"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

Monday, May 24, 2010

NEWS - SHOCKING PHOTO making the rounds

CORRECTION: the HIO is Heart of America--that's not the horse's name. I also found out this horse won the class and "passed" post show. I think we can all conclude what' really going on here.

I received this photograph from a reliable source today. From the information I've recieved, the HIO is Heart of America and this photo was taken this year at a show. Don't know anything about the show, owner, whatever, but my God...if this horse isn't sore, I don't know what is.

PLEASE flood the USDA with letters and emails. Tell them this has GOT to stop!

Here's the letter I wrote to the USDA.

I received the attached photo today. If you don't know about the photo, I hope this is enlightening to you. If you already do know about the photo, then this had better be a strong reminder of how the Federal law is continuing to be violated.

From what I understand, this horse is named Heart of America and this photo was taken this year. I don't know anything further about it, but I don't believe I have to. This is absolutely ridiculous. This horse is obviously sore. Is this what our industry has come to? Is this what SHOW and other HIOs that allow this freak of a demonstration of this breed believe is okay to be in the show ring? I don't know if this horse was allowed in the show ring, and frankly, I don't care. It's the fact that this horse was on the show grounds at all in the state he's in that is absolutely unacceptable.

I am begging the USDA, please, PLEASE ban pads and chains from the show ring and limit the toe length and shoe size and weight like all other sound horse venues have done. These practices have obviously helped--why is it that the USDA won't follow suit? It doesn't matter that the industry claims that stacks don't hurt the horses--it's what they are doing to these animals when they are allowed to have stacks on them that does. Pressure shoeing will be easier to detect without pads on the horses. Shut down HIOs who continue to have violations at their shows. The USDA has been able to pass rules such as removing the saddle for inspection and not allowing a horse to show for the rest of the show if it's found in violation...certainly rules can be put in place to get this to stop for real.

I believe you are not doing enough and that the time for allowing the industry to police itself is over. Step up and stop this. Playing around and adding rules here and there is not going to stop this--we know that. These people have had plenty of time to stop this, and now they need real action from the Feds to end it. Stop trying to not offend them or upset them or whatever it is that is keeping the USDA from banning these practices--they don't deserve it because they are criminals. The Tennessee Walking Horse has become a disgrace to the horse industry at large, and it's obvious that those who continue to sore horses will not stop. Make a difference and make a change for the better.


The CL Horse For Sale Ad Queen said...

oh my god.

I'd like to repost that If I may?

Anonymous said...

Sure thing!

Cut-N-Jump said...

And just how much more added pain does bearing the weight of the rider inflict? I am assuming the woman holding the reins is the rider in question. She's not exactly little either.

The fact that these horses do not lash out and seriously injure or kill their abusers, just goes to show how wonderfull their temperments truly are. As I have said before and will say again- These people torturing their horses like this in public, only leave you to wonder how much further they go at home with nobody else around to watch.

Anonymous said...

It's even worse at home, CNJ.

We all know how the chemicals burn when they're put on so badly that the horse will not be able to stand. But there's a worse issue. Scars aren't allowed as part of the HPA. So if the horse has scars from the chemicals having been used, then the scars can be removed...by burning them off with acid. Usually a full concentration of salicylic acid is used. This is far worse than the pain of the chemicals themselves. Most horses won't stand, eat or drink for days while the solution burns the scars off. Most trailers will charge $400 to bring your horse to them to have the scars removed.

Since the horses are sored, whether it's chemical or mechanical, they usually can't stand. So they are beaten to get them to stand up so they can be worked.

Then there's "stewarding." So the horse shows no pain when he's being inspected, they practice at home. Someone holds the horse while someone else simulates the palpation, and one person is off to the side with a baseball bat or something similarly heavy. If the horse flinches, he gets whanged in the head. HARD. Or they will use the ends of their cigarettes and burn it into their nostrils to force them to stand still.

I can go on and on, of course, but you get the idea. If it causes pain, the so-called "trainers" will use it to win big. Their solution for a horse that reacts to pain is more pain. These are people who see horses as objects and not living creatures, and they will not change their ways until the USDA gets serious.


Is it not obvious that this photo has been photoshopped? You can clearly see where the "artist" who chummed up this photo messed up and left part of the front leg that they altered still in the photo. The part where it looks like something is hanging down in front of the front legs.

Also, notice how the feet are not flat on the ground. No horse could stand on it's "heels or tippie toes" unfortunately. Whoever revised this photo did a horrible job and obviously you have alterior motives.

The horse in this photo could easily be put back to it's original stance. Anyone with basic photoshop or other photo editing knowledge would know this, and obviously not leave so many errors that scream out "THIS PHOTO HAS BEEN ALTERED".

Anyone who actually thinks this photo is how this horse actually looked is either a fool or has no idea what a TWH really looks like or stands like.

Nice try scammer!!!

Maybe you should have a pro edit your photos for you the next time you go snapping photos with your cell phone?

Just sayin ;)

Anonymous said...


I can see you have been so good at scrutinizing this photo that you missed the obvious. First, the "part" sticking down in front of the horse that you think is the leg is actually the whip that is attached to the horse's breast collar. It's common for people to slip their whip into a whip holder on the breast collar or the ring on the breast collar to get it out of the way and have it ready to use. I've done it myself.

Second, if you were also scrutinizing so closely, you would see that the right stack of the horse is standing flat--the left foot is shifting slightly. The back feet are clearly flat as well.

Third, I didn't take this photo--someone at the show did. I don't live anywhere near where this show took place, so I never even could have taken it.

It's okay, though--go ahead and continue to lie to yourself that this was photoshopped. I assume you think all the photos in my header on the page are also photoshopped. That's fine--we all know the truth. I just LOVE when people, instead of admitting there's a problem and trying to help fix it, try to find every excuse in the book to pretend there is no a problem.

I can also see from your blogger handle that you must be from HOA? Perhaps instead of spouting off speculation, you can start insisting that the HIO you are affiliated with helps actually STOP SORING instead of continuing to have recorded violations start helping to clean up the tarnished image of this industry. Insults and uneducated speculation will get you nowhere.

It appears to me that you are the fool and have clearly made yourself look like one with your post.

Just sayin'. ;)

Sara Cain-Bartlett said...

I'm using this photo of Glenda Nichols, Ozark, Missouri, in letters and emails to my Arkansas representatives to support HR 1518. I'm also contacting all TWH offices, and sending to media. Mrs. Nichols and her family showed for years with us, I always felt so sorry for the horses which were so obviously in pain, but this is just incredible. And Ted Nichols is Pres. of the Heart of America TWA Assoc!

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Thanks for doing so, Sara. It does help to pass out pictures as well.

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