Action Alert: Urge Congress to pass Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.

Action Alert


A Tennessee Walking Horse rider participates in the 2014 Walk on Washington event to garner support for the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. (Courtesy of Victoria Broehm from

What is the PAST Act? This bill will close loopholes in the federal Horse Protection Act and end the abject cruelty of soring, a practice in which Tennessee Walking Horses (TWH) are tortured with chemicals, chains and heavily weighted stacked shoes and other horrific practices to perform the exaggerated gait that is referred to as the “Big Lick”. The PAST Act would abolish the use of the torturous shoes, chains, and chemicals that are fundamental to the soring process, as well as increasing penalties and stop the self-policing of the TWH industry, which has failed to stop this practice.

The bill passed the House this July with the support of well over 300 bipartisan cosponsors!  With this momentum and over 40 cosponsors in the Senate, it is now more important than ever that people contact their Senators and urge their cosponsorship of PAST.



A Tennessee Walking Horse’s leg with multiple heavy chains, which hit the sensitive and sometimes chemically sored, ankle and heavy stacked shoe. Courtesy of Bradley Dick Photography

Help support horse welfare: Find your Senator’s contact information and email and/or call them today to ask for their support of the PAST Act (HR 693). If your Senator is a co-sponsor, please contact them to offer your thanks.

Donate to Parelli Foundation’s Programs, each helping to promote the welfare of horses and other equine through natural horsemanship education.

More information:

• Interested in doing more for horses? Follow @ThePASTAct on Twitter to share information and tweet at legislators.

PAST Act Soring

Thermographic image shows excessive warmth (seen as red and orange colors), which may be caused by inflammation from soring. The pattern seen is consistent with soring using a chemical agent. © USDA

• PAST is known formally in the House as HR 693, and S.1007 in the Senate.  The House bill is titled U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial PAST Act. Senator Tydings was known as the “Father of the Horse Protection Act,” the original legislation of 1970 that first outlawed the practice of soring.

• Why is the Horse Protection Act not sufficient? Loopholes in the law have allowed abuse of Tennessee Walking Horse to continue, due mostly to allowing the Tennessee Walking Horse show industry to be self-policing; allowing trained third-party individuals to serve as inspectors at Walking Horse shows.

• This abuse known as soring and taking advantage of the loopholes of the Federal Horse Protection Act has been occurring for decades and is well-documented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and various interest groups. Change can only occur for these beautiful animals if these practices cease and this must be done through federal legislation in the form of the PAST Act.

PAST Act Stacks

Built up pads, called “stacks”, held on by a band over the top of the hoof, are used in some performance divisions. Credit APHIS veterinarian Todd Behre, USDA

• This legislation has hundreds of endorsements from the American Horse Council and dozens more industry groups, the American Veterinary Medical Association,American Association of Equine Practitioners, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, every state’s veterinary medical association, National Sheriffs’ Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, all major animal protection organizations, and others appalled by this ongoing abuse.


X-Ray image of a “performance package” on a Tennessee Walking Horse, showing shoe, “stacks”- the multiple pads, multiple extra nails placed in pads to add weight and possibly pressure (known as “pressure soring”) and band across hoof to hold it all on. Credit USDA

• The Parelli Foundation is a previous grant recipient from the Humane Society of the United States “Now that’s a Tennessee Walking Horse” program and this grant was used for a natural horsemanship course geared toward gaited horses. We have long promoted opportunities for the use, care and training Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds through natural horsemanship.


Take Action Now.


  1. This needs to be banned and these people held accountable for torturing these poor beautiful animals! It’s a disgusting practice and should never have been started!!

  2. This type of practice is a torture to our Majestic animals Horses, beside that all the physical damage at hoof and knees, how possible humans still practicing this animal abuse based on sport for human entertainment…why you don’t your same humas… why animals, when we suppose to be their voice they protectors, ??? When the rule apply?? Is by convenience…this practice is in all word animal abuse, please, STOP AND BE THE VOICE AND BE THE EXAMPLE….OF ANIMAL RIGTHS AND RESPECT FOR OTHER LIVES

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