See It Through My Eyes is a revealing documentary produced by three Girl Scouts on the horrific practice of “soring.”
Soring achieves an exaggerated gait in Tennessee Walking horses and other gaited breeds through the application of chemical or mechanical irritants to the forelegs. The film describes how diesel fuel, kerosene, mustard oil and other corrosive and carcinogenic agents are painted onto the legs, which are then wrapped in plastic to allow the chemicals to “cook” into the flesh. Bleeding and ulceration of the skin is common and so excruciating that the horse hesitates to put his or her front feet down, quickly raising them back up when forced to move. Mechanical irritants include the insertion of nails and screws into the foot bed, and filing the hooves down to the nerves to induce pain upon contact.
Viewers watch with horror and wonder how anyone could find this abuse or its resulting spectacle desirable. The filmmakers won a much deserved Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of America for their work.
Fortunately, the US Department of Agriculture has stepped up its enforcement of the Horse Protection Act. The nonprofit group Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH), of which AWI is a member, also offers hope. FOSH seeks to educate the public about training principles free of cruelty, endorses sound horse shows, and works to end soring altogether. To learn more, visit www.fosh.info/. The film can be viewed on www.youtube.com.