"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, August 9, 2011

NEWS and VIDEO - Abuse In a Trailer At a WHTA Show

I don't think the attitude of the industry toward horses can be better explained by this video.

This was brought to my attention by a trainer from KY. This is quite possibly an example of "stewarding," a practice used to force a horse to stand to take the pain of a DQP inspection. Stewarding involves taking a horse and having it stand tied while someone holds its feet and prods it the way a DQP would. Another person is standing next to the horse with something that will hurt if it hits the horse, such as a broom handle, baseball bat, or 2 x 4. If the horse flinches, they get whacked really, really hard. This way the horse learns that if it doesn't stand still, the pain will be worse than the pain he's feeling on his legs and feet. Another form involves burning the horse up in side the nostril with a lit cigarette or a hot branding iron, which will cause pain but won't leave a visible scar. Unfortunately, I once met a horse with circular shaped scars in its nostrils, a victim of stewarding.

Click here for the link to the video. This is a public website with all videos available for view. This show was the 35th Annual Marshall County Horseman's Association Horse Show that took place on July 22nd, 2011.

Here's what you're looking for. At approximately 4:00 minutes, the announcer asks for the horses to slow to a flat walk and then reverse. The camera will pan to the right and stop on a sorrel horse with a blaze. In the background in the upper right of your screen is a trailer with a lighted, open door. You will see a horse standing tied to the trailer that then moves out of view. You will then see a horse's head in the door. A man then steps out of the trailer with a broom. He turns around, then slams the broom down through the air, and as the broom makes contact, you will see the shadow of the horse in the square window to the left react and jerk violently to the left. This all happens at about 4:45.

As the trainer said to me, I don't think this guy is swatting flies.

I hear from the industry that they love their horses and would never do anything bad to them. So is this love? They certainly love their horses enough to buy a fancy truck and trailer to pull them to the show. They love them so much they're happy to abuse them to get them to do what they want.

I don't care who the trainer is, who the person is who swung that broom--it doesn't matter. The horse is being abused on the show grounds, period, AND it's on video. Way to go, WHTA. You're continuing to prove to us that abuse abounds in the TWH industry.


gailk said...

I am speechless!! So much suffering perpetrated on these beautiful animals. As I watched the tape....I wanted to reach through the screen and bring everyone of these poor animals home. I also wanted to take a broom to the "steward" or whatever he is. How CAN these people do this???? Where ARE all the people who say they are against soring. LOOK at the horses!!! They are beautiful and they are tortured and forced to do this horrible grotesque movement. There is nothing pretty about it and the men riding them all look like vultures...aptly named in my opinion.I am heartsick that the people in these communities will just stand by and allow this torture and yes...cheer!!!People in this industry are just oh - so offended that anyone would DARE to make any negative comments about THEIR horses but they would make a lot more progress and gain a lot more respect if they would get rid of their "righteous anger" and DO SOMETHING about what the rest of the world views as the abomination that this is!!

Original_Wacky said...

I am having a *very* hard time seeing this - I wonder if somebody with editing capabilities could highlight it or something. Regardless, I'm somewhat astonished at how uncomfortable that looks for the horses in the ring. I'm a horse person, but I've never been around shows, and am just starting to learn about these kinds of things, and I just cannot understand how people can think this is okay.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Original_Wacky, unfortunately since this video has made the rounds, it has been edited. But I'm glad you said what you said about the horses--it is the truth. This is not okay and we need to see it stopped.

Original_Wacky said...

Ahhh, editing explains why I'm not seeing it. Gee, if they weren't doing anything wrong, then they wouldn't need to edit the video, amiright? Makes me happy I grew up in a family that believed in being excellent to our animals, even the food ones.

meathead0408 said...

Shouldn't everybody be worried about the starving kids in Africa besides the Walking Horse Industry?

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Really, meathead? If there were a federal law against allowing people in Africa to starve, sure, I'd be all for it. But I'm in America, and unfortunately I don't have the time or funds to fly over there and help them out. I do have the time and the means, however, to save the TWH and see that an American federal law is upheld, which is what I'm going to do.

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