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Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Issue *Update post 1*

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  • Those poor horses show more signs of stress and exertion during a short jaunt around the show ring than my trail riders do in the course of a day long ride. The eye rolling, heavily sweating horses I see crawling around our local show ring do not appear to be properly conditioned, nor in my observation could those horses ever be very conditioned while being forced to totter around on those high shoes.

    And just as a snarky comment, it is my opinion that part of the reason the horses are so padded up and chained up and sored is so that the so called "riders" can handle them. I bet most of those out of shape 20's gangster costumed men couldn't handle those same horses if they were allowed to perform normally without all the gimmicks. Sorry.. just the way it looks to those of us on the outside..

    Comment


    • This isn't Saddle Club. This is a BB with a heavy population of professionals.
      So no, you're not discussing this with mainly once a week trail riders. You're discussing this with a board full of people with decades of experience and well versed in showing, training, breeding, conditioning, instructing and equine health and anatomy.
      It's not easy to snow people here with half truths or inexperience.

      You, personally, have made blanket statements that either show little knowledge of equines and equine sports in general or that hint towards condescension of what you (erroneously) consider naive My Pretty Pony ladies.

      I have also noticed that you fail to respond to certain questions or points.

      A horse who's angles have been lifted and changed to such an exaggerated degree for aesthetic purposes cannot be conditioned to those angles properly. It can become somewhat accustomed to having it's conformation and movement changed. But how does one properly condition the horse with numerous pads/stacks? Conditioning requires slowly building up capacity, stamina and muscle over longer and longer working times over various terrain. Color me skeptical on Big Lick horses being taken out on conditioning rides.

      Will you be replying to the earlier:

      You:
      Breathing heavy after an extensive work out is normal... In the ring these horses give it their all, and exert themselves... They don't just piddle around the ring dragging their feet and going along lazily... They put forth effort and use their limbs.... That requires effort, and lots of it, the result is breathing heavy..... Breathing heavy is not abuse.... Nor is exersizing the horse to that point....
      Explain endurance horses then.
      Field Hunters.
      Speed equitation horses.
      Haute Ecole.
      Matadore or Picadore horses.
      Eventers on cross country courses.
      CDE horses.
      Polo ponies.


      Far more effort. Far longer time competing. Far less lather and heaving.

      Horses are capable of being conditioned and trained up to be able to handle these levels of physical activity in sport without any of the lather and heaving seen in a BL horse.
      None of us have anything against working a healthy, fit, well conformed animal hard. Many of us are strong advocates for tougher conditioning of both horses and riders.
      Nobody has any objections to a horse showing exertion or the effects of that after a ride.
      Heavy breathing is fine.

      Heaving sides, dripping sweat and lather/foan covering a horse after a few piddly minutes of performing a slow gait it was bred to perform is ridiculous. To the Nth degree.

      Horses coming out of Tevis show a LOT less strain for heaven's sake. And a few minutes of Big Licking around groomed footing with the rider looking like a monkey humping a football is *not* in any way physically comparable to 100 miles of this in a single day:
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!
      ...Belefonte

      Comment


      • Originally posted by BradleyDick View Post
        Working hard, and having stresses applied to the body is nether cruel or damaging if the horse is properly conditioned to handle the stresses.... It sounds like a lot of you are against a horse actually working in the show ring or giving any effort... But trail ridding in the mountains all day once or twice a week is ok....
        These stacked horses do "hard work???" Heck no!

        Their "easy" work is made hard by the stacks and chains. They are made to struggle with each step. Common knowledge if they are not kept straight and moving or closed in a stall each step comes with great risk to the "stacked" horse. Simply walking on a lose rein on a flat show ring ground can put these stacked horses flat on their faces. We have all seen pictures and videos where simply stopping the poor horse is a calamity.

        Like the above poster said - stacked horses are pretty much hobbled.

        For a brief minute you sounded reasonable with offering to accept "some limits." Not so with your subsequent posts. Par for the course that you play this distortion record over and over, skipping on the same bad groove.

        ANd now the world knows why we need HR6388.

        It is for those who simply have no ability to open their eyes and see.
        from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

        Comment


        • *sarcasm alert* Yeah while keeping a horse in a stall all stacked/stocked up 24/7 is so MUCH better. Their bone density is like steel and their soles are hard as rocks. No thrush or P-3 rotation EVER happens.

          *not sarcasm* Do you padded horse people know anything about healthy horse husbandry even just a tiny bit?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by BradleyDick View Post
            Working hard, and having stresses applied to the body is nether cruel or damaging if the horse is properly conditioned to handle the stresses.... It sounds like a lot of you are against a horse actually working in the show ring or giving any effort... But trail ridding in the mountains all day once or twice a week is ok....

            Mr. Dick, I assume this is directed at me. For your reference, my equestrian background was in polo and I have been in eventing for more than 20 years, two disciplines that demand equine fitness for the safety of both horse and rider. I am very aware of the anatomy and physiology as well as the natural and trained capabilities of horses. As you may recall, I posted the video of a dressage horse performing a test as an example of an animal at the highest level of collection and performance but not exhibiting untoward stress.

            As Misty Blue has noted, there is a level of knowledge among the posters on this board that is significant, and many are truly exceptional in their knowledge. That many of these posters do not feel that stacking and chaining (not to mention soring) are benign is an excellent barometer of the educated view of a broad cross section of concerned and knowedgeable horsemen/ horsewomen in this country.
            They don't call me frugal for nothing.
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
              Mr. Dick, I assume this is directed at me. For your reference, my equestrian background was in polo and I have been in eventing for more than 20 years, two disciplines that demand equine fitness for the safety of both horse and rider. I am very aware of the anatomy and physiology as well as the natural and trained capabilities of horses. As you may recall, I posted the video of a dressage horse performing a test as an example of an animal at the highest level of collection and performance but not exhibiting untoward stress.

              As Misty Blue has noted, there is a level of knowledge among the posters on this board that is significant, and many are truly exceptional in their knowledge. That many of these posters do not feel that stacking and chaining (not to mention soring) are benign is an excellent barometer of the educated view of a broad cross section of concerned and knowedgeable horsemen/ horsewomen in this country.
              Maybe if Mr. Dick expanded his equine knowledge into more than just the discipline he's involved in with the other "Good Ole Boys" (as he suggests the posters here need to do) he might realize that BL is harmful to the horse. I also suggest riding lessons to most of these guys.
              Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

              Comment


              • Originally posted by BradleyDick View Post
                Working hard, and having stresses applied to the body is nether cruel or damaging if the horse is properly conditioned to handle the stresses.... It sounds like a lot of you are against a horse actually working in the show ring or giving any effort... But trail ridding in the mountains all day once or twice a week is ok....
                Working a horse and stressing it physically can indeed have longterm bad effects on a horse, even IF it is conditioned properly (the BL horses are poorly conditioned). Jumpers don't jump their horses daily-- dressage horses don't perform advanced maneuvers daily. Barrel horses don't turn and burn on a daily basis.

                Big Lick? They are on those pads 24/7, and every single time they are worked they must lug and drag those pads around (along with bicycle chain bits). Oh, and the chains, which everyone insists never get above 6 oz., even though the Auburn study conclusively proved that the horse's motion with anything under 7 oz. chains did not discernibly change at ALL. In small words, what I am saying is that 6 oz. or less caused no damage, but ALSO no change in the horse's gait. Anything over 6 oz. caused damage within a very short amount of time (2 fifteen minute sessions, IIRC). And also not much change in the horse's gait. Hmmm.... chains by themselves don't cause a gait change? Why DO they use them then?

                If the chains caused no damage, if the pads and weird angles caused no damage, the forced exertion beyond what a horse normally would do would STILL result in wear and tear on joints and posture. Wear and tear that occurs every single time the horse moves, because it has no way to escape the trappings that force it into that movement.

                Comment


                • I do not think ANY amount of conditioning (speaking from an endurance rider's perspective) would make the padded/stacked horses BE in any better condition so they do not blow and sweat horribly.

                  It just is not natural to the way a body (horse) moves. Stacked/padded is NOT natural. Wear and tear on the body is the result.

                  And the result is the owner down the road (if the horse lives) bares the burden. Horse too.

                  Comment


                  • The only way the TWH industry is going to stop soring, is if they start using stick horses.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Shansurri View Post
                      Oh, and the chains, which everyone insists never get above 6 oz., even though the Auburn study conclusively proved that the horse's motion with anything under 7 oz. chains did not discernibly change at ALL. In small words, what I am saying is that 6 oz. or less caused no damage, but ALSO no change in the horse's gait. Anything over 6 oz. caused damage within a very short amount of time (2 fifteen minute sessions, IIRC). And also not much change in the horse's gait. Hmmm.... chains by themselves don't cause a gait change? Why DO they use them then? .


                      Just chiming in to say that this is NOT in the Auburn study and the Auburn study does not even address a horse's motion. I am against Big Lick and soring, but please do NOT make up your own facts and claim that the study "proved conclusively" anything that isn't even addressed.



                      Phase XI. Use of 2, 4 and 6 Ounce Chains
                      The objectives of this study were to evaluate the use of 2, 4
                      and 6 ounce chains in Tennessee Walking Horses, without using any
                      other chemical or mechanical technique to induce inflammation.
                      Use of 2, 4 and 6 oz. chains did not cause any detectable pain,
                      tissue damage. Thermographic and pressure evaluation did not change
                      significantly. Thus, it was concluded that the use of 2, 4 and 6 oz.
                      chains for a duration of 2to 3 weeks did not produce any harmful
                      effects to the horses’ legs, with exception to some loss of hair
                      from 6 oz. chains in the pastern areas.
                      Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                      Bernard M. Baruch

                      Comment


                      • Maybe the Bedford County Sheriff,is getting ready to do a better job.

                        http://www.t-g.com/story/1825651.html

                        one can only HOPE

                        Comment


                        • could the City of Shelbyville be rethinking its image?

                          http://www.t-g.com/story/1928455.html

                          one can only HOPE

                          Comment


                          • Interesting stuff aarpaso.

                            This is a good example of the twisted "horsmanship" that has risen from the stacked crowd. And it examples the breakdown of breeding and use that many here speak of and want to move away from. But I am here to tell you there is NO way to educate the folks that are presenting this video. You see they think it is everyone else that is blind:

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo7b46YE6g0
                            from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                            Comment


                            • Wow, that's a pacey horse. No wonder so few TWH's have a natural, square walk anymore.


                              Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
                              Interesting stuff aarpaso.

                              This is a good example of the twisted "horsmanship" that has risen from the stacked crowd. And it examples the breakdown of breeding and use that many here speak of and want to move away from. But I am here to tell you there is NO way to educate the folks that are presenting this video. You see they think it is everyone else that is blind:

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo7b46YE6g0
                              In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE

                              Comment


                              • Along with being pacey she is off behind. Do you see how bad the sickle hocks are? So she had bad breeding then the misfortune of being stacked. And she seems broken down because of the two.

                                And for me the sad thing is some say this sickling is what gives them their gait - you know the addage the crookeder they are the better they gait? And it most likely is true that a crooked legged horse will not offer a suspended pace or trot. I am sure the crookedness impairs such movement.

                                But the sad thing is that many people feel that is is the "sickle hock" that causes a horse to perform a running walk. In fact one of the "sound" horse folks recently promoted breeding a TWH horses with severe sickle hocks. The explanation offered when this horse was excused from a show ring was that the judges did not understand the walking horse.

                                http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/i...endcokecan.jpg

                                Above is the excused back end - and no he is not squatting - it is as straight as he can bring his back legs. IMO this physical trait may make him smooth in the short run - but over his life time it has to break him down.

                                Good riding or not.

                                http://www.freewebs.com/mmm202/backlegsside.jpg
                                from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Shansurri View Post
                                  Working a horse and stressing it physically can indeed have longterm bad effects on a horse, even IF it is conditioned properly (the BL horses are poorly conditioned). Jumpers don't jump their horses daily-- dressage horses don't perform advanced maneuvers daily. Barrel horses don't turn and burn on a daily basis.

                                  Big Lick? They are on those pads 24/7, and every single time they are worked they must lug and drag those pads around (along with bicycle chain bits). Oh, and the chains, which everyone insists never get above 6 oz., even though the Auburn study conclusively proved that the horse's motion with anything under 7 oz. chains did not discernibly change at ALL. In small words, what I am saying is that 6 oz. or less caused no damage, but ALSO no change in the horse's gait. Anything over 6 oz. caused damage within a very short amount of time (2 fifteen minute sessions, IIRC). And also not much change in the horse's gait. Hmmm.... chains by themselves don't cause a gait change? Why DO they use them then?

                                  If the chains caused no damage, if the pads and weird angles caused no damage, the forced exertion beyond what a horse normally would do would STILL result in wear and tear on joints and posture. Wear and tear that occurs every single time the horse moves, because it has no way to escape the trappings that force it into that movement.
                                  Interestingly enough, if you go to TWH Sale, you can pick out the broken, off pads, Big Lickers in a heartbeat by the crampy, forced way of going. Extremely sad... You just want to shake some sense in these people. Such a wonderful, intelligent, versatile breed and those padded folks just do NOT GET simple, good horse stewardship, or do they care to get it, which is even sadder.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Shansurri View Post
                                    Working a horse and stressing it physically can indeed have longterm bad effects on a horse, even IF it is conditioned properly (the BL horses are poorly conditioned). Jumpers don't jump their horses daily-- dressage horses don't perform advanced maneuvers daily. Barrel horses don't turn and burn on a daily basis.

                                    Big Lick? They are on those pads 24/7, and every single time they are worked they must lug and drag those pads around (along with bicycle chain bits). Oh, and the chains, which everyone insists never get above 6 oz., even though the Auburn study conclusively proved that the horse's motion with anything under 7 oz. chains did not discernibly change at ALL. In small words, what I am saying is that 6 oz. or less caused no damage, but ALSO no change in the horse's gait. Anything over 6 oz. caused damage within a very short amount of time (2 fifteen minute sessions, IIRC). And also not much change in the horse's gait. Hmmm.... chains by themselves don't cause a gait change? Why DO they use them then?

                                    If the chains caused no damage, if the pads and weird angles caused no damage, the forced exertion beyond what a horse normally would do would STILL result in wear and tear on joints and posture. Wear and tear that occurs every single time the horse moves, because it has no way to escape the trappings that force it into that movement.
                                    Interestingly enough, if you go to TWH Sale, you can pick out the broken, off pads, Big Lickers in a heartbeat by the crampy, forced way of going. Extremely sad... You just want to shake some sense in these people. Such a wonderful, intelligent, versatile breed and those padded folks just do NOT GET simple, good horse stewardship, or do they care to get it, which is even sadder.

                                    Comment


                                    • I believe that when showing Morgans the pads are 1.5 inches or less, and there are rules regarding length of foot. Why cant this be done with TWH?
                                      (And feel free to correct if I'm wrong, I do not know much about Morgans.)
                                      Last edited by Thoro; Jan. 11, 2013, 06:49 PM.
                                      Please support S. 1406 to amend the Horse Protection Act and Prevent all Soring Tactics to the Tennessee Walking horse!
                                      https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s1406

                                      Comment


                                      • What I want to know is what kind of experience training or riding does BD have? I know BD and can tell you, outside of riding his dad and brother's coat tails, he has none. He's trail ridden and that's the ONLY photo you will ever find of BD on a horse outside of when he was a small child. He knows what he reads and what he hears. If you look at his forum, he is CONSTANTLY changing his views and opinions as to what is "popular thinking" at that point in time. He has never trained a horse, shown a horse. All he knows how to do is take a pretty picture. And even that gets edited. I've yet to see him maintain the same opinion for more than a week. When this was all started he was all gung ho about keeping the pads and chains. Especially when HR 6388 came out. Now he is for a reduction in pads and no chains. The BOY can't make up his mind to save his life. Even his "followers" are starting to see his ways.

                                        Pads are going out of style and quick. There are quite a few bad trainers in the area who sore and will continue to sore horses. I've seen a Celebration judge sore one then whip it out of cross ties because it wouldn't walk. I reported it, nothing was done, and I've not been back to that barn since. The good ol' boy system will come to find the error of their ways. Sure pads and chains don't "harm" a horse, but the soring sure as heck does. Soring is what got the industry in the predicament it's currently in, but no one will stop. The almighty dollar is more important than the horses' welfare and that is pathetic and sad.

                                        Comment


                                        • So, "the times, they are a'changin'"? I wonder.

                                          This, too, bothers me:

                                          "Sure pads and chains don't "harm" a horse, but the soring sure as heck does. Soring is what got the industry in the predicament it's currently in, but no one will stop."

                                          You are probably right that a pad or chain won't, by itself, harm a horse. But the motion that the pad or chain induces WILL harm a horse in both the short and long term. This has been my observation based upon my experience with Walkers. I have no university level studies upon which to base my observations. I also have no economic interest in the process.

                                          You are wrong that "Soring is what got the industry in the predicament it's currently in..." Soring is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The first horses were sored up in the '50s to get the same Big Lick movement that was generating Celebration wins and big money. Soring occurs in the Light Shod and Plantation Shod classes for the same reasons it occurs in the Big Lick classes. As long as "maximized front end action" is the Holy Grail of the Walker trainer then you'll have some form of soring going on.

                                          And you're right when you observe that no one will stop. Until, of course, they are stopped.

                                          G.
                                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                          Comment

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