TITLE 15--COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 44--PROTECTION OF HORSES
(a) Assistance from Department of Agriculture and States
The Secretary, in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, shall utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the existing personnel and facilities of the Department of Agriculture. The Secretary is further authorized to utilize the officers and employees of any State, with its consent, and with or without reimbursement, to assist him in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
Sec. 1828. Rules and regulations
The Secretary is authorized to issue such rules and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
2. Pay attention to the real results of the Auburn Study and do another study like it with unbiased vets. For those who don't know, the Auburn Study was done in September 1978 through December of 1982 to study the results of using chains in the show ring using thermography to show where the heat signatures indicated pain. It was determined that both 10 oz and 8 oz chains caused pain and inflammation. So the rulebooks were changed so that nothing heavier than a 6 oz chain is to be used in the show ring (but of course, this rule is violated a lot.)
In this photo, devices known as rollers are being used. Most likely the rings are made of heavy steel and are above the weight limit of 6 ozs. This photo was taken in 2005.
However, here are the results from the Auburn Study that the industry continues to ignore.
"Attached are some questions we asked of our farrier and four clinic veterinarians who devote their professional time almost exclusively to equines. They all answered `yes' to the first two questions and suggested sheared heels, quarter cracks, and laminitis as other abnormalities of the forefeet of Tennessee Walking Horses shod with conventional pads. They all answered `yes' to the fourth question, giving their reason that they could not adequately examine the feet unless the sole was exposed.
R.S. Sharman, DVM
1. Do you associate , from your observation, increased incidence of thrush with pads covering the sole of horses hooves?
2. Contracted Heels?
3. Other abnormalities?
4. Would you consider it necessary to remove pads and shoes from a horse to do an adequate foot examination? Why?"
The Auburn Study was bought and paid for by the sore horse industry to help back up their claims that the pads and chains don't hurt the horse. This study is frequently referred to by those who continue to support the Big Lick and padded horses, but they conveniently leave out the above information from Dr. Sharman.
Since the AAEP wrote the White Paper, they would be a great place to start. What we need is a true study by vets who are not part of the TWH industry (sound or sore) on how chains affect a horse, no matter what the weight is. Have them go look at BL horses at sales (anonymously, of course) and see how their feet when they’re taken off stacks really are, and x-rays these horses. Check out the plantation horses too—look for long toes and sheered heels, and x-ray them as well.
Illegal long toes. This can also be achieved by applying an epoxy to the hoof to extend it further. This photo was taken at an SSHBEA show.
3. Get rid of HIOs, have only VMOs do inspections, and implement a national TWH rulebook. This would cut down on the amount of TWH shows immensely. The TWH industry is quite possibly the only industry that has weekly shows during the show season. This means that horses are forced to wear heavy shoes, pads, etc. 24/7 so they are ready for shows on Friday and Saturday nights. These animals are extremely overworked for the type of showing they do, and since most of them are sored to make it easy to put them in the ring, they don't receive proper exercise to build up their muscles to learn how to carry both a heavy rider and the heavy shoes properly. So, having to pay for and bring in VMOs will cut down the number of shows as there won't be an "in" with crooked DQPs for bringing in the sore horses anymore.
Now, we all know that "outlaw" or "wildcat" shows will go on. However, because they won't be affiliated, the USDA can easily come in and shut them down and fine the show management a hefty fine for not following the law. The USDA will benefit from the money coming in from having to have VMOs paid for their services, so that money can continue to be used to attend the sore shows.
If the USDA needs an international TWH rulebook, then NWHA is the perfect model for this. NWHA's membership has been accepted accepted by USEF, which means their show rulebook is being considered to be their model for or the official rulebook for TWHs for the USEF. NWHA is the only TWH sound horse group that has accomplished this feat, for in the past, the USEF has shunned the TWH industry because of the abuse. NWHA's dressage rules have also accepted by the USDF as the official dressage rules for gaited horses. Plus, it has been proven that NWHA tends to be the sound horse group of choice for people who go away from the sore HIOs because owners and exhibitors who like more animation can easily follow NWHA's rules. NWHA has taken some amazing steps to get the TWH more recognized as a horse that is perfectly capable of being shown sound, and it's beginning to really become more prominent, especially since NWHA was invited to the WEGs to perform.
There's what my personal research has come to--three simple steps that can stop this abuse for good. Ending soring is easy if only the USDA will do it. Be sure to send in your letters to let the USDA know how you feel and that you want this to end now. If anyone has other ideas, please let me know--we all need to hear suggestions that are out there when it comes to stopping this horrific form of abuse.