horse flats

anonymous asked:

I have a couple of questions about big lick and you seem like a good guy to ask. First, i dont really understand what it Is? Ive also heard that its all inhumane and abusive, but ive also seen otherwise very humane and knowledgable horse people says that big lick can be done humanely, so? I have no idea what to think of this discipline, i just feel kinda lost.

OK so I’m not a big lick/TWH expert by any means but here are the basics as I understand them:

Some breeds are gaited. The Tennessee Walking Horse is one of them. It’s especially known for its running walk. Originally, this gait was really popular because it was so comfortable to ride, so they were useful plantation horses, and they Looked Fancy. Big Lick developed because of the transition from using horses for work (farming, cavalry, pony express, yada yada) to horses being used for recreation - specifically here, shows. So you have a bunch of people riding their TWHs around trying to look the fanciest, without any actual goal beyond winning and looking fancy. It becomes an aesthetic thing, like a lot of current show scenes (western pleasure, saddleseat, a lot of dressage tbh, halter shows, reining, etc). Welfare and practicality go out the window because you don’t actually have a reason to keep your horse healthy, sane, and sound. Because you don’t need them to do work. You don’t need them to live long, healthy lives. This is why we see such an increasing number of horses being competed as two and three year olds (when they’re still 2-3 years from actual physical and mental maturity), and retiring before they’re even ten or early teens. It’s all about the benjamins and about winning the biggest prize.

So, how do you get the TWH to exhibit a fancier gait? Firstly, bigger shoes and longer hooves. Weight on the legs mean that the legs are lifted higher. And there is a spectrum here, from flat shod but hooves too long:

to moderate pads:

to fucking giant stacks:

These result in a higher-stepping gait.

But where do you go from there? Well, from there you get to the most controversial part of the TWH industry, which is soring.

Here’s an 11 minute interview with a convicted trainer explaining how soring works, but I’ll summarize:

Soring is when you make the front feet hurt, so that the horse is really fast to snatch them off the ground because they’re so painful. There are a lot of ways to sore a horse. I’ve read about putting marbles between the hoof and pad, people putting tacks in there, people over-trimming the sole of the hoof until it bleeds or bruised, adding extra deep nails, anything to make the foot sore. The most well known method (and this is usually what people are talking about when they talk about soring) is putting caustic chemicals on the horse’s ankles, and then adding chains, so that the metal chains bang against their already super painful pasterns.

Those pictures are taken from show screencaps. These stacks and these chains are allowed at the show. They are not just training tools. They are out in the public eye. People just lie about the application of chemicals.

All of this is done to make the horse fling up their forelegs, and step deep under with their hind legs like so:

Here’s another example of the kind of ‘stepping under’ that is caused by soring:

I don’t say this lightly but these horses are crippled. The trainer in that interview says so. He acknowledges that you have to essentially torture the horses to make them ‘walk’. That horses end up dead from the pain. These are animals that can barely stand (and sometimes literally cannot stand) on their own feet. And the end result is this:

Wow so fancy! So flashy! So great! I personally don’t get the appeal, and the appeal doesn’t even MATTER, because it’s about the physical and mental abuse and not about the end result, buuuuuut let me drop this comparison in here:

This^ is Champagne Watchout, who was exhibited flatshod at the 1999 TWH National Celebration, next to horses ridden with giant stacks. I recommend watching this entire video as the contrast between the gaits is unbelievable. It’s an amazing example of the difference between the beautiful, smooth, comfortable and NATURAL gaits of the TWH, vs the clusterfuck that is Big Lick.

My gifmaker stopped working so I’ll leave you with just some pictures of un-stacked, un-sored TWHs.

These^ are the horses that were bred to be comfortable to ride for long distances. Even those last two horses, exhibiting more dramatic movement, look like actual horses instead of dying frogs.

There are so many more issues related to TWHs (historical racism, the position of the saddle and rider and the damage to the back, the riding of two year olds, horses that literally can’t stand, that colic from the pain and die, horses that collapse because they literally can’t walk, the fact that horses are trained to get through vet inspections by being punished for exhibiting signs of pain, the HORRIBLE bits, the owners and judges and trainers all colluding to lie about abuse, god I could go on forever) but these are the very basics and all I’m gonna try and pack in here lol.

If there are any TWH/big lick experts who want to correct me on any points, go ahead, I know my terminology isn’t perfect. But this is why big lick exists and why it’s so horrible, and why literally every riding discipline accused of cruelty goes ‘well at least we aren’t big lick!’. Because big lick is the actual worst.

Physical Appearance and Astrology
  • I decided to make this so it's an ~actual~ post and it might make it easier for you to understand your chart. Before I start listing placements I want to make clear that our dominant sign and planet has a strong influence no matter what. As well as the 1st house, Sun and Moon; as they all have an affect on our looks in an overall way - especially Sun. It is also important to remember that astrology and rulership isn't something that is stilted or 100% clearly defined, it all works together and flows together - like how Leo rules the heart but Aquarius rules the circulatory system (therefore veins). Another important thing to note is that you do have to take genetics into account. For example, if you realise your chart says you're supposed to have thick hair and yours isn't, it's probably just thicker in relation to your other family members:
  • What The Houses and Signs Represent:
  • First House/Aries/Mars: Head, whole face
  • Second House/Taurus/Venus: Neck, collarbones, also influences some facial features such as: mouth, ears and chin. Weight.
  • Third House/Gemini/Mercury: Shoulders, Arms, hands
  • Fourth House/Cancer/Moon: Chest, stomach (secondary ruler)
  • Fifth House/Leo/Sun: Upper back, shoulders, nails and hair (primary ruler)
  • Sixth House/Virgo/Mercury: Stomach (primary ruler)
  • Seventh House/Libra/Venus: Lower back (dimples of Venus), skin, bum (secondary ruler)
  • Eight House/Scorpio/Pluto: Genitalia
  • Ninth House/Sagittarius/Jupiter: Hips, thighs; since they rule height also it can be legs in general, bum (primary ruler)
  • Tenth House/Capricorn/Saturn: Bones,knees, teeth, hair and nails (secondary ruler)
  • Eleventh House/Aquarius/Uranus: Calves, ankles, veins. Also note that Aquarius rules genetic mutations such as blue eyes, dimples, heterochromia iridum etc.
  • Twelfth House/Pisces/Neptune: Feet
  • What the Planets and Signs Do:
  • Aries/Mars: makes it masculine, makes it prominent. Made to "stand out"
  • Taurus/Venus: Makes it attractive/aesthetically pleasing
  • Gemini: Makes it smaller but soft/round
  • Cancer/Moon: Makes it more feminine, round
  • Leo: Makes it "shine"
  • Virgo: Makes it smaller but pointer/angular
  • Libra: Makes things conventional,
  • Made to "fit in", makes it symmetrical
  • Scorpio/Pluto: Makes things more harsh, piercing, "scary/mysterious", usually represented by making things more square in shape
  • Sagittarius/Jupiter: Makes it larger
  • Capricorn/Saturn: Makes it smaller
  • Aquarius/Uranus: Makes it unconventional, asymmetrical or androgynous-esque, also can be made to "stand out"
  • Pisces/Neptune: Adds illusion and delusion. Makes things appear not as how they may actually be.
  • Mercury: A cross between both Gemini and Virgo, makes things more defined but also knobbly, makes things finer
  • Sun: Affects us overall, look to the sign
  • The Archetypal Looks:
  • Aries: Similar to that of a ram, large eyebrows, eyebrows seem furrowed even when not angry.
  • Taurus: Similar to that of a bull, eyes kind of wide set, strong eyebrows, long eyelashes, flat foreheads
  • Gemini: The twins, mischievous, mouth corner naturally turned up, rounder foreheads
  • Cancer: Rounder; big eyes, full lips etc. soft but strong (crab)
  • Leo: Leo is the lion so the archetype is looking cat like and with great hair
  • Virgo: The virgin, the look is innocent and youthful, flat foreheads.
  • Libra: The scales, there isn't really an archetypal look for this sign except making things balanced and symmetrical
  • Scorpio: The scorpion, archetypically intimidating looking. Piercing gaze, square face, strong shoulders etc.
  • Sagittarius: The centaur/archer, long face and tall body. Also being pear shaped (carry most of your weight on your hips, thighs and bum) to give the "appearance of a horse"
  • Capricorn: the goat, flat foreheads but can have prominent temples, small features, even teeth and prominent bone structure; especially cheekbones
  • Aquarius: Water bearer (representing that they're hear to bring water (knowledge) to the world), large foreheads, noticeable eyes, the water bearer also has no assigned gender to the archetypal look is androgynous
  • Pisces: The fish, full lips, big eyes, full cheeks
How I Heat Treat Doll Hair!

Hi friends, due to popular demand I decided to share my method on how I flat iron my doll hair! Since this will be rather long, I’m going to put this under a cut! QUICK DISCLAIMER: My methods are NOT GOOD for your straightener. Please take caution and use a straightener you do not care about if you use my method! Now, on with the tutorial! 

Say hello to our model, Puff!

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Both horses are Tennessee Walking Horses. Both horses are completely barefoot. What you’re seeing is both of the gaits a Tennessee Walking Horse can perform naturally, first in real time and then in slow motion.

The first horse is racking. Notice that she has very little head movement. A perfect rack should have 0 head movement and, if any, a very very slight up-and-down. Side-to-side head movement is always a pace. Also notice her hind legs. In the rack, a horse’s hind legs should land in the same spot as the corresponding front, or slightly behind. This eliminates suspension. You see different in the second horse because he is performing a running walk and that gait is slower than a rack. In order to pick up speed but remain smooth, the racking horse’s hind legs do not reach as far. The case may be different for speed rackers.

The second horse is doing a running walk. You can see a definite difference in head movement - his horse’s head bobs up and down pretty significantly. That’s normal and a great way to tell if a horse is in correct gait. The hind legs should either match the landing of the corresponding front feet, or overstep them slightly. An active running walk will most likely have an overstride. There is a theory that the more a horse oversteps, the smoother he will be, however that theory has not been proven.

There is no definite criteria for front leg lift between the two gaits. The racking horse in this example has pretty average lift. Not quite a daisy clipper but definitely not a park horse. A horse could have more or less front leg lift and still be in a rack. The running walk should ideally be more similar to a walk, so leg lift should not be as dramatic as a rack can get.

Requested by Anon
FWB relationship with Tommy, Reader breaks it off as she ends up in love with him. (Includes a small amount of Smut.)
Warnings: Fluff, Smut, Angst, Swearing.

Hey all! Thanks for the patience! Here’s an upload today since I’m home sick. Sorry if there’s any spelling or grammar errors, I’ve been a little out of it today and didn’t have the patience to edit fully.


You woke up in Tommy’s arms, feeling like your head was about to burst. It was Ada’s birthday celebration. Tommy and you had gone to your flat in Upper East Birmingham, after leaving The Garrison for a night cap. The night cap, of course, included more than just a few extra Whiskeys.

“Does your head hurt as much as mine?” Thomas grumbled, roughly rubbing his eyes.

“Shhh, you’re too loud, Shelby.” You muttered. He chuckled and moved in the bed to sit up and light a cigarette. You wrapped the sheets tightly around your upper body, before turning and sitting up to face him.

“Do you think anyone noticed we left early together?” You questioned, trying to stifle a yawn. He exhaled some smoke in your face, smirking.

“Afraid the cat’s out of the bag?” He asked. You shook your head, smiling knowingly at him.

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The cutest bean ❤ Dolce was great for our flat. The horses haven’t been out because of the mud… so she’s a little stiff. We worked on extending and transitions and she was really good!

Frederick: Alright team, we’re going to go in and…Niles please. Leave Donnel alone.
Niles: -staring at Frederick- Very well. Haha. Yours until I break master. -still hovering around Donnel-
Donnel: -raises hand- Uh, Frederick…I feel mighty uncomfortable.
Frederick: Niles! Remove yourself from Donnel’s vicinity! -moves him beside Laslow- THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER. WE ARE HEADING INTO BATTLE NILES!
Laslow: Haha, but Frederick. Laughter is the best medicine. Hahaha.
Donnel: …Ya sure this group is gonna be a good idea Frederick?
Frederick: Donnel…this group was the best I COULD WORK WITH ON SUCH SHORT NOTICE!
Niles: -hovering behind Donnel- Let’s take a stroll Donnel~
Donnel: -hiding under Frederick’s horse-
Laslow: -flat on the ground laughing- M-My Niles…what a strong gaze.
Frederick: …
Summoner: …Frederick…I’ll try harder I promise! Just wait on the sidelines and I’ll find the perfect candidates for you!
Frederick: …
Donnel: Frederick! Git him off Laslow!!!!
Laslow: Oh my!!! This isn’t how it was supposed to go Niles! Odin! Get him away!
Odin: I’m not on this team, but I’m sure it’ll be a FUN EXPERIENCE!
Summoner: Niles! NO!!!!
Niles: …I don’t play by your rules master~
Summoner: …please?
Niles: Well since you asked nicely…-drags Odin off-
Odin: So excited!!!
Donnel: Shouldn’t we… go and git ‘em?
Frederick: They will be fine Donnel. =__=;;
Summoner: I’M SORRY!!!!
Laslow: Don’t be sorry Summoner~ <3
Summoner: …
Frederick: -face palms-