Tygerlyli asked in PetsHorses · 8 years ago

Tennessee walking horse cruelty?

The HSUS just released an undercover video of what one barn is doing to "train" Tennessee walkers. If you want to see it, it can be found here.


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I should warn you that it is very graphic, I was crying within seconds and could not finish it.

Pepsi just pulled their sponsorship of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. The big player is facing up to 5 years because of this. http://articles.cnn.com/2012-05-17/justice/justice...

How do you feel about Tennessee walkers? Do you think abuse like this is common? Do you think 5 years is enough?

13 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    I personally do not have much experience with gaited horses as they are not common where I live, but it's obvious to see what's natural to a horse and what seems just flat out unnatural. But this has been going on for so long, it's amazing it's just catching on now. There were videos all over Youtube of TWH shows with that technique used in shows and nothing was ever done, but because Pepsi decided they didn't want to sponsor it anymore it becomes big new.

    Abuse is common in every discipline with every breed. TWH are no exception, they are just another example. 5 years is better than letting them get away with community work bullshit they claim as a punishment.

  • 8 years ago

    Oh gosh, that stable was just 30 minutes from my house I think. In Collierville TN. I feel so filthy now lol. I think you have to be fair. There are always bad apples in every bunch. While I do believe Tennessee Walking Horses have more rotting apples in the bucket, I seriously doubt everyone does this. I know a trainer who really tries to breed and train horses to naturally get the gait without using any cruel aids or training methods. Many TWH people are really trying to stop the cruel trainers, and encourage more humane methods. You also have to take a look at who did this investigation. HSUS. Almost as bad as PETA (which truthily stands for PEDA, not PETA, People Extinguishing Domestic Animals) HSUS is known for having heart wrenching TV ads and campaigns asking people to "please just donate $20 a month to help these poor helpless animals" and only using 2 million of its 31+ million budget on the animals. The rest is used to pay themselves and their employees, and to pay for all those nice little free address stickers, t-shirts, bags, calendars etc. they gave to me, and everyone else who donates. They are really over-dramatic, and if they were an organization for kids, they would say school was cruel. In other words, they're too much, and over-exaggerate about some things which really aren't that cruel (though in this case, yes, it most definitely is), and one needs to do their own research and investigation, and not just base their opinion on HSUS and PETA's say-so. Often times they are hypocrites, and liars, and someone needs to do an investigation on them. Sorry about the rant. I think 5 years is probably enough, but he should be kept under strict watch from now on, and promptly given a double-sentence should it happen again. That's fair right?I love Tennessee Walkers themselves, living in, well TN, there are a lot in my area, and they are like sweet little puppy dogs, even the stallions. I'm not involved enough in the Tennessee Walker community to be able to give you an accurate statement about whether such abuse is common. I have some ideas that it is, but its not fair to judge without knowing the whole truth.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I own several Tennessee Walkers and quit showing them for the exact reasons shown in the video. I have never witnessed such harsh training, but a lot of people that participated in the shows used techniques that I considered cruel so I chose to not be a part of it anymore. My horses were bred to do a natural smooth gait on their own so why would I need to change it or make it more "showy". TWHs are sweet and really try to please. The video just broke my heart.. I think they should get way more than 5 years. Sadly, there are many others training this way and it just goes unnoticed.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    "Using weights/pads on the horses isn't cruel"


    So basically, nailing heavy shoes (going up to 6-10 pounds, yes i have held one before) on a horse to get it to step up high isn't cruel? Not only that, the horse has to be stalled no matter what, cannot be outside. When a horse trips it has a good chance of breaking its ankle, or cutting its hoof off. The chains are sometimes put on so tight that it cuts off circulation and it hurts.

    I can go on and on about it, but saying it isn't cruel, is a bunch of red-neck bullshit. I absouletly HATE the Tennessee Walking Horse Association. I love Walkers, the association is a bunch of crap and they should be closed down due to animal abuse.

    The Big Lick, no matter what, IS CRUEL. Who the hell puts those big shoes on a horse? Not only that, but the horses are so exhausted when they do the high stepping that they can only be ridden for about 2 or less hours because its just too exhausting.

    5 years isn't enough, they should just be banned from owning any animal and being apart of anything, and up to 24 years in jail. This is just crap. Its awful. But unfortunately this abuse goes on with every horse show. Not that all people do it, but there are always people out there that want to get a ribbon....

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I agree and do think that the soring method is cruelty, but it is a big money industry and where people make their livings. I do not agree with the methods, but some people do not think about what they are doing. I agree that they should be punished for the maltreatment of the horses, but the entire industry should not because not ALL of the breeders, trainers, etc. abuse their horses. Some do everything fair and square. Besides, this is not a new problem, it has been around for quite a while now. The animal rights people just decided to bring it up now.

  • 8 years ago

    The vast amount of abuse occurs in the training of the Big Like performance Walkers. The stacks, the bits, the riding style, the very gait itself is beyond cruel, it's despicable. The Big Lick need to be prohibited and the judging criteria needs to change.

  • 8 years ago

    I don't like Big Lick, and I don't like what they do to achieve it.

    I don't think it's common among pleasure owners of walkers, or non-Big Lick walkers.

    I like walkers for what they are and what they do. They're pleasurable to ride, and tend to have good personalities.

    If you want to help stop such abuse, shoot a "Thank You" to Pepsi for withdrawing sponsorship. Shoot a letter to the TW people. But HSUS is a suspect organization. People think they rescue animals and have shelters... they don't. Nor are they the only people publicizing this - there are similar vids all over youtube.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Using weights/pads on the horses isn't cruel (it's not natural, but then again TW are a man made breed), it's like weight training yourself and wearing heels. It's very common in TW circuits. I personally don't like the way they move when they've been 'trained'.

    As far as them hitting the horse in the face, that was cruel.

    Several different circuits use a technique to 'lather' the horses (morgans, standardbreds etc...) this spooks the horses and makes them hot so they preform better.

    A similar question has already been asked, I BEG people to look at Y!A questions BEFORE they start writing them!

  • 8 years ago

    This was going on way back in the 60's and I remember writing a letter to a senator or somebody about passing legislation. Makes me sick to think this is still going on. It's not worth showing a horse of any kind when they have to be mistreated or make uncomfortable in order to win a show. It was also common to cut the underside of a tail and put hot pepper in it to make the tail stand up.

  • 8 years ago

    Tennessee Walkers are a gaited horse, meaning they have gaits different from the regular walk, trot/job, or lope/canter of most other horses. This is natural to them.

    But "soring" and the use of some devices to exaggerate their natural gate is, I personally believe, cruel and unnecessary.

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