If you think all show horses are pampered and well cared for, think again. Many Tennessee walking horses, known for their distinctive gait and willing natures, are subjected to a cruel practice known as soring—the intentional infliction of pain to their feet and legs to produce an exaggerated gait known as the "Big Lick."
The Tennessee walking horse is bred for its smooth, natural gait—the running walk—and The HSUS supports the many owners and trainers who use humane training methods to showcase this natural gait, while also working to end the abusive practices often used to create the exaggerated high-stepping gait that has long been associated with soring.
The lives of many Tennessee walking horses trained in this manner are filled with pain, suffering, and fear. Most are kept in stalls the majority of the time. Fitted with tall, heavy shoes, their legs covered with caustic chemicals meant to cause pain, these horses are subjected to extreme cruelty, all for the sake of a ribbon. The HSUS is working to increase the enforcement of the federal Horse Protection Act and other laws that are meant to protect these majestic animals.
News & Events
January 15, 2015
Mounted police and therapeutic riding programs are among the 2014 recipients of The Humane Society of the United States “Now That’s a Walking Horse!” grant and recognition program.
December 10, 2014
Legislation to stop the cruel and illegal practice of “soring” – one of the most broadly supported bills in Congress with 60 Senate cosponsors and 308 House cosponsors – has been blocked by at least one Republican Senator, preventing movement on the legislation until the “hold” is lifted.
December 5, 2014
In the waning days of the 113th Congress, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S. 1406, has continued to gain a level of bipartisan support few federal bills ever acquire, now with 308 House cosponsors and 60 Senate cosponsors.
September 17, 2014
Support for legislation that would put an end to the cruel training practice known as “soring” continues to grow among horse industry professionals and celebrities. Among the latest celebrities urging passage of the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518/S. 1406, are wellness author Kathy Freston; TV personalities and actresses Maria Menounos, Torrey DeVitto, Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Fiona Gubelmann and Victoria Summer; and actor Michael Vartan.