"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

Sunday, September 15, 2013

THOUGHTS - Time To End This

So there were sore horses at the Celebration; entries in classes and the number of horses were way down; the stands were half empty the night of the WGC class; several of the big contenders, including Honors, who was supposed to win (fixed show, much?), were disqualified before the WGC class; PSHA/SHOW/TWHNC is lying about the number of horses shown that they found sore, they're fixing the numbers as usual; USDA is still working on getting their numbers out, blah, blah, blah.  The saga continues.  You can read about it on the Billy Go Boy website.

I'm not going to talk about that right now, however.  I have something else I need to talk about that others need to hear.  I'm sure all of you read my Where Do We Go From Here? post about how we need to start rethinking things, and how all of us are guilty of the demise of the TWH show world.

I recently joined TWHBEA so I could vote.  Mostly it was prompted by finally getting a true sound horse person to run for the representative for my state.  But I also took into consideration that there are a lot of sound horse people that are starting to make a difference.  We all know that prominent members are going sound for real.  There are even efforts to work with the HSUS--this year's Versatility Show put on by TWHBEA received HSUS sponsorship, when HSUS has never sponsored a horse show before.

Of course, the sore side is using their money and bullying to try to keep TWHBEA as sore as possible.  They continue to want to keep the TWH breed in the 1960s and want everyone to look the other way while they keep abusing animals.  So, let's talk about why all of you who are TWHBEA members, even if you're a trail rider, need to vote.  It all comes down to behavior.

These were posted on trash cans around the Celebration grounds this year.  Last year they only had pics of Keith Dane...now they've added Wayne.

For the record, no, Dane and Parcelle did not sit on the information and allow horses to continue to be abused, but the Industry is going to continue to say they did.  HSUS turned in the evidence to the Tennessee State Police a month after they collected it and sorted through it.  THE POLICE DID NOTHING FOR ELEVEN MONTHS, even after the HSUS continued to ask them about it.  So the HSUS did what they knew would get something done, and that is released the information to the public.  This has been explained time and time again by Dane, Parcelle, and other members of HSUS, but of course the Industry won't listen and makes up their own stories.

Then there's the TWHBEA Facebook page.  At first, they were consistently deleting comments they didn't like that post facts about the Big Lick and why it needs to end.  They continued to allow those who support the Big Lick to post nasty, insulting comments about those who don't support it.  Here's one of the comments that was on there.

9-8-13: There isn't anything in the constitution about your horse not having pads and action devices. In the old days there was a thing called a trace chain that was used to hook mules to plows and wagons. These would rub them until they bleed and then you put meat grease on them to help heal the wound. The other way to use a trace train is to use it as a whip. There wasn't any laws against that either. Today a lot of the people who start rumors and tell lies should be whipped with a trace chain. I bet that would help them mind their own business.

Here's another one, in response to TWHBEA's statement that they were allowing all types of conversation.

9-5-13: So in other words you are allowing breed trashing without supervision under the TWHBEA name just on another page.... there are already sites available for this, one is the Billy go boy site and the other is the For the TWH site... where untruths and rabid anti walking horse people post all day long.... to attach the TWHBEA name to this type of site is an insult to EVERY single member.... I have been a member of TWHBEA since 1984 ..... if twhbea wants a place for members to discuss things then put it back where it was on the ipeds forums where MEMBERS can discuss issues with other MEMBERS and not allow a bunch of louts to trash our breed and our members

Then they deleted everything and started a TWHBEA Forum page for the "discussions" that were going on.  If you can even call them that when the Lickers continue to hint, like above, about how it's their constitutional right to abuse animals.  The arguments got heated--I only read but didn't post.  Then they shut that down.  They told a member that they're going to continue to allow "discussion," but that they'll delete nasty posts.  The member pointed out that the nasty posts were clearly directed at the sound horse side...and it was nice to see that little dig.

Let's move on.

A couple of Facebook pages have popped up to counter Billy Go Boy's page and various other groups that are fighting to end soring.  They call those of us who are fighting to end soring "Crazy Cat Ladies."  I won't state the names of the pages here only because I don't want to see folks flocking to the pages as it shows up in their administration panel how many people are visiting their page.  They love it when lots of people show up.  However, let's just post a couple of the things they are saying on these pages.

9-8-13: Just came in for a minute to see whats going on and lo and behold I see them radicals that work at twhbea done lost they marbles. They started up a page just so the cat ladies can attack our beloved padded horses. We knew a bunches of dem was sissys and loved cats but we sho didn't know how bad. That tracy, ron and little mikey done gone turncoat crazy. You reckon its cuz they is ill that they leader is done gone missin and done got on hsus payrol now they want a piece of that pie? Shame shame. Might as well just shut them doors on that place in lewisburg. its a ghost town anyway. Hell I am outa here. I need a beer.

9-3-13: Finally got Lu Lu and the new baby back home. Had a lot of fun at the 231 south trailer park and Celebration.. I kept a eye on the Anti HSUS sign since I was just over the hill. BD and KD tried to tear it down until I shot them in the grotch with a bb gun.. I heard he went into hiding over that.. I heard papa was gona change his name to Clant. I also heard one congressman is gona have to answer some hard questions tomorrow..

8-20-13: Sissy just called me from the redneck bar. Papa BGB just walk in drunker than uncle cooter brown. Sissy said she was bored and had been talking with cat lady Linda,Suzi,and Jeannie. sissy told them they needed to get a man. they said why we need a man when we have 30 cats each and peanut butter.. I about fell off my bucket when she said that. they did admit they where miserable old hags and wished they could come to the Celebration andwatch the greatest horse on earth but cant find a cat sitter.. Sissy gona watch the celebration on her new Acer laptop at redneck bar. I told her we would all wave and smile..

(For the record...I don't visit those pages at all anymore.  I just visited to post this stuff here.)

On these pages, they call out specific names (as above), and many of us have had to report their posts to Facebook as harassment.  Luckily, Facebook has listened, and we've gotten those posts removed.  They also steal photos and names from others' Facebook pages and post them to specifically try to rile those people up and make fun of them.  Currently on one of the pages, they are making fun of a woman who is riding a horse in English tack.  They have also stolen this woman's horse's name and started a Facebook page using his name with a BL TWH for the profile picture.

Also via Facebook, some of the sound horse folks are being suspended by Facebook because other Facebook users have reported them for posting HPA violations.  Unfortunately, I don't think that Facebook's staff realizes that posting facts about someone on a public social media site isn't libel, but it's gotten pretty ridiculous at this point.

There's also the fact that two people have been fired from the Irby-Baskins roofing company: Tracy Boyd and Marty Irby.  Oddly enough, these men were fired AFTER they had announced that they want to see the horses sound and understand that the pads need to go.  It's quite suspicious, anyway.

Marty Irby wrote a letter explaining how he is now being harrassed and he is threatened, so he's had to go into hiding.  It's amazing how quickly people will turn on you when you expose them for what they really are, even your own family.  You can read Irby's letter here.

Let's also take a close look at some of the questions and responses from the Tennessean chat with Mike Inman and Keith Dane on August 29.  The question is in italics.  I put what I wanted to point out in green text.

Comment From Susan Carter 
How widespread is the practice of soring? Is it even possible for UN-sored horses to compete?

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Soring is not common at all. In fact, most of the shows this year had a 98% compliance rate with the Horse Protection Act. And the gait of the walking horse is natural. If you have seen a younger horse, you will see they are born with the gait.

Keith Dane: The statistics being cited here are those promoted by the traditional industry groups that have been exposed in the past for having conflicts of interest. The violation rates when USDA inspectors are present are much higher - often tenfold higher or more. This is why industry sefl-regulation doesn't work and must be eliminated.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: First I have to say, this year the compliance rate was the same when the USDA was in attendance, and, the HIO that inspects at 85% of the shows, does not allow any conflicts.

Keith Dane:  And the compliance rate at this year's Celebration is much lower than the 98% compliance rate just cited earlier...as it is every year.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Actually, that is not true. The HSUS has been spreading any lie they can think of, like the one they just told about the ten-fold increase when the USDA is not present. USDA is here at The Celebration and the compliance rate is 97.1%!

Keith Dane:  The statistic I quoted is the absolute truth, and is verifiable.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Again, the compliance rate - according to the USDA - is 97.1% Another lie.

Attack #1 by Inman: "The HSUS has been spreading any lie they can think of."

Attack #2 by Inman: "Another lie."

Comment From Oscar 
Question to both mr. Inman and mr. Dane. What would be, to your opinion, the future of the breed in case the PAST resolution would pass?

Keith Dane: When the problem of soring is eradicated, the TWH breed can thrive and grow. As long as soring continues and the industry is in denial, this will not happen.

The HSUS, the veterinary community, the rest of the horse industry have all agreed that the PAST Act is needed to protect horses and free this breed from the abuses of the past. The potential for the TWH once this happens is unlimited.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  The legislation was written to eliminate the entire breed. If passed, there would be no Tennesse Walking Show Horses.

Keith Dane:  That is a dismal and unrealistic view that is not shared by the rest of the horse world. There are MANY TWH competitions - for show horses - around the country, which do not offer classes for stacked, chained horses. The foundation is already there.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  HSUS supports putting an end to the Tennessee Walking Show Horse. They don't care about soring, they want to eliminate the sport, then go on to other equine breeds.

Keith Dane:  Mr. Inman is in no position to cite HSUS's position, which has been made clear repeatedly. We encourage and support the exhibition of sound, humanely trained natural TWHs, and support the horse industry as long as the welfare of the horse comes first. We had a booth at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in KY to show our support for the industry. The big lick TWH was not allowed to be a part of those Games, even in an exhibition format.

Keith Dane:  Defenders of the status quo continuously use this tactic of claiming that HSUS has an agenda against horse shows when in fact we work with and support many segments of the horse industry.

Attack #3: "HSUS supports putting an end to the Tennessee Walking Show Horse.  They don't care about soring, they want to eliminate the sport, then go on to other equine breeds."

Dane clearly states the FACT thet Inman "is in no position to cite HSUS's position."  He is not a member or spokesperson for HSUS, so his statement is in poor taste, among other things.

Comment From Ty Irby 
It is my understanding that the HSUS is, & has been, in contempt of a court order from an East TN judge several weeks ago regarding the Wheelon customer horses. Why have those horses not yet been released? Why were those horses transported out of the state of TN by the HSUS or it's representatives? Why does the Tennessean NOT report such information as this to the public??

(Note that Ty Irby is Marty Irby's father, who has basically disowned his own son for his decision to leave the BL behind.)

Keith Dane:  Our attorneys are in discussion with the local SPCA and District Attorney General on the issue of disposition of the Wheelon horses, and this has not yet been decided.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  You are defying a court order, and, if you are so concerned about their welfare, why wont you send them home to their owners.

Attack #4:  "You are defying a court order."  No, they aren't.  Wheelon's barn no longer exists at the address listed in the court order, so they can't be returned there.  A legal conclusion must be made.  And quite frankly, if their owners were allowing Wheelon to abuse their horses, then I don't think their owners should get them back.

Comment From Rory Carroll 
Mr. Inman, why have the trainers scratched so many horses from going in the ring? The mandatory penalties will not affect them unless they are themselves out of compliance, so if your claims are true, what's everyone afraid of?

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  Trainers withdraw their horses for a number of reasons, such as, entering multiple horses in the same class, or in multiple divisions. Even so, this year, the number of horses that were withdrawn is relatively small.

Keith Dane:  The number of horses shown has been relatively small...and gets smaller every year.

Comment From Donna 
Mr. Dane, Many feel that, as you say, the TWH indusrty has "failed" to cave to the pressure that the HSUS has put on the the TWH industry and many feel that HSUS is making an example of the people and horses in the business because of the subjectivity of the inspections. Would you care to respond to that.

Keith Dane:  The HSUS does not believe that the inspection process is as subjective as those who wish to use this argument in denial of the problem, would like the public to believe.

Keith Dane:  The American Association of Equine Practitioners has called soring one of the most egregious equine welfare problems - and it is a major proponent of reforms and the PAST Act. This is the nation's leading equine veterinary association.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  Would the HSUS make a grant of $250,000 to help the industry and USDA together develop objective tests.

Keith Dane:  The American taxpayer has already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for USDA to develop and invest in technology to be used in the inspection process.

Keith Dane:  Yet the industry disputes the findings of licensed, trained USDA veterinarians when violations are cited.

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO:  That is why we are developing legislation. Right now, the only thing out there is a bill designed to eliminate the entire breed. They want to end the sport, we want to send soring, and are well on our way.

Keith Dane:  The PAST Act will not eliminate the breed or end the sport of TWH exhibitions. You are insulting all of the thousands of exhibitors of sound, flat shod TWHs when you say that THEIR sport is not legitimate, doesn't exist or cannot be the future of the breed. It will be.

Challenge: "Would the HSUS make a grant of $250,000 to help the industry and USDA together develop objective tests."

Attack #5: "The only thing out there is a bill designed to eliminate the entire breed.  They want to end the sport."

Again, another poignant post by Dane.  "You are insulting all of the thousands of exhibitors of sound, flat shod TWHs when you say THEIR sport is not legitimate, doesn't exist or cannot be the future of the breed."  Yes, Inman absolutely is insulting us!

Mike Inman, TWHNC CEO: Mr Dane, why do you continue to defy the court order and not return the horses to the rightful owners?

Keith Dane:  I've answered the question regarding the disposition of the Wheelon horses.

Attack #6.  "Mr Dane, why do you continue to defy the court order and not return the horses to the rightful owners?"  Dane answered that question.  It's clear you don't believe him, but seriously, leave it alone.

So after all of that...we come to this: when an entire Industry is built on lies and cheating, they have nowhere to go but down.  The problem here is that they're not helping their case at all by the way they continually attack others.  Plus, they have resorted to attacks because it's their final tactic.

Don't get me wrong--the sound horse side has their own attackers.  But you don't see it happening unless they are defending themselves.  The sound horse side posts facts, references, scientific and peer-reviewed studies, and all kinds of information that continues to undoubtedly prove that soring still continues and that stacks are deterimental to the horse's well being.  I am preparing a post concerning the above Tennesseean chat with Inman and Dane, and it will become quite clear that Dane politely answered every question and defended the HSUS, it's position, and sound horse supporters, while Inman was clearly on the attack when things didn't go the way he wanted them to.

Of course, the Industry doesn't believe any of the information the sound side puts out there.  You could have 50 independent vets from all over the world look at a horse that just won the WGC and pronounce it sored, and they wouldn't believe it.  I'm sure Jesus himself could come down from the clouds and say the horse was sored, and they STILL wouldn't believe it.  It doesn't matter to them--they want to keep their way of life, so they find any excuse they can.  If their excuses aren't accepted, then they attack.

So this is why we need to vote.  These are people who are standing atop a mountain of lies that is falling out from under them, so their only way to deal with it is to attack.  When they act like children, it's time to treat them like children and take away their privileges to get to show TWHs and represent the TWH breed.  We need to get rid of them once and for all.  We need to be the better side of this situation and make our voices be heard not just on Facebook, on forums, and other places; we need to do it where it matters most.  Keep these people who continue to keep our breed from advancing from gaining power within the industry.  The sound horse movement is on a upswing, and we need to keep it that way.

Ballots will be mailed Monday, September 16, so be sure to call the TWHBEA office if you need to and make sure you are still on the membership list and will receieve a ballot.  www.twhbea.com.  We CAN make a difference!


lightsout said...

Can anyone explain how phthalate is used to sore a Tennessee Walking Horse?

For the Tennessee Walking Horse said...

In looking up the chemical properties of phthalate, it is used to make plastics, such as PVC. It may be used in the "blue putty" a lot of trainers are using, which is mixed to form a hard piece of plastic between the hoof and the shoe, putting pressure on the sole and causing pain. Wikipedia also talks about it being a lubricant, but there are only three allowed lubricants in the show ring: glycerine, petroletum (Vaseline) or mineral oil.

More information can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate

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