"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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


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.


ponykins said...

I don't have a TW, but I do have horses which I show. The other day, I happened on a TW padded class on Utube. It was unable to finish watching it. Not only were the horses next to crippled, it was the sceaming of the audience I found so sickening. It was like what I imagine people sounding like cheering at a dog fight. Who cheers for horses that are laboring around a ring and in such agony? If it's that bad at shows, I can't imagine what the home training must look like. I have a friend who trail rides a TW. It's such a lovely gentle horse. What a price a horse pays for a silly piece of silk ribbon. They were talking about trying to stop soring when I was in grade school and that was a looooong time ago. Please people, put an end to this quickly.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say I'm watching this blog now, I've always been against soring (who would be FOR IT!?) But I'm also against the big lick class in it's entirety. These horses deserve to be flat shod only! I have a walker, and he is NOT gaited (He wasn't very good lol) we 3 day event and he is an awesome dressage horse and jumper, but I love the gaited ones too. Good looking out for the Walkers :)

frosty09 said...

I have 2 Tennessee Walkers myself, and I have been watching this soring stuff on the internet. I cannot imagine the pain that is inflicted on these horses. My walkers are such sweet and gentle horses; I can hardly bear the thought of someone doing that to my horses.
But you know some people treat their horses like they have no feelings; what I think they should do is do the exact same thing to these people who are inflicting this pain on these horses, maybe they would think again if they would experience the same kind of pain that the horses are feeling.
You know for me it does not even look natural that the horses lift up their feet like that, it looks grossly unreal. When I was watching the video it was very obvious that the horses were in pain as they were jumping instead of actually walking. Also, I think that the people who go to watch these shows have absolutely no feelings for horses and they must be completely stupid to the fact that this is not the horses' natural walk or behavior.

Blog Archive