"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

PRESENTATION - Emphasis on Inspection Protocol Beginning 2009 Show Season

Since the videos that I posted in my previous post were pulled before I had a chance to transcribe them, I have done some more research to find these videos again. I noticed that there is a potential link to the videos on The Walking Horse Report, if you subscribe. I don't because they continue to support the sore horse industry. Feel free to send me the links if you do subscribe.

Anyway, I did go to the USDA website and found the presentation that Dr. Cezar made in one of the videos.

Emphasis on Inspection for Horse Protection Program

Full Version with Regulation and Act Citations

To recap what was on the videos, Dr. Cezar and Dr. Gipson went over and emphasized the new inspection processes that DQPs will be using at shows in the 2009 show season, particularly the USDA VMOs. This includes using hoof testers, sniffers, thermography, pulling shoes, weighing chains, checking inside the horses' mouths, and requiring no tack on the horses when being inspected. The following is why they're using these measures.

Pulling Shoes. The shoes can be weighed to make sure they're within HPA regulations. Pulling them can also expose anything such as hard acrylic, golf balls, nails, or any other item used to put undue pressure on the inside of the hoof and cause pain. It can also expose brusing, exposing if the horse is standing on its soles, removing the frog, or other such abnormal trimming and shoeing to also cause pain. Be sure to note the photos in the presentations--they are excellent examples of these practices.
Hoof Testers. Hoof testers can be used to expose pain in conjunction with pulling shoes. The horse can also show pain if the hoof testers are used on a horse if it still has shoes and pads on.
Sniffers. Sniffer technology instantly finds any chemicals or lubricant that are being used that are illegal per the HPA.
Thermography. This will expose inflammation within the inner workings of the horse's legs that indicates pain.
Weighing chains. If a DQP sees a horse or someone reports a horse as wearing chains that look to heavy, the horse can be pulled from the warmup ring or grounds and put in inspection to have the chains weighed for compliance.
Requiring horses to be inspected without tack and checking in the horses' mouths. Many times the trainers/owners/exhibitors will attach alligator clips, bit burrs, or other such devices to cause pain on the horse's skin under the saddle or girth or inside their mouth. This distracts them from the pain when being inspected. It is another form of "stewarding," where the horse is subjected to worse pain than what it endures when being inspected to keep it distracted from the inspection process.

It's important to note that all of these ways of hurting the horse are violations of the HPA.

These drastic changes are necessary to end this horrible practice. I am really glad that the USDA has decided to take these drastic measures. It gives me hope for the TWH and to save so many horses from this horrible form of abuse.

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