Horse trainer fights for horse soring regulations

(WVLT) -- American Horse Trainer Monty Roberts has reaffirmed his commitment to end soring as Tennessee Walking Horse events resume.

Soring is the act of "intentional infliction of pain to a horse's legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait," according to The Human Society of the United States.

Roberts, known as "the man who listens to horses," has been teaching others a natural, non-violent method of training horses.

"I've never seen anything like it before," Larry Edwards, Hall of Fame Tennessee Walking Horse trainer, said. "That filly started out scared to death, trying to climb over the pen and when he finished with her, she was as gentle as she could be."

After a video surfaced in 2011 of World Grand Champion trainer Jackie McConnell beating and soring horses, Roberts, and several others in the Tennessee Horse Walking community came together to support a new amendment to the Horse Protection Act of 1970. This amendment, written in the fall of 2011, was named the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.

The PAST Act was passed overwhelmingly in a U.S. House of Representative vote six years later in 2019. The bill has yet to make it to the Senate floor.

"We must all continue to press for passage of the bill, but we must do more," said Executive Director at Animal Wellness Action Marty Irby. "If a new Administration takes the White House this fall, then there's a strong chance that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will reinstate a regulation to eliminate the use of large stacked shoes and ankle chains that are utilized in soring and worn on the feet of walking horses in the "big lick" world.
\Monty Roberts recently celebrated his 85th birthday, and he has reportedly recommitted his efforts to help end soring.

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