Representatives Ed Whitfield and Steve Cohen recently sent a letter to the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association (TWHBEA) Executive Committee clarifying the "weighted shoe" ban in their legislation.  Whitfield and Cohen clarify shoes that are "protective or therapeutic in nature" would be allowed.  The letter also states that "There are many Tennessee Walking Horses currently being shown in several divisions with shoes that would be allowed under the Past Act." 

The letter does not clarify which divisions would be allowed but does say types and weights of shoes allowed would be determined by the USDA after a formal rule making process.  The letter also states, "It has been documented that heavy shoes and hoof bands are regularly used as an integral part of a practice generally known as "pressure shoeing" to cause horses to be sore.  Although the documentation wasn't provided as part of the letter, no pressure shoeing violations were found by the USDA in 2013 and few if any have been found by any HIO inspection program.

Click Here to view letter by Representatives Whitfield and Cohen.