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Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Issue *Update post 1*

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  • "You ask why people don't support your actions."

    I never asked that. I don't care if people support my actions or not. What I want to see support of is the end of soring, pads, chains, action devices, and all this crap in the show ring. Let's start seeing people actually stand up for the horse for once and be serious about real training practices that aren't designed to force the horse to move in a certain way.

    "We don't support your actions because you are attacking our breeds, which do not use soring (Saddlebreds, Morgans, Hackneys, Arabians), and condeming us for enjoying saddle seat riding."

    I'm not attacking the breeds at all. The breeds--that is, the horses themselves--are completely innocent and the voiceless victims to the abuses in the show ring. Quite frankly, if the horses could scream, then this would have ended a long time ago.

    I'm attacking the people who feel it's necessary to use abuse to "train" horses. I'm sorry, but forcing a horse to carry itself in an upside down frame simply because it looks kewl is abusive. The ASB community wonders why lordosis is so common...maybe it's because they put their horses in bitting rigs and force them to live in them. Then they're ridden with hands high up in the air to force the horse to keep his head up and hollow out his back. Plus they're started young, as a yearling, when their bones still need exercise but don't need to be ridden at the levels that a 10 year old horse can to be shown at. Shoot, all areas start horses too young.Read the Ranger Study and it'll reveal why allowing horses to grow before forcing them to be ridden like they're 10 years old is a problem. Caveat: I AM NOT SAYING RIDING TWO YEAR OLDS IS WRONG. But riding them in the show ring and starting horses before they're two is ABSOLUTELY wrong. The poor creature has his whole life to learn things...give him time to grow and learn slowly! You can't expect a 10 year old kid who is showing a propensity for math to do calculus...why ask 2 year old horses to perform at the level of finished show horses?

    And quite frankly, if Saddleseat were a true sport, then it'd be at the Olympics. Rolkur has been banned from the USEF and the Olympics, AND when people get caught cheating with drugs and the like at those events they are actually punished instead of consistently rewarded. Look at how many horses were stripped of their medals in the past two Olympics because of drugs. That can't be said for the rail classes. I can go on and on about how instances of cheaters is rare in those areas. Overall, though, pointing the finger at others doesn't make what's going on in the rail classes okay.

    I'll post this picture as evidence of an Arab that has the bands so tight it's caused bruising in his feet. As far as I understand, this photo was taken last year at an Arab show in California. Of course, I'm sure no one's horses are ever subjected to this, amiright? Because NO ONE EVER abuses their horses. Never mind all the evidence to the contrary.

    Abuse comes in many forms. Just because the horse looks healthy doesn't mean there isn't something going on underneath. But please, everyone, just say it--this is an isolated case, horses at my shows and my trainers' barn don't EVER look like this, this horse should've been thrown out...give us all the excuses needed, but be sure to turn a blind eye to the horses seen everyday that are abused and be sure to call it normal. It's what people who show on the rail are best at.
    Andrea, For the Tennessee Walking Horse
    www.forthetwh.com

    Comment


    • THANK YOU, microbovine. I absolutely agree. I'm thinking about competitive driving myself. Lots of work is gone into the care of the horses and correct training. Plus they don't care if your horses wear shoes or not, and the horse that actually moves naturally to his form performs better than those who are forced into an incorrect frame.
      Andrea, For the Tennessee Walking Horse
      www.forthetwh.com

      Comment


      • "Polo? They just recently started drug testing their ponies after the big fiasco in their sport of 21 ponies dieing after a compounding error with a drug they were given."

        And by the way, at least they actually ARE drug testing now, which is far more than we can say for the TWH industry and quite frankly the Saddle seat industry as a whole.
        Andrea, For the Tennessee Walking Horse
        www.forthetwh.com

        Comment


        • Originally posted by FortheTWH View Post
          "Polo? They just recently started drug testing their ponies after the big fiasco in their sport of 21 ponies dieing after a compounding error with a drug they were given."

          And by the way, at least they actually ARE drug testing now, which is far more than we can say for the TWH industry and quite frankly the Saddle seat industry as a whole.
          All of the Saddle Seat Trotting breeds are governed by USEF and follow the same drug rules as dressage, jumpers, driving, and every other USEF breed and discipline. Plus USEF sponors a Saddle Seat World Cup team. Get your facts straight.

          Comment


          • Just need to jump in with a fact break.

            The 21 polo ponies that died were given an incorrectly compounded version of a vitamin and mineral supplement that is legal in most of the world. I can't say for sure that the supplement is legal in the US, but the components are. However, the incorrect concentrations that were given proved to be lethal.

            And yes, horses do die in sport. It breaks the participants' hearts when it happens, and the sports that I'm familiar with have been making every effort to decrease the risk of serious injury or death to both horses and riders. As a result, such outcomes have been decreasing, but they will likely never reach zero much as we might want them to. Nonetheless, research continues to the extent that every horse that dies at a sanctioned event, for example, must have a necropsy done and the results are analyzed and collected so that someday we may learn to decrease risk even further.

            Sorry. Didn't mean to veer off the track of this discussion.
            They don't call me frugal for nothing.
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

            Comment


            • The problem and the reason for the inclusion of other high stepping breeds in this discussion is that HR6388 proposes to ban action devices in the Racking, TWH ans Spotted saddle horse breed shows/exhibitions for good reason. And that is the extreme to which those breeds took them (chains in the ring, shoes by the multi pound and pads by the stack). And having been given every opportunity to self regulate - they failed to see the need for limits and such on what a trainer or owner could subject a horse to in order to get a high step.

              And other than class limitations on saddleseat breed shows, there really is no limit as to what can be done or attached to a foot.

              I think what should be considered is a limit on how a device is attached. From my point of view, anytime you need to put a hose clamp on a shoe or stack to hold it on - you have just gone too far.

              But when I try to open this up for discussion - people skim over it.

              It is worthy of discussion IMO. Along with no chains or stretchies in the show ring -I think the bands need to go. And that would be for all saddle seat divisions - not just the gaited only breed shows.

              Thoughts?
              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


              • And I want to add, back in the day for me and saddlebreds - specially at A-rated shows - they were getting urine samples.
                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 Renae View Post
                  Pet pony? Really? Pet Pony classes that I am familiar with are for ponies 12 hands and under, which would be a highly unusually small size for a Saddlebred Pony. Being that the class was at Devon it is more likely that the class was Three-Gaited Saddle Pony, which is judged as a Three-Gaited Saddlebred class, and though the ponies do not have to be registered anything they are to be of Saddlebred type. They perfrom an animated walk (which can be four or two beat, but should not be a flat four beat walk), park trot and canter.

                  Again this thread is wandering back to the area of reasoning on the parts of some that shows why those of us who do enjoy showing Saddlebreds, Morgans, Hackneys and Arabians do not offer support to your efforts. Yes, soring is horrible. Using action devices and shoeing our horses properly for the discipline we compete in is not soring. It does not injure the horse. We can argue back and forth all day but training saddle seat trotting horses is what I actually do for a living and that I am argueing with people who have never done so (and some of you who have never even seen a Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian or Hackney show horse or pony) and who have no first hand experience is just pointless. Many here say they want this thread to be abou Walking Horses and soring. Then I am telling YOU to stay on topic.
                  It was a pet pony class. Judged on the manners and suitable to the child. I refuse to make this personal but you have no idea of the championships and awards we won in the Saddlebred world. Judging show horses in subjective. Always will be. But, you are right, we should stay on topic. My comments were in regard to those that think winning a BL class proves their horses are sane and sound.
                  Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
                    The problem and the reason for the inclusion of other high stepping breeds in this discussion is that HR6388 proposes to ban action devices in the Racking, TWH ans Spotted saddle horse breed shows/exhibitions for good reason. And that is the extreme to which those breeds took them (chains in the ring, shoes by the multi pound and pads by the stack). And having been given every opportunity to self regulate - they failed to see the need for limits and such on what a trainer or owner could subject a horse to in order to get a high step.

                    And other than class limitations on saddleseat breed shows, there really is no limit as to what can be done or attached to a foot.

                    I think what should be considered is a limit on how a device is attached. From my point of view, anytime you need to put a hose clamp on a shoe or stack to hold it on - you have just gone too far.

                    But when I try to open this up for discussion - people skim over it.

                    It is worthy of discussion IMO. Along with no chains or stretchies in the show ring -I think the bands need to go. And that would be for all saddle seat divisions - not just the gaited only breed shows.

                    Thoughts?
                    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
                    Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by FortheTWH View Post
                      Thank you, Fairfax. You just proved everyone's points here. You have to find excuses to keep your precious stacked horses in the ring. When presented with facts, even anecdotal ones, you have to fight it. It's very clear that you have no problem with things as they are.

                      Actually, I have been to A LOT of sore horse shows in CA. Watched soring first hand when the BL was present at the Carousel. And since you didn't do work at the Carousel, then how do you know what's been going on at it? The Futurity is not a big show for any of the other gaited breeds other than the ASBs.

                      So my final question for you is this: if you are truly against soring, what are you doing to help stop it? Are you contacting the HIOs and asking for stronger penalties, or do you think the penalties are good enough, which they aren't since soring is still rampant? Are you asking for people like McConnell to be banned from showing for life, or are you helping support those people by praising their "training" abilities? Are you standing up against the HIOs and saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, or are you just letting them "handle it", when they clearly can't stop soring after over 40 years of the HPA being in place? Are you turning your back when known multiple HPA violators enter the ring, or do you continue to cheer them on?

                      Coming on here and trying to discount everything we say does nothing but confirm our suspicions: that people want the sore horse to stay in the ring, period. If this industry TRULY wanted sore horses to be gone, they could easily get rid of them. But since they're not going to do it, I'm going to keep exposing the lies and excuses for what they truly are, and I'm going to continue to support the USDA and the new amendment when it gets reintroduced.
                      I have stated from day one (again, that does require you start reading from the first post) that I am against soring.

                      In Canada, BL is ILLEGAL....no more and no less

                      I find it amazing that so many TWH plantation owners are NOT involved in any anti soring campaign. The number of posters on this forum is very small which leads me to believe that many just don't want to rock any boat...leave things as they are.

                      I have written lettersa but more important, I PHONE and speak with reps or their aids.

                      I am not sure where you read, posted by me OR were able to interpret from my post that I support stacks. Other than theraputic.

                      IF you read my post I clearly (or so I thought) stated that the average spectator is NOT a HORSEMAN/woman. They go to Celebration to enjoy the the activites and party. They are not familar with horse shoes..if they saw those big ones I have heard them joke..that reminds them of their mothers high heels. They do not understand the soring issue.

                      I do not own TWH's. I don't show them. I am vocal however I am not going to join any committees for the breed. THAT is for breeder owners of the Walking horses to do.

                      I am happy for you that you will be able to work hard for your breed in your area.

                      I am sure I do not have to ask you what you have done. I am sure it is awesome.

                      Here is an interesting point. Had a call from a lady who rides BL. She is going to take the Walking Way as she wants to learn a lot more. She asked me if I had many calls from the flat shod plantation owners. She was not surprised when i stated nada, nope, not even one question. Unkindly (I am sure) she stated the "natural" plantation group tend to be cheap when it comes to parting with their money and yet loud when it comes to their vocal chords.

                      I asked her how she was able to support soring. She honestly stated it has taken her some time to truly understand the whole issue. THAT is why she will no longer show her BL contestant and is going to make a switch. Her trainer told her most of the "natural" plantation hroses are also sored or pressure shod IF they are going to be competative in the big circuits. I am actually going to send the mags out of Montana (five minutes away)_ It will only cost her about 10$..
                      The Elephant in the room

                      Comment


                      • I am also curious. This issue has been an issue, according to plantation owners forover 30 years. Neale Hubbard of Edmonton tried to have the law reversed outlawing BL in Canada and he was met with huge resistance from Helen Williamson of Westridge Farms (Go Shadow Go and Shaker's Royal Heir) personally went to the government (at her own expense) with a group of TWH supporters to keep BL OUT...

                        In all fairness, it is easier to get rid of something before it has a major hold and the TWH is a marginalized breed in numbers...Canada and most of the U.S. just do not have the numbers. The Walking Horse News from Canada had many old time lines i.e. Go Boy's Crown Royal by Merry Go Boy and out of a Midnight Sun mare.

                        Maybe some of those lines (if they were good) can still be located north of the border for reintroduction into your genetic pool.

                        I have heard and read that those who did protest were "given the word" i.e. possible threat so that explains some...but hey...the KKK was driven back underground and it is NOT considered to be acceptable to wear a sheet in public. This is probably as far as you will be able to get with the BL soring issue..it will go underground. However, that will not provide the glory nor the money for the trainers so over a time..it should take its toll.

                        I am AGAINST some of the posters on this forum who are trying to outlaw ALL training devices for any use. I believe I have CLEARLY stated that I do use rollers and chains for short periods of time however I want to again make it clear...I do NOT use any illegal weight . I weighed one set of rollers and they are just under 6 ounces and the chains are funny...just under 4 ounces... NO horse wears them in the stall and no horse wears them in a pasture.
                        The Elephant in the room

                        Comment


                        • How high is high enough for you? Bouncing off their own chin? Wrapping around and giving you a quick neck scratch?

                          Comment


                          • I read from the TWH owners that there are lines that can truly move up and out and do it naturally.
                            ]
                            My ASB's break even without shoes. Weight on the back does have an impact and that is where training and resistence training comes into play.
                            The Elephant in the room

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
                              I think what should be considered is a limit on how a device is attached. From my point of view, anytime you need to put a hose clamp on a shoe or stack to hold it on - you have just gone too far.

                              But when I try to open this up for discussion - people skim over it.

                              It is worthy of discussion IMO. Along with no chains or stretchies in the show ring -I think the bands need to go. And that would be for all saddle seat divisions - not just the gaited only breed shows.

                              Thoughts?
                              I agree wholeheartedly. The thing is that a band is not necessary, not even in therapeutic circles. NWHA eliminated stacks, bands and action devices first, to keep the sore horse people out, second, because they have a no-tolerance policy BL people just weren't showing up, and third, because if you have to have a band to hold the shoe on then either the shoe is too heavy or the hoof quality has something wrong with it that needs to be addressed.

                              There is no need for bands or pads on a horse, period. I hear the excuses of well we live in shoe-sucking mud. Well, I have a solution for you: go barefoot. Or keep your horses out of the mud. If you MUST have big shoes on for showing, then keep them in a barn where they won't be walking in the mud.

                              With the picture I posted of the Arab's foot, I can only imagine how tight that band had to be to cause that. Some people will say well, my trainer doesn't tighten the bands that tight. But how do you know? Who knows what's too tight for each individual horse? And if your horse has black feet, how are you even going to know if it's bruised?

                              Even for therapeutic reasons, a pad is not much more than a 1/2" thick. No wedges, no bands. I do know of situations where horse's hooves have completely come off and a hoof was "made" with wedges, bands and pads to support the foot while the new hoof grew in, but that is RARE. And if a horse's hoof has come off and he has to wear something like that, then it's just downright abusive to make him show. I can only imagine the pain a horse would be in.

                              I'm sure NO VET has EVER used giant stacks like the TWH wears as therapy to heal hoof issues.

                              Quite frankly, if your horse needs therapeutic shoes, then why is he even showing? Why are you putting him through that?

                              So the excuse that it's therapeutic is just that: another excuse by the industry and by the high-stepping show community so they can keep what THEY want in the ring.

                              I'm okay with a compromise, like getting the TWH pad size down to something small that doesn't put the horse up on his toes to show. They could be removed at the show to check for soring. But get rid of the bands and the action devices. They aren't necessary.
                              Andrea, For the Tennessee Walking Horse
                              www.forthetwh.com

                              Comment


                              • It really is simple isn't it?

                                But this thread sure shows there are those who just can not deal with the prospect of abiding to limits. And they only feel comfortable if every 'what if' is given an exception to the rule. Or they shirk the judgement that creating and abiding to rules requires and call for all rules to be banned.
                                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


                                • I do not recall any post from anyone asking for limits to be banned.

                                  I do recall individuals saying (me, for one) when Aarpaso stated she wanted ALL training devices even for farm training outlawed..that some of us said..that was going overboard and keep it in your own breed and do not incclude others.

                                  You have many fanatics on your side.

                                  As with most issues..just passing a bill and making it law does not guaranty anything will change until the laws are applied.

                                  I am waiting to receive an extensive study conducted in Australia which shows that barefoot even for wild horses is not "the ideal" .. pure and natural..that we are all told. I have only heard about it from the assistant to Cindy LaCroix who is a noted leg and hoof specialist in Scottsdale so will provide a link...the number of horses barefoot who develope laminitis is very high...according to this study.

                                  25 years ago there was a product called Hoof Bond. A group of endurance riders (Beezle the 100 mile in one day Tevis Cup winner used it) and a group of TWH owners. Everyone touted this was natural...hardened the hoof but there was a side effect. It actually damaged the hoof so badly that they fell off. Lawsuits by the hundreds and of course the company filed for bankruptcy and that was the end of it. Barefoot is NOT the holy grail for horses that are in use.
                                  The Elephant in the room

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Fairfax View Post
                                    I do not recall any post from anyone asking for limits to be banned.

                                    I do recall individuals saying (me, for one) when Aarpaso stated she wanted ALL training devices even for farm training outlawed..that some of us said..that was going overboard and keep it in your own breed and do not incclude others.

                                    You have many fanatics on your side.

                                    As with most issues..just passing a bill and making it law does not guaranty anything will change until the laws are applied.

                                    I am waiting to receive an extensive study conducted in Australia which shows that barefoot even for wild horses is not "the ideal" .. pure and natural..that we are all told. I have only heard about it from the assistant to Cindy LaCroix who is a noted leg and hoof specialist in Scottsdale so will provide a link...the number of horses barefoot who develope laminitis is very high...according to this study.

                                    25 years ago there was a product called Hoof Bond. A group of endurance riders (Beezle the 100 mile in one day Tevis Cup winner used it) and a group of TWH owners. Everyone touted this was natural...hardened the hoof but there was a side effect. It actually damaged the hoof so badly that they fell off. Lawsuits by the hundreds and of course the company filed for bankruptcy and that was the end of it. Barefoot is NOT the holy grail for horses that are in use.
                                    Well of course barefoot is not the "ideal". There is no ideal. Every horse is different.

                                    That said, after having worked with both weighted horses and barefoot, I'll take any problems associated with barefoot over weighted any day. JMHO
                                    Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Fairfax View Post
                                      As with most issues..just passing a bill and making it law does not guaranty anything will change until the laws are applied.

                                      I am waiting to receive an extensive study conducted in Australia which shows that barefoot even for wild horses is not "the ideal" .. pure and natural..that we are all told. I have only heard about it from the assistant to Cindy LaCroix who is a noted leg and hoof specialist in Scottsdale so will provide a link...the number of horses barefoot who develope laminitis is very high...according to this study.
                                      As far as passing a bill, no, it won't be a cure all. But it will make people think twice. And because the USDA will be at the big shows, it won't make much sense to sore the horses before the shows since it will be much easier for them to get caught when the bill passes.

                                      As far as barefoot is concerned, it CURED my mare's laminitis--because the rotation of her coffin bone wasn't very bad, it actually rotated back into place. It cracks me up that a study is being done to disprove barefoot when there are already tons of studies out there proving that barefoot is better in most cases. See Pete Ramey, Jamie Jackson, etc. Quite frankly, if barefoot caused laminitis, then all the horses that go barefoot in the Tevis should be dead lame.

                                      You should also probably contact Stefan and Shannon Peters when that study comes out, because they're going completely barefoot with lots of their horse (see last month's Dressage Today).

                                      Now Natural Balance trimming by Dr. Strausser and Ovnicek--that has proven to cause laminitis and problems in horses because it's chopping off the toe and assuming all horses live like wild horses, when they don't. I have seen NB mess up a horse's gait in no time.
                                      Andrea, For the Tennessee Walking Horse
                                      www.forthetwh.com

                                      Comment


                                      • Interesting article with links to studies for those who don't believe that action devices and in this case weighted boots can have a positive influence on a horse's training and way of going: http://www.thehorse.com/(F(UlPkxc0TT...mb-gait-issues

                                        When horses were studied wearing a lightweight chain on their hind pastern:
                                        Motion analysis showed that when the horses were wearing the bracelets the height of the hind hoof during the swing phase (i.e., when the foot is off the ground) increased as much as threefold at a trot due to increased flexion primarily at the stifle and hock joints.
                                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20486979
                                        The effects of tactile stimulation of the hind pasterns on joint motion and muscle activation may be used in physiotherapy and rehabilitation to restore or increase flexion of the hindlimb joints with the exception of the hip joint. The ability to stimulate concentric activity of the tarsal musculature may have therapeutic applications in conditions such as toe dragging.
                                        In this study horses wore 24 oz. ankle weights on their hind pasterns. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21592217
                                        The addition of weight to the hind pasterns may have therapeutic applications in activating and strengthening the hindlimb musculature. This is particularly relevant in the hip region, which appears more sensitive and responsive to the effect of weights than to tactile stimulation alone.
                                        And finally they compared 4 different types of action devices and weighted boots on horse's hind legs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22023127
                                        The type and weight of foot stimulators affected the magnitude of the kinematic and kinetic responses and the joints affected. These findings suggest that different types of foot stimulators are appropriate for rehabilitation of specific hind limb gait deficits, such as toe dragging and a short stride.
                                        I think these types of studies show that those of you who think that action devices used in training have no long term benefit and must be used as part of the system of soring are incorrect. Action devices can be used in a humane, physical therapy or exercise type manner to develop the muscles and range of motion in joints for a horse to do certain types of work.

                                        As far as legislating shoeing practices in the trotting horse saddle seat show world, where soring is NOT an issue or problem I think it is totally uncalled for. People have been showing Saddlebreds since 1816, fears or our practices devolving to the brutality of what Walking Horse trainers started doing in the 1950s are unfounded. We already have rules barring pads and hoof bands from and entire division of our shows, and in other places in our rule book you will find rules such as, "Laboring action due to excessive weight of shoes or length of foot is penalized." And frankly all this noise coming from people who have little to not involvement in this area of the horse world makes as much sense as me showing up at Rolex and telling the eventing people which cross country jumps they can not jump because I think they are too dangerous! I do not have sufficient knowledge to judge that, and I have no vested interest in the outcome of my judgements.

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                                        • So I'm curious for those that like/want/employ these weighted shoeing practices on their subsequent breeds. What would happen if they were all banned tomorrow? This is an honest question.

                                          I would think it would cheaper and easier to maintain any horse. The only folks that would be on the losing end of the hypothetical scenario would be farriers.

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