TWH inspection group adopts tougher rules

21 01 2007

Ringmaster, originally uploaded by appaIoosa.

…but, y’know, this being TWH world, some good ol’ boys are gonna oppose it. The Gallatin-based Horse Protection Commission approved the tougher inspection rules that were proposed a few years ago by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association; Wink Groover, incoming president of the Walking Horse Trainers Association, has said he would not support the tougher rules that are being considered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Groover has said that the disagreement comes with differing interpretations of how walking horses can be trained. Link

Shall we take a closer look at Mr. Groover? Yes, let’s. Oh wow, he was named Walking Horse Trainers Association Trainer of the Year in 1970 and 1992, very impressive. But–wait, what’s this? Horse Protection Act violations, you say?

1993 Federal Case, 12/01/93=11/30/94, HPA, USDA

2000 Industry Violation, Bilateral Sore, $600 fine, 9 month suspension, HPA, NHSC

2002 Industry Violation, Unilateral Sore & Foreign Substance, 04/15/02=04/28/02, HPA, NHSC

2002 Industry Violation, Unilateral Sore & Foreign Substance, 04/22/02=05/05/02, HPA, NHSC

2002 Industry Violation, 2nd Scar Rule, 08/01/02=09/30/02, HPA, NHSC

2002 Industry Violation, Scar Rule, 07/08/02=07/21/02, HPA, NHSC

Very naughty indeed. I can see why you’d be the man to lead the Walking Horse Trainers Association forward into a gimpy, prizewinning future. Here’s another ribbon for ya:


Rotin hell, you abusive bastard



21 01 2007

“Barding” refers to the armour and ornament on a medieval-era horse:

Japanese horse armour
Japanese horse armour

You can read a little about the history of barding here; she also has instructions for making your own (make sure your pop-up blocker is on first)

16thc. German barding

Here’s an example of barding from Germany, circa 1537, also with instructions for making your own.

If you’re not the crafty sort, Hightower Crafts has medieval-style saddles, stirrups, barding and chamfrons (heavy leather masks attaching to the bridle).

If you’re not into the re-enactment scene, you could (with a few modifications) have a way to transport donuts and spare horseshoes on those long trail rides:

Check out this spettaculary set from Mansour Designs:


Franga Designs also has some neat stuff; their new online catalogue is now up!

Finally, Brad Gorby at Geeb-o-rama takes us through the making of Breyer horse barding:

The sequel to “Dances with Wolves”: Snoozes with Foals

21 01 2007


From Cute Addict

Valiant Quest

21 01 2007

Valiant Quest

Take a good look at this (see photo below). See anything special about him? He’s a handsome stallion named Valiant Quest. He’s a top who has won championships in multiple high-visibility competitions. He’s very talented, extremely well cared-for for, and completely healthy in every way except one. Valiant is totally blind. How did manage to win a championship against a seemingly unsurmountable disability?

Read the rest at Horse IQ.


21 01 2007

Horse and rider jump over burning pyres in the central Spanish village of San Bartolome de Pinares to open celebrations for the feast of Saint Anthony, patron saint of animals. Since time immemorial, the horses’ owners have urged them to run through burning pyres, religious folklore deeming the process will cleanse the village of disease. Spettaculary.  Link

No more horse slaughter in Texas

21 01 2007

This just in…

A federal appeals court has ruled that horse slaughter is illegal in Texas, home to two of the nation’s three processing plants.

The decision, issued late Friday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, overturns a lower federal district court’s ruling last year on a 1949 Texas law that banned horse slaughter for the purpose of selling the meat for food.

The lower court had said the Texas law was invalid because it had already been repealed by another statute and pre-empted by federal law.

But a panel of three judges on the 5th Circuit disagreed and said the law stood on its own merits and was still enforceable.

“The lone cowboy riding his horse on a Texas trail is a cinematic icon,” Judge Fortunato Benavides wrote in Friday’s ruling. “Not once in memory did the cowboy eat his horse.”

The ruling involves two of the nation’s three horse slaughtering plants – the Dallas Crown Inc. slaughter mill in Kaufman, and Beltex Corp. in Forth Worth. A third plant run by Cavel International Inc. in DeKalb, Ill. is not affected by the ruling. All three facilities are foreign-owned.

Mark Calabria, a lawyer for Dallas Crown, could not be reached for comment Saturday. Telephone messages left at the offices of Dallas Crown and Beltex were not immediately returned.

About 88,000 horses, mules and other equines were slaughtered in 2005, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Horse meat is not marketed as table fare in the United States, but the slaughter plants process hundreds of horses each week and ship the meat overseas, where horse flesh is considered a delicacy in Europe, Japan and other places.

While proponents such as the American Veterinary Medical Association say slaughter is a kind way to deal with old horses and a better alternative to abandonment, opponents including Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens and country music star Willie Nelson have argued that the killing of equines is un-American – and many young horses are killed as well.

A bill pending before Congress would shutter all three operations.

The Humane Society of the United States, which filed an amicus brief in the case, lauded the fact that those involved in the horse slaughter business in Texas can now face criminal prosecution.

“This is the most important court action ever on the issue of horse slaughter,” Wayne Pacelle, the society’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “When this ruling is enforced, a single plant in Illinois will stand alone in conducting this grisly business.”


Wow…I never thought I’d see the day. What are your thoughts?

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