Soring is a cruel practice that involves inflicting pain on a horse’s legs or hooves to make them perform an exaggerated gait. This is prevalent in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, where horses are judged based on their high-stepping gait. It’s not only cruel but also illegal under the Horse Protection Act of 1970. Unfortunately, some trainers still use soring techniques to win competitions, and the law isn’t always enforced. This must stop, and we need to speak up for these innocent animals who suffer in silence.
Soring: The Cruelest Thing You Can Do to a Horse
As a horse enthusiast with over 20 years of riding experience, I have seen and heard about various forms of animal cruelty inflicted upon horses. But nothing compares to the heinous act of soring.
Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. This cruel practice is prevalent in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, where horses are judged based on their high-stepping gait.
To achieve this unnatural gait, trainers use caustic chemicals such as mustard oil, diesel fuel, and kerosene on the horse’s limbs. These blistering agents cause extreme pain and suffering to the horse, making them lift their legs higher and quicker than they would naturally.
The effects of soring are not only physical but also psychological. Horses subjected to soring develop a fear of their handlers and suffer from anxiety and depression. The constant pain and discomfort make them reluctant to move or even stand, leading to weight loss and other health issues.
The practice of soring is not only cruel but also illegal. The Horse Protection Act (HPA) of 1970 prohibits the use of soring and mandates inspections of horses in shows and exhibitions. However, the HPA is not always enforced, and some trainers continue to use soring techniques to win competitions.
It is not just the trainers who are responsible for soring. The owners who allow their horses to be subjected to this cruelty are equally guilty. They prioritize winning over the well-being of their horses and turn a blind eye to the suffering inflicted upon them.
The consequences of soring are not limited to the horse’s physical and mental health. It also affects the reputation of the horse industry as a whole. The use of soring techniques tarnishes the image of the industry and undermines the trust of the public in horse shows and exhibitions.
It is time for the horse industry to take a stand against soring. Trainers and owners who engage in this cruel practice must be held accountable, and the HPA must be strictly enforced. The public must also be educated about the horrors of soring and encouraged to report any suspected cases.
As horse enthusiasts, we have a responsibility to protect these magnificent animals and ensure their well-being. Let us stand together and say no to soring, the cruelest thing you can do to a horse.
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