speculating that TWHBEA continued support of pads and chains has tarnished its reputation and there is no way that they can now convince the equine community at large that they are acceptable. I felt that your emotional reaction to the topic clouded your ability to see the point I was trying to make.

Also folks, please do not equate putting a chain around your ankle or wrist to a show horse wearing one around its pastern. The anatomy is totally different. The pastern is the same bone as your finger bone and the front of it has the same amount of padding between the skin and bone as the top of your finger bone, which is essentially none. Try lightly tapping the top of your finger with a plain number 2 pencil and see how long it takes for it start huring. Not a perfect equivalent I know but the best I can think of.
 

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ohhh, I am so sorry, hehe I thought you were, your wording messed me up somehow.... hehe got my panties all in a twist sorry gaitedguy... I am glad you also cleared up the chain thing...I think it is a great way to put it.
 

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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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So be it, if your excuses make you happy you are a credit to your association. But do not claim that i am ignorant simply because you cant see the logic that is obviously there.

Though I must ask what old type are you referring to? The old type with long hind legs to give the a sweeping gate like this, not meant to be mutated into the big lick? Horse Mammal Bridle Rein Organism
Like this? Nellie Grey? hmm nope no big lick here....

or maybe this?


Horse Vertebrate Mammal Bridle Stallion
or this?

Horse Mammal Vertebrate Bridle Rein
or this

Horse Mammal Vertebrate Mane Stallion
or this

Horse Mammal Vertebrate Bridle English pleasure
or this

Horse Mammal Vertebrate Mane Stallion
??

HMMMM...Where are the stacks? These are the old types you are talking about right? I just see graceful happy horses able to move beautifully...
 

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I'm not really seeing what you are trying to prove here :? The "old type" TWhs back then for the most part used no pads to flat shod, yes.
 

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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.

According to this logic, they would all be padded... But none are. None of them look "squatty" either.

They were not meant to be big lick horses, that is a mutation brought on by vanity... There weren't "big lickers" back then when the breed was appreciated for what it was. I have yet to find a single picture or article of a big lick TWH back in the day.
 

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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. .
I have seen a huge amount of horses do those things without being asked, or even trained to. i do agree with some of your logic, but i also have seen a large amount of horses with ruined legs ad feet from pads or chains. but i do also think in those cases they have been taken to the extreme.
 

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I have yet to find a single picture or article of a big lick TWH back in the day.
Would this count?
Unless you are specifically talking about pads and pads only.
 

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But wait? not a pad, a chain, wild eyes, huge rider, pained expression in sight? Hmmm...

Thank you Sunny, exactly what I was asking for, it further proves one of my oh too many points, that the action you see today is no where near possible on an unpadded horse, that there is no such thing as a natural big licking horse.The "big lick" is the super high front end and squatty hind. If that was what a big lick horse looked like I would have absolutely no problem with it.

"Big lick" specifically refers to a padded horse which became popular in the early 1970's. Trainers became fond of the exaggerated movement brought on by pads and sought to increase it by "stacking" them higher and higher. Big lick is the mutated gait of the one in the picture you showed. That is my point though, that picture is beautiful, there is high leg carriage and natural use of the hind legs, big licking is disgusting and torturous.

That is beautiful to me, much more aesthetically pleasing than a padded horse. Why cant it be done this way now?
 

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Also folks, please do not equate putting a chain around your ankle or wrist to a show horse wearing one around its pastern. The anatomy is totally different. The pastern is the same bone as your finger bone and the front of it has the same amount of padding between the skin and bone as the top of your finger bone, which is essentially none. Try lightly tapping the top of your finger with a plain number 2 pencil and see how long it takes for it start huring. Not a perfect equivalent I know but the best I can think of.
Actually, by tapping, you are exerting an outside force other than gravity to it. By tapping, the force is increased and thus pain is increased. There is nothing but gravity acting on the chains. Movement yes, but not enough to cause direct harm, unless the horse slams his foot to the ground. To be more accurate, you should drop the subject onto your finger.

Tapping your finger with a pencil, you sure as heck can sting your finger, especially if you are trying to prove to yourself that you can hurt yourself. Tapping is the equivalent of taking a thin broomstick and tapping your horse's leg. You are exerting more physical force than gravity alone. And you know what, they will lift their leg to that kind of pain. My friend had her QH trimmed with one guy. Horse wouldn't pick up his foot, so the farrier took his rasp and tapped him on the fetlock, he picked his foot right up. Farrier hasn't been back to trim that horse. Try tapping a horse's leg a speed to make them pick his feet up... if you have much success with that, you are a much nimbler person than I. Quicker to to be able to keep up with a horse at higher than a walk.

I must say that the panic thing is a new one for me. I actually laughed out loud when I read that. If that were the case, if they thought they were trapped, being attacked, or their prey response was somehow triggered, they would not simply be lifting their leg higher. If they were truly in panic they would balk, they would run, their brain would fall out of their left ear, and they would be in a pure reactive state. I have seen horse's panic.

They do not respond like that to something they think they need to step out of. If they did, they could not walk through mud, or high grass, or snow, etc. without panicking after a few steps, or if it were mental stress, they couldn't walk through these things without experiencing similar mental stress as you claim they are experiencing.

My mare has panic attacks over her head. She throws herself over backwards, she runs, she fights, she tries to escape. I have never once seen a horse panic over chains. A halter causes my mare much stress. Care must be taken when leading her for your own safety. Luckily, she is not going anywhere, and no one but those who know how to handle my wretch will do so. She's quite happy in our field.

It is the horse that chooses to respond to the chains. It is not the chains which illicit a response. If I were to put a pair of standard training chains on my sister's QH, I would bet anything he wouldn't respond to them. I would bet my Saddlebred's tail that he won't and I have never put any on him. He is not built to trot much higher than the width of a corn cob. No amount of anything will make him trot higher than he is built to do. And he is not a very reactive horse. There is nothing I can do. He is what he is and a show horse he'll never be. I could try to make him one, but I will fail, I won't be happy, and he won't be happy, and it will be a worthless waste of time.

As for pressure shoeing Saddlebreds. Um, no. There is no division for Saddlebreds which does not require a horse to trot. A Saddlebred with unsoundness issues, or soreness issues will not trot square, and he will not pick his feet up higher than he must. Pressure shoeing is counter productive with a trotting horse. We have had many horses come to us with unsoundness issues to fix. The unsoundesses must be fixed before that horse can perform at any level. Being sore is an unsoundness. My father is a trainer and farrier, exclusively to Saddlebreds. My brother is a farrier exclusively to Saddlebreds. Both of my sisters work for top show barns. I have been working with the breed for many years. My life is devoted to the bred. I attend many shows from the county fairs to the World Championships. I attend as many functions as I can. I am not shy about asking questions to ANYONE. I talk to trainers. I talk to farriers. I talk to breeders. I breed and train my own specimens. I am currently working ten individuals all in various stages of training and who have different suitabilities. I do know what I am talking about from years of study and hands on experience with all aspects of the breed. Whether you believe me or not is up to you, but I have proof, I have evidence, I have experience to back up all of my claims.

There are many issues I have within my breed, but this issue is not one of them. There are some issues that make me even angrier than dealing with a person who has never experienced the breed making untrue claims about them. Soring is not one of those issues. I will stand by that until hell freezes over, or until my breed is extinct. We have plenty of real issues without having to defend them from untrue claims spoken without knowledge.
 

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Good lord, watching that video of the hind ends reminds me of a bunch of old German Shepherds with hip dysplasia :-|

Actually, there is documented footage and research done to prove that stacking a horse up like this wrecks havoc on his joints - particularily the hocks.

Show careers of 3-5 years?! Holy camole, I think you're right up there with trainers creating reiners out of yearlings! Maybe you guys should just invent the "Hock Blowing Club". Exactly what productive life can a horse live after being sored and abused for half his life? Exactly how productive is he supposed to be when he's not used to anything but standing on stilts or moaning on his side? Are you essentially saying that big lick TWH never have problems as a direct result of the way they're ridden? Because there are a whole whackload of professionals with scientific studies who kind of disagree with you.

I just will NEVER understand it. I don't get it. Whatsoever. The horse that Sunny posted is a perfect example of what a beautiful "big lick" horse should look like to me. He looks happy, he looks alert and he's stepping big and true NATURALLY. How on EARTH is it attractive to create a gait that can only be accomplished with massive huge ugly black wedges consuming his feet and ugly chains? I will just never understand how we can find beauty in something that was NEVER meant to be.
 

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Again lol. Mind you i said nothing about soring or my opinion of the horses. He just got home and I showed him the picture. Showed my non horse hubby, knows crap about horses other than to watch me play with Tom a few times a big like horse and automatically he looked at the legs and said they look messed(well he said *effed) up. Then he pointed to the fronts and said something must have been don't to the front feet, they looked effed up too. Then I asked him to tell me how he thought it felt, and he said it looked hurt, like it was freaked out... He said it was the mean looking thing in its mouth that liked why it looked hurt and freaked out...
I asked him if it looked pretty or proud or graceful and he said no, it looked painful...

Kinda funny how even a completely unbiased person sees the torture in the big lick...
 

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*nods*

Just for fun, I often like showing big lick videos to people who know nothing about horses. The reaction is ALWAYS the same. I have not encountered a single person yet who thought it looked "flashy", nor have I encountered a single person who didn't have a look of pure horror on their faces.

I've had people look at various disciplines (much like your hubby Honeysuga, I will agree, people often ask me if something is wrong with Western Pleasure horses) and be confused about something, or think something looks a bit off, but I have never seen the horrible consistancy of the reactions from people seeing big lick for the first time in ANY other discipline.

I have even lured people in before, to be unbiased by showing them a big lick video and going "Doesn't that look cool?!" and they NEVER bite. They just turn and look at me like I'M satan instead. :lol:
 

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Yup, exactly what Joe did... Asked me what they do to the to make them do that and why would you do that to a horse... and of course he laughed his *** off when he heard it started in the south, more precisely Tennessee and said that was "the reason, those good ole backwater boys". Afterward I showed him a few videos and he said they all were walking like four legged turkeys... And that it looked like a slave auction with all of the chains flying around.

I just find it amazing that a person who has zero knowledge of horse anatomy can spot stressed tendons and hyperflexion(of course not by that name, he called it "wonky angles of their ankles") and the first thing he spotted was the angles of the hind legs and said they look "unnatural". And he said it looked freaked out becasue of the pinched eyes and huge red nostrils...

This is the pic I used btw, just so you know... Horse Mammal Bridle Rein Animal sports
So you don't think I went straight to one of the really sickening ones, this is a pretty typical big licker wouldnt you say?

And like you Macabre, I often try to see from an unbiased point of view with non horsey people and often get mixed answers, but just like you I have yet to find someone to think the big lick looks ok in any way.
 

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Ok all I have to say is...if the chains are supposed to be there used kind of like a "weight" as some people here have mentioned, then why don't they just use padded weight anklets rather than CHAINS?! Don't tell me that if it's for weight's sake ONLY that they couldn't come up with something padded and soft that just weighed more.

Sorry, but I used to race in Triathlons a lot and if you made me do one with chains around my ankles, let me tell you, my ankles would be raw by the end of the race!! :-( This makes me so angry...
 

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That is beautiful to me, much more aesthetically pleasing than a padded horse. Why cant it be done this way now?
I agree. I could only guess that they have bred the gait out of the horse! I really don't know, but yes, it does look 100% better (although the horse itself looks similar to a padded up horse - I suspected that the pads may have been photoshopped off but I don't think so). If you look at some flat-shodders plenty of them are almost close to what a big-lick horse would look like - squatting fairly down, huge stride, nice criss cross of the 2 sets of legs, and truely I think that that's the horse. I don't think any pads would help that horse. I think it's just him. Sometimes I've looked even closely and haven't seen any flat shod shoes at all, so as I said - a good horse is a good horse and the ones subject to pads apparentely weren't good enough; so they ended up in the pad business.
 

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if the chains are supposed to be there used kind of like a "weight" as some people here have mentioned, then why don't they just use padded weight anklets rather than CHAINS?! Don't tell me that if it's for weight's sake ONLY that they couldn't come up with something padded and soft that just weighed more.
They do. Many people use them. You will probably see the ones that sore with chains as the chains can increase the pain of the soring chemicals, and thus increasing a higher step, but they do use padded weights. Also may be marked as "training weights" or something of that sort. Many you see in the show ring are sored so that's probably why you haven't seen padded weights. Chains also are usually light enough so that they don't hurt the horse and only act as an "encourager" to pick the feet higher because they float around, so chains IMO aren't harmful unless they are being used with a sored horse.
 

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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.
Have to really disagree with you all over this thread. My horse (a Thoroughbred Ex Race horse, which you claim earlier are "Too dangerous to retrain") Extends and collects all the time on his own. Actually his extended trot and canters are so sweeping, graceful and light when turned out. I can't even replicate it under saddle, and it's been like that since day 1, something he does naturally on his own. He also jumps on his own too, puddles, bushes, whatever he feels like.

And as far as "Racehorses being put down because they are too dangerous to retrain" you better check your facts. I get horses all the time from the track and retrain them for H/J. Fantastic horses.
 

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^ great post, Void. TB's are not crazy. Some horses are, but you can't generalize a breed by a few horses here and there.

As for TWH, I think the same thing goes, you can't say that ALL TWH's are abused, all TWH's have chains and pads (which are absolutely horrendous to see) because there are many great TWH's that do not have pads, like the ones that have been posted on this thread.

TWH's are beautiful the way they are NATURALLY. Why can't people just leave them alone and let them gait naturally?!
 

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Nobody is saying all TWH are abused.

What we are saying is that virtually every BIG LICK TWH is abused - and if it's not, it's probably not winning. I could almost overlook the stacks and the chains, if they weren't so damned blatantly co-abused with soring techniques. Someone had an excellent point - why not use padded weights? Many do! But you certainly cannot be used padded weights with a little mustard oil on the pastern! It just wouldn't hurt enough!

Did you know that in the last couple of years, out of 300 JUDGES - not competitors, JUDGES PEOPLE - 73 of them have been suspended for soring?! SUSPENDED! Not expelled, SUSPENDED. THEY GET TO COME BACK AND DO THIS GARBAGE AGAIN.

Read this blog and actually learn - soring is alive and well, and the TWHBEA is working harder then ever to cover it up!

For the Tennessee Walking Horse
 
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