The Horse Protection Act passed in 1970 made the practice of "soring" illegal. Soring is used to increase the animation of gaited horses front legs. The practice continues rampant to this day due to the USDA being underfunded for policing exhibits. USDA officials are only able to attend less than 10% of Tennessee Walker and other gaited breed shows to monitor for compliance. Even at this low rate, over 1000 citations were issued in the past 12 months. There are many methods to sore, and the owners/trainers are finding new, undetectable methods all the time. http://www.onehorseatatimeinc.org/ for more detailed information.
Caustic chemicals: Mustard oil, camphor, kerosene or other chemicals are pasted above the hoof and wrapped in plastic to "cook". Horses often can't stand afterward. To pass inspection, trainers use anesthetic spray to numb sore feet, black polish or baby powder to hide scars, sulfur and acid to slough off skin, and sunscreen to attempt to counteract heat detectors.
Pressure shoeing: Nails, golf balls or other objects are hidden under the sole.http://www.fosh.info/links.html Friends of Sound Horses, has excellent resources to understand the awful implications of this practice.
Padding refers to the "stacking" or the use of up to 5" platforms which throw the horse onto it's hind end. Stacks of pads alone can cause pain and tension throughout the horses' bodies and damage to their feet and legs. The hoof angles and the added height created by nailing stacks of pads to the shoes are dangerous and damaging in themselves, let alone without adding soring to this method.
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