Prominent walking horse show trainer Larry Wheelon, was arrested last week in Tennessee and charged with felony animal cruelty on suspicions of soring.
Authorities seized 19 Tennessee Walking Horses from Wheelon’s barn, all suspected of having been subjected to soring—the application of caustic chemicals and painful devices to the hooves and legs of horses to cause the animals to lift their front legs in an unnatural gait called the “Big Lick.”
All of the horses confiscated were described as exhibiting visible signs of soring and being in extreme pain. Several were barely able to stand. Some had painful globs of hardened epoxy under their front hooves, which is akin to walking with a big rock in one’s shoe. Others had wrappings on their legs where the burning chemicals would “cook.” One equine expert said that you could tell the horses were in great pain by looking in their…
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