"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, September 19, 2014

Retirement

Hello to all the sound horse warriors out there, and the animal abusers who continue to read this blog.

Due to some huge changes in my life, it's time to retire For the Tennessee Walking Horse(R).  We are leaving the breed ourselves, moving on to drafts and draft crosses.  We no longer want to be a part of the stigma associated with owning and training Tennessee Walking Horses.  The story of the Tennessee Walking Horse is now widely known, and this blog is no longer a necessity in the fight to save the horse.  There are other reasons I'm leaving the fight, but those are personal.

I thought I'd take the time to give a timeline of why For the Tennessee Walking Horse(R) exists and why everything has changed for me.

I have owned Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds since 1999.  In about 2003, I learned what soring was, and I witnessed it for the first time at a local show.  I didn't know what I was seeing at the time: a man brought his Big Lick horse out of his trailer, pulled out a small bottle, glanced around to see if anyone was looking (he didn't notice me), and then proceeded to paint whatever was in the bottle on the pasterns of the horse.  The horse reacted with pain, but I honestly didn't know what was going on.

In 2004, I witnessed soring again, and again I didn't know what I'd seen.  This was a prominent show barn in California that was at our local A-rated show, which was governed by the rules of the NHSC at the time.  The horses were all in closed, curtained stalls, even when the other breeds were in open stalls.  I witnessed grooms painting stuff on the horse's legs before they went into the ring, and the horses reacting in pain.

Then an article came out in Equus magazine that year that changed things.  It talked about the persistent problem of soring and why it wasn't being addressed.

The Equus magazine, July 2004, Issue #321, that began my concerns about soring.
I started asking questions of the Tennessee Walking Horse people I knew.  I started getting nasty comments and flippant answers.  Our "trainer" whom we used to help us train our stallion and mares for the show ring would tell us it wasn't a big deal, that it wasn't going on anymore.  She kept having us use bigger bits and bigger shoes to force the gait, which wasn't working for our need to have versatile horses that could both trail ride and show.  I asked why people would even want to put their horse on those shoes and how ugly it was; I got yelled at and ridiculed.  I did not understand this attitude; why were they defending the very thing that was not only abusive, but illegal at the same time?

So my research began.

I started using our business website, Silver Phoenix Ranch, as a reference board for information regarding soring.  I posted articles, first-hand stories, information about the Horse Protection Act.  I was the only person on the Internet at the time who was publicly exposing soring for what it truly was--even the sound horse groups didn't have much out there about soring.

Soon, people started coming out of the woodwork asking me to tell their story, or asking for help in what they could do.  So I started the blog For the Tennessee Walking Horse(R) in 2009 to gather all of the information in one place so everyone could see it.  I also brought the plight of the Tennessee Walking Horse to Facebook with a page for For the Tennessee Walking Horse(R).  As far as I could tell, no one else had done this, and it sparked a myriad of other pages--both for the sound horse and for the sored horse--onto Facebook.

This also prompted legally registering the name "For the Tennessee Walking Horse" due to people trying to steal the name to create their own Facebook pages and confuse the public as to which page was the real supporter of the horse and not the industry.

In 2005, I helped expose a horse abuser to the public who had chemically sored a horse so bad his skin was sloughing off.  I helped petition the Kentucky Racehorse Commission to stop giving Breeders' Incentive Funds to HIOs that continued to allow soring to happen.  I exposed what soring was to our local show's show management and they successfully banned the Big Lick from their show.  I helped bring in the National Walking Horse Association to our local show when Friends of Sound Horses left.

This photo is from 2005 and was first published on the Silver Phoenix Ranch website
by permission of the horse owner's wife, who took the photo.  The chemical soring was so bad
this horse's skin was sloughing off.
For the past 10 years, I've been fighting a hard battle.  Mostly I have done it alone.  However, it's been wonderful to see that this battle is no longer about a few people here and there raising their voices.  Finally, soring is in the spotlight.  Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States and the hard work of their horse division, soring is now a term known worldwide, not just in America or among a small group of people.  It's taking its toll on the sore horse industry, and to a wonderful end.


Walk of Shame?  Video by Dateline NBC, published April 29, 2014

Most importantly, dozens of people have come to me and said that because of my blog, they now know what soring is.  Dozens of others have told me they used to allow their horses to be sored themselves.  They have chosen to stop soring solely because my blog helped give them the courage to stand up and fight, to stop allowing the animal abusers to bully them into silence.

Now here we are, 10 years later.  The video of Jackie McConnell and his grooms abusing horses has been headline news.  Jackie McConnell is on house arrest and is not allowed to own or train horses for the next 20 years.  Larry Wheelon is going to see his day in court.  The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act is now at 59 Senators co-sponsoring it--60 are needed to push past the stalling and get it to the floor.  There are 305 Representatives in the House who co-sponsor it, enough to bring it to the floor after the elections November 4th.  Newspapers and online news continue to publish articles about soring.  And this year at the Celebration, there were record lows of attendance, record highs of violations, and only three horses in the final WGC stakes class, "performing" to a very, very small crowd compared to days past.  We are at a crossroads, and the new path is in the favor of the horse.

Photo of the Celebration final WGC stakes class, Celebration 2014.
Photo by billygoboy, www.billygoboy.com

For the Tennessee Walking Horse(R) was so named because my goal has been solely to save the horse.  I am truly for the horse.  I do not associate with any one HIO or association, although I have in the past.  I have discovered that once we start creating organizations and HIOs, the focus shifts from the horse being the most important to the human wants being the most important.  It is never about how many shows you go to in a year.  It's not about whether or not the rules fit your needs.  It's never about providing options for owners of all types of riding styles so they can benefit in some way.  It is truly all about the horse, and no one else.  I have done my best to stick hard and fast to this rule, and that has been the only way I can keep my focus strong.

I wish I could list every single person I can think of to thank in this long journey, but to do so would take more pages than anyone would want to read.  I have met many heroes of the breed who have put the law and the welfare of the horse first, even in the face of danger to their own family and friends.  Some have lost friends and family members, some have had their lives threatened.  You are all important parts of the sound movement for the Tennessee Walking Horse, and I tip my hat to you a million times over.

To those of you who are continuing to support the Big Lick: I truly pity you.  I hope that you will realize that the release of the video of Jackie McConnell was the beginning of the end.  I totally understand that you have money tied up in the Big Lick  horse.  I truly do get it, and I can completely understand why you're afraid.  So be financially smart: move your finances to the future of the breed, the flat shod and barefoot Tennessee Walking Horse.  This year's Celebration is going to be repeated next year as long as the Big Lick still exists.  The Big Lick industry is dying by it's own volition; it doesn't need the PAST Act to end it.  Get out while it's good to do so.

To those who still fight to save the horse: I commend you for your hard work and strength.  This is a hard fight, something that when you take it on and dedicate yourself to it, it eats you alive.  I have one favor to ask: stop the infighting.  No one has "the perfect" answer to end soring.  Not one person has started or lead the fight.  Too many people get caught up in what THEY have done, that THEY are so important and have made huge changes.  We must remember this: we must humble ourselves and check our egos at the door when we're working to save animals.  There is never a place for attacking others, for pointing fingers, for causing riffs.  Please remember this, and the sound horse movement will grow stronger than ever.

Be sure to check out the post previous to this one for places to go to continue the fight for the sound horse, and keep contacting your Congresspersons to get the PAST Act passed.

My friends and enemies, I appreciate all you've given me over the years.  You've taught me strength and humility, patience and outreach, how to better communicate and how to present facts.  It's amazing what a cause to do what's right--not only by the law but also by morality and ethics--can bring out in a person.

I am sure the PAST Act will eventually pass and the Big Lick will completely disappear.  It doesn't mean soring will stop, but it does mean it will be easier to detect.  It means that our country is capable of passing animal welfare laws that create a stepping stone toward better laws that protect human abuse victims.  It also means that the power of strong-willed, patient, and determined people with good hearts will always prevail.

Thanks to you all.  Remember to always be...


Monday, June 30, 2014

FTTWH - Taking a Hiatus

Hello to all you sound horse warriors!

I'm taking a hiatus from the FTTWH blog for a while.  I will still post on the FTTWH Facebook page since it's easy, but blogging is taking up time I need to use for other endeavors.  Doesn't mean I'll be gone for good--just won't be blogging for awhile.

I recommend spending time online at the below Facebook pages and websites where you can learn more about how to help end this travesty in our world.

But first, an anonymous poem sent to me.  (Click for a larger view.)  I am keeping this here to remind everyone why we're still fighting and why we need to push harder than ever to get the PAST Act passed.


Websites:
Billy Go Boy
All American Walking Horse Alliance
Stop Soring
Humane Society of the United States - Tennessee Walking Horses
Friends of Sound Horses
National Walking Horse Association
World Walking Horse Association

Facebook Pages & Groups:
Billygoboy
All American Walking Horse Alliance
Humane Society of the United States
Honors Dishonored
Voters who Approve of HR 1518/S 1406
Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH)
World Walking Horse Association

Sunday, June 22, 2014

NEWS - The Walk on Washington Was a Success

While the sore side continues to flail and flop like fish out of water and cannot seem to get their proverbial sh*t together, the sound horse group continues to work so hard and get success from their actions.

Billy Go Boy really has the best posts about the event, so I highly recommend going to his website to read everything.  www.billygoboy.com

Some important notes are that about 75 spectators showed up (not many more than those at a Big Lick show).  But most importantly, the media was out in force!  Articles have shown up on ABC News, the Tennessean, CNN, and various other news outlets that were there.  Billy Go Boy has them posted on his site.  Let's see the sore side get that kind of support with their exhibitions.

I have also heard that since the event, four new co-sponsors have signed on to the PAST Act.  There is also talk about the Act getting to the Senate floor for vote.  I will update everyone once I find out more news if this is true.

Also, please read this post for sure, if you don't read anything else.  This is the story of Dutch, a horse that was noticed at a Pennsylvania auction in June of 2013 in horrible condition.  From the story I was originally told about this horse, the owner took him to the auction to sell him.  Luckily, people who knew what soring was took the original photos of his legs and feet in the auction barn.  The owner found out about it, snatched him up and took him away.  Obviously he knew it is illegal to have a scarred horse at an auction.  From what I heard, someone had gotten a license plate number.  The rest of the story is on the post.

Some sore side folks have made fun of the amount of horses being low.  But it's not like the Big Lick classes aren't big now.  Two to three horses per class does not constitute a full classes.

The only defense of the sore side is to make fun of the natural horse riders quite frankly showing their ignorance.  I invite everyone to take a gander at this post from Facebook off of the open page of Tommy Williams, who runs the Walking Horse Report and Walking Horse Chat, where crazy anti-HSUS theories abound and names they believe are insulting are slung about.  CLICK HERE.  For the record, I'm proud to be a tree hugger and rabid animal welfare activist.  Much better than being called and animal abuser or a felon supporter.

And finally, here's the picture circulating the Internet of Pam McKinney, the Virgina TWHBEA Director, who came to the WOW event and spent her time walking around and making nasty comments, her cronie trying to pass out anti-PAST Act propaganda (of which they were not authorized to do), and when she was confronted about it, this was her response, as well as dropping dozens of F-bombs.  She was escorted away from the exhibition by local police.


The reason I post this is to show folks how well we are doing to save the horse, and how the sore side cannot stand on its own two stacked and chained feet anymore.  We continue to make progress to save the horse.  Soring and the Big Lick are not only cruel but no longer popular in the horse world.  It's time for it to end, and I can't wait for the PAST Act to pass.

Check out the All American Walking Horse Alliance website and Facebook page to learn more about their time in DC.  And thanks to everyone who worked on this project AND who donated their time and money to it.  This is why the PAST Act will pass: we are willing to work hard and keep at it!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

HOW YOU CAN HELP - A Gentle Reminder

Well, perhaps not so gentle...but in any case....

If you're bored this weekend--too hot to go outside, too boring inside--please take a few minutes to make that phone call, write an email, or send a fax so it's on their desk Monday morning bright and early.  Or plan to visit your Congressperson in person, and call on Monday to make an appointment.

The list of the current non-sponsors of the PAST Act is in the sidebar on the right of this blog!


And...

THE WALK ON WASHINGTON IS NEXT WEDNESDAY!

Please show your support and send them a few dollars or be present at the event.  More information can be found on the All American Walking Horse Alliance website.

ALL donations support press releases, transportation, horse boarding, flyers and hard copy information, news coverage, and other issues that need to be paid for.  None of the volunteers for the WOW are paid for their time.  So please consider a donation!



Monday, June 2, 2014

NEWS and HOW YOU CAN HELP - House Reps List is Finished, TWHBEA Crap, and More from the Walk on Washington

Thanks to my friends and lots of hard work, we have finished the list of House Republicans who have not co-sponsored the PAST Act yet.  Republican support is supposedly more important to the Speaker of the House to bring it to the floor, which is why we haven't done a Democrats list.  So we need everyone to jump on their House Republicans to get this sucker to the floor!  I'm sure you'll see names in the list that are lost causes...but then again, sometimes it takes just one comment or one important fact that will get that person to listen.

Of note: The ranking House Democrat Collin Peterson, who is on the Agricultural Committee, has co-sponsored the PAST Act.  Click here to read why this is so important.



Next, TWHBEA held its yearly board meetings over Memorial Day weekend.  Sadly, the entire Executive Committee meeting was spent making changes to the by-laws so that they have a Pat Stout Clause and a Christy Lantis Clause (THEIR WORDS, not joking on this) to keep the Lickers on the board and EC and to keep the members from having a say.  They also changed it to force members to support the Big Lick horse, whether or not they want to.

The details for what went down are on Billy Go Boy's website at this link.  Please read this and realize what is truly going on here.

But here's the kicker, folks: they are going to post the entire by-laws as a yes or no vote.  They won't do what all other organizations across the globe do, which is allow members to vote on each change.  No, they want to make sure no one is allowed to actually have a say in what they truly want to see within TWHBEA.

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER, PLEASE VOTE A RESOUNDING NO TO THESE CHANGES.  They are going to not only hurt you as a member, but also continue to support soring and force YOU to support soring as well.  Do you really want your hard-earned money used to support animal abuse?

Once you've voted, PLEASE don't renew your membership.  In my opinion, TWHBEA has had it's time in the spotlight and now needs to die.  They will not change, that is for certain.  They enjoy soring, they enjoy their money, they enjoy trying to protect a way of life that has truly gone the way of the dodo.  Aside from soring, the Big Lick just is not popular anymore.  Let's let them kill TWHBEA on their own.  Don't give them your money anymore so they can fail.

If you are concerned about registering your horse, there are other options such as NWHA, WWHA, the Heritage Society and the Canadian TWH registry.  The breed will not go extinct as we all know there are hundreds of people out there breeding flat shod, quality horses.  Don't let TWHBEA's vice grip on the registry sway you.  Find another venue to spend your money on.  TWHBEA is no longer worth your time or anyone else's.

Next, the Walk on Washington is still scheduled for June 18th!  It will be at 1 pm and will take place in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool on 3rd Street Southwest on Union Square.  The All American Walking Horse Alliance needs our help financially to pay for this endeavor.  The monies go toward paying fees and for permits to be able to this, as well as travel costs for the participants and horses.  If you'd like to donate, please visit their website here: http://www.walkinghorsealliance.com/


Of course, the Lickers are spreading lies that this is some kind of marketing ploy...like they don't participate in marketing ploys themselves.  But it's okay if they do them, just not anyone else.  The Walk on Washington, however, is not a marketing ploy.  It is truly to educate the public about the horses and let our Congresspersons see sound, happy TWHs in action, so to speak.  This is a great opportunity for anyone to learn more about what's happening and why we need the PAST Act passed.  So if you're in the area, please join them and show your support for the PAST Act!

Monday, May 19, 2014

NEWS - All American Walking Horse Alliance Ready to Walk On Washington

***EDITED 5-19-14***
SENATE LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED!
Please check out our sidebar for the link to the list of Senators who haven't co-sponsored the PAST Act yet.
We are still working on the Representatives list.  It will be finished soon!

A brand new alliance of sound horse supporters, owners, breeders, and exhibitors has come up with a phenomenal new way to educate our Congresspersons and the public to the plight of the TWH.

Introducing the All American Walking Horse Alliance



The All American Walking Horse Alliance is a brand new grassroots organization that have scheduled to perform a Walk on Washington.  On June 18, 2014, six to eight sound, well-trained and wonderful representatives of the TWH breed along with many supporters of the sound horse will make their way to Union Square Park on Capitol Hill.  The rally will be peaceful and will exhibit the horses as they truly should be showcased in the United States of America.


Roy Exum wrote a great piece on this event that explains everything, so I'll let him be your guide for this.  Click here to read it.

AAWHA does need our help.  There are lots of financial issues to consider, such as fees for permits, housing for the horses, and other such issues.  From their Facebook page:


Or buy a magnet:


Folks, this is truly a remarkable and game-changing event.  This is something that cannot be duplicated by those who are in opposition of the PAST Act.  Real horses showcasing their natural talents, available for our Congresspersons and other local taxpayers will help raise awareness and show how easy and important it is to get the PAST Act passed.  My congratulations and sincere thanks to those who have made this amazing endeavor.  Change is here, and we will see and end to the atrocity of soring.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

LIST OF NON-COSPONSORS OF THE PAST ACT - SENATE

With the help of a good friend, I've been able to put together the list of Congresspersons who have not signed on to the PAST Act yet!

First is the Senate list.  I will update this post with House list soon!

Some important notes:

All of the addresses are the same building, city, and zip.  Check the footer of the file for the information.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF SUPPORTERS OF AND ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE PAST ACT!  This list will help you convince your Congresspersons why we need the PAST Act to be supported.  Be sure to mention the supports in your state directly!

Point out that the PAST Act is at no cost to the taxpayer.  Note that while those who do not support the PAST Act complain that jobs will be lost, let them know that the PAST Act only punishes the owners, trainers, breeders and exhibitors who use the tools of the trade to abuse horses.  Also point out that the industry has been allowed to police itself for over 40 years and still has not stopped soring and in fact encourages and rewards it.

Contact your Congressperson every week, every day if you have to!  The PAST Act will pass, but only with your help and enthusiasm!


If you have trouble with this file or find any mistakes, feel free to email me at forthetnwalkinghorse@gmail.com.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING SAVE THE HORSE!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NEWS and ARTICLES - SBS Dateline of Australia Helps Expose the Truth; Dr. Blackwell, DVM Explains Soring Pain; Billy Go Boy's Recent Post

We have some great things going on within the Tennessee Walking Horse world.  If you've been following our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, and Billy Go Boy's website, you'll know that the National Sheriff's Association has endorsed the PAST Act, while the Tennessee Farm Bureau has of course endorsed the industry and their useless counter-acts.  Although honestly, The Tennessee Farm Bureau's actions don't surprise me.  It just shows us that they are just as ingrained in profiting from the abuse as the Lickers are.

The list of supporters and endorsements of the PAST Act continues to grow!  Use this list when you're contacting your Congresspersons.  Click here to view the most updated list as of April 25, 2014!

The USDA has been working very hard.  They were at all of the major shows this season so far, and their presence either scared off exhibitors or caught a lot of the abusers in the act.  They brought their scientific, objective methods, and it's proving to work.  Please send them a message to thank them for their hard work.  Click here for the USDA HPA website for contact information.

Next, SBS Dateline out of Australia did an EXCELLENT piece on the TWH industry and soring.  They were present at this year's Trainers' Show and the Sound Horse Conference, so they showed footage and data from both.  This video is full of facts and good information from both sides of the sore horse world.  It also points out several fallacies within the industry, and counters many of their claims.  Click the banner from SBS Dateline below to watch the video.

"This is not the natural gait of the Walking Horse."
~ SBS Dateline, Walk of Shame


"The exaggerated Big Lick is only achieved with the aid of what trainers call 'action devices,' the most obvious the ungainly shoes on the horse's front feet."
~ SBS Dateline, Walk of Shame

Some interesting things I noticed.

03:25 - Brain Power reacts to Groover reaching toward his hooves.

04:53 - Mike Inman states that the TWH industry is important to the agriculture and farming in Tennessee.  There is no farming involved in owning TWHs.  Only showing.

08:13 - Winky Groover has vets check his horse after the USDA has disqualified the horse from the show.  He says the vets disagree with the USDA's findings.  Well of course the vets disagree--they are PAID by the industry to be there.  

11:26 - Dr. Tracy Turner used thermography at the Trainers' Show to help identify sored horses.  The Lickers continue to complain about the USDA not using scientific, objective inspections.  I don't know how much more scientific and objective thermography can get.  So you got what you wanted at the Trainers' Show, Lickers.  Sorry, Winky, I'm going to listen to the vet that used thermography and specializes in equine podiatry rather than your paid ones that didn't use anything but a subjective inspection.

After watching the thermography webinar and learning so much, I have to say I saw the lines on Winky's horse's pasterns that corresponded with the thermography.  I can see why the horse was disqualified--from what I've learned, he was clearly sored in the past but was "compliant" for the show.

But this was probably the best part of the video for me.  Mike Inman stated, "Essentially they [the HSUS] want the entire breed eliminated, again saying that will eiminate soring.  Well certainly, it will if you eliminate the horse.  There won't be any horse left."

Immediately, this quote was countered with Keith Dane's statement: "We [the HSUS] have programs to reward and encourage people who will use their Tennessee Walking Horses in humane, respectful ways and help promote the breed to the rest of the world.  So if we were against people having horses and using their horses, we wouldn't be offering rewards and recognition to people who are doing that humanely."

It continues to amaze me that this industry is so bent on perpetuating and rewarding animal abuse with the lengths they will go through.  But we're looking at a "tradition" that is truly normal to these people.  They've gotten away with it for so long, it's become ingrained in their culture.  Plus, these are trainers who wouldn't know how to train a horse without stacks, chains and "juice."  They have no idea how to start a horse from the ground up, how to use regular horse training methods to teach a horse to be ridden or prepare it for the show ring.  This was even commented on in the video: each horse is only ridden for about 20 minutes before they're hauled off to the show.  Twenty minutes of "training" is nothing compared to the hours upon hours most trainers put into their horses to compete, even those who use mechanical means.

Overall, a huge thank you to SBS Dateline for airing this.  The truth is out there, and it's becoming international!

The Sound Horse Conference 2014 has put up videos of their speakers on their YouTube feed.  I highly recommend hopping on over to YouTube to watch the videos of the presenters.  (Click for the link.)  We had some major players that told the truth about what's going on in the TWH industry.

My personal favorites are:

Dr. Michael Blackwell - Talks about what the pain of soring actually feels like.  Click here for Billy Go Boy's text of this presentation.

Carl Bledsoe - Former sore horse trainer who has chosen to leave soring behind.

Clay Harlin - Former supporter and owner of sored horses.  A preacher who talks about his time when he realized what was happening was wrong.

Dr. Tracy Turner - Thermography information and how soring happens, and debunking some of the Lickers' claims.

Of course, I recommend watching all the videos.  They are all extremely informative and helpful to end the practice of soring.

And speaking of Billy Go Boy, I really, really think this post is important: click here.  I love BGB's website because he keeps us going with such great information from the goings on within the industry, so much so that it keeps the fight going and fresh in everyone's minds.  I just find that this particular post really needs to be read and understood by everyone.  It shows how clearly disillusioned the TWH industry is.  It also reminds us that we are still gaining and we need to keep up the good fight!

Some thoughts:

I find it interesting that the only "spokesperson" for the TWH industry is Jerry Harris (Whatajayroe per BGB), of the What A Horse show from Tennessee.  He puts together a lot of videos with interviews of those within the industry.  However, it's clear that he twists words and facts to fit his own agenda, which to me is clearly to continue the sore horse racket so he can get paid.  Sadly, Harris doesn't realize that a change within the industry will stop it from hemorrhaging money and bring back the spectators and supporters of this great breed.

I also find it interesting that the industry keeps saying they want "scientific, objective inspections."  What's more scientific than x-rays and thermography?  Scientific studies continue to prove them wrong, yet they ignore them because it doesn't fit their agenda.  I have pointed out time and time again the quotes by Dr. Turner on various Facebook pages and forums, and the industry flat out WILL NOT watch the webinar or take the time to learn what science is really all about.  But we all know what's really going on: they just want to keep cognitive dissonance, to continue to believe their own lies, even in the wake of absolute proof.  If we say the sky is blue, they will call it black.  It doesn't matter to them.  Keeping their way of life is what truly matters.  So it's up to us to save the horse.

I'll keep you updated as I can, but please remember to follow us on Facebook or Twitter @FortheTWH to keep as up to date as possible.  THANK YOU for continuing to support the welfare of the horse!






Sunday, April 6, 2014

VIDEO, NEWS and HOW YOU CAN HELP - Bills, Bills, Bills; Video From Discussion With Sound Horse Leaders; FTTWH Is Now On Twitter & More

Well, we all know about the PAST Act.  But has anyone else heard about the PAID Act?

Okay, it's not really called the PAID Act, but we'd like to think that's what it's called:

Thanks to the Voters Who Approve of HR 1518/s 1406 FB page
Be sure to let the Congresspersons on this page know that we need them to reconsider their support and help stop abuse, not support those who condone and participate in it.

Most of you probably already know that Marsha Blackburn, paid Congressperson of the TWH industry (she was given $70,000 in donations at the Celebration last year) put together her own version of changes to the HPA.  Here's a good explanation from Thehorse.com (click for article):

On Feb. 26, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced HR 4098, or the Horse Protection Amendments Act of 2014. Blackburn's bill would create one horse industry organization (HIO) to manage shows where Tennessee Walking Horses would be exhibited. Under HR 4098, that HIO would be composed of equine veterinarians and industry experts who would develop and implement protocols, guidelines, testing policies, and inspection policies for the industry. Under the legislation, these industry experts would be drawn from states most impacted by the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. The bill also requires that testing used during horse inspections be done “though objective, science-based methods and protocols,” and preserves the oversight structure between the Walking Horse industry and the USDA. The bill does not forbid trainers from using metal chains, or stacks and pads used in performance packages.

While this sounds all happy and dandy, it actually puts the industry right where they want to be.  It would give them one HIO, which the industry has already established by putting together the IIS, or ISS, or some other such crap...honestly, I can't keep track of it anymore.  Somehow SHOW is not defunct, or PSHA is...???  Seriously, more alphabet soup.  At any rate, having one HIO that will be run by the abusers puts those foxes at the front door of the hen house to usher other foxes right on in.

Plus, in requiring "objective, science-based methods and protocols," this buys them time to find ways to escape detection.  Objective and science-based methods are already available and tests have already been done.  The Industry just ignores it because it scientifically shows that the horses are still being sored.  (See refusing to release swabbing results of 2012 Celebration; general ignorance of Dr. Turner's six-year thermography study and the results.)

A few days ago, Lamar Alexander -- who strangely, had co-sponsored both the PAID Act AND the PAST Act -- released a more detailed PAID Act that just adds on some useless penalties and expresses that only veterinarians should inspect horses.  Which, with the USDA, they already do.  Another good explanation of the bill from Thehorse.com (click for article):

On April 1 Alexander, along with senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), introduced legislation modifying HR 4098 bill to require the HIO created in Blackburn's bill contract with “equine veterinary experts”; those experts would advise the HIO on the methods of testing for banned substances and about the interpretation of test results. Alexander's bill also creates a 30-day suspension of horses found to be sore for the first time; penalties rise to 90-day suspensions for each subsequent offense. Finally, the bill would establishe a 4-year term limit for anyone who serves on the HIO board of directors.

So, we need your help yet again!  Please OPPOSE both of these bills on POPVOX.  Click here for HR 4098 and click here for S 2913.  REMEMBER: These two bills need to be OPPOSED!

Next, here's a great video from The Tennessean Editorial Board with supporters of the PAST Act talking about why it's necessary.  Former Senator Joe Tydings, who authored the original HPA, Donna Benefield, and Attorney Clant Seay provide wonderful insight.  Click here for Billy Go Boy's post about it.

We have also started an FTTWH Twitter account!  Our goal is to tweet about important information that our Congresspersons need to know about soring and supporting the PAST Act.  http://twitter.com/FortheTWH and @FortheTWH.  Please follow us and retweet so we can get the word out and get as much support as we can!

I also want to announce that I'm not going to be posting on this blog as much for awhile.  I have some other pressing work to take care of.  But the FTTWH Facebook page and FTTWH Twitter account will still run as it's an easy place to share and give out information.  I also HIGHLY recommend following Billy Go Boy's website for lots of great up-to-date information.

So, to keep up with who's supporting the PAST Act and who we still need to contact, go to Govtrack.us to keep an eye on those who are supporting it.

House Support: HR 1518

Senate Support: S 1406

Key things the Congresspersons will want to know:

1.  This will be at no cost to the taxpayer to pass and implement as the funds for the HPA are already established.
2.  The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Association for Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the American Horse Council (AHC and largest lobbyists in DC for horse-related issues), and Veterinary Medical Associations across the U.S. are in full support of the PAST Act.  Click here for the list of endorsements from across the United States.
3.  The Industry has not been and never will correctly police themselves as HPA violations continue to pile up each year.  The time has come for the USDA to take over inspections and for the tools used to sore horses to be gone from the show ring.

THANK YOU to everyone for all your hard work!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NEWS - Jackie McConnell Confession Video

It sounds like there was some great information that came out of the Sound Horse Conference this year.  Hopefully FOSH will make the information available to the public for free.

In the meantime, here's the video of part of Jackie McConnell's confession that was required in his sentencing.  Good information, and I'm glad to see it.  It's interesting how the crowd reacts when he says he loved the horses at 4:00.  I just am sad to think that I truly don't trust him in his "apology."  I think he's just sorry he got caught...but that's just me.  Let's hope he truly is sorry for what he did to those magnificent creatures in ruining their lives.