ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Dear Truman;

Re: Dear Truman;

Susan F. Evans (suendavid@worldnet.att.net)
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 10:25:01 -0800

> It is a pitty. This breed was developed to be an easy riding saddle horse
> to carry people comfortably over long distances in the rugged terrain of
> the middle Tennessee valley. It is a shame what some people have done the
> these horses in the name of "showing the gait"

Hi Truman and everyone else,

I just wanted to throw in a comment of how TWH are viewed out here in So
Cal, which backs up Truman's comments (and others). Until a few years
ago, the "big lick" horses were shown in the same shows as the
Saddlebreds, which I used to own and show. Unfortunately, the abuse was
so apparent and nobody seemed to care much---it was common to see TWHs
utterly exhausted (as in lathered, trembling and blowing like a
locomotive) after a fifteen minute class, to see blood on the ankles
from the soring and weights and to see whip welts on the bodies (and
BTW, I don't want to just point fingers at the TWH show people---one of
the reasons I left showing ASBs was because abuse was somewhat
different, but just as bad). One of the worst was a So Cal trainer,
who would nonchalantly run a horse into a wall and give it a huge whack
with a quirt to get it to pick up the correct lead at the canter---and
the judge never said a thing and even placed the horse. Well, finally a
woman named Stephanie Greene raised a big stink and after that the "big
lick" walkers aren't shown out here anymore---a good thing if you ask
me, and I'm sorry stacks are still allowed anywhere.

There was so much publicity out here about TWH abuse that unfortunately
now ANY TWH going down the trail is still going to get a finger pointed
at them, and the owner accused of cruelty and abuse, even though that
horse is normally shod and just having a good time being a pleasure
horse. At least, this was true six or seven years ago, maybe it isn't
true anymore.

As usual, I'm rambling, but from what I've seen and heard about TWH,
they seem like terrific horses, just the victims of show-ring abuse and
politics and PR. It seems to me that the examples that are going to do
the most for the breed in the public's eye aren't the show horses, it's
the people like Truman and Misty and the others doing CTR and endurance,
that are demonstrating that these horses can be ridden for more than
fifteen minutes without blowing them apart. I'm probably doing a lousy
job of making my point, but the point is, Good for you Truman and Misty
and for anyone else riding a non-typical breed in distance riding and
doing well. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a Good Thing."

Just my two cents, of course...as usual, too long-winded! :->

Susan Evans

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