As of Jan. 3, Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) will be reporting all current Horse Protection Act (HPA) suspensions on it website www.fosh.info/hpalist.htm. The federal HPA illegalizes the showing, selling, auctioning, exhibiting, or transporting of sored horses. Soring is the deliberate infliction of pain on a horse’s front legs, via chemical or mechanical means, to make it painful to bear weight.
Publishing the suspensions list is in line with FOSH’s mission statement, which is to fight soring of gaited breeds. FOSH is one of many organizations that has targeted the Tennessee Walking Horse industry for its lack of self-policing against the soring of “big lick” show horses. Big lick is the term used to describe the high-stepping gait of some Tennessee Walking Horses. Critics claim the gait is manmade for the show-ring, and is achieved only through devices such as chains, padded shoes and soring.
The suspensions listed on the FOSH website include those imposed by the USDA, as well as some current suspensions that have been reported to the USDA. FOSH will update its website as it receives new suspension lists.