Ban Leg Burning for Show Horses

Target: Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary

Goal: Close loopholes to end cruel practice of soring, and require inspectors to be independent veterinarians.

In the show horse industry, people will apply tremendous, painful pressure or burn horses’ legs in order to enhance their gait. Tennessee walking horses are the breed most affected by this practice, as they have a distinctive gait that is sometimes cruelly exaggerated, producing what is known as the “Big Lick.” The cruel practice, known as soring, is illegal; however organizations have been easily finding loopholes for years.

Typically, mustard oil, kerosene, or diesel fuel are used when burning horses’ legs for soring. The process is obviously painful and traumatizing. Under the Horse Protection Act, horses that have been sored are not allowed at shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions. However, due to inner industry connections, organizations are easily able to work around this law and continue the cruelty.

Sign this petition and demand the USDA enforce stronger protections for horses. Soring is unusually cruel and unnecessary. It is time for soring to be a thing of the past.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

Soring is a common process in the show horse industry that puts extreme, painful pressure or burns Tennessee walking horses’ legs to enhance their gait. The practice is illegal under the Horse Protection Act; however due to inner industry connections, organizations have been easily working around this law to continue the cruel practice.

The main problem is that many inspectors work in the industry. They often turn a blind eye when they see horses that have been sored at shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions. If the USDA trained its own inspectors and had them be independent veterinarians or animal health technicians, the problem would drop significantly.

Please consider increasing protection for Tennessee walking horses. Soring is completely unnecessary and unusually cruel.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: next twentyeight

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  1. Wendy Morrison says:

    These stupid trainers need to have their ankles treated the exact same way with chemical burn to experience the exact thing these beautiful horses have deal with every night. Stop this CRUELTY practice of SORING IMMEDIATELY!
    Any TRAINER/STUPID PERSON caught SORING horses legs should have The EXACT same torture done to them nightly for the rest if their lives while in prison!!!!

  2. Obscene cruelty that is legal and proluferates in secrecy. Safeguards should be to routinely investigate abuses and expose perpetrators.

  3. “Soring” is simply an industry rename for “torturing” and it isn’t training, as they want you to buy in to (so it is more palatable), it is extreme abuse. Anyone that participates in these evil, narcissistic, barbaric practices should be given the same treatment, stall and all, and we’ll see how many horses they torture into lameness after that, if they survive. All this cruelty is for the 25 cent ribbon. They can all burn in hell.

  4. What gives anyone the right to do this to an animal? Man is the WORST! STOP

  5. Jane Friedrich says:

    Thought all that shit was over,solet’s do it to you,here again it’s for money

  6. Laurenn Barker says:

    I grew up in Tennessee and witnessed this artificial gait produced by burning and cutting the horses legs. I had a Tennessee Walker who had never had this done to her and her gait was very different than the show horses. This needs to be stopped immediately. If owners and trainer who “trained” their horses this way were not allowed to show them, the practice would end.

  7. This is the most disgusting practice I’ve ever imagined. The total depravity of it is unbelievable! And all for a stupid ribbon. These people should be brought up on animal cruelty charges and thrown in jail!!!

  8. This is dispecible.

  9. Kerry Bloodworth says:

    Tried to sign petition, but it said my e-mail address was already registered. Well yes, it is me, as I frequently sign animal abuse petitions. Please fix this problem.

  10. Roberta Feliciano says:

    That’s so not right. How can people be so mean and even think that is right..some body should burn there face and see how they feel. There are so many cuel people in this world.

  11. They should sore the trainer’s legs and see how high they can go !

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