Skip to content

Letter to the Walking Horse Industry from TWSHO



Dear friend of the Tennessee Walking Horse:
 
Anyone who owns, rides or enjoys watching walking horses knows that the industry is facing some very serious challenges.  From some USDA inspectors who are on record saying they hate horses and go to horse shows only to shut them down, to the Humane Society’s obsession with using its millions to eliminate the industry altogether, the walking horse industry is under attack by powerful and clout-heavy forces.
 
And now, the U.S Congress jumped on the bandwagon.  Just a few weeks ago, members of congress proposed Humane Society-supported legislation that would amend the Horse Protection Act to ban action devices, pads and weighted shoes, as well as eliminate the HIO inspection process.  This legislation could move after the November elections and the bill already has 43 co-sponsors.
 
Regulators won’t work with us, the Humane Society is trying to end us, elected officials are questioning us, and the press and the public don’t believe us.  Meanwhile, the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association, groups with which in the past we have worked to protect the horse, recently called for ban on action devices and pads supporting the abolishment of the performance horse.
 
To fight those intent to putting an end to an industry we all care so much about, and therefore protect the horse and the sport, we need to work together to create and implement a plan that maximizes all of the energy, time, people and resources we have because we do not have a penny or a minute to waste.
 
Internally, our industry is too disconnected and uncoordinated.  We are reinventing the wheel each time we do something that one of us has already done.  We are wasting resources running several different organizations and entities.  And we are confusing the press and elected officials every time our communications are off message.  We will not get past the obstacles we currently face doing things the way we have always done them and if we do not address this right now, there will be no industry left to speak of in the near future.
 
Yesterday, the Tennessee Walking Show Horse Organization (TWSHO) held a meeting with leaders from the industry and proposed a plan, the goal of which is to work as one organization with one voice and one agenda.  We proposed a structure as a starting point for a discussion.  By the end of the meeting, most of the people in the room agreed, we need one organization with a diverse board representing interests from organizations throughout the industry.  Over the next month, TWSHO board members will be talking to the various organizations in the industry to propose a path forward and also to listen and we expect that there will be many more conversations within the industry.  We are hopeful that soon, we will decide, together, on a path forward that not only protects the industry but in the long run, helps us thrive.
 
If you have questions about the meeting or the proposed plan, have comments about or ideas, please email or call any of us on the TWSHO board.  And talk to others who were in attendance as well.
 
Sincerely,
 
TWSHO Board of Directors

More Stories

  • Rising Star Meet, Greet & Eat

    Rising Star Ranch invites everyone to attend their Meet, Greet & Eat at Rising Star Ranch in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on Mar. 3. Following a delicious lunch at 12:00, colts will be previewed... Read More
  • Obituary - Karen Pendleton

    Karen Jo Wright Pendleton, 66, of Mt. Sterling, died Monday, Feb. 12, at her residence surrounded by her family. She was born Mar. 15, 1951 in Lexington to the late Wheeler and Retta Stephens Wright. Read More
  • APHIS launches webpage for frequently requested records

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Frequently Requested Records” page on our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) e-reading room, in accordance with the FOIA statute Read More
  • Pre-entry available for Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview

    The Rising Star Ranch Colt Preview showcases the new crop of stars that will be coming to the show rings in 2018. At Rising Star Ranch we want to help the trainers and owners present their entries in our Colt Preview in the most professional manner... Read More
  • Youth Council hosts first annual “Tennessee Globewalkers” basketball game

    We are doing it again! Having fun and raising money to help one of our own! You’ve heard of the “Harlem Globetrotters.” Now you have a chance to see and experience the “Tennessee Globewalkers!"... Read More
  • Owners excel in 2017

    Valentine’s Day and honoring the owners with an annual banquet always come close together and highlight February. The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) hosted a fabulous banquet with their usual tremendous crowd on Saturday, Feb. 10. The banquet was hosted to honor those who did well in 2017. Read More
  • Trainers' Show offers rich history; a must stop for many contenders

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association serves as host to its annual show each year, oftenreferred to by industry insiders as simply “The Trainers’ Show” — and it’s become a must stop for many of the industry’s best of the best as they embark on the new show season. Read More
  • Equine Education – coming to Shelbyville!

    The youth is the future of the walking horse industry, and, quite simply, the more kids interested, the better off the industry. That’s the line of thinking Jerry Harris had when he began organizing Equine In Education, a program scheduled to take place in Shelbyville, Tennessee March 9 at the Calsonic Arena. Read More
  • Shane Shiflet Photography Special

    Starting Monday Feb. 12 through noon on Feb. 16, you can buy 5 images between 2008 and 2017 from any show for $175. Over a 50% savings! These will be emailed, cropped and color corrected high res images that you will own to do whatever you like.   Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase adds class

    The FAST Spring Showcase, scheduled for Apr. 13-14, has added a class to their original schedule. Class 11a on Friday evening will be Amateur Lite-Shod... Read More