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why is checking a horse for soring considered "overkill"

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  • #41
    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
    Horses die in the ring...Legs break...where do you view horse showsancient Rome? I don't think I want to attend the shows you go to ouch

    Comment


    • #42
      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)

      Yes, they are "trained" to stand stock still and submit to inspections by those Big Lick trainers who use their dubious methods to get them "gaiting" . This "training" process can include beatings if they pull a foot away or flinch. What makes it even more sad is that this lovely breed is so kind and docile that many of them tolerate this treatment.
      from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

      Comment


      • #43
        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.
        I agree...I was shocked at the hefty percentage of people who left but I didn't think that the number of horses who left were the number of horses sored or pressure shod.
        The sad part to me though is that *anyone* who cares about the discipline/breed/reputation would want to show support and solidarity for the ones who HAD to leave. In that case it doesn't achieve the affect they may be looking for...it just makes it look like they are in hefty support of whatever it takes to win and they want to force stopping the USDA inspections so that nothing changes or improves for th worst of the worst.
        Personally I would be beyond pissed if I were showing in that discipline and everyone picked up and left when the USDA showed up. Not only because of how it makes the TWH world look to everyone else but also because it ruins the show for the few exhibitors left. Apparently the mass exodus folks don't care too much about anyone else in their discipline but the worst offenders since that's the side they chose when they left.
        FWIW I don't think the majority of TWH sore...but I'd guess at the top level shows they have it's a decent enough percentage who do break or bend the soring or shoeing rules. Just look at what they do at their top shows when the inspectors show up...not to mention that when the USDA is there they can find more than quadruple the offenses to the rules than when the TWH big show world is policing itself with DQPs.
        Even with the percentage of hunter horses that show with that "tiny bit" of illegal quiet juice I've never seen a hunter show clear out when they start testing. I'd bet the percentages of hunters bending their rules are close to the same of TWH bending their own rules and yet the majority of any big hunter show does not clear out when they start testing. Because the majority wants it to stop.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!
        ...Belefonte

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
          Even with the percentage of hunter horses that show with that "tiny bit" of illegal quiet juice I've never seen a hunter show clear out when they start testing. I'd bet the percentages of hunters bending their rules are close to the same of TWH bending their own rules and yet the majority of any big hunter show does not clear out when they start testing. Because the majority wants it to stop.
          But h/j shows are subject to random drug testing. Any horse, at any USEF show, and the exhibitors know it. What they choose to do anyway is taking their chances, but they know they can be drug tested. Perhaps something similar should be implemented with TWHs, but instead of drug screening, have random soring inspections at every sanctioned show. If other disciplines can do it, why can't they?

          As a side note, the first horse I ever rode, at a friend's cousin's house as a young child, was a black TWH mare named Gypsy. Somewhere there's a picture of two very young girls sitting double on her, grinning like fools and her quite happily ignoring our antics and eating some grass
          A Year In the Saddle

          Comment


          • #45
            Every now and then, at shows where both are present, they also make ASBs go through the DQP. I know I'd be royally PO'ed if they accused me of soring because I rubbed the horse down with liniment before his class, or the horse had a minor scrape on his heel from whatever. Our horses don't live in wraps so they're going to get an occasional ding on their legs once in a while. At one show a few years ago, my trainer at the time had a horse that stepped on itself in the trailer and scraped it's coronary band- the DQP (the feds actually, not the normal TWH DQP) really gave her a hard time about it. She could be really bitchy anyway, and told the guy- If I was going to sore him, don't you think I would have done BOTH legs? The USDA guys also fussed about curb chains and some other stuff that I can't remember now- might have been stretchies and bell boots. The USDA guys, it seems, have to justify their existance in some way, and get extremely overzealous in checking horses, and many (most?) of them don't know diddly about horses to begin with. Would you want a poultry guy poking and prodding at your horse and making judgements? I don't blame the TWH people for leaving shows that the USDA appears at.

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
              Every now and then, at shows where both are present, they also make ASBs go through the DQP. I know I'd be royally PO'ed if they accused me of soring because I rubbed the horse down with liniment before his class, or the horse had a minor scrape on his heel from whatever. Our horses don't live in wraps so they're going to get an occasional ding on their legs once in a while. At one show a few years ago, my trainer at the time had a horse that stepped on itself in the trailer and scraped it's coronary band- the DQP (the feds actually, not the normal TWH DQP) really gave her a hard time about it. She could be really bitchy anyway, and told the guy- If I was going to sore him, don't you think I would have done BOTH legs? The USDA guys also fussed about curb chains and some other stuff that I can't remember now- might have been stretchies and bell boots. The USDA guys, it seems, have to justify their existance in some way, and get extremely overzealous in checking horses, and many (most?) of them don't know diddly about horses to begin with. Would you want a poultry guy poking and prodding at your horse and making judgements? I don't blame the TWH people for leaving shows that the USDA appears at.
              Would you rather have them overzealous, or not caring at all?

              As for the horse ripping itself up in the trailer.. that's what shipping boots, bell boots, shipping wraps, etc, are for. ESPECIALLY on a show horse.
              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
                The USDA guys, it seems, have to justify their existance in some way, and get extremely overzealous in checking horses, and many (most?) of them don't know diddly about horses to begin with. Would you want a poultry guy poking and prodding at your horse and making judgements? I don't blame the TWH people for leaving shows that the USDA appears at.
                I am personally aquainted with eight USDA vets that I've met over the years. Your description matches the ones often written in the Walking Horse Report or in loud complaints from bozos like former U.S. Rep. Van Hilliary, who actually verbally attacked a specific U.S.D.A. vet on the floor of Congress. That the attack was a tissue of lies did not slow down our intrepid congresscritter, however. And he was protected by congressional immunity. A real American hero, eh?????

                Unfortunately it does not match the description of the PEOPLE that I've met who are also U.S.D.A. vets.

                They are people doing a difficult job under some very difficult (and often physically dangerous) conditions. They've got more cojones than any sore lick whiner/appologist I've ever run accross.

                G.

                P.S. Most of them had extensive training in their jobs, and at least two were also pretty good riders.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                Comment


                • #48
                  It's made US News and World Report:

                  The Sadistic Treatment of Tennessee Walking Horses

                  Linked within is the archive of a 1960 Sports Illustrated article, funny how things haven't changed in nearly 40 years: The Torture Must End

                  Here's a link to the original article in the Lex Herald Leader which has caused the latest uproar: Feds Put Crimp in Horse Show
                  ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Honestly, here is where the bad apples ruin it. I once held the Anti-Walking horse stance, until I was educated. I was taken in by some walking horse people and ended up not only riding, but showing them. (Some one mentioned Prides Genertor...I used to ride a Genius Boy Pride mare and we got a foal out of her by The Whole Nine Yards) And I learned that YES there are the bad eggs out there; but there are alot of people that are so proud of thier horses natural gait and movement and really develop it.

                    And as for the horrible training methods you've seen or heard about; lets not pretend it is just used on Walkers. I have seen poles wrapped in Barbed wire to teach a horse not to drag a leg over a fence, I have seen jumpers that have to be shoved into the ring because the are sore, race horses get tubed, reining horses crash through fences to be "taught" a sliding stop.... I could go on, these are examples of BAD TRAINING no that section of the industry. So, why do you hear more about the Walkers? They are self governed and really push DQP and they themselves raise a big issue when someone is busted, of course you are going to hear more about that than the practises going on in the barn up the street that are kept under wraps.

                    Point being, before we jump the gun on any breed or dicipline, educate your self by becoming involved. Don't lump the bad eggs in with the rest.

                    As for the diminished show entries, that is par for the course, it is still an old boys club at certain levals. But, let them pull out, they are only hurting themselves in the long run.
                    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by spookhorse View Post
                      It's made US News and World Report:

                      The Sadistic Treatment of Tennessee Walking Horses

                      Linked within is the archive of a 1960 Sports Illustrated article, funny how things haven't changed in nearly 40 years: The Torture Must End

                      Here's a link to the original article in the Lex Herald Leader which has caused the latest uproar: Feds Put Crimp in Horse Show

                      50 years and it still goes on. So f-d up!

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        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.
                        That's disgusting. That ignorant hillbillie b*stard is bigger than the damned yearling he's riding. That son of a ***** deserves to get his head stomped by that horse.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          [QUOTE=wingedmare;3356125]And as for the horrible training methods you've seen or heard about; lets not pretend it is just used on Walkers. I have seen poles wrapped in Barbed wire to teach a horse not to drag a leg over a fence, I have seen jumpers that have to be shoved into the ring because the are sore, race horses get tubed, reining horses crash through fences to be "taught" a sliding stop.... I could go on, these are examples of BAD TRAINING no that section of the industry. So, why do you hear more about the Walkers? They are self governed and really push DQP and they themselves raise a big issue when someone is busted, of course you are going to hear more about that than the practises going on in the barn up the street that are kept under wraps. QUOTE]

                          You won't find me disagreeing that there is abuse in all areas of showing horses. I think what makes the TWH stand out is the grotesque imitation of a gait that the big lick horses show to the world. Can you show me a horse that has never been stacked that can replicate this horrid "gait?" Please stop calling it natural, too.
                          from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by wingedmare View Post
                            Honestly, here is where the bad apples ruin it. I once held the Anti-Walking horse stance, until I was educated. I was taken in by some walking horse people and ended up not only riding, but showing them. (Some one mentioned Prides Genertor...I used to ride a Genius Boy Pride mare and we got a foal out of her by The Whole Nine Yards) And I learned that YES there are the bad eggs out there; but there are alot of people that are so proud of thier horses natural gait and movement and really develop it.

                            And as for the horrible training methods you've seen or heard about; lets not pretend it is just used on Walkers. I have seen poles wrapped in Barbed wire to teach a horse not to drag a leg over a fence, I have seen jumpers that have to be shoved into the ring because the are sore, race horses get tubed, reining horses crash through fences to be "taught" a sliding stop.... I could go on, these are examples of BAD TRAINING no that section of the industry. So, why do you hear more about the Walkers? They are self governed and really push DQP and they themselves raise a big issue when someone is busted, of course you are going to hear more about that than the practises going on in the barn up the street that are kept under wraps.

                            Point being, before we jump the gun on any breed or dicipline, educate your self by becoming involved. Don't lump the bad eggs in with the rest.

                            As for the diminished show entries, that is par for the course, it is still an old boys club at certain levals. But, let them pull out, they are only hurting themselves in the long run.
                            And many of us here own TWHs and have experience in the world and do know exactly what goes on, and NO the abuse is not exaggerated.

                            In any other discipline, the bad apples are weeded out and they are the exception rather than the rule... not constantly rewarded for abusing horses and becoming the rule rather than the exception in this industry.

                            For once and for all, the "Big Lick" is *NOT* a natural gait.
                            ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              My mare is barefoot, I wouldn't know how to sore a horse if my life depended on it. At her only show so far, we went through the DQP process. My mare didn't know what it was but stood quietly as they went over her legs. I think Tyr thought this was some new shoeing experience and kept bending her head down to see what the inspector was doing or looking for his tools..it was funny because I told the inspector it was out first show, her first outing off the farm and yep, she is barefoot and will stay that way. He was very nice to me and passed Tyr right on.

                              She was the only barefoot TWH there and was trimmed naturally. She didn't place as it was her first show, and she hadn't been to town at all before that day. I was not sure what the inspectors were looking for as I don't show walkers, but they were very thorough with the horses that I watched. Checking and rechecking each leg, picking up hooves, pressing down on the fetlocks and coronet bands, etc.

                              Then the whole process was repeated again coming out of the ring. Horses were checked before each class no matter how many classes they were entered into, so some horses got checked many times during the day.

                              I know that soring happens, I wish it didn't and prefer that those that sore get jail time, fines and banned from ever owning a horse again or training again. Maybe a combination of that sort of thing would stop it. But I don't appreciate folks who find out I have a walker and think I do the same as the ones that sore.

                              I don't care two hoots in hell about a piece of fabric enough to hurt my horse and that's the long and short of it. These horses are very sweet, mild mannered and eager to please, they will put up with most anything a person wants to do with them until they reach a point where they can't take it anymore. I've seen a couple of those horses come back with a lot of help as my friend will take those on and teach them that life is not all about pain. Takes a special person to do what she does and do it well with just patience, removal of those shoes and pads and lots of handling.

                              I like my walking horse mare, she is very tolerant of my beginner efforts to get her in gait, lol..as she does like to pace and that can kill my back, so far..we walk and walk and walk. In a tender touch bit with a dressage saddle. No big licks here except now she has discovered Dumors and will run that tongue out in a flash to get one. Reminds me of an anteater.

                              This is such a touchy topic but I think all agree that soring is wrong and want it stopped..I may not live to see it happen though. I'm already 49 and if it takes another fifty years..well maybe my grandchildren will see it come to pass.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                On the front page of the Lexington Herald-Leader today: Walking horses still sored to force high steps
                                ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by wingedmare View Post
                                  Honestly, here is where the bad apples ruin it. I once held the Anti-Walking horse stance, until I was educated. I was taken in by some walking horse people and ended up not only riding, but showing them. (Some one mentioned Prides Genertor...I used to ride a Genius Boy Pride mare and we got a foal out of her by The Whole Nine Yards) And I learned that YES there are the bad eggs out there; but there are alot of people that are so proud of thier horses natural gait and movement and really develop it.

                                  And as for the horrible training methods you've seen or heard about; lets not pretend it is just used on Walkers. I have seen poles wrapped in Barbed wire to teach a horse not to drag a leg over a fence, I have seen jumpers that have to be shoved into the ring because the are sore, race horses get tubed, reining horses crash through fences to be "taught" a sliding stop.... I could go on, these are examples of BAD TRAINING no that section of the industry. So, why do you hear more about the Walkers? They are self governed and really push DQP and they themselves raise a big issue when someone is busted, of course you are going to hear more about that than the practises going on in the barn up the street that are kept under wraps.

                                  Point being, before we jump the gun on any breed or dicipline, educate your self by becoming involved. Don't lump the bad eggs in with the rest.

                                  As for the diminished show entries, that is par for the course, it is still an old boys club at certain levals. But, let them pull out, they are only hurting themselves in the long run.

                                  That was a great post Winged Mare, and you put it so to the point. We go to Breed shows and to All-Breed shows with our flat-shod and also our padded horses....We mingle with all the trainers of the "other" breeds that happen to be be showing. One saddlesbred trainer brags how he "sores" horses all the time, but no one pays any attention to him....just the TWH's. We just look at him as if he is crazy!!!! Go figure!

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Long story below, short version here: it is all about the ribbons and the money. Horses who win, make the trainers money because people like to see their horses win. Horse wins, owner pays for more shows and more 'training'. Most TWH owners who have their horses at these 'show' barns are oblivious as to what is really going on. So, sore TWH goes to show, The judges place the TWH with the most action, most head bob, highest head carriage, in the ribbons. Once the judges pull their heads out of their butts and stop placing horses with un-natural action, soring will not be as popular. Give the flat shod horse with the true 4-beat gait, relaxed frame and happy expression the first place. Once that starts happening, soring will not happen because they are not winning.

                                    I grew up with TWH used mostly for trail rides. Starting showing in 4-h with my gaited pony. Now have 2 TWH along with my 1 TB filly, 1 OTTB, and 1 warmblood. Soring in the TWH is real and it is abuse. My family, in the early 90s had 2 TWH at a barn in Southern California, we live in UT. Horses were winning everything, all super. Dad had to go to CA on a business trip, decided to drop by the barn to see his horses. The barn owners did not want him to see them, rather wanted to take him to lunch. Dad says 'no', want to see my horses. Our 16.3 hh stallion could not move. This was not a big lick horse, he was flat shod. A plantation horse. He could not walk out of his stall due to the pain from having his skin burned then wrapped with plastic wrap and polo wraps. Dad freaked, called a horse transportation company and had both horses brought to UT. It took about 6 months for the stallion to start acting like horse. He learned all about trail riding and soon, life was better. The other was sold to a family in Canada ( were soring is illegal I hear. ) Dad also became president then board member of one of the Gaited horse groups that condemns soring and action devices.

                                    My TWH mare came from a TWH big lick barn. Apparently, due to her breeding, they felt she would make a super Big lick horse. At 18 months of age, they slapped those stacks on her, sored her and gaited her around the arena at mock 9. No training, just speed, heavy shoes and soring. I hear after a few months of this she came unglued and no-one could ride her. They took her down to plantation shoes and advertised her as a horse with a lot of 'go'. Yep, has a lot of go but it is more nervous, scared of humans 'go'. Parents bought her but she is a handful due to her nervous mind and rotten start in life. I decided to see if she like jumping. She is a horse who wants to get an 'A', wants to do well, freaks out if she thinks she did not do well. The horse can jump and is amazingly athletic. So she is my jumper. I get sneers and funny looks at shows because she is not 'typical'. But once they see her go, no one can tell me she cannot jump. I do 2'9" -3 ft with her. Trainers tell me she is a 4' horse easily ( rider is not yet). BUT there are days when she cannot focus and gets freaky, I think she relapse to her beginning years. On those days, we just stop and re-group. No show today but that is okay, I am not in this for another ribbon. Have plenty. I want to see my riding improve, my horse improve. If she was never sored by the TWH barn, I believe she would have a heart of gold and be amazing but crappy training methods left a mark on her mind, not just her legs. There are long term effects to soring, even after the horse has found a good home.

                                    Thus why this question about 'overkill' - no, not overkill. These horses are not just suffering from physical abuse, there is mental abuse. I am all for extra DQP inspections.
                                    My Blog ( for me and my OTTBs)-ableequine.webbly.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      I have tried to keep an open mind about the TWH industry. There was a lady online years ago who used many of the same arguments about how there were abuses in OTHER equine areas to justify the TWH abuses. About how gingering was not all that bad, and soring wasn't that common and those tall shoes were ok...

                                      I attempted to not be judgemental.

                                      Well, a decade has passed, and you know, I am going to judge.

                                      The abuses in the TWH show world are awful. They deserve every inspection and fine they receive.

                                      Too bad if you cannot show a horse who got a scrape, because really, you should just consider that a cost of showing TWHs....a visible scar means you have a trail horse, not a show horse. Especially when those visible scars are symetrical....

                                      The most disturbing part to me of that article was the " escorted by Kentucky State Police" part....because what that tells me is that the corruption is so bad that the inspectors are AFRAID to do their job due to threats, and as such, the state police have to be called in to protect them.

                                      Yes, because I do have horses, ride horses and love horses, I will judge the TWH industry. Just as I will judge the wife-beater, dog fighter, cock-fighter, seal-clubber, etc. It truly pains me to side with HSUS on much, but really, on this, I am left with no choice, and those who defend the industry and cry foul about inspections, they reinforce the need in my opinion.

                                      I do understand that there are scores of TWH owners out there who are pleasure riders, and a small contingent show in new circuits, I commend those owners. The rest, yes, I do judge.

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                                      • #59
                                        I think the multiple testing is because the horses are tested, then go into a waiting area before entering the arena (where they could be sored again).

                                        As far as the sniffer, I'm sure anything technical enough to be on CSI would tell the difference between fly spray and something to cause soring!
                                        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                          I think the multiple testing is because the horses are tested, then go into a waiting area before entering the arena (where they could be sored again).

                                          As far as the sniffer, I'm sure anything technical enough to be on CSI would tell the difference between fly spray and something to cause soring!
                                          well, you would be mistaken in this case.
                                          http://community.webshots.com/album/548368465RfewoU[/url]

                                          She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown

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