Cry for me, Ol’ Tennessee

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May 28, 2013 | Jerry Finch

images-3Let’s just pretend that you are on the Board of Directors of some large organization, let’s even make it an animal-related organization. Thousands of people heap praise on you for all the wonderful things your organization does for a particular breed of animal. The organization is rich. Money flows in by the barrel full, employees are scattered all over the place scheduling shows, making announcements, doing really busy, important stuff. This is the BIG TIME. Life is great.

But let’s just pretend in this little pretend world that a look behind the curtain would reveal a secret that transformed all the glamor into an illusion. If known, this secret would bring your world crashing down as the adoring masses turned their collective back on you. What would you do? Keep the curtain closed? Keep everyone away from the curtain? Or would the inner standards by which you live force you to throw the curtain back and expose the dirty secrets?

An interesting dilemma, but one not so unique. Truth be known, it’s a situation many are faced with every day. The director of a large animal rescue finds out that employees are killing dogs and dumping them in the swamp because they don’t want to do the intake paperwork. A zoo director finds out that the elephant trainer has been beating an old elephant into submission. The Chief of Police is told that several of his officers have been doing target practice on a bunch of feral cats.

Hopefully, you’d fire everyone involved, take responsibility and try to clean up the mess.

But what if you found out that your organization is strongly promoting a method of killing horses so as to make room for more registered horses? What if your organization of veterinarians actually decided to promote the killing of horses? 

Ah, you think, another rant about the horse breed organizations! But wait, let’s go a step further. What if your organization promoted the infliction of pain on horses, severe pain, promoted beatings and acid burnings, then the killing of those that failed to perform?

President Tracy Boyd

President Tracy Boyd

That’s insane, you say? Really? Then I invite you to read this, a letter from President Tracy Boyd to the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association Executive Committee. It’s long, it’s full of holes, but it’s fascinating reading. Perhaps the saddest part is in the mentioning of those god-like organizations, namely the AQHA, AVMA, AAEP, USEF and the American Horse Council who all turned their backs on the TWHBEA. Each and every one of those organizations try with all their might to keep the curtain up around their promotion of horse slaughter, yet they claim to be so shocked at the actions of the Tennessee Walking Horse mess.

Just two questions, Tracy – you didn’t know? Really? Seriously? You really thought horses naturally walked like members of a deformed Gestapo guard unit? In all those years, you never once looked behind the curtain? 

And the reason you suddenly became concerned is why? Doesn’t have anything to do with the loss of money or prestige, I’m sure. Nope, purely a moral decision. Mighty damn convenient timing, but that’s just my own opinion.

Click to read –  A Statement from TWHBEA President Tracy Boyd

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
10 Comments
  • BlessUsAll

    “Padded.” That euphemism sounds like a comfy blanket laid gently on the back of a beloved horse.

    Mr. Boyd, I see in your letter that you regularly refer to the TWH as an “it.” You talk of these living beings in terms of how many were bred and how much money they fetched, rather than about their remarkable, even other-worldly loyalty, kindness, courage, generosity of spirit, and gentle, long-suffering nature.

    In short, you don’t care one lick (excuse the expression) for the feelings (the physical comfort and the emotional well-being) of a single horse, do you?

    That explains why you have been able to stomach knowing about the barbaric chains and chemicals and whips and heavy weights and other medieval (“mid-evil”) instruments of torture.

    You thought as long as you had the support of those other sell-out organizations (AQHA, AVMA, AAEP, USEF, AMC) that you were doing right by these noble creatures? The “do-no-harm” veterinarians and all the other money-grubbing horse-exploiters never should’ve come within spitting distance of the TWHBEA in the first place. Cowards that they are, what made you think they would stand by and defend you instead of slinking back into their hovels at the first whiff of trouble?

    I could go on and on. But the truth of what I say might sink in better if you spent some serious time looking in the mirror. Not the material mirror, which shows you only skin-deep. But the mental mirror, which you haven’t yet dared face.

    In that mirror, examine your heart. Search your conscience. Question your motives. Contemplate your behavior. Don’t turn away. Keep looking — deeper, deeper, deeper.

    Think about the thousands of horses who have been in agonizing pain, terrified and psychologically scarred, even murdered by your avoidance of the truth. I hope you can weep. I hope to God you can weep. Weep hot, stinging, non-stop tears of honest remorse and shame and guilt and repentance.

    Humble yourself as low as is possible for someone who has done your dastardly deeds. While you’re on the ground, pour the ointment of sincere sorrow upon the hooves of those poor horses who were tortured when you looked the other way and pretended you didn’t know. Wipe those tender hooves with the hairs of your head.

    May you know what it feels like to be unable to forgive yourself. Only then may you be ready to stand up again, look a horse straight in the eye, and say, from the depths of a despairing, stricken heart: “I do not deserve your forgiveness. I do not deserve God’s forgiveness.”

    We all look forward to the day you are able to face yourself, the horses, and your Maker as the man you were made to be.

    May 28, 2013
    • Gracemarie Elliott

      Amen Noble American.

      So good to know there are a “few” Real Americans, who have a conscience, a heart, and are truly Honest Citizens who obey laws, believe in their Higher Power, Our Maker and can Look him in the eye and know he sees all and in the beginning, middle and especially in the end controls all.

      Sometimes hard to see in this Horrid Place today.

      May 28, 2013
    • Nancy B

      Beautifully said.

      May 29, 2013
  • Gracemarie Elliott

    I am ashamed to say that I was a member of TWHBEA or “The Ride of your Life” Tennessee Walking Horse and SSHBEA (Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Assn) during precisely what Mr Boyd says was the organization’s “Peak” years of late 1990’s – early 2000’s.

    I am not from Tennessee and was completely Naive to the Realities of what “Big Lick Owners” do to Horses by Driving their Trainers to “Abuses of Extremes” (Like beating the living Hell out of a Horse to break him/her/and make him “Obey Training commands etc, ” so owners and trainers can Win the Blues and the Jackpots- respectively.

    The “Padded” Horse spends his entire life stalled up in his “Prison Cell” of a Stall and only gets outside when wearing these “shoes” about four hours a week and more like three, in the “training barn.” The “very expensive and supposedly socially high caliber and elite” training barn.”

    In actuality most of these places are anything But, ” High Caliber.” Trashy is more like what many of these places can be in reality.

    Sadly in Tennessee, this Tennessee Walking Horse Training is/ and has been for a Long Time– apparently just a “way of Life” for a bunch of “Ignorant” people who think their Macho World of Whipping, Wrapping with Turpentine, Shocking with Electric Prods to Horses who can barely walk and literally beating the Living Breath out of Innocent Beautiful Horses who have done Nothing ; but unfortunately be born into this Nightmare.

    Shoeing these beautifully gaited Horses, in Extremely High 5-7″ Heeled Weighted “Shoes” so their “Trainers” can win “Prize Money,” and “Owners” — “Win the Blue Ribbons and Roses” respectively ; is something they think is ” Full of Prestige and Upper Echelon Society.”

    These examples are just some “atrocities” of this industry in Tennessee and are anything but …Classy.

    This President of this Organization Today, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association…

    Somehow thinks it is a “disgrace’ to show a Gorgeous Tennessee Walking Horse in “Flat Shod” shoes, going his/her Natural Born Walking, Running and Cantering Gaits.

    The Industry is a “disgrace” because of this “backwards/backwoods” thought pattern and because of all the other things says it is and does–while once hiding the reality of the “dirty business.”

    In the end the horse ends up at the SlaughterHouse or spends a life of Pure Hell beaten to a pulp or something to that effect.

    I have been to Tennessee, and it is one of the most beautiful states I have ever seen in many areas. All Barns and all Tennessee Walking Horses are not part of this Industry and they are such Beautiful and Gorgeous Places to see full of Happy, Healthy and Loved and Horses.

    Many spend their days Riding the Trails of the Tennessee Landscape, such fun and such a beautiful sight to see this type of relationship between Horse/Owner Rider.
    However, Most are a part of the dirty business, and many “Owners” of Horses involved in this type of “activity” are part of other types of “Organized Crime” and part of “Southern” Mafia activity.

    Tennessee Walking Horses can be Trained Naturally, like behind a Plow, with Love and Shown in a way that is Not Abusive or Shameful.

    These Horses with Riders who Know HOW to RIDE and are trained Lovingly and “SOUND” are in the Minority Today, which is what has happened in part to this industry.

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association and the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry as a whole; has Now had is fair share of Necessary “Publicity, Degradation and Humiliation.”

    While it was deserved, they have been exposed and are now forced into having to deal Publicy with the Negative Impacts of the Truth of what they do and have done all these years.

    It is no longer anything to be “Proud of,” to be a member of today’s TWHBEA. The organization did this to itself and is deserving of the exposure.

    This President at least acknowledges some these facts and has to because they “got caught.”

    Now let’s see what they do.

    I Do Feel It is High Time for “ALL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS WHO ARE MENTIONED ABOVE OTHER THAN TWHBEA” and some other Horse organizations as well; to stop placing “Their Own Horse Abuse Horrors and Scandals,” ALL on the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.

    Like AQUA, lets hear more about AQUA and the Other organizations mentioned above.

    Also one of the the biggest if not the very biggest Horse Abuse Industries of ALL TIME is getting by with barely a Mention and is one of the Largest contributors to American Horse Slaughter, Human/Horse Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime, Gambling, and Racketeering. The “glorified” RACE HORSE INDUSTRY.

    Scary to speak on any of these Organizations because they all have no problem “Hitting back.”

    However, they don’t “Hit” with words, they have other means.

    It’s time now to focus on this last industry first. Like The “Infamous” Kentucky Derby etc. And the Other Horse Races. The Majority of not all are full of Scandal/Abuse/Horror/Gambling/Racketeering/Drug Performance Issues of Athletes and various other Horrors.

    This is Nothing New in the “United” States of America.

    Let’s not forget about the “last but certainly not least dwindling Frontier of what “used to be” the “Wild West” and our Western Horses, who are being run to their deaths by our Own Government. The American West that is disappearing and being overrun by “Where’s the Beef” or the American Cattleman’s Assn. and the United States Government.

    What used to be the Great Cowboy and the Great American West, now reduced to a Greedy, Hate Filled, Corrupt American White Collar Crime Ring that controls Washington DC through The Department of the Interior, using American Taxpayer Dollars “in secret,” while American Taxpayers have no knowledge of where their tax dollars are going and no say so.
    What American Taxpayers do know is that they are “taxed slam to death” and their money is used in corruption behind their backs and without their knowledge–AND if they don’t pay these taxes THEY go to Prison. American Insanity.

    The United States of America is not such a great place in Reality; and getting more Horrible with every day.

    Criminals Control and get by with everything they want–as long as they are well dressed, educated and/or own huge Billion Dollar Enterprises.

    Actually, America Today is pretty disgusting and growing worse.

    Many days I can’t say that I’m proud to be an American when I read about horrors that are every day occurrences that make up the ” ”fabric’ and apparent acceptable backbone to today’s USA.”

    Today the USA is really a disgusting disgrace. Everything is Made in China and China is headed to become the superpower because American Commerce, Trade and Government “gave” them this Power. America, A country where little girls and boys are sexually molested and killed and their murderers “may” get the death penalty..but most likely not. Where Factory Farmers are Killing Americans with Carcasses of Dead, Diseased, Hormone Pumped Distressed Animals Filled with Growth Hormones causing little girls and boys to have “Diabetes” at age FOUR!

    Today’s eldest generation is Dying out of CANCER, and HEART DISEASE AND told it’s “Healthy” to eat this way so American Agribusiness can get richer and like the Cattleman’s Association……control Washington.
    They care nothing about the health of Americans, only concerned with how Wealthy their crazed NASTY Slaughterhouses from HELL sells dead animals they consider a “Machines,” not living creatures created from Heaven above. These same Meat Machines Pollute our Rivers and Waterways and our drinking water and air; so they can “get rich, and, have all the Power and Controlin DC,” and in reality Murder Americans with Clogged Arteries, Heart Attacks from clogged arteries, Diabetes, and Cancer and the like.

    Now, America is beginning with the youngest , most innocent of victims by destroying their health and beginning the cycle of killing them the day they are born with Human Growth Hormones in “Dairy Formulas” laced with GMO’s.

    And, Domestic American Horses always considered the love of “Most” American Girl and Woman and many Boys and Men, the first “Machine” that Plowed our Fields and built our Roads….and fought our wars-

    are now part of the “Where;s the Beef mix.”

    What Country is this United States of America where Animals used to at least live a decent , healthy life, eating healthy disease free food, and living in disease free areas where they were free to Graze Pesticide Free Grass with no Antibiotics and Growth Hormones on family run REAL Farms, and slaughtered mostly Humanely on Premise before heading out to market.

    How do you like your Hot Dog , Horse Meat, Heart Attack and Cancer today? With or Without Catchup and Mustard?

    What country is this America, today? A Dying one, A corrupt one and and Unhealthy one.

    Where is the “United” Free States of America?

    May 28, 2013
  • janwindsong

    I found myself wanting to forgive him; but then I remembered the stories of the horses groaning in pain whilst their rescuers swooped in to take them. I remembered a beautiful young horse; its head thrown back, its eyes bulging in fear as a fat trainer beat him with a stick.

    Naw, no pity for you fella – there is no more rpom for your “padded show horse.”. Only room for the slat shoe, the horse that still and always will be the real Tennessee Walker.

    May 28, 2013
  • Well said…..

    May 29, 2013
  • Robynne Catheron

    Jerry, did you or will you send this to Tracy Boyd? He looks like a semi-intelligent man, but there must be a large chunk of his heart and conscience missing. How can he possibly think our magnificent TWHs are physically and emotionally capable of withstanding the horrors of those hideous, conformation- and gait-altering pads, or the horrific, unfathomable agony of chemicals and chains? His words “Family fun and friendly competition” are perverse. It’s all done for the damned almighty dollar. What is WRONG with that man?

    May 29, 2013
  • BlessUsAll

    Here’s a lovely four-line poem on contrition.

    Just as its message has helped me when I’ve made grievous errors that have caused me much suffering and that I have longed to outgrow, so may it help Mr. Boyd.

    “The peaceful silence of the contrite heart
    Is eloquent beyond all clamorous praise;
    For in this stillness pride and fear depart,
    And meekness learns of God His wondrous ways.”
    ~ Opal Winstead

    May 29, 2013
  • BlessUsAll

    One more thing to add.

    The man in this video used to speed up his car so he could run over birds in the road. He used to poach wildlife. He was a highly paid mercenary — a war-zone sniper. Now look at who he is, and what he does. He is proof, to me, that anyone can wake up at any moment, can turn from being a destroyer into being a blessing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FCsyK4aRXQ

    May 29, 2013
  • Bob

    He said he would lose some friends. His statement,’I’m sorry to those I’ve offended and hope that one day you will forgive me’ says to me he is not asking forgiveness for the atrocities he has led and promoted. He wants his friends’ forgiveness while he is actively lobbying for amendmendments that will put him back in charge of a hideous and cruel industry.
    I believe in forgivness when it is asked with remorse and repentence. After all, that is the way God wants us to be. But Mr. Boyd, you are not asking forgiveness for those you have tortured and harmed physically and mentally, nor from those of us are against your inhumane tactics. You are, however, trying your best to put things back the way they were in order to placate your ‘friends’ and line your collective pockets. Take another look in the mirror a little deeper than the pathetic letter you believe will win sympathy for you and your crowd. You can’t fool us. But at least you are headed in a better direction, although not willingly. I know in my heart that people can change. Please consider changing your heart and your peace on Earth will surprise you. It’s called Love.

    June 1, 2013