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why is checking a horse for soring considered "overkill"

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  • #21
    Originally posted by wingedmare View Post
    Where else do you get to work on the rail with a live organist playing carousel music as you show?
    That sounds like lots of fun actually.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

      Frankly the numbers are a surprise. Either there were a LOT of "dirty" horses there or it could be some sort of "agreed exit" to put pressure on the USDA.
      This was exactly my thought. It's a shady industry, but I doubt there were actually 400+ horses that would have individually failed inspection. I suspect it was entire barns and trainers pulling out in order to make a statement, regardless of whether all their horses would have passed or failed.
      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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      • #23
        "Turn on the light and the roaches run" wow - that's the best quote I've ever read regarding the walking horse industry. So true.

        It's NOT overkill. When my horse stood for best condition judging at an endurance race this weekend, my horse was inspected by the vet, then 1 hour later I had to bring her back again for another inspection. And this was after 2 previous veterinary inspections before and during the race. The purpose was to see how the horse recovered in the hour following the race, to see if she stocked up or got stiff and sore, how her attitude changed or got worse. Yes "Attitude" is a judging point included on the card and you get a score for it.

        All those are clues that the horse was over-ridden or wasn't fit enough, etc. Anything that shows up in the 1 hour check is points off the best condition score. The vet ran her hands over every inch of my horse's legs, squeezing all the way down looking for sore spots. Cuts and swellings that weren't there prior to the ride are points off also. You get enough dings against you and you don't get your completion or mileage awarded, and you get pulled which is a part of you and your horse's PERMANENT record. And this record is online for god and everybody to read whenever they want to.

        Endurance racing is a very demanding sport where anything can happen to your horse out on the trail. You're traveling at speed on narrow winding trails a lot of times with less than good footing. All the decisions you make on the trail WILL show up in the vet inspections. If you're overriding your horse or making bad decisions, other riders see it, the vet sees it, you get pulled and get a non-completion and it's published on the internet for the world to look at.

        Only the walking horse people cry and squeal because their horses have to pass inspections. The rest of us are GLAD to have the inspections because it's just further insurance that our horses are as sound and healthy as possible.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
          This was exactly my thought. It's a shady industry, but I doubt there were actually 400+ horses that would have individually failed inspection. I suspect it was entire barns and trainers pulling out in order to make a statement, regardless of whether all their horses would have passed or failed.
          Considering that former industry BNTs have come forth to say that 80-90% of Big Lick TWHs are sored, the numbers are not really all that surprising.
          ~ Shannon Hayden ~

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by jdmcg View Post

            Now, suppose you are totally innocent of mistreating your horse and have passed all the government's vet's examinations. BUT fumes from a truck, errant fly spray, hoof polish, show sheen, or even your cologne are found on your horse's pasterns by this new sniffing device. According to the law, you are in violation of the statute and guilty of having a sore horse.
            But those 40 or so horses who were left, did any of them test positive for these "errant" fumes? I find it hard to believe that 40 or so horses could go through inspections and not have been exposed to the same fumes you are saying could set off the sniffer.

            Or maybe it's the fact that the sniffer can't be fooled like a firmly stewarded horse can fool a DQP that everybody ran.
            ~ Shannon Hayden ~

            Comment


            • #26
              I personally think checking a horse after coming out of a class is overkill, unless they've placed top 5 in the class or the judge see something suspicious/off about the horse and goes to management or the head DQP. But since I don't show sored horses, I'll deal with it if it'll get people off my back.

              I agree about it being an orgnized walk-out with that many horses leaving.
              Devil Pup 13 May 2010
              Veni, vidi, nates calce concidi
              Molly~4yo Blue Heeler & Dakota Nov 09 Baby Heeler

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              • #27
                The saddest experience in my equestrienne life was the few minutes I spent at a (huge) TWH show.
                After a big qualifier - last class on Thursday night - the winner came out of the ring sopping wet, blowing like a steam train, obviously in distress. He went down on his belly in the chute and his trainer (huge BNT I won't mention his name) jerked the horses' head, kicked him a few times in the ribs, and screamed at the horse. On the way back to the barn the horse went down at least twice that I saw. He did pass the DQP on the way out. Dripping in sweat, legs shaking, legs planted like trees (it takes real talent to teach them this).

                I've seen hunters and jumpers die in the ring, I've seen legs break and horses die as they galloped through the timers. This one experience will always be the worst.

                Exhibitors (and I use the term loosely) showing walking horses, foxtrotters, rocky mountain horses, paso finos, and the other DQP-regulated breeds make me cry

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by buryinghill4 View Post
                  Exhibitors (and I use the term loosely) showing walking horses, foxtrotters, rocky mountain horses, paso finos, and the other DQP-regulated breeds make me cry
                  You're kidding right?? Talk about a broad paint brush here. I've stated it before...just because we show and train TWHs doesn't make us bad people. Nor does it mean the other breeds metioned are either. JUST because they're gaited doesn't make them sore.

                  And why on earth would you "loosely" consider us exhibitors???
                  Good Judgement comes from Experience. Alot of that comes from Bad Judgement.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by buryinghill4 View Post
                    Exhibitors (and I use the term loosely) showing walking horses, foxtrotters, rocky mountain horses, paso finos, and the other DQP-regulated breeds make me cry
                    Actually, the TWH show scene is the only one who is under constant investigation by the USDA. While there are a few bad apples in the other breeds, again, it is not to the extent and the "abuse is the rule rather than the exception" that it is in that world.

                    Paso Fino showing has some issues, but no more than any other equestrian related sport. Surgically altering tails for that "scorpion" look has been one of them (which is now legal WTF?). But I did inquire over on the Pleasure Paso Fino Forum since I now have a PF, and no soring is not a problem with them and they do not use DQPs.

                    Rocky Mountain Horses and KY Mtn Horse trainers don't sore because they are not looking for the front knees to break above chest level and the hind end to go down as do the TWH's. They want a pure square going horse. And I believe that soring would lame a MFT as they are too trotty for it to work. For these reasons, DQPs would not need to be present at their shows.
                    ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by buryinghill4 View Post
                      The saddest experience in my equestrienne life was the few minutes I spent at a (huge) TWH show.
                      After a big qualifier - last class on Thursday night - the winner came out of the ring sopping wet, blowing like a steam train, obviously in distress. He went down on his belly in the chute and his trainer (huge BNT I won't mention his name) jerked the horses' head, kicked him a few times in the ribs, and screamed at the horse. On the way back to the barn the horse went down at least twice that I saw. He did pass the DQP on the way out. Dripping in sweat, legs shaking, legs planted like trees (it takes real talent to teach them this).

                      I've seen hunters and jumpers die in the ring, I've seen legs break and horses die as they galloped through the timers. This one experience will always be the worst.

                      Exhibitors (and I use the term loosely) showing walking horses, foxtrotters, rocky mountain horses, paso finos, and the other DQP-regulated breeds make me cry
                      I, too, have observed conduct as you describe at TWH shows. I've seen analogs at QH shows, ASB shows, dressage shows, and open shows. That sort of "ham fisted" approach is not unique to the world of the TWH.

                      Soring IS unique to the TWH, Racking Horse, and other gaited breeds that are derived from them and are judged like them. Soring up a diagonal horse will just make it lame. Soring up a lateral horse will give it more front end action. THAT is a "broad brush" statement that is gospel truth.

                      Note, too, that ALL horses in the U.S. are subject to the HPA and could have DQP inspectors examine them. It would make no sense to do so in most breeds because most U.S. horses are trotters and soring up a trotter will just make it lame.

                      Regarding "sniffer" technology, I'd be guarded about its usefulness. If you're looking for bombs, drugs, etc. a sniffer works great because it gives you "probable cause" to look further. I'm not sure that a positive for a banned substance would be sufficient proof of use on a particular horse because of the conditions under which inspections are conducted. Indeed, the "sore lick crowd" could defeat the system by flooding the inspection area with the banned substance by "accidentally" breaking a bottle of something upwind of the inspection area. That might contaminate the process so badly that it would not stand up in a subsequent hearing.

                      For a while there was interst in using chemical sprays of one kind or another that would react with soring agents on the legs of the horse giving a visual indication of use. Another was to look for the topical analgesics that were used to moderate the soring chemicals. There were problems because the soring chemicals are typically used a few days before the event and traces can be cleaned off before the horse is presented. There are legitimate reasons to use topical analgesics. I don't think this went all that far and I'm not sure if it's still being actively pursued.

                      At the end of the day manual palpation works and works reasonably well.

                      Industry appologists have, since 1956 (when the first expose' of TWH practices was published in "Sports Illustrated") claimed that they had the problem under control, that it was just a few renegades doing it, that with just a little more time they can eliminate it, etc. These arguments were repeated after expose's in 1968, 1972, 1988, 1995, 2006, and 2008.

                      And the "heat" goes on.

                      G.
                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by buryinghill4 View Post
                        Exhibitors (and I use the term loosely) showing walking horses, foxtrotters, rocky mountain horses, paso finos, and the other DQP-regulated breeds make me cry
                        Been in Pasos for over 20 years. We don't have DQPs.
                        You are what you dare.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by GotGait View Post
                          Been in Pasos for over 20 years. We don't have DQPs.
                          I once met a USDA vet who inspected a very large Paso Fino show in the Tampa area in the mid-90s. They went because of the "Charlie Brown Defense" ("Why's every body always pickin' on me?") constantly offered by the TWH industry. They inspected more than 2200 horses (several thousand individual inspections) and did not have one, single violation. They never went back.

                          USDA resources for HPA enforcement are VERY limited. This means they use the "Willie Sutton Theory" on deciding which shows to visit.

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            when you call this training, you deserve ,you ask, you beg, to be inspected every step of the way.
                            Warning, it's not pretty.
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA3eUku9Ivk


                            I know there's abuses in other places and other breeds. Even the QH folks start babies too young, but nicer than this. TBs are started young, but this isn't the norm.

                            Here's a barn full of watchers thinking this is all just fine and normal.

                            If you watch the other vids, you can surmise who the rider is. I won't post it here but you can go do some research and prettily easily find out who it is.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Appsolute View Post
                              I mean, don't we all own horses because we LOVE horses? When it comes to my horse I am still a starry eyed kid. I think about my horse all the time like a silly grade school crush. I just couldn't imagine inflicting pain upon her (or any horse I have ever owned) in order to win some damned ribbons.


                              YAY - USDA!

                              lets just pray that the USDA stays honest and on top of all this... there is a LOT of money involved here...

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                when you call this training, you deserve ,you ask, you beg, to be inspected every step of the way.
                                Warning, it's not pretty.
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA3eUku9Ivk


                                I know there's abuses in other places and other breeds. Even the QH folks start babies too young, but nicer than this. TBs are started young, but this isn't the norm.

                                Here's a barn full of watchers thinking this is all just fine and normal.

                                If you watch the other vids, you can surmise who the rider is. I won't post it here but you can go do some research and prettily easily find out who it is.
                                Well, the upshot of it is that his unbalanced, top heavy riding combined with his complete lack of skill will eventually send him flying onto his helmetless head. Unfortunately, he's probably lived long enough to reproduce already, so he's not exactly removing himself from the gene pool.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                  I once met a USDA vet who inspected a very large Paso Fino show in the Tampa area in the mid-90s. They went because of the "Charlie Brown Defense" ("Why's every body always pickin' on me?") constantly offered by the TWH industry. They inspected more than 2200 horses (several thousand individual inspections) and did not have one, single violation. They never went back.

                                  G.
                                  Yeah, not saying we don't have our own problems, but soring isn't one of them. I don't think Pasos would put up with it honestly. Those TWHs must have temperaments of pure gold.
                                  You are what you dare.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
                                    You turn on the lights, and the roaches run.

                                    It's overkill when they're caught.
                                    YUP!
                                    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by GotGait View Post
                                      Yeah, not saying we don't have our own problems, but soring isn't one of them. I don't think Pasos would put up with it honestly. Those TWHs must have temperaments of pure gold.
                                      If there is a "silver lining" to the "black cloud" or soring it's that TWH temperments are pretty mellow and they are stoic as all get out about pain.

                                      Sadly conformation quality has declined in many lines as breeders have bred one thing and one thing only: gait. Once you go that route (be it gait, color, or any other single trait) then quality will fall over time.

                                      If you want to see just how bad it really is go back and look at the Walkers from the '30s and '40s and compare them to today. You'll quickly see that not all passage of time means improvment in quality.

                                      G.
                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by buryinghill4 View Post
                                        The saddest experience in my equestrienne life was the few minutes I spent at a (huge) TWH show.
                                        Exhibitors (and I use the term loosely) showing walking horses, foxtrotters, rocky mountain horses, paso finos, and the other DQP-regulated breeds make me cry
                                        Well, I exhibit a TWh mare. Beautiful bay sabino foundation-bred girl who is the absolute best thing going. We show in trail pleasure, school first level dressage and show in training, hope to jump to first next year, go trail riding, camping, and just hang out. I don't sore, nobody I compete against sores. I show with the NWHA, its a bad show when one person gets a violation, and you can beleive that person is out ... not only in competition, but personally ostracized. We are terribly tired of ignorant comments that lump ALL TWH people with the padded/pressure soring folks. THat contigency is a VERY small percentage. Unfortunately, they are the ones that make the news, and every bloody person reads the articles, makes the huge leap of logic that we ALL sore and jumps on the band wagon ... Thanks for having such an educated mind ...

                                        That being said, I would think the numbers are indeed the good ole boy network linking arms and hitting the road. Can't believe that that high of a percentage of horses would have failed inspection.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                          Sadly conformation quality has declined in many lines as breeders have bred one thing and one thing only: gait. Once you go that route (be it gait, color, or any other single trait) then quality will fall over time.

                                          If you want to see just how bad it really is go back and look at the Walkers from the '30s and '40s and compare them to today. You'll quickly see that not all passage of time means improvment in quality.

                                          G.
                                          The gait is being bred out of the breed. The horses are being bred for padded, so they want stiff lateral, or they are being bred for the dilute colors. Palamino, buckskin, perlino, etc ... add to that, folks slinking in with other breeds. The Prides Generator line has so much ASB in it, it's ridiculous.
                                          They lost gait, they lost bone, they lost that solid, do anything horse and do it all day.

                                          I have two foundation horses. My mare is Pusher on her mommas side and Society's Lee Allen is her daddy. She is big and buxom and can walk a hole in the ground barefoot. She looks almost exactly like Roan Allen in a more feminine form. My boy is Midnight Sun on his momma's side. He looks like a light draft, he is a bit pacey when he is out of shape but gets into a very nice saddle gait when toned up barefooted. My old mare was Prides Generator. She looked like an ASB, narrow, slab-sided, long giraffe neck, small head, just insubstantial and was prone to trottiness. so ... thankfully, there are a few breeders out there that specialize in foundation lines ... if I were breeding it's the direction where I would go ...

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