Soring in gaited horses


New Member
Aug 20, 2000
The Stable/Saddle
I saw this article today looking through CNN:,8599,1532318,00.html?cnn=yes

Talking about how 6 of the finalists for the show were disqualified for soring their horses. I am well aware that the current NR community has a lot of gaited horses, and not one of them is sored, or will ever be. I also know that there are probably more instances of abuse in other forms of competition then in this particular field, on earth did this happen?! Six horses? :eek:


pAin't Nobody's Bidness
Nov 12, 1999
South Carolina, US
Visit site
The only thing I find surprising is that, at last, people who perpetrate "big lick abuse" aren't winning. This practice has gone on for way too long.

You're right, it's not a practice common to all gaited horse people by any means. Lots of folks show in what they call "naturally gaited" or "flat shod" classes. And of course lots more don't show at all and just enjoy their nice gaited horse.

But the big lick folks have just assumed the laws don't apply to them and carried on torturing their horses. There's a stable only a few miles from me that does this kind of thing. They must have 50 horses there, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen one. You can't turn a horse out in those great honkin' thick shoes, so they all live in their stalls. The few poor creatures I have seen don't walk - they lurch.

I'm so happy the USDA finally made believers out of these horrible arrogant excuses for human beings.


New Member
Feb 27, 2002
Oh, it was more than 6 horses disqualified. There was a huge hubbub all over the nationals--it was just that in the overall grand champion class, (7) of the horses were D/Q'd. Here's another article with some more information:

U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors disqualified six out of approximately 10 horses they inspected Aug. 25, spurring near bedlam among trainers and Walking Horse enthusiasts that eventually led event organizers to cancel that Friday night’s performance, as well as the next morning’s.
[...] Saturday night when the Grand Championship contest was canceled. Inspectors again disqualified seven of 10 horses; trainers of the three horses that did pass withdrew from the class in protest.


my horses, my heroes
Jun 13, 2005
ive read a lot about soring its awful. they use strong chemicals that are dangerous and even deadly to humans, put in on their legs, and let it "cook". then when the horses are ridden, their feet and legs hurt so bad they snatch them up off the ground quickly, resulting in the "big lick" style of showhorse. or the chemicals make their legs so sore, when the light chains that are legal to put on go on, it hurts like heck. these horses are extremely abused and it is a huge problem in saddleseat riding. a lot of the barns that sore are very mysterious, the horses lie down a lot, and horses moaning can even be heard.

this site has lots of info about it, its a horrible horrible thing, but people need to be informed about it.

Zesty Maximus

New Member
Feb 24, 2005
High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
Oh my! :eek:

I had never heard of this practice until now. How can people so willfully abuse their horses? I understand that people neglect their horses because they are ignorant (which is terrible in itself) but to decide, "sod the horse, I want to win" and do something with the sole purpose of hurting the horse to make it move differently it dreadful. :(


New Member
Nov 22, 2005
Cumbria - middle of nowhere!!
I think it's horrible what people do to horses, I've heard of lots of things people do to "enhance" thier horses action/looks/behaviour. In the show world it seems to have been fairly common although it seems to be declining - I hope????.
I read an article in the arab horse society magazine a while ago that people used to stick ginger up thier horses backsides to make them keep thier tails up, and inject water into thier eyes to make thier eyes look bigger and get them addicted to cocaine to make them pose!!:eek: I know that quite a few arab people keep thier stallions in a stable for a few days before a show with the top door shut and in the dark so that when they are shown they have presence!! And they continuously prod, poke and hit thier horses so they pose well and leap about as arabs are supposedly supposed to do??!!! - makes me soooo angrey.:mad:
I'm glad these people were caught and some action was taken, I wonder if they'll do anything about the tail sets??? and the artificial way these horses are posed in - like a stretch limo, not quite sure what it's supposed to show - maybe they're trying to show how unsuitable that horse is for riding and that it's for looking at only???!!, it seems to be worse over there in the states, but it is filtering to over here in the UK.


New Member
Feb 27, 2002
pengapenga said:
Good on the inspectors for standing their ground.

The first I heard of this whole mess was on a local horse discussion list; there was a call for emails sent to those inspectors commending them on just that. Apparently things got very ugly and they were faced with a potential riot. That's a bit scary.


Active Member
May 23, 2004
Sounds like a bit of a vicious circle too, the standard of the gait in the breed has probably gone down over the years since 'natural ability' is not being promoted?
Which would no doubt result in more soring of less talented stock -

How sad :(
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