I love horses and all animals. I think God made horses to "wow" us as they are THE most majestic and beautiful animal. Can't wait to go trail riding. What's to tell? I'm a sucker for a beautiful horse. I rescued my walker and have had him for nearly 2 years...such a prince!
Dear Carla, I am sorry if I offended you. That was not my intention. After thinking
about your statement that this started on the plantations in the 1800's, I have to
say that you don't seem to understand the difference between the gait, and the
big shoes. The gait itself, the Tennessee Walk, was developed at that time, because it was a smooth, comfortable, all day ride, and the horse would travel between the rows of crops without damaging them. The Tennessee walk would be the equivalent of a trot or a pace in other breeds, as far as speed and distance covered. There are other gaited breeds which have smooth rides, but have different leg motion combinations than Tennessee Walkers. NONE of this has
anything to do with the big shoes. The big shoes were developed in the mid-1900's as a way to increase the action and flashiness of the breed - some people wanted them to look more like Saddlebreds - high front leg action, high-headed and snorty. Unfortunately, it deteriorated into an abuse situation. But in order to
defend Tennessee Walkers, you need to understand the gait, and how it's different from other breeds that trot and pace. The gait itself is what defines the
breed, and if we lose that special gait, we've lost the breed. Sincerely, Laurie
The Big Lick horses are worked and trained to accommodate the change in the
gait. They do get covered with sweat, like any athlete in a high-powered competition. They are not ALL mistreated. Perhaps their eyes bugged out because they are high-strung, like Saddlebreds and Arabians, whose eyes also bug out in the showring when they're working hard, and are covered with sweat as well. I considered my padded horse a top of the line athlete, and he was treated that way - feed, vet care, etc. He was NOT suffering. He had a wonderful attitude in or out of the show ring, willing, hard working and kind.
There are various levels for the performance horse in TWH shows, and Park
Performance is different from Big Lick. I also have a Park Pleasure horse, which
wears heavy shoes, but no chains. Please educate yourself before you tear down
owners of TWH show horses. This kind of uninformed rhetoric is why TWH's in
general have such a bad rap. The pleasure horse people need to understand the
show horse training and treatment better so that we can all support the Breed.