Click here for the Confidential Interviews about Soring from the 2009 Sound Horse Conference.
This is incredible information. Be sure to take the time to watch the interviews and read the transcripts if you can. The below is the description of these interviews from the Sound Horse Conference 2009 information. I think it best describes why these interviews were done and the process used.
Confidential Interviews about Soring Process Described:
Our goal for the Sound Horse Conference 2009 is to reinforce and accelerate the pressures being brought to bear to end the abusive practice of soring. Soring has been called one of the most significant welfare issues affecting any equine breed or discipline by the AAEP. That’s the association of 10,000 equine veterinarians in this country. Soring is the intentional infliction of pain, from chemical and mechanical means, to create an exaggerated gait in show horses for the purpose of winning.
There is no one in this room who would argue that soring is acceptable. There is no-one in the entire Tennessee Walking Horse industry who would suggest publically that soring is acceptable. Soring has been federally illegal for almost 40 years.
And it is denied by many in the Tennessee Walking horse industry that soring is still a common practice. Many press releases, articles, and websites claim that the vast majority of show Tennessee Walking Horses are not sored. Do you believe that? Our first presentation, Current Soring Practices, was developed to help you answer that question. Let’s dedicate this Conference, and focus our combined energies after these two days, to bring an true end to this abuse. Remember why we are doing this: for the horses, those mute, sensitive, affectionate and trusting animals who cannot defend themselves against these tortures.
And now, as we begin the Conference, I will tell you the background of this first presentation. We reached out to 12 people involved with Tennessee Walking Horses and asked for their help in contacting any sources they might know with personal involvement in soring. The basis for this project was complete anonymity.
The only way the people interviewed would agree to speak to us was if a double-blind interview was used. This would ensure that no one recognized their names nor their voices. Each source called into a conference line at their pre-scheduled time, and was questioned by a prominent attorney who has over 12 years of involvement in Horse Protection Act issues. The conference calls were recorded, and transcribed by a professional service. Interviews were conducted with padded and flat shod show horse owners, a world champion trainer, show judges, show exhibitors, and farriers. And the end of this process, the attorney who conducted the interviews stated, “The people you identified to have me interview… had terrific knowledge, and although their perspectives on the issue were all somewhat different, it's clear that soring remains a constant and institutionalized blight on the TWH breed.”
Each of the sources understood that their call was being recorded, and no sources received any compensation. The transcripts were condensed from 8 hours of interview time into what you are going to hear today and tomorrow, read by professional voices to protect all identities.
To those of you who stepped up to perform these interviews: I SALUTE YOU. You are right to make a difference and a change in the lives of your horses and yourselves. I hope that you understand that many people will forgive you for what you've done when you make this kind of a change.
Honestly, I cannot imagine how those of you who continue to do this can continue to lie about it. WE KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON. I plead with you to change. I don't care of you have a change of heart or not--stop the chemicals, the chains, the pads, the plastic, the pantyhose, the pressure shoeing, and the madness. You can get quality training just by basic proper exercise. I've found that it's a lot easier than one might think. Hell, I don't care if you use a slightly heavier shoe for weight. Just stop the pain these majestic creatures continue to go through. If you truly believed in the breed, you would stop making it look so bad.
Judges, stop rewarding animation. Stop allowing your ideas to be influenced by criminals. Start making a difference.
May God have mercy on the horses and no mercy on those who continue to perpetuate this abuse and do nothing about it.
"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
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