Pictured Above: The performance packages that are applied to Tennessee Walking Horses are intended to be an extension of the foot and accentuate the gait. Photo: USDA
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have introduced legislation that targets the practice of soring. If the bill becomes law, it will fundamentally change how farriers shoe Tennessee Walking Horses and could shift into other breeds and disciplines.
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced Senate Bill 2957 — the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2018 in late May.
“For more than 400 years, horses have been a part of Virginia’s culture,” according to a statement attributed to Warner. “But despite a federal ban, horse soring — an act that deliberately inflicts pain on these animals — continues in some segments of the Walking Horse industry. This bipartisan bill will finally put an end to this cruel and abusive practice.”
- Both versions of the PAST Act propose the prohibition of action devices, weighted toes, pads, wedges and hoof bands that are on any limb of a Tennessee Walking Horse, racking horse or Spotted Saddle Horse.
- If the PAST Act becomes law, it could lead to changes in other breeds and disciplines that don’t have a history of soring, according to some in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.
- New research that studied the effects of pad stacks over a 5-day period contradicts previous research indicating the packages cause heat and inflammation. Researchers acknowledge that the findings “should not be…