For decades our beloved Tennessee Walking Horse has been made to suffer horrible abuse called "Soring" at the hands of so-called trainers, to create unnatural and painful, leg and body action known as "Big Lick." All in the name of winning money and ribbons. Even though there has been much public outcry and disgust regarding the inhumane treatment of these magnificent horses, the only United States registry for the TWH not only continues to allow, but supports the practice of soring by its actions of indifference, denial, and money. People who own TWHs had no choice but to register with that organization, even knowing some of their money may go to support Big Lick or even worse, someone with multiple Horse Protection Act violations. – Until now.
"In the fall of last year, Marty Irby voiced a dream that many have had. A Walking Horse breed registry that actively supported and promoted barefoot and flat-shod, natural, sound horses. Sara Livingston listened, and then stepped forward and planned, The World Walking Horse Association (WWHA). She's been the driving force in the creation and logistics of organizing the nonprofit. She is the behind-the-scenes powerhouse that runs WWHA," explained Mindy Lightner, VP of Communications.
Founded in 2013 the WWHA is indeed a breed association, and has as its mission to "record and preserve the pedigrees of the Walking Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed, its versatility, and most importantly its inherently, natural, evenly timed, four beat walking gaits." And to among other things, "Promote the natural ability and gait of the barefoot and flat-shod horse by humane and classical training."
WWHA, as an organization is committed to the passage of the "Prevent All Soring Tactics Act" (PAST Act) – which would help eliminate soring. – The other, and until now the main Tennessee Walking Horse breed registry, came out in opposition of the PAST Act and even removed people from their organization who have supported its passage. Obviously continued horrendous torture of the horses they profess to "love, protect and support," is important to that other registry. As is the money they reap from the suffering of the voiceless horses.
"It's way past time to support and encourage sound horses, and put an end to the torture and suffering. Friends Of Sound Horses (FOSH),National Walking Horse Association (NWHA), and other competition organizations have spent years working their tails off to support and promote sound, barefoot and flat-shod gaited horses. Up until now, they have had to do that without the direct unconditional support of a sound, natural global breed association. We, (WWHA) are the final piece of the puzzle, or the final cog needed in the well oiled machine.
The question really isn't 'why now?', the question is, 'why has it taken so long for this to happen'? Sound Natural Walking Horse owners deserve to believe that their money is being spent wisely for humane pursuits, and they deserve to be able to breed, show, and register their horses without worrying about unintentional support of Big Lick or Sore Horse programs," said Mindy.
Well said Mindy! Thank you, Marty, Sara, every member, and everyone at WWHA for all you are doing to provide a realistic alternative to a breed registry that publicly rationalizes torturing horses in its pursuit of dollars.
Friends, check out WWHA on the web www.worldwha.com - And on Facebook (HERE)
Tell your friends, there is now a safe place for Tennessee Walking Horses.
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry