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Re: RC: Moral dilemma

Several years ago I wrote an article in "Trail Blazer" which chronicled the
development of this great breed of horse and the great tragedy caused by the
show ring. The TWH is the only breed of horse that has a federal  law passed
to protect it, the Horse Protection Act, see

It seems that in the 50's to make the chains more effective the pasterns
were "sored" by applying all types of caustic compounds from Diesel fuel to
mustard oil. The open sores you described may be caused by these substances
rather than the chains. Then the found by mixing them with DMSO, applying
plastic wrap (at that time it was wax paper) and wrapping them the "fixin'
them" was more effective. You can read this to mean more painful.  The
practice of stripping away the hoof wall and placing the shoe on the sole
was developed. Then the placing of marbles between the four inch pads and
the sole was developed.

All in the name of "getting the lick."  All abuse to the poor animal. The
USDA under the horse protection act will and does write tickets and fine
trainers and who violate it's provisions and suspend trainers.  If these
trainers violate their suspension they can be tried for a federal felony.

I would contact the USDA with my complaint. I would document it with
pictures and visits from my vet. What they did is not only abuse of your
horse, but it may be a federal crime.

It is truly sad what some people will do to win a "blue ribbon." It is sad
that one of the greatest breed of horses in the world has fell prey to
unscrupulous trainers.

My advice is if you want to get your horse to move correctly, find a good
dressage trainer who knows enough about biomechanics to work with a gaited


Trevor Jones wrote:

> Hello everyone,
>      I've been following this site for quite awhile. I find myself in a
> position where some advice would be most we go.
>      I bought a walking horse mare a couple of years ago, she  had a
> couple of rides on her at the time, she was really a nice gentle girl, I
> was comfortable with the idea of taking the time to work things out with
> her. I had never had a TWH before, my previous horse had been a
> Peruvian, I had hoped that I would be able to feel when my mare was
> gaiting properly as I had with my previous horse. After 2 years we were
> having some success, but not consistently. We moved from one end of the
> country to the other, into an area where walking horse trainers were as
> thick as fleas on a dog. I decide to make use of a trainer. I phoned
> around to other TWH owners for recommendations and sent my mare off for
> training.
>      I spoke at length with the trainer, stating my expectations...The
> mare was to be used for pleasure riding and CTR, therefore she was not
> required to move like a showhorse, she was barefoot and no shoes were to
> be applied to change movement, I ride in a loose ring snaffle and if he
> was unable to get her gaiting with that, in combination with his feel, I
> wasn't worried. She was only there for a month, and I spoke to the
> trainer about 5 times while she was there, he took her out on the trails
> and did some ground work as well, he said everything was going well and
> she was coming along well.
>      The last week that she was there, I drove down unannounced, what I
> found was shocking. She had open sores the size of eggs on both
> elbows(the saddle did not properly) both pasterns were bloody with
> horizontal cracks 2" long and 1/2" deep (he'd been using weighted
> bellboots and chains). She was standing in her stall with sweatmarks
> from the previous days ride, runnels down both front legs. Well,
> needless to say, I had a bit of a talk with the guy( it started with,
> What the hell have you done to my horse...)and went downhill from there.
> I brought her home, without any further conversation with the
> trainer.That was in Sept. A couple of days ago I stuck my fingers in the
> horses mouth, to check her teeth and found scars, they run from the
> corner of her lips inside a good inch , I was mortified, I felt guilty
> for sending her off to such a jerk. She's such a gentle, easy going girl
> and she tries so hard to do what I ask of her. I have been doing Parelli
> training with her, I ride more often with a halter than bridle, I just
> can't imagine how much pressure it took to rip her lips back an inch.
>      So this is where the dilemma kicks in, when I talk with other TWH
> owners, newbies in the breed like myself, who are looking for a trainer.
>  I have been relating my story without stating the trainers name or sex.
> However, the scars in her mouth, struck me so hard, I'm wondering if I
> should just tell all. What are the ramifications to me?
>      It took a month for my mare to move sound on her front end, the
> sores have pretty much closed up now, just one small one to go. Any help
> would be appreciated
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