Practice of ‘soring’ horses is strictly regulated, proven not harmful when done correctly

soring






Be sure to comment on this opinion piece by clicking on the Continue Reading link. The writer needs to have how soring is extremely painful and harmful to horses explained to her. Pictures of bloody horses do not seem to do the trick with folks like her. ~ HfH

So this is not painful torture? Or do pro-soring care about the pain the horse feels?

So this is not torture?

Imagine before posting the type of letter written by Elizabeth Hansen, that the writer actually looked up facts.

The “heavy chains” on the front legs of the Tennessee walking horse are in all actuality a 6-ounce action device, approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a study at Auburn University that deemed such action devices were not harmful to the horse. In fact, this study has stood the test of time and has been accepted in court. They are comparable in weight to a man’s watch.

The law clearly states that a horses’ shoeing “package,” which is the correct terminology, is highly regulated. The law states that the package cannot be more than 50 percent of the natural hoof. Most walking horses have a natural hoof of 4 inches, which means that the built-up package cannot exceed 2 inches (not 5, as misstated). The overall toe length must exceed the heel length by at least one inch. These criteria have been law since 1989. Again, the Auburn study finds that this is not harmful to the horse. These packages are similar to the ones worn by American Saddlebreds, Morgans, Hackneys, Arabians and various other show horse breeds.

The USDA enforcement of the regulation regarding the condition of the pasterns requires that the pastern area of the Tennessee walking horse be in almost pristine condition, sometimes referred by the USDA as the “Gold Standard.“ A person with any common sense can understand that one cannot have “bloody” ankles from chains and still pass that standard. In 2013, out of 41,547 inspections, only 70 were found to be not up to this standard. The USDA figures state that the overall compliance rate (which includes all areas, not just “soring“) is 96.7 percent.

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AUTHOR: Posted by Habitat for Horses Calaway
21 Comments
  • Joyce Dickson

    Imagine “soring” children to make them perform better. Would it be less wrong if you did it “correctly?” This is CRUELTY of the worst kind and makes me ashamed that people of my nation would do this. Fix it!

    June 13, 2014
  • Shirley Mix

    That is crazy. Let’s sort the men who came up with these stupid regulations. See how they like it.

    June 13, 2014
  • Daryl

    No it does not hurt, but they pick up their legs and feet much higher then normal walk or trot, who are they trying to kid, that crap hurts…God bless us all.

    June 13, 2014
  • susan Carter

    This is comparable to regulating how short the ears can be docked on a pit-bull fighting dog. How heavy a chain collar can be weighted around its neck and if you can spray mace in it’s face to make it mad and cause more aggression. Enough of these old-school Southern animal-abusers. They can try to make it sound legit but a common-sense person knows animal abuse when they see it. Enough!

    June 13, 2014
  • Elizabeth

    I’m afraid you won’t convince the writer of this letter, but please follow the “Continue Reading” link to leave comments on the newspaper’s website!

    June 13, 2014
  • Linda G

    Soring is only part of it, stacks are crippling, the pressure on knees and hocks, thr high step gait is NOT pretty, its horses in pain! Doesnt take a genius – or even a vet to see that!

    June 13, 2014
  • As person who generates a good portion of income from freelance writing,(and has been involved as a wild horse advocate for the past 7 years (!) I am saddened, ashamed, and fairly irritated by this lady’s blase attempt to write about things she seems to have NO CLUE about! Thanks to Susan Carter for her spot on comments comparing this woman’s comments to what we all would “deem cruelty to animals” in any other situation! As a professional writer, my goal (as well as other PROs!) to educate, to inform, to entertain, to make aware of, and often – to incite people to step up and demand change in a variety of situations!!! Not only has this writer created misunderstanding for people who are not familiar with horses or the issues of cruelty that will make these horses have a totally UNNATURAL gait in the show ring, she is spreading false information about the human cruelty these magnificent animals are being sujected to! People like this give the rest of a bad reputation!

    June 13, 2014
    • Morgan Griffith

      Just a sad and greedy attempt to justify torture so that the attendance at their parade of torture shows won’t continue to bleed. Commented at the article, I hope it passes moderation.

      June 14, 2014
  • Laura S. Riggs

    I’m not even going to dignify this with a response.

    Laura S. Riggs

    June 13, 2014
  • Callie1983

    Abusers are sanctioned by the same Government Agency that regulates PUPPY MILLS and also I think the Forest Service wild horses and Burros. No explanation is accepted by habitual abusers as they are so far removed from objective reality they live in their close and highly constructed Worlds. The ONLY way to stop this is to ban the shoes, all of them, and show them flat shod.

    June 13, 2014
  • Betty Gagnon

    What I find interesting, is that this misguided woman, actually trusts a government entity to regulate. Shes clearly disconnected to the realities of the state of our country, and the blunt, blatant, disregard this administration has to ANY truthfulness. This is the same government that is ” protecting our wil horses”, buy cruel roundups and slaughter. Wake up lady. The images tell the truth, not the USDA, who by the way, is ok with toxic horse meat entering our food source.

    June 14, 2014
    • Morgan Griffith

      Apparently she’s never been inside a slaughterhouse to see how well the USDA inspectors do their jobs.

      June 14, 2014
  • ann fox

    Deliberately causing pain is ok? For shits & giggles to win a ribbon? So we can cause pain if it is done correctly? YIKES….I feel sick to my stomach.

    June 14, 2014
  • Nola roden

    Bullshit! There is no way soring so “correctly” done! Let’s try it on the ones that say its safe feet. You cannt be serious! Those bick lockers must have paid a good penny for this report! I will NEVER stop being against soring! It is cruel and unconscionsciable! There is no need to “correct” a horse’s gait. They gait or they don’t PERIOD!

    June 14, 2014
  • Soring is nothing but cruelty and vanity for the abusers!!!! It needs to be totally against the law and those people arrested!!

    June 14, 2014
  • Lin Month

    I assume Ms. Hansen has agreed to have these “action devices” and “shoeing packages” installed on herself to prove her point.

    June 14, 2014
    • Callie1983

      I meant to say the horses do not need any shoes at all. There is something wrong with the USDA programs from the Dust Bowl. They created Puppy Mills and also regulate the Gaited Horse Industry. This also includes the Hackney Pony for Carriage Driving.

      These Dust Bowl programs must be banned as they are not relevant. Dust Bowl relatives are no longer starving, only their animals are being abused across the board.

      June 14, 2014
  • C. Clark

    You ought to be thoroughly ashamed to have your name on such a deeply stupid statement as the one you have made here! How anyone with even half a brain could consider this drivel true and fit to print is beyond me. You’ve destroyed your own credibility as a writer!

    June 14, 2014
  • Kevin Scott Hall

    So intelligent….. Let try soring you…… I sure it won’t hurt!

    June 14, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    The very WORD – “Soring” – says it all! This writer should actually LOOK at the big lick in action. For instance in 1999 (I think) a trainer sued for the right to show their flat-shod TW. His daughter rode this stallion – beautiful buckskin – in a couple classes – of course she didnt win, but it sure did make obvious the difference in the gaits. These poor animals with the stacks that had to throw their front feet out ahead of them next to this really smooth going flat shod horse. Cant believe people can look & not see!!!!!

    June 15, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    This trainer (& owner) also showed one of their horses in 2012. Really – this is the kind of thing people should see.

    June 15, 2014