"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, June 28, 2010

UPDATE on Picture of Sored HOA Show Horse

I received very good news today from the USDA. They were kind enough to send me a personal letter regarding the email I sent about our new favorite photo, below:

TO ALL OF YOU WHO THINK THIS PHOTO IS FAKE: It most certainly is real, confirmed by the USDA. It seems that Heart of America Walking Horse Association also knows it's real, as the USDA has approached them and are taking action. Here's the quote direction from the letter the USDA sent me:

"Agency Horse Protection Program (HPP) officials are aware of the situation you refer to, which took lace at a Heart of America Walking Horse Association (HAWHA) show on the weekend of May 14, 2010. Our program officials are currently in discussions with HAWHA about actions to be taken against the designated qualified persons (DPQs) hired by HAWHA who were involved in this incident. Since this issue is currently unresolved, and could result in additional enforcement action, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."

While my immediate reaction is, of course, can those DQPs' asses, unfortunately the USDA does not have the authority to demand that. However, publicly displaying this photo and keeping the information out there will help all of us to remember not to trust anyone who says that soring is a thing of the past. No, this is not an isolated incident. No, this is not a photoshopped photo. No, this is not a photo from 20 years ago. This is a common and current practice happening everyday and needs to end.

Hopefully we will hear what happens to this HIO and the DQPs. Let's hope they are both punished accordingly and called out publicly by the USDA for their actions.

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!