Stop Maiming and Torturing Horses’ Legs and Hooves for Entertainment

Target: Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader

Goal: Ban soring practices that maim and torture competitive show horses.

Show horses like the Tennessee Walking Horse or the Spotted Saddle Horse may “entertain” audiences, but the supposed fun times often come at the expense of the pain and suffering of these animals. Competitions featuring the horses often have “high-stepping” and “running walk” movements as centerpieces. The exaggerated leg movements sometimes result from horseshoes, but an illegal and cruel practice known as soring is too often the true source of these actions.

In soring, chemicals or torturous mechanical devices like nails and chains are used on the horses’ front legs and hooves for the express purpose of causing pain. One especially callous method involves maiming the hooves and then making the horse trot repeatedly on hard, unforgiving surfaces. Some unscrupulous trainers believe that hurting the horses is the best way to make their legs move in these unnatural ways. In fact, the animals experience such intense pain in these horrific practices that they raise their legs up quickly to try and ease the hurting. New doses of pain are delivered with every step the horse takes. Horses subjected to long-term soring can exhibit lifelong symptoms: an impaired gait, deep scarring, frequent falls, and chronic fear around humans.

Although soring has been banned for many years, it still appears to be an epidemic in the competitive world. A recent expose of Tennessee Walking Horse training revealed that many of the animals were subject to routine torture and beatings…upwards of 70 percent according to one investigation. A bipartisan bill that would more strongly enhance preventive measures and enforce harsher punishments, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, passed overwhelmingly in the House o Representatives. The important legislation has since stalled and languished in Senate committees for over a year.

Sign the petition below to help put the PAST Act on the fast track to becoming the law of the land.


Dear Senator McConnell,

Fifty years after the passage of the Horse Protection Act, Congress is still allowing these animals to be abused and exploited. The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act has been a multi-year bipartisan effort with broad support from the US Equestrian Federation, veterinary professionals, and even a surplus of show horse trainers. If passed, this act would safeguard competitive horses from cruel and already-illegal techniques that cause them immense pain and suffering. Any individuals found responsible for these egregious offenses would also face punishment at the felony level.

Despite its widespread support and its overwhelming passage in the other chamber of Congress, this needed act of animal welfare still sits on your desk, allegedly due to pressure from colleagues in states where the practice is still suspected to prevail. Do not let special interests and political gamesmanship supplant empathy, humane standards, and the rule of law.

Show your respect for all living beings and put the PAST Act to a vote immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Todd Behre



  1. Jacqui Skill says:

    Human species has the most barbarism

  2. As an experienced horse person, who has always been sickened by what is done to Tennessee Walkers, the soring isn’t all that must end, it’s the INSANELY, UNNATURAL, IDIOTIC, CRUEL “STACKS” ON THEIR HOOVES!!!! NO horse needs to trot THAT high, AND for those in the bubble of that industry, you are WRONG, it does NOT look good!!! Go visit a pet walking horse with normal feet sometime, and see their NATURAL gait, it is nowhere NEAR what they are being FORCED to do, and looks RIDICULOUS!!!! They can get PLENTY of “action” from their horses with more reasonable shoeing, like the American Saddlebreds have without being so cruel, and looking SO absurd!!! EVERY breed industry could use some reforms, but poor Tennessee Walkers have it the worst, and it MUST END!!! 🙏

  3. Let the horses live happy free life Stop abusing them

  4. Mr McConnell, please do your job & listen to the constituents. You’ve been abdicating your responsibility to the American public. It’s a travesty that the public of Kentucky repeatedly vote against their own interests & keep you in office and as a result the whole American public suffers because you refuse to put bills (already passed by the House months ago) on the floor for a vote. When people say “Congress doesn’t get along…” that’s not the reason Congress isn’t working. The truth is Mr McConnell thru your consistent obstructionism for the last 12years Sir, you have single handedly disabled Congress & are abusing American people, but I suppose we the American people can’t expect much when you have lied so much to your constituents that they vote against their own interests. You are a disgrace to your office; an abomination to the people and I hope that when you are eventually out of office that the weight of your cold-hearted governing will seep into your awareness past the comfortable wealthy lifestyle you live; may you recognize the heinous conditions you have condemned the American public to live under. You are disgusting, dishonest human being.

  5. This inhumane horror must be stopped now. These poor horses should never be forced to endure this vile practice just for human greed and recognition. It’s disgusting.

  6. Ellis Toscano says:

    This pathetic practice has been on the firing line for at least fifty years that I know of. Apparently these are very powerful men who practice this barbaric act. The same morons that love steel traps and hunting baby animals in dens. Disgusting.

    • Sorry Ellis, but you’re assumption is completely wrong, and biased for lack of a better word! Cruel, vile “hunters” have NOTHING to do with the equine industry, this is ALL on THEM, the industry, and breed registry, who have permitted this crap for decades, and decades without anyone forcing the issue of correcting it, and woman are JUST as much to blame, SO all animal lovers now PRAY that with more, and more awareness, education, and speaking up, as in signing these petitions, something will FINALLY be done to help these poor voiceless horses, and if not, we will keep speaking up for them until things DO change!!

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