First: This blog is intended for people who are determined to bring about an end to the abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses, racking horses, and those Spotted Saddle Horses, where training, shoeing, and other practices based in abuse and ignorance have produced unnatural and exaggerated action designed solely for the show ring. Horses have been deliberately put in pain and removed from any semblance of what could be called a normal life for one reason only: to perform so that owners, exhibitors and trainers can experience that ego rush that comes from having the “freak of the week” as one industry chat room calls its videos.
Second: There are many “personalities” in the sound horse movement. It comes as no surprise that there are some people who don’t like other people and groups, clubs, friendships have been damaged in an effort to determine who is the “most important” voice of the sound horse movement. The cult of the personality is silly; it’s counterproductive; it’s also the way of the world. It won't be a factor in what does or doesn't get ink in Views of the News.
This site separates facts and published reports from opinions published in the blog. Facts are identified by source, while opinions expressed in Views of the News are neither made by a fictional character nor identified with a writer's name. The posts are a compilation of thoughts and ideas about the issues involved in ending soring. They come from the perspectives of a variety of individuals who have shared thoughts , ideas, and commentary with each other for years and now share them with you. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that with no names, but plenty of chutzpah, who likes whom is stripped away in favor of who likes the message and what can be done with it.
Third: In a world of five- second sound bites and twitter messages, some maintain that modern readers won't take the time to read in-depth anything, let alone essay length blog posts. But what if you believe that even in the 21st century not every person wants it “ compressed, quick, and dirty” lacking context. This blog hopes to appeal to an audience who takes the time to read, enjoys a well turned phrase should one appear, and is willing to follow a train of thought that includes complex and compound sentences.
Long or short the hope is that the posts will be challenging enough to be of use and become part of the conversation on this issue. ( and, if you really don’t like to read but only skim, as a favor, points that seem to be most important will be highlighted in bold so that you can skip the bones that hold the piece together and focus only on the accessories. Realism can be a virtue. )
Finally, a blog needs an inspiration. It is ridiculous ( as well as tragic) that the insistence and determination of a small but unyielding few to continue with discredited practices means that soring is still a present fact after more than 40 years under the federal Horse Protection Act. How do you address the problem without sounding like a bitter crank? Imagine an American with a highly developed sense of the ridiculous and a reputation for bringing controversial issues of his own day into sharp focus using humor, satire, and personal observation. This author received payment by the word and demanded a strict word count by his editor because, if a word was hyphenated, he insisted on being paid for two. It's hard to know what he would have made of twitter. He was called a radical by some because he called out the sacred cows of his day. He was proud of the distinction for what is a radical but a reformer.
Mark Twain, the man in white, is our guide. From time to time, his quotes will introduce blog posts and you can draw your own connections. Mr. Twain didn’t know anything about sored horses but he knew plenty about criminals, politicians, hypocrisy, liars , damned liars, sharpies of all varieties, and hidebound resistance to change. In this regard the world as he knew it isn't all that much different from the world in which we live. As that familiar cast of characters comes and goes in the news in relation to soring and the PAST Act , you know that, if he were still with us, Mr. Twain himself would feel right at home taking a wallop at the rapscallions of the sore horse business and that's exactly what this blog will attempt to do.