I just read your latest on walking horses. If a horse is shod normally then there is no pain in the hoof. There is no such thing as a little pain in the hoof. If there's pain in the hoof the animal is lame.
No such thing as a little bit of pain, the horse can't walk at all with pain in the hoof.
If nails are driven into the hoof wall and the sole theres no pain in either. There's no feeling in those areas. Nails that are driven deep into the sole cause severe pain and the horse could not walk. Same with chemicals. Both would not cause an extreme gait. The animal would be so lame it could not walk.
A method called "firing" is sometimes done to the horses' cannon bones in the front legs. It removes all feeling from the legs. The chains are used not to make more action but to bring about a match in action in both legs. We are talking a 1,200 pound horse that may of had all feeling removed from its legs. I don't consider what I've heard animal cruelity. I believe all of you just met the HSUS.
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1. Animals, horses and people included, have different levels of pain. I have seen horses with various injuries that are lame, have a pronounced limp, a slight limp to no noticeable change in gate. To say that pain causes lameness is preposterous.
On top of that, any person who works with animals or even a basic understanding of biological function can tell you that an animal that doesn't have any feeling in a limb is very prone to injury, especially a horse. You would have to sever the nerve to accomplish loss of feeling and then the animal would be useless.
Now that it's been established that horses feel pain, if you drive a tack far enough into sole, past the white line, it cause pain and irritation - not lameness. Imagine having a tack in your shoe that is long enough to poke the sole of your foot. You wouldn't want to put much pressure on it and when you did, you would want to come off of it real quick using your good leg to to support more of your weight. Hence, why it changes the horse's gate and why the horse carries more of the weight in his hind quarters.
2 "Firing" doesn't remove "feeling" in the leg. Pin firing is where a "trainer" sticks a red-hot pin on the lateral aspect of the affected bone to promote new bone growth. It's used, although not frequently anymore, primarily in horse racing. If you think firing is a good idea go run several miles until you develop shin splints and and then heat a nail until it's red hot and drive it into your tibia. This was/is done because the more time a horse spends healing up, the less time he is out on the track earning money. Once again, people putting the bottom line over the well being of an animal. Instead of properly training the horse, they abuse the horse to get the result. Does anyone else notice a pattern? Hopefully, Ms. Green, you aren't needlessly causing these horses pain by thinking you are removing pain receptors by stabbing them with red-hot pokers.
Reading this article I am reminded of the movie Dumbo when one clown says about Dumbo, "we don't want to hurt the lil' fella." and another clown retorts, "What are you talking about, elephants are made of rubber." Your disregard for these fine animals and the pain that these so called "trainers" are causing them isn't doing the Walking Horse industry any favors. I only hope if you own horses, Ms. Green, that you are taking care of them. If you have dominion over another being you have the responsibility to care for it.
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It sounds to me like you are a great friend of the Tn Walking Horse Industry. Also, that you do not know much about horses.
The only point at you make that is "sound" is that indeed the nails are driven through the hoof wall. A farrier (horseshoer) is careful to drive each nail in properly away from the sensitive sole where it will not interfere with the animal moving.
There is a very disturbing practice in the Walking Horse industry called "pressure shoeing." According to literature, many trainers shoe their own horses because ethical farriers will not participate in this practice.
Of course, there are many ways to sore a horse. I am only addressing pressure shoeing and mechanical soreing. The reason for pressure shoeing is that the horse will quickly lift the front legs up to relieve the pain. Also adding a weighted shoe will make the horse step higher and quicker than a natural unsored horse. These poor animals are suffering from long toes, painful inserts under the shoes, heavy shoes, extreme bits and a rider sitting very far back on the horse. Wow, how natural is that.
Pressure shoeing involves placing a foreign object such as a block of wood, golf balls and even hammering in nails against the soles of the hoof and covering it with a large pad and shoe. Each time the horse takes a step or places weight on the hoof the foreign object causes compression on their sole and a change in circulation and extreme pain.
Mechanical soring. Stacks of pads up to five inches high can be filled with a variety of substances for added weight that cause the horse to stand at an unnatural elevated and painful position,all of the time.
More on pressure shoeing.
Pressure shoeing may involve slicing the hoof wall before nailing the shoe over the surface. This results in a very tender hoof that becomes more sore when weight is placed on the hoof.
Sanding the sole down until it bleeds or trimming the sole until the sole itself becomes the weight bearing surface.
Welding beads to the underside of the hoofband that is part of the shoeing package.
Placing foreign objects between the sole and shoe or pad.
Removing a portion of the whiteline on the solewith a power router. Pliable metal is placed over the tender area before the shoe is nailed on.
Cutting the sole of the hoof short, leaving the heels long to change the angle of the coffin bone. The tip of the coffin bone will the point down towards the sole.
The coffin bone is the lowest bone in the equine leg and is encased in the hoof capsule. It is also known as the 3rd phalanx. This is an extremely painful condition.
The sole of the hoof has a blood and nerve supply. Yes, it can become painful. so much so that horses with severe laminitis or founder will lay down and refuse to get up because of the pain.
You need to learn a little bit about equine(horse) anatomy. So, Ms Green. I guess that my argument to you is, the the animal is hurting on both front feet. That is where the exaggerated and unnatural gait is coming from. Yes, the horse is lame.
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All you have to do is take one look at all those horses, and those shoes and chains, and it does not look normal, it takes away from the natural aesthetic of the horse, and to see all of them wild eyed, showing the whites of their eyes to know they are terrified of what is to come next. Stewarding perhaps? It is all so messed up beyond reason.
One more thing; the fact that the Celebration allowed the McConnells to donate a trophy tells us where their loyalties lie, and it is not with the Tennessee Walker Horse. I do not know how animal abusers sleep at night. There is a special hell for them.