Look at the shit they put up with.
Honestly, I can't imagine them tolerating this crap unless they have saint-like patience or they've been beaten an inch from their lives.
Tennessee Walkers have to be the most docile horses in the world. How else could those repulsive Big Lick riders get on them without the horses kicking their asses into next week? If I was a horse, I wouldn't take that shit for a second.
What would possess a human being to put acid or lighter fluid on a horse's legs? That's a living animal! The horse has to walk on those legs! Excuse my while my brain bleeds out my ears.
What is that???
A traditional Icelandic bit, that's what. Can you say leverage? Yikes. And they use these with flash bridles. If that gait is natural to them, explain to me why you need the nasty bits. And why crank their heads back until they're practically touching the rider? That is not comfortable for them. It's not even remotely healthy, either. The rider looks like he would slide off over the horse's butt if he wasn't hanging onto the reins for dear life.
Notice the open mouth and drop noseband that looks like it's cutting off the horse's circulation. His poor nose is about to turn blue. And they make them gait at high speeds and carry a rider twice their size on top of the suffocating bits and bridles. And tight saddles.
I don't understand how these horses put up with it. My teddy - bear draft horse wouldn't even tolerate that.
Does this horse look relaxed or comfortable? He looks like a wreck to me. Those back legs look distorted and strained. This picture in general looks over flexed and tense. There's nothing natural about it. It's fake, artifucial, man made, whatever you want to call it. Oh, but pads and chains don't hurt them! It just like a woman wearing high heels!
First of all, I've worn high heels. They're fine for a church service or going out to a fancy restaurant, but try wearing them for hours on end. You wear them for more than a short time and you have the wrath of hell upon you. Not only do they kill your feet, but your knees and back ache afterward. I know women who used to wear heels every day for their jobs, and now their feet are messed up and they often have back pain. Heels are evil. Using them as an analogy for padded shoes is only proving my point. Walkers are padded for years at a time. How do you think their joints feel?
Second of all, comparing a horse with a human in any anatomical aspect is completely ridiculous. Do you see any similarities? Because I don't. Okay, we both have two eyes, two ears, a mouth, and we're both mammals. We're totally the same. *headdesk*headdesk*headdesk*
Horses weigh 1200 pounds and walk on four legs. Do you really think a TW with four-inch pads on his front feet, plus the weight of a rider, is the same as a 140 pound, two-legged person wearing heels?
For crying out loud.
TWH people just keep coming up with excuse after excuse. You put pictures right in front of them and they continue to insist that none of it is true. Are they that heartless or are they really that bessotted? That could be said for every gaited horse industry, generically speaking.
I think gaited horses attract the worst, most moronic dolts in the horse world because of their overly-tolerant nature and smooth gaits. Anyone with half a brain can ride a gaited horse. It's the matter of dolling them up with all these outrageous gizmos and gadgets that brings their stupidity to a whole new level of pathetic. It takes a real equestrian to bring a horse to his full potential and do it humanely and naturally. Anyone can pop a shank into a horse's mouth and make him prance with his head held up like a carousel pony. Good riders don't need that kind of crap and put the horse's well - being before anything else. They care more about their horse than blue ribbons and a boost in self esteem. That's more than I can say for Big Lick riders. The whole discipline is completely devoid of any artistry or beauty. There's nothing attractive about it. It's fake.
Again, respectable equestrians appreciate what their horse has naturally and wouldn't wish to change anything about it. The horses are happy in their work and it shows. Have you noticed the difference in demeanor bewteen Big Lick Walkers and natural ones? Night and day.
Even regular saddleseat is better than that. At least Saddlebreds are flat shod. I'm not fond of the leverage bits, but it doesn't necessarily scream cruelty. I can't say I've met very many friendly saddleseat riders, but that could be due to my lack of interaction with them. The last show I went to, they were all snotty. You couldn't even approach any of them.
Go ahead and flaunt your $30,000 stallion in my face. My Thoroughbred could kick your Saddlebred's ass without even smearing his Show Sheen.