As we’ve learned, Tennessee Walkers and other gaited horses are prey for those who sore their animals for greed and prestige. Today, a few words about Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH), a group I think highly of for its active defense of gaited horses and condemnation of soring. Its mission is “To promote all “sound,” naturally gaited horses, with a specific emphasis on Tennessee Walking Horses. (“Sound” means not “sored”).” The group educates the public about the “humane care, training, and treatment of all gaited horses for their emoti0nal, mental and physical well-being. FOSH will only support flat shod or barefoot horses, and will never endorse any event that uses stacks and/or chains as action devices, nor any mechanical, chemical or artificial means to modify the natural gait of the horse.”
FOSH really goes after those who sore. On their web site, the FOSH folks have an excellent page devoted to soring. But they don’t leave it there. I especially admire their bravery in publishing Horse Protection Act (HPA) Violations Lists up to 10/16/09, and their state-by-state map of HPA suspensions. I’ve said here before that one of the ways to get rid of soring is to expose its practices to the light, and now FOSH has exposed the people who do it. They cannot hide. FOSH also suggests ways to work on this problem, including joining FOSH and becoming a volunteer. Read their “Volunteers Welcomed” page. You’ll find something to do, I’m sure, as you read the really useful list of things that need to be done to get rid of soring.
There is much more at the FOSH site to enjoy. If you like what you see, you might consider joining the group and enlisting as a volunteer.