Equestrian Horse Abuse

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Horses are abused in many cruel ways in equestrian sports. Equestrian sports include horseracing, show jumping, dressage, and competitions that “celebrate” a horse’s breed. These practices supposedly improve performance, but they qualify as animal abuse and cruelty. Abuse in equestrian sports can be anything from soring to drug abuse to racing horses underage. For some reason, the natural beauty of horses is not good enough to many people. Sadly, horses are abused in racing all the time. PETA stated, “Horses are forced to sprint- often under the threat of whips and even illegal electric-shocking devices-at speeds so fast that they frequently sustain injuries and even hemorrhage from the lungs” (PETA.org). For example, American Pharoah was…show more content…
During dressage, in a move called rollkur, a horse’s head can be so close to their neck, they actually have trouble breathing. During the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration, Tennessee walking-horse owners abuse their horses to achieve a higher stepping gait than their natural gait. Tennessee walking-horses have a “running walk” gait which is incredible to watch, but to some people, this gait is not satisfactory. These competitions are judged by how high a horse steps. One form of abuse in these competitions is the “unbalanced foot” method. One Green Planet said, “The toe of the hoof is encouraged to grow while the heel is shaved down excessively. This “unbalanced foot” is then adjusted by forcing horses to wear built up pads, stacks, or weighted shoes made of leather, rubber, and plastic. In order to attach the heavy burdens, nails and other metallic items are hammered into the foot” (One Green Planet.org). Another form of getting this high-stepping gait is through soring. Soring is the practice of spreading acid, diesel fuel, and many more harmful substances onto a horse’s leg to irritate it. This makes it incredibly painful for the horse to step down with their legs and makes them step higher. On top of soring, riders and trainers will wrap heavy chains onto the horse’s legs during riding sessions. The heavy chains rub against the horse’s raw skin and this causes them to lift their legs even…show more content…
PETA said, “Experts agree that the widespread use of non-therapeutic drugs—both legal and illegal—is one of the leading causes of injuries and fatal breakdowns on racetracks. Performance-enhancing drugs often mask pain, allowing horses to race and train with injuries that would otherwise be too painful to run on” (PETA.org). At one stable PETA investigated, nearly every horse was given drugs and “treatments” including Thyroxine, Lasix, and other muscle relaxants and pharmaceuticals when they showed no symptoms of needing them. Thyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism and speeds up metabolism. Lasix is a diuretic that stops pulmonary bleeding from extreme exercise and makes the horse lose weight at rapid speeds, which supposedly helps the performance. At this particular stable, the horses’ legs were burned with liquid nitrogen, a process called freeze-firing, and were soaked with other chemicals. Some trainers even used snake venom on their horses! While we have fun and stuff our faces with tasty snacks at the racetrack, these poor animals are getting slaughtered and abused right before our very eyes. The ways horses are abused in equestrian sports are endless. These practices are horrific and disturbing, and not to mention illegal. Horses have a natural beauty and there is no reason to use abuse as a way to “enhance their performance.” These poor animals get abused left

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