Tennessee Walking Horses are known for their distinctive high steps, but animal rights campaigners say cruelty is being used to make them perform. The Tennessee Walking Horse are subjected to torture: use of chemicals called soring, beating, kicking among other cruel methods to perform.
Skrevet av Trine Melinda Vollan
What is soring? – Important facts about this cruel abuse
Soring involves the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. Caustic chemicals—blistering agents like mustard oil, diesel fuel and kerosene—are applied to the horse’s limbs, causing extreme pain and suffering.
A particularly egregious form of soring, known as pressure shoeing, involves cutting a horse’s hoof almost to the quick and tightly nailing on a shoe or standing a horse for hours with the sensitive part of his soles on a block or other raised object. This causes excruciating pressure and pain whenever the horse puts weight on the hoof.
Soring has been a common and widespread practice in the Tennessee walking horse show industry for decades. Today, judges continue to reward the artificial “Big Lick” gait, thus encouraging participants to sore their horses and allowing the cruel practice to persist.
Which horse breeds suffer from soring?
Tennessee walking horses, known for their smooth gait and gentle disposition, commonly suffer from the practice of soring. Other gaited breeds, such as racking horses and spotted saddle horses, also fall victim.
The life of a sored horse is filled with fear and pain. While being sored, a horse can be left in his stall for days at a time, his legs covered in caustic chemicals and plastic wrap to “cook” the chemicals deep into his flesh. In training barns where soring takes place, it is common to see horses lying down in their stalls, moaning in pain.
Whenever the horses are ridden, in training or competition, trainers put chains around the horse’s sored ankles. As the horse travels, the chains slide up and down, further irritating the areas already made painful by soring.
Instead of wearing regular horseshoes, the feet of “Big Lick” or “performance”-gaited show horses are fitted with tall, heavy stacks of pads to accentuate their gait. These “stacks” force the horses to stand at an unnatural angle, much like wearing high heel platform shoes all day, every day. Foreign objects are often inserted between the horse’s hoof and these stacks, adding to the horse’s suffering.
Performance horses aren’t allowed to go outside to graze and play with other horses. Except when being trained or shown, these horses spend all of their time confined to stalls.
Graphic footage reveals horrific abuse by “Big Lick”
The following video is heartbreaking evidence of the systematic abuse of Tennessee walking horses, not only in the form of “soring” but also from physically aggressive abuse. The horses are defenseless and in unbearable pain.
WARNING: Contains Graphic Footage! Vi advarer mot veldig sterke bilder!
This video is from 2012 and is published by the Humane Society of the United States. Please give your support!
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Soring involves use of chemicals or pressure to cause pain to a horse’s feet when they touch the ground, resulting in the horse picking its feet up quickly. It is an abusive and prohibited practice illegal under the U.S, but it is still ongoing!
Help The Humane Society of the United States to take action against soring!
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