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A sore issue - 1 Professor Simon English 101/14 17 November...

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1 1 Professor Simon English 101/14 17 November 2006 A Sore Issue Banned 30 years ago, soring was and still is today a major issue in the show horse industry. Although many gaited horses are sored, the most prevalent is the Tennessee Walking Horse. Tennessee Walking Horses were first bred in 1885 to carry plantation owners comfortably over their vast properties. They were bred particularly for their smooth gait. As soon as a young foal is able to walk, owners see signs of the true natural gait. There are two different categories of walking horses, performance and pleasure. As the Tennessee Walking Horse became well known, people gained more interest. Soring was started in the 1950s as a way for trainers and owners to enhance their horses gait. It was not until the 1960s that soring really took off. Everyone wanted that special advantage over others in the show ring. This advantage was called the big lick. By soring a horse you could achieve a sort of animation that you would not naturally see in a Tennessee Walking Horse. Soring causes the horse to lift its front legs higher and the rear legs extend more forward than that of the normal horse. Finally, in the 1970s the United States Department of Agriculture enacted the Horse Protection Act as a result of this cruel practice of soring. As part of this act soring was outlawed. Even though it was outlawed thirty six years ago, it has never really stopped.. Tennessee Walking Horses can be dated all the way back into the late 1800s. The Tennessee Walking Horse is composed of several different breeds, such as Narragansett, Canadian Pacer, Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Morgan and American Saddlebred Stock. The
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2 gaits of a walking horse are unlike any other. These include the flat walk, running walk and canter. The flat walk and running walk, consist of a four beat gait with a overstepping back end (“Performance Horse”). It is the extra over stride in both the flat walk and the running walk that the judges look for. Although the flat walk and running walk are very much alike, the running walk is a faster version of the flat walk. The difference between the gaits should be fairly noticeable. The canter however is a “collected, high rolling gallop,” the gait can also be recognized as the “rocking chair canter” (“Performance Horse”). These are “naturally inherited gaits” (“A Brief History of the Tennessee Walking Horse”). Genes may play an important part in the horses gait. Majority of walking horses have ancestors who were known for their ability to possess these desired gait “walk.”
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