Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee Walking Horse Trainer’s Association’


Yep.

Stop. It.

What’s got my knickers in a twist?

Soring. That’s what.

A year ago- heck- 6 months ago, I would have thought that this was a mis-spelling of what large birds do when they are flying.

The extent of our horsey knowledge was that they were expensive {especially in the desert, where they can’t graze} and that there was BIG money in racing. I had heard that there was a lot of money in the show horse world, but I never had cause to really think about any of it.

And then we moved, and had abandoned horses in our front yard.

That led to the decision to get horses for those that want to ride. A friend of ours came across a posting through an equine rescue group for a Spotted Saddle Horse. And then, the one gal with the rescue sent our friend info on a Tennessee Walking Horse.

We fell in love, and were totally, completely hooked.

We sent both girls down the road {literally, not even a mile away} for training, where they stayed for a month and we all got trained. Mostly.

We knew our SSH had issues with being trailered. We came to figure out that she had been a show horse, which instantly put her into hyper-speed when the bit when in her mouth. It also accounted for the tail with the cut tendon, to make her tail stay up a bit higher.

Our TWH, on the other hand, trailered just fine, but continued to test every single person who sat on her. And, she was/is bossy and pushy in the pasture. We think she had also been shown, thanks to her “pimp walk.”

This is a hard one to describe, because people look at you like you are nuts when you try to describe it. It’s like she has a broken leg.

Now, some people think an unusual gait is fun, {why else would they have trained her to do it?!}, but we don’t like it. At. All.

This is one of those things we’ve been working hard to correct.

We’re not getting very far riding them outside the paddock, either, because they are hopped up when the bits go in and retraining has taken some time.

To this end, we are transitioning them to use hackamores. I think we are making some progress.

I started researching, because, well, that’s just the way I roll.

And then I learned about soring, and it got me to thinking.

Our SSH, Magic, has uber sensitive feet. We thought she was ticklish. Now, I’m not so sure. I wonder if she has nerve damage.

Before I go any further, I need to warn you that these pictures and information are graphic and disturbing. Because it’s important, I feel a need to get it out there.

What is soring?

According to the Human Society,

“Soring involves the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. Caustic chemicals—blistering agents like mustard oil, diesel fuel, and kerosene—are applied to the horse’s limbs, causing extreme pain and suffering.”

Here are a few pictures.

soring1

soring2

soring3

soring4

The point of soring is to make them pick their feet up really high, for the Big Lick gait.

Lest you think this is an isolated incident, there have been recent arrests made; one top trainer in addition to a person who was on the ethics board for this breed.

I’m naming names.

Last September, Hall of Fame trainer Jackie McConnell was fined and banned for life because of soring and booted out of the Hall of Fame. Did his punishment go far enough? In my opinion, no.

$75,000 is not NEARLY enough, in my opinion, for the decades of torture he caused these horses, not to mention the profit he made in the show ring.

Last week, April 25, 19 horses were seized in a barn used by Larry Wheelon. Mr. Wheelon is an is an active director of the Tennessee Walking Horse Trainer’s Association and sits on its ethics committee. You can read about the warrant here.

Watch the videos.

They are graphic, but you NEED to see them to get a glimmer of what this is all about.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DMUbnBo0xw%5D

The Human Society video is one that I haven’t been able to sit all the way through. I absolutely just cannot get through it.

If you’ve ever been on the other side of a rescued horse, you might know what I’m talking about.

One of the previous owners threw a hammer at her (our SSH), too.

I suspect that my horse may have been subjected to some of this. Even if she wasn’t, she is, nonetheless, traumatized. There is no other explanation for the way she freaks out when getting trailered, or how you can see the fear in her eyes when the bit goes in her mouth.

We’ve been told numerous times that a horse you can’t ride eats just as much as a horse you can ride. There’s truth to that.

We’re not ready to give up, though. The more I read, watch, and learn, the more I feel like we absolutely were sent here for these horses- not just the abandoned ones, but the ones we’ve rescued.

While I admit to getting frustrated because I’d like to be further along than we are, this kind of information fortifies my resolve.

So, what can you do? Not everyone can foster or rehabilitate an abused or neglected horse. You can, however, find a 501 c3 non-profit equine rescue. You might even find one that specializes in Tennessee Walking Horses/Spotted Saddle Horses or other gaited horses that have been victimized for the show ring.

One rescue I’ve found is called the Sore No More Ranch, and it specializes in Tennessee Walking Horses that have been victims of soring.

The Wounded Heart Center is another that specializes in treatment and rehabilitation.

Habitat For Horses has a lot of good information, too.{I haven’t found anything on this website that says it’s a non-profit- if someone can find it, please post the link in a comment and I’ll edit this post.}

The bottom line is this: Soring HAS TO STOP.

Help spread the word. Donate funds to an equine rescue. Rescue a horse if you’re able. Spread the word and contact your legislators asking them NOT to support the Ag bill that punishes abuse whistleblowers. You can get read more about that issue on the Human Society  and ASPCA websites.

Get involved.

Do. Something.

You CAN make a diffference!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: