Thanks to donations for the auction rescue, our TN Shelter team was able to rescue 8 horses from the slaughter pipeline. We will bring you a full auction blog soon, but want to alert you to this urgent matter.
One of the horses at the auction was a registered TN Walking Horse stallion in stacks and chains. Tawnee was able to look at his pasterns briefly and found what appeared to be hair loss and crusty sores.
The Horse Protection Act makes taking a horse like this one to auction illegal, but it happens. “The Horse Protection Act is a federal law that prohibits sored horses from participating in shows, exhibitions, sales or auctions.” (USDA Website.)
When he came into the auction ring we learned that he is a 3 year old stallion that had been in shows. His registered name is Skywalks Magical Dream. He is the first horse we have seen being sold in an auction ring, doing the big lick, with stacks, chains and a rider on his back.
The auction didn’t get over until almost midnight and it was decided that it would be best to leave him and the other horses at the auction and transport them in the morning when it was light. Once it was light the staff loaded the other horses into the big trailer and Dream was loaded into his own trailer.
Since they were not able to closely examine his feet at the auction, they pulled over at the first safe area they found to document his condition.
Tawnee lifted up his leg. She looked again at what she first saw behind the chain for a short time in the auction yard. His front pasterns have significant hair loss from what we believe is chemical burns along with crusty wounds. At the USDA meetings in Murfreesboro, TN we heard time and again from trainers that soring does not happen anymore. Yet horse after horse we rescue has proof of recent soring. Soring is happening, and horses that don’t make the cut or are scarred to bad are dumped into the slaughter pipeline.
Dream has very heavy stacks, or padded shoes. These make it very awkward for him to walk. The only purpose of these is to force him to do the artificial gait: big lick.
They knew that we needed to document everything about him. They headed from the auction straight to a veterinarian office to get an exam.
Once they arrived at the vet office Tawnee got ready to unload him from the trailer. Horses on the stacked shoes are so much taller than the average horse.
Horses wearing the stacks have a very hard time trying to step out of horse trailers. These shoes are completely unpractical, and it’s like trying to walk around in the dirt in high heels. When a horse has these stacks on, they cannot enjoy life as a horse. They cannot be let loose into a pasture to run and frolic, they have to be in a stall or on a lead or they will hurt themselves because of the stacks.
The vet examined Dream and wrote down his report. He was very concerned about doing this report as in TN it is such a controversial subject, and it’s hard to get a vet that is willing to speak out against soring as they could easily lose clients or their whole business.
It is hard to think about the pain that Dream must have experienced as the chemicals burned into his skin. Soring is completely inhumane and must be stopped!
On the left is Dream’s pastern, on the right is a normal horses pasterns. You can see the difference between a sore horse and a normal horse. Dream’s pastern has been ruined by chemicals and chains and he is only 3 years old.
Dream is a young, beautiful horse and for him to suffer so much at an early age is hard to wrap your mind around. We have already spent over $1000 on Dreams rescue and vet care. He is going to take a lot of rehab, and he is a cryptorchid stallion needing a $2,000 surgery. A cryptorchid stallion only has 1 testicle descended, and the surgery to remove the other one is a very extensive and major surgery. We knew when we saw Dream at the auction that we had to help him. Not only do we have to give Dream his rehab and recovery, we have to get this case extremely well documented and hopefully those responsible will be prosecuted. This is going to take a lot of resources and we desperately need your help to get justice for Dream and other TN Walking horses like him. We must do what we can to stop soring!
Any funds that are raised above Dream’s case and rehab will be used to help other Tennessee Walking Horses in need.
Horse Plus Humane Society