Scarred and Discarded

A Surprise Happy Ending
By Pauline Stotsenburg of Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH)

Dutch after one year of rehab. Now plays in a pasture and has friends. Getting use to humans and is slowing building up trust.

2013 a Walking Horse,  his  pasterns covered in scars from years of  chemical abuse and the use of chains, making   it impossible  to pass  the inspections associated with the Horse Protection Act, is dumped by his owners.

Sold in the  parking lot of a Kentucky auction,   then taken to  a sale in Tennessee and  sold to a known killer buyer,  he was  hauled to a sale in Pennsylvania .  There he was spotted , wearing his big lick package,  in a pen where horses with no future were kept before being auctioned.

It is against the federal  law to sell a horse with  scars from soring practices at a public sale. A USDA investigation was initiated. He was given his  name, Dutch, because of the Pennsylvania connection.

dumped at auction with pads and when removed (slowly) pressure shoeing had been done on him as well
dumped at auction with pads and when removed (slowly) pressure shoeing had been done on him as well

The battered gelding was taken to   a local  rescue and examined by veterinarians.  The scars and condition of his feet were documented.  It appeared he had been  subjected to pressure shoeing. Scurffing of his skin was evidence of chemical applications.

After a year, the  USDA issued warnings  to the people involved in the sales.   The auction houses received warnings.   The original owners escaped detection.  USA Today was interested in Dutch’s story and he made national news.  What happened to him then?

Unlike other Walking Horses  that have been dumped, Dutch’s story has a happy ending. He was adopted into a forever home.  His physical   and emotional needs are met. Part  of a five horse herd,  he has learned that it’s safe to leave the stall,  the place where he spent most of his life,  for adventures in  the outdoors.

permanent scars that he will carry for life
permanent scars that he will carry for life

The  scars remain; he has COPD;  he will  require supportive shoeing for the rest of his life. But, more importantly,  he happily runs to greet visitors;  he tosses his feed pan back and forth with his stall cleaner;  he is addicted to Uncle Jimmy’s Squeezy Buns.   Dutch  is a bit of a clown.

In his 20s, he lives  joyfully and abundantly. Part of an animal trust,  he  will be buried at home  when  that time comes.  He will never be exploited again. The next part of Dutch’s life will be better than the first.

He  is the  living example of why the PAST Act must be enacted. PAST will end the soring, stacking,  and chaining used to produce unnatural gaits for the show ring and increase penalties for violators. It takes a call to your representative and senators to make a difference for all the other horses like Dutch,  the ones that are waiting for soring to be stopped forever.


0This story appeared in the October Issue of the ACTHA Monthly Magazine.  To see more stories like this visit this month’s issue >>


2 thoughts on “Scarred and Discarded

  1. loved to hear a follow up on Dutch. He is the reason I in Australia keep advocating and educating fellow Australians the abuse inflicted on TWH to become Big Lick performers.


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