Protect Tennessee Walking Horses From Cruel Mutilation

Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States

Goal: Stop soring, a practice in which horses’ feet and legs are burned with caustic chemicals.

The mutilation of Tennessee Walking Horses’ hooves may soon be banned. Known for their high-stepping gait, these horses endure incredible pain and abuse in order to achieve this gait. In a practice known as soring, caustic chemicals are applied to the feet and front legs of the horses to blister and scar the feet. The hooves are sometimes cut and burned, and there are often several layers of horseshoes nailed into the feet. Because of the pain this causes, the horses adopt a modified manner of walking.

Though this process is illegal, it is still commonplace in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. An exposé by the Humane Society of the United States recently found that a major training barn used soring tactics regularly, and used other cruel and painful methods to conceal the evidence. Due to lax enforcement of horse protection laws, practices like these are used to train other gaited horses as well, including the Spotted Saddle Horse.

Now, Congress is attempting to further protect these horses and increase oversight on the equestrian industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act that would target inspection procedures and show horse training. Almost 200 members of the House of Representatives have so far signed a letter urging President Obama to ensure these changes are implemented before he leaves office. Sign the petition below to show your support for this law, which could protect thousands of horses every year from cruel mutilation.


Dear President Obama,

Despite being illegal, the cruel practice of soring is still rampant in show horse training. Soring sees caustic chemicals soaked into a horse’s foot in order to modify its gait. Some horses have their feet cut or burned, and most also undergo other painful processes such as acid scrubs in order to hide the evidence of this illegal act.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently considering improvements to the Horse Protection Act that would improve oversight in the show horse industry. The proposal would also lay specific responsibilities for trainers, managers, and owners so that this cruel practice is more easily punishable. So far, 175 members of the House of Representatives have shown their support for this bill. Please do your best to ensure that these changes are implemented before you leave office.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Clarence Alford

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  1. ALL these horse industries should be abolished as “cruel and unnecessary,” abusing an amazing, yet horrendously exploited species, all throughout human history. Time to change that underlying perspective that tries to claim we have some contrived RIGHT to subject horses to anything these losers want. We DON’T!

  2. Cecily Colloby says:

    ….and stop all the other wierd mutilations which are carried out on these poor horses to make them walk in a totally unnatural way. What about the built up shoes and the high “blocks” nailed to their hooves???? How the hell can ANY of it be allowed???? Having seen the footage of the “major training barn” and the vile scumbag beating a tied horse about the head and the poor animal with its’ mutilated feet trying to get up and groaning in pain, I just can’t see how ANY of this torture is allowed to continue.

  3. Czerny A. says:

    This is grotesque! No better than the old Chinese practice of foot-binding girls.

  4. end the cruelty on the great horses now.

  5. The suffering that animals endure because of a certain “gait” is totally ludicrous and inhumane. This has been going on for many years, and I hope new legislature will be bring to light the plight of these poor horses. The things I read that humans due to animals makes me ashamed.

  6. M. Dobos says:

    As a horse owner myself, this is appalling. The horse is beautiful in it’s natural gait. This process has to be stopped. How can you call yourself a horse lover and then do these horrendous things. Oh yeah, I know. All for the love of money! Once again, I am ashamed to call myself a human being when it means I am a part of a species that has no concern whatsoever for the well being of another of this world’s precious creatures.

  7. I know these horses well and do not at all agree with the practice of soreing them. However, Racking horses are NOT SORED and they have a much more natural gait. This is NOT AT ALL NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE THE GAIT. Tenessee Walkers and Racking horses are BORN WITH THE GAIT. THEY ALL DO IT. The only thing that soreing does is cause them to lift their front legs higher and makes the gait more exaggerated. The pads (“built up shoes”) DO NOT HURT THEM. Soreing DOES HURT THEM and SHOULD BE BANNED. Please have the facts correct: soreing is ABOVE THE HOOVES, NOT THE HOOVES THEMSELVES. This is a beautiful, noble and gentle breed of horse and when the gait is natural, they are wonderful to ride. The soreing happens only with Tennessee Walking SHOW HORSES.

  8. Unbelievable cruelty and sooo unnecessary. Jail all concerned, you sicken me.

  9. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ?

  10. Beth Nordmeyer says:


    STOP THIS NOW. THESE PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW AND BUY THEIR WAY OUT! Many of these individuals sit on city councils and legislators are involved with typical loop hole laws, corruption must stop. This is what they do, VILSACK AFRAID to prosecute. Will YOU stop them.

  11. Elizabeth Sargeant says:

    Why is this petition still active?

    Obama is no longer president of the USA, although I wish he was, so what is the point of it??
    Obviously nothing has been done abut this cruel, needless, senseless treatment of horses. And don’t expect Trump to be caring about it either…..

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