Skip to content

How Do I Help?



The proposed rule by the United States Department of Agriculture that would eliminate the use of any pad, action device or hoof band as well as eliminate all self-regulation will have devastating impacts.  The demands on horse show management will be costly and create an unnecessary hassle and the demands on exhibitors to enter horses, regardless of the division will be prohibitive as well.  Horse shows in many cases will cease to exist.

What can you do to voice your concern regarding this proposed rule?

First, submit a comment on the web site and oppose the rule.  You must let the USDA know the impacts of the rule to you.  You can submit those comments at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0009 - we can’t stress enough the importance of you taking the time to do this.  There are literally thousands of people affected negatively by this rule and we need each and every one of them to voice their opposition to the rule.

Second, show up at one of the public hearings scheduled and sign up to speak.  The first two are August 9th in Murfreesboro, TN at the Embassy Suites and August 10th in Lexington, Ky at the Clarion Hotel.  A complete list of public hearings can be found by clicking here.  The industry needs to show up in support of the Tennessee Walking Horse at these public hearings.  The hope would be a standing room only crowd of thousands of advocates for the industry.  As we all know, the Humane Society is working hard to garner support for the rule.

The following was stated in the rule, “Any interested person may appear and be heard in person, by attorney, or by other representative.  For the virtual hearing, any person may call in to be heard.  Information about the hearings can be viewed online at https:///www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/horse-protection-amendments.  Written statements may be submitted and will be made part of the hearing record.  A transcript of the public hearings will be placed in the rulemaking record and will be available for public inspection.  Registration is required to speak at one or more of the public hearings.  Registration for the face-to-face hearings may also be accomplished by registering with the presiding officer 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of each hearing.  Persons who wish to speak will be asked to sign in with their name and organization to establish a record for the hearing.  We ask that anyone who reads a statement provide two copies to the presiding officer at the hearing.”

When submitting your comment or speaking at the public hearing, you don’t have to have an elaborate speech but need to focus on the impact the rule has with you.  For example, if you are a…

Trainer – how many employees you have, how the rule will impact your business, the effect it will have on your household income and the loss you will suffer as a result.  You should also recruit a representative from every vendor you buy from to be at the hearing and submit a comment talking about the impact of the loss of your business on their business.

Owner – how many horses you own, their current value and what the value will be if the rule goes into effect, constituting the illegal taking of that value by the USDA with zero regard for veterinary science that proves no relationship between pads, action devices and hoof bands and soring.  You can also speak to the real estate you own that is specifically tied to your involvement in the horse industry.  This should not just be padded horse owners – flat shod horses will be affected by the prohibition of bands, the difficulty in having horse shows to show your horses and the loss of shows with both divisions making your horses less marketable and thus less valuable

Breeder – how many broodmares you own, how many stallions you own, if you own a breeding operation, how many employees you have and how your operation would be impacted by the rule.  A good measure of this impact would be the already large decrease in breeding as a result of the USDA’s overregulation of the current horse show and inspection system.

Horse Show Management – speak to the value your horse show brings to the community where it is held and the charities that you benefit and with the rule how difficult it will be to have a horse show, have horses participate and how the new rules are making it too difficult and too cost prohibitive to have a horse show and thus the loss to the community and charities as a result.  We have many shows that donate thousands and thousands of dollars to worthy causes.

Farrier – How many employees you have, how the rule will affect your business, the effect it will have on your household income and the loss you will suffer as a result

Veterinarians – How many employees you have, the impact of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse on your practice, the loss of revenue to your practice, etc.  You should also be able to speak professionally to the prohibition of the equipment and how it is unrelated to soring.  You can also speak to the difficulty of recruiting veterinarians and vet techs to serve as DQPs.

Elected officials – You can speak to the value of the Tennessee Walking Horse to shows in your community, the tax revenue received as a result of the Tennessee Walking Horse and the use of the Tennessee Walking Horse to help civic clubs in your community and the valuable work they do.  Most of the local shows across the state offer both divisions and will be impacted by the rule dramatically, reducing the economic impact to the community

Business Owner – You can speak to the impact of the Tennessee Walking Horse, the owners, the trainers and all the spectators to your business and how you would be affected if the industry went away

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 12 7 20

    Read More
  • Obituary – Rusty Hyneman

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Rusty Hyneman, following a battle with cancer.A full obituary will be posted as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hyneman family during this difficult time.  Read More
  • WHTA Board of Directors and General Membership Meeting

    The Walking Horse Trainers' Association Board of Directors and General Membership meeting will be held December 11, 2020 at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club on the Celebration Grounds... Read More
  • WHAA to host annual awards banquet

    The WHAA Annual Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, January 30, at 5:00 pm at Stone Bridge Farms in the Browne Stone Centre, 281 County Road 717, Cullman, AL 35055. Read More
  • Happy Holidays!

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I am definitely ready for this year to end! What started as so normal couldn’t have ended any differently. I would venture to guess that for most of us this is the craziest time we have experienced in our lives... Read More
  • TWHBEA postpones election until February 6th

    The executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) met yesterday and made the decision to postpone the elections for the new executive committee until February 6, 2021... Read More
  • Kentucky After Christmas Sale postpones until 2022

    Due to circumstances and restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kentucky After Christmas Sale will cancel its 2021 sale and look forward to continuing its tradition in 2022. The sale will be on the weekend of Saturday February 5, 2022 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Read More
  • USDA declines use of new pad material

    Earlier this show season the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) petitioned the USDA to allow use of a new pad material.  The new material was a “compressed rubber” material and as such was thought to be allowed under current regulations. Read More
  • 2020 Readers' Choice Ballot

    You don't have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in The 39th Annual Walking Horse Report Readers' Choice conducted by The Walking Horse Report... Read More
  • Celebration forms committee to help with class sheet

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) hosted the first meeting of its newly formed class sheet committee on November 23, 2020. The committee consists of Nathan Clark, Justin Jenne, Jennifer Bingham, Laurie Toone, Howard Hamilton and Amy Trimble. Read More