"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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

HOW YOU CAN HELP - A List of People to Contact Coming Soon!

The response to the video the HSUS has released and the Nightline show aired on Wednesday night has been amazing.  My first response is:

To all of you who have shared this information, contacted me or jumped online to work to help end this!
Even just reading this blog and seeing the video makes a world of difference!

If you didn't catch the Nightline episode, here it is!

Obviously, I have been receiving a lot of questions of how you can help.  We're putting together a large list of people to contact to let the industry and those who support it know that this needs to stop.  This list will be up tomorrow.

I'll also have a sample letter drafted to help everyone write their own.  But please note: it's extremely important to write your own letter.  You are welcome to use a form letter that you send to each person, but make sure it's tailored to the specific reader, such as using their name in the Dear line, and your subject pertaining to the issue at hand, such as National Celebration Corporate Sponsorship.

I also have a lot of articles that are popping up online that i will also post here tomorrow.  I have a lot of work to do!  If you have ANY ideas, feel free to contact me at forthetnwalkinghorse at gmail dot com (replace the "at" with @ and the "dot" with . )  Also we are working hard on our Facebook page: Click here to join us!

My friends, I am amazed at the overwhelming support.  I know this sounds awful, but perhaps the videotaping of those horses being abused, even though they suffered, is what's going to save our magnificent breed and end this ridiculous abuse once and for all.  And please, remember that the industry WANTS to keep the sore horse in the ring, so their excuses cannot be tolerated.  We need to be the voice for the horse.  We need to speak out loud and clear and let them know that we no longer will pretend this isn't going on, nor will we watch them continue to violate a federal law and abuse animals in the name of fun and profit.


And God bless all of you for your passion to save the horse!


JRizzo said...

I will be checking this blog daily to look for who to contact in the industry about stopping this cruelty. It is about time that the real stories get out for the public to see, and it is our time as horse owners, no matter what breed to try and stop the abuse from continuing. I own a Quarter Horse, but I have seen the Big Licks at the MO State Fair and just as quickly as I'm brought to tears, I am outraged at the trainers, owners, and riders for allowing these beautiful, kind horses, be abused on a daily basis. We have to be the voice for these creatures. Thank you for all that you are doing!

Anonymous said...

I'm an OTTB person, and have spent years informally promoting ex-racehorses as show and pleasure mounts. This week's revelations about the cruelty in the Big Lick world got me wondering about rehabbing/retraining big lick horses for second careers as pleasure mounts and loved pets. However, I couldn't any info at all on what owners of ex-big lick horses should expect, how to transition a horse from pads to normal shoes (or barefoot) what sort of behavioral issues you might run into and other advice about acquiring and transitioning a horse from big lick Hell to a more normal, happy and useful life. Can you point me in the right direction?

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Sarah, thanks for writing. Feel free to contact me directly at forthetnwalkinghorse at gmail dot com. We are going to be writing an article about how to rehab former BL horses for our website, but right now we're focusing on getting this information out. Unfortunately, the industry has nothing in public on how to rehab these horses because they believe they don't need to rehab them. You just pull the shoes off and go. However, even if the horse doesn't experience any kind of physical or mental damage, the training methods are based in mechanics and a lot of these horses don't know anything but go, and go fast. So whenever I've rehabbed a BL horse, I start from the beginning with ground work. I pretend the horse knows nothing and start from the ground up. I use the same methods used in classical dressage, and I've been trained in John Lyons' round pen work, but any good ground work will do. I'd be happy to help you with more information if you'd like, so feel free to contact me.

Debbie Raynor said...

Thank you for posting how we can help. I have been using this site to send people to who want to help. I am personally very grateful that the mainstream media has FINALLY picked up on this. In this fickle world we need to get the pressure turned up and working in our favor before the public eye goes elsewhere. Very glad Tennessee doesn't have the Florida law that prosecutes the whistleblowers in these cases. Thanks again! Debbie in MT

Smiller said...

I am heartbroken at the treatment at these beautiful, intelligent animals. I am by no means a horse lover. I am a dog person, so this is the first time I have seen the tennessee walking horse. The video from Nightline left a horrendous impression on me. The fact that "soring" what a polite way of saying "maiming" an animal this way is beyond abuse. It is barbarism. That poor animal crying like a puppy while that miserable man tries to make it stand up, quite frankly I started crying. The only punishment for him and others like him are caustic liquids on their ankles. Bind them in the same plastic wrap overnight and then next make them run a 25 mile marathon. I could go on about the torture that should be inflicted on them. Surely, there must be a more human way to train these animals for the prized gait than this medieval torture that is currently the norm. If not they should outlaw it. Money drives everything in our society and however horrendous these videos are to view, the more people see them the more they won't patronize these shows. I dont live in Tennessee, but all states should ban this and all cruelty to animals.

Grace said...

I wrote in another part of this forum asking for this info. I am wondering what has happened to this abused horse? Is there a welfare group like the SPCA that handles these cases and rescues the horses? I am concerned for this horse. I see nothing nice or entertaining about this Big Lick stuff. As far as I know the Tennessee Walker shows in Canada allow light shoes and maybe light chains? There is no such thing as Big Lick here. I could never participate in such competitions in the US knowing what some illegally do to get into the show ring. Plus I think the Big Lick looks horrid and so unnatural! Jackie McConnell should never be allowed to own an animal again. My sleep hasn't been that good since seeing that video and wondering where that horse is now. Hugs for that horse and the cameraperson who exposed this horrible truth.

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

Ironically, Grace, I just wrote a response to your comments on another post just as you were leaving this comment! So you can go back and read it there.

As far as I understand, I don't think chains are allowed at all on TWHs in Canada. But I can check with our Canadian friends to find out more. That's a good question--thanks for asking!

Grace said...

So sorry I can't find the post that you responded to! I looked and looked! I couldn't find a list of my posts either! I did find this article though! http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/may/17/former-ut-vet-school-dean-humane-society-expose/
So happy to see that horse being seized by the Humane Society. I also read that McConnell had violations dating back to 1976? Wow! I think we need to focus on shutting down the Celebration and any Big Lick show. I know it brings lots of revenue to the community, so it needs to be replaced with another show. And yes I think chains are not allowed in Canada, only proper light shoes and these are inspected at shows. I have known about soring for years, but I didn't know about the beating of horses to not flinch etc. And do these horses wear these pads throughout their showing career? I thought they were just put on for shows? They are gross looking and have to cause discomfort and pain. Americans need to fight for tougher animal abuse laws. McConnell should not have the right to go near a horse let alone own one again. I hope we can put a stop to this somehow :( PS. just turned on email notificitions!

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

That's okay Grace! Here's a link to your response: Click here

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