Any insider in the Tennessee walking-horse community can tell you about “soring,” but for urban folk like me, news of this practice is, frankly, shocking. And yes, I literally felt nauseated when, while writing an article for Opposing Views, I found out that people put corrosive chemicals on horses’ hooves to erode the skin, then wrap the hooves in chains to create intense pain when the animal takes a step. Why? So that the horse develops a high-stepping gate, and can therefore win awards at horse shows. If you don’t believe me, watch the video below.
Often, the horses are left in the barn for days with their hooves wrapped up so that the chemicals sink in deeper. The regal animals lie in their stalls, moaning and crippled.
Soring is illegal in the United States, and has been since 1970 when the Horse Protection Act was passed. Yet in come competition circles, virtually every Tennessee walking horse you’ll see has been through this torturous process because nobody’s been enforcing the law.
There’s a new bill called the Prevent All Soring Act, which aims to stop the practice for good. The bill is sponsored by Representative Ed Whitfield (who is Republican, by the way). Tell your congressperson to support it.
The Humane Society has some more tips on how to help stop the torture. If you know of anyone soring horses, call 855-No-Soring. You could earn a reward of $10,000 for your information.
The Human Society also recommends spreading the word online (through blog posts or articles like this, or through social media like Facebook), and talking to your equestrian friends to keep them informed.
Soring is a clear-cut case of needless torture, and it’s time to stop these barbaric ways.
Image: RG Photo