"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, June 2, 2010

NEWS - Positive Video and Training For the TWH

After all that negativity, here's something positive!

I don't usually put things like videos on this unless I'm demonstrating something that I'm talking about when it comes to the sore horse. But here's a video that is truly for the TWH.

The below link is a video of one of my mentors, Bucky Sparks, from Walking the Dog Ranch in CO. I have learned a lot from Bucky and how we need to change how we approach training of the TWH. Walking the Dog Ranch was featured on The Horse Show with Rick Lamb this week. This is one of the amazing ways to train TWHs using basic dressage principles and not relying on bits and gadgets. The horses that Bucky and his wife Nancy own are excellent trail horses and pleasure horses. Overall, they are doing it right!


horsndogluvr said...

I saw the show and was encouraged by it.

I've also read the posts about not being able to show a formerly sored, but now sound, horse because of the scar rule.

It occurred to me that there is one set of classes where they could enter: trail classes. Surely a sored horse would not be competitive with the sound ones in that class.

That would give a venue for those who would like to show their rehabbed TWs.

It would also be the opposite of the current situation in the "performance" classes!

I'm going to E-mail you my latest letter to the USDA.


katphoti said...

Hi Ruthie. I'd love to read your letter--send it on over!

Unfortunately, a scared horse can never be shown no matter what. There are several problems. First, horses in the trail classes are just as sore as the Big Lick horses. They are just pressured shod or road foundered. No, they no longer look like trail horses, but the judges don't care: they are placing all horses based on crouch and reach, not the type of class they're in.

Then, the HPA requires that all horses in all classes at any show affiliated with any HIO MUST be inspected. Each horse must be inspected before each class; if your horse is in 20 classes, he must be inspected 20 times. Then all first place horses must go back for reinspection--you can get ticketed for not showing back up for reinspection. Any horse found with scars indicative of having been sored, whether the horse is sore or sound at that time, must be ticketed.

So, unfortunately, horses with scars can't be shown, period. Unless they're shown at a non-HIO affilated show, but to get points and move up in the ranks, you need to go to HIO-affiliated shows.

Now, laser surgery can remove the scars humanely (instead of the salicylic acid method), but it's extremely expensive and not really worth it in the long run. It's not like you'll make your money back--we don't have the kinds of prizes and paybacks you see at bigger breed name horse shows, like QHs and Arabs.

Yes, it pisses off a lot of people who want to show a talented horse sound that has scars. But risking getting ticketed shouldn't be worth it to anyone. I have a friend with a horse for sale who's a former BL horse, but he has scars and definitely can't be shown. It sucks too, because an excellent flat walk could be developed, and he's amiable enough to be a show horse. However, he's a great endurance horse and trail horse, so he will find a home where he'll be well used.