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Friends of Sound Horses' conference runs this weekend in Florida

The organization addresses issues regarding the humane training of Tennessee Walking Horses.


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Tennessee Walking HorseThis weekend's conference will feature panel discussions on the topic of soring, the illegal practice of causing pain to a horse's legs and feet to increase the high-stepping show ring gait that is performed in some Tennessee Walking Horse show divisions.

Topics include the truth about ending soring, equine drug testing standards, gaited horse biomechanics, new technologies in detecting soring, and what you can do to help.  Panelists include veterinarians, horse show judges and trainers from different segments of the gaited horse industry.  Additionally, Pat Parelli will be a panelist on the keynote topic of humane trends in the horse industry after his Friday night horsemanship demonstration. Other panelists of note include singer/songwriter Mary Ann Kennedy and 16-year-old April Zendarski, who, with other members of her Girl Scout troop, created a well-circulated video publicizing the practice of soring.

In addition to the panel discussions, the conference includes the "Sound Trainers Luncheon." Several trainers from around the country specializing in the humane training of gaited horses for a wide variety of equestrian disciplines will offer presentations, and conference attendees can join in the discussion with the trainer of their choice.

FOSH's mission is to bring an end to soring and to promote sound, naturally gaited horses for pleasure and show. For more information, visit

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Friends of Sound Horses' conference runs this weekend in Florida

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Reader Comments

Susan    Memphis, TN

3/23/2009 6:12:18 AM

I own Tennessee Walking Horses, and I agree that soring is a terrible way to treat horses. However, I take exception to the way that all other breed owners/trainers, etc. point fingers at the Walking Horse people as if they never do anything against the horses. How many Quarter Horses have you see with concrete blocks tied to their halters to make them hold their heads down? How many 3-5 Gaited Horses have you seen spooked with fire crackers, fire extinguishers, etc to make them have that "bug eyed look"? Also, 3-5 Gaited Horses are worked in chains & shackles, who is checking on them? I'm not saying the Walking Horse industry is clean (far from it), I'm just saying that the COMPLETE HORSE INDUSTRY needs to clean up.

Patti    Knoxville, TN

3/22/2009 12:28:00 PM

I have always rode Quarter horses and said I would never have a gaited horse. I now have a Tennessee Walking named Jake. Jake was abused that is why I got him. They are great animals, with their natural gait. God gave these horses a gift, let them show it the way it was intended without the chains, broke tails and soring..

Scooter    selma, NC

3/22/2009 10:54:44 AM

I own a Tennesse walker, I woul NEVER sore him, I will never even break his tail, he is already is BEAUTYFUL.

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

3/21/2009 11:35:30 PM

I think they should stop having gaited shows. Then there would be no reason to sore. And I don't like what they do to the tails either.

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