USDA: BAN Stacks and Chains
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We are calling upon the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to change The Horse Protection Act´s regulations:
U.S. Code Title 15 -- Commerce and Trade
Chapter 44 -- Protection of Horses
To prohibit the cruel and manipulating equipment currently allowed on horses that change their gaits and artificially inflate the value of horses that have the equipment on and devalueate the horses that do not have the equipment on. We would like to see the regulations changed to the following:
§11.2 Prohibitions concerning exhibitors.
(a) General prohibitions. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, no chain, boot, roller, collar, action device, nor any other device, method, practice, or substance shall be used with respect to any horse at any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction if such use causes or can reasonably be expected to cause such horse to be sore.
(b) Specific prohibitions. The use of any of the following devices, equipment, or practices on any breed of horse at any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction is prohibited:
(1) All beads, bangles, rollers, boots, collars and similar devices, with the exception of for soft rubber or soft leather bell boots that are used as protective devices.
(2)(i)Bell Boots, quarter boots or any other protective devices, with protrusions or swellings, or rigid, rough, or sharp edges, seams or any other abrasive or abusive surface that may contact a horse's leg; and (ii) Bell Boots, quarter boots or any other protective devices that weigh more than 12 ounces.
(3) Pads or other devices on yearling horses (horses up to 2 years old).
(4) Any weight on yearling horses, except a keg or similar conventional horseshoe, and any horseshoe on yearling horses that weighs more than 16 ounces.
(5) Artificial extension of the toe length, whether accomplished with pads, acrylics, horse shoes or any other material or combinations thereof, that weigh more than 3 pounds and that exceeds 15 percent of the natural hoof length, as measured from the coronet band, at the center of the front pastern along the front of the hoof wall, to the distal portion of the hoof wall at the tip of the toe. The artificial extension shall be measured from the distal portion of the hoof wall at the tip of the toe at a 90 degree angle to the proximal (foot/hoof) surface of the shoe.
(6) Toe length that does not exceed the height of the heel by 1 inch or more. The length of the toe shall be measured from the coronet band, at the center of the front pastern along the front of the hoof wall to the ground. The heel shall be measured from the coronet band, at the most lateral portion of the rear pastern, at a 90 degree angle to the ground, not including normal caulks at the rear of a horseshoe that do not exceed 3⁄4 inch in length. That portion of caulk at the rear of a horseshoe in excess of 3⁄4 of an inch shall be added to the height of the heel in determining the heel/toe ratio.
(7) Pads that are not made of leather, plastic, or a similar pliant material.
(8) Any object or material inserted between the pad and the hoof other than acceptable hoof packing, which includes pine tar, oakum, live rubber, sponge rubber, silicone, commercial hoof packing or other substances used to maintain adequate frog pressure or sole consistency.
(9) Single or double rocker-bars on the bottom surface of horseshoes which extend more than 11⁄2 inches back from the point of the toe, or which would cause, or could reasonably be expected to cause, an unsteadiness of stance in the horse with resulting muscle and tendon strain due to the horse's weight and balance being focused upon a small fulcrum point.2
2This prohibition is not intended to disallow corrective devices, such as Memphis bars which consist of a metal bar(s) crossing from the ground surface of one side of the horseshoe to the ground surface of the other side of the horseshoe, and the purpose of which is to correct a lameness or pathological condition of the foot: Provided, That such metal bar(s) do not act as a single fulcrum point so as to affect the balance of the horse.
(10) Hoof bands made of any material, such as used to anchor or strengthen pads and shoes.
(11) Any device that strikes the coronet band of the foot of a horse except for soft rubber or soft leather bell boots that are used as protective devices.
(12) Shoeing a horse, or trimming a horse's hoof in a manner that will cause such horse to suffer, or can reasonably be expected to cause such horse to suffer pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving.
(13) Lead or any other weights attached to the outside of the hoof wall, the outside surface of the horseshoe, or any portion of the pad. Pads may not be hollowed out for the purpose of inserting or affixing weights. Hollow shoes or artificial extensions filled with mercury or similar substances are prohibited.
(14) Any bracing equipment or devices that artificially erect the tail.
(c) Substances. All substances exceeding 20 parts per million are prohibited anywhere on the horse´s body including the anus while the horse is being shown, exhibited, or offered for sale at any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction, exceptions would be hoof paint and trace amounts of shampoo, conditioner, fly spay, hair polish and detangle products: Provided, That:
(1) These substances do not contain any caustic chemicals.
(2) Hoof paint shall be applied only after the horse has been inspected by management or by a DQP and shall only be applied under the supervision of the horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale, or auction management.
(d) Competition restrictions—2 Year-Old Horses. Horse show or horse exhibition workouts or performances of 2-year-old Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses and working exhibitions of 2-year-old Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses (horses eligible to be shown or exhibited in 2-year-old classes) at horse sales or horse auctions that exceed a total of 10 minutes continuous workout or performance without a minimum 5-minute rest period between the first such 10-minute period and the second such 10-minute period, and, more than two such 10-minute periods per performance, class, or workout are prohibited.
(e) Information requirements—horse related. Failing to provide information or providing any false or misleading information required by the Act or regulations or requested by Department representatives, by any person that owns, trains, shows, exhibits, or sells or has custody of, or direction or control over any horse shown, exhibited, sold, or auctioned or entered for the purpose of being shown, exhibited, sold, or auctioned at any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction is prohibited. Such information shall include, but is not limited to: Information concerning the registered name, markings, sex, age, and legal ownership of the horse; the name and address of the horse's training and/or stabling facilities; the name and address of the owner, trainer, rider, any other exhibitor, or other legal entity bearing responsibility for the horse; the class in which the horse is entered or shown; the exhibitor identification number; and, any other information reasonably related to the identification, ownership, control, direction, or supervision of any such horse.
Many Thousands of horses of many breeds including the Tennessee Walking Horse are forced to wear large apparatuses known as Stacks/Pads/"Performance packages." These are artificial extensions placed on the bottom of a horse's hoof to increase the weight of the hoof, the leveraged forces applied to the internal structures of the hoof and the trajectory of the hoof in order to create artificial and manipulated locomotion. These apparatuses can be taller than 4" in the heel and weight over 12lbs. There are no size or weight restrictions in the Horse Protection Act's Regulations as long as the toe in one inch longer than the heel. These foreign devices are held on the hoof by a metal band that keeps the stack/pad/package from flying off while the horse is at gait which causes bruising.
This is without a doubt inherently cruel to the animal.
It is a fact, that just shy of every single Tennessee Walking Horse that is shod padded, is shod to land on their heels, they are shod to hyper-extend their forelimbs and to put mass amounts of stress, on the coffin bone, the navicular bone, and the navicular bursa. The "T" ligament, the deep digital flexor tendon as the laminar corium and solar corium and epidermal laminae are pulled as the foot is planted and in forward motion....
The leverage these huge stacks/pads/packages put on this structure has no other option other than to cause pain.. The evidence is quite visible on white footed horses that are padded, just take a look at an unpainted white footed/hoofed horse that's been padded you will notice bruises on the top of the hoof and maybe even on the the side (if the horse has been shod to be standing directly on his bulbs....) the bruising is caused by the band, from leveraged pressure created by the stack/pad/package and from over tightening of the band, a white footed horse will show you.
Then there's the chain/action device, currently a 6oz limit however the very allowable use of the chain perpetuates the systematic use of soring (chemicals applied to the pastern of a horse in order to create a reactionary movement while at gait).... The metal chains wouldn't work if they didn't strike the pasterns of the horse... if the chains didn't hurt then we wouldn't see such stark differences in the use of round 6 oz chains and flat 6 oz chains... Or why off chaining is a common practice one foot may have a 3 or 4oz chain and the other 6oz chain..... Or when a 6oz chain causes a horse to get 'too deep' that the industry's own inspectors tell some "trainers"/riders to "lighten up on the chain" so that the horse goes less extreme in his movements when reacting to pain (a sored pastern).
The entire emphasis on artificial reliance leads directly to imposing reactive measures to achieve the desired results (called the Big Lick) which can only manifest via inducing pain to the animal from the equipment mentioned.
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