Tennessee Walking Horse. Google image.

USDA, Tennessee Walking Horse industry escalate fight over horse soring

Tennessee Walking Horse. Google image.
There should be no “get out of jail card” for anyone soring a horse. Soring is practice of inflicting intentional pain to the feet or legs of horses by the application of caustic chemicals which burn their skin, or by inserting foreign objects to the sensitive areas of their hooves. In reaction to the pain, horses lift their front legs high off the ground, producing the exaggerated “Big Lick” gait rewarded in the show ring.

Before I introduce the latest report by Heidi Hall (jump to it now) for The Tennessean, I feel for the teenager who sobbed when her horse was ousted from the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration for scarring, a telltale sign of soring.

Who knows how old the scarring is or when the incident(s) occurred. However, this type of no nonsense, no questions asked enforcement against horse soring is fitting and well past overdue.

If any crying is done, it should be for the hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of horses who have lived tortured lives, going through who knows what extremes of physical and mental suffering, all to satisfy the egos and line the pockets of evil thinking owners and trainers.

I am referring to an article filed just a short time ago by HEIDI HALL for The Tennessean (same headline as this post).

SHELBYVILLE, TENN. — Mikayla Dent doubled over in sobs, her tears making little splashes in the dust while her parents pleaded with inspectors to take another look at the family’s only Tennessee Walking Horse.

Call Me Amazing Grace competed all season with no problem, they said. It had cost them $5,000 to be at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, they said, money that’d be thrown away if they were stupid enough to abuse their daughter’s pet.

But on Thursday night, after Amazing Grace sailed through one local inspection and one federal inspection, another federal inspector stepped in and issued a scarring citation — meaning he found evidence of past soring on one of the horse’s legs. Just like that, Amazing Grace and 16-year-old Mikayla were out of the walking horse industry’s biggest annual event. Her father, Michael Dent, led them away.

There’s lots more. Finish reading here >>

We cannot thank Heidi Hall enough for keeping this in the headlines of a national newspaper (online or otherwise).

WHAT IS SORING?

Soring is practice of inflicting intentional pain to the feet or legs of horses by the application of caustic chemicals which burn their skin, or by inserting foreign objects to the sensitive areas of their hooves. In reaction to the pain, horses lift their front legs high off the ground, producing the exaggerated “Big Lick” gait rewarded in the show ring.

RELATED READING

Also from The Tennessean, please see:

— Tennessee Walking Horse Industry and Soring Timeline
http://www.tennessean.com/interactive/article/99999999/INTERACTIVES/120531020/Tennessee-Walking-Horse-Industry-Soring-Timeline

— Tennessee Walking Horse Industry | Interactive Multi-Media Report
http://www.tennessean.com/section/projects36

Both of these resources are brilliant.

6 thoughts on “USDA, Tennessee Walking Horse industry escalate fight over horse soring”

  1. My heart does not go out to the sixteen year old sobbing girl or her parents , it does go out to her poor horse , if her dad feels bad about the 5,000 dollars it cost him to go to the Celebration he is in the wrong place and way out of his league. Why not take the girl to Ohio in a few weeks where she has a fair playing field for the NWHA sound show and let her learn real horseman ship and sportsmanship and give her poor horse a break

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  2. Sorry to be so insensitive about the 16 year old that couldn’t compete to win a stinking Blue Ribbon but who is thinking a bout the horse that went through years of soring to the point of scaring ……Who care about the Daddy that is disappointed how does he know what that horse has gone through……Let his daughter show in the Plantation Class flat shod……Good reality check for her…….As far as Mike Inman saying that Barney Davis is lying I know he is not…..And to say he is not a licensed Trainer how many of them are I’ve never known a licensed trainer……Licensed in what how not to get caught?………Mike Inman you are full of lies and know you are in this to pad your pocketbook Barney Davis was caught and talked and it is exactly what happens I’ve seen it all from Trainers Peteie Warren now deceased……Scotty Bryant in Kentucky, David Landrum TN, Wink Groover TN, Harold Hayes KY, Dean Byard TN. Charles Massey,TN. Pete Sanderson who knows, Jackie McConnell , I can name more I have seen the acts of soring and cruelty first hand so STOP trying to BULL SHIT all of us!
    I hope the inspectors shut your whole corrupt world down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. If the owners really cared about their TN Walking Horses they would show them at their natural gait and flat shod. The artificial high gait is so unnatural it is bound to be painful to the horses without the additional soring. It puts a terrible strain on their muscles and is not even pretty. These beautiful, kind horses were bred to have a natural running walk .

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