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 >>


Meet the Top Ten Open & Pleasure Champions

13-72For the first time in ACTHA’s history, we have the opportunity to give a full showcase of our nation’s top ranking horse and rider teams by featuring each of them in our monthly publication; The ACTHA Monthly.  We are so proud to be able to do that!  The July issue features a full ten pages of photos dedicated to each of the top ten Open and Pleasure winners, with commentary from several of those riders.  It is very exciting for us to be able to feature them this way, allowing the public an opportunity to ‘meet’ these wonderful teams who have worked so hard to achieve so much over the year long ride season.  Take a moment to visit the publication and meet some of our nation’s top achievers.  Click to Open the July Issue > 

Even before the July issue of the ACTHA Monthly was launched, we had begun gathering photos and bios from our nation’s top ten Junior Riders who will be featured in the August issue.  Be sure and watch for it and join us in congratulating the next generation of stewards of the horse, those whom we will be relying upon for keeping the noble trail horse safe and cared for in the future!


In the photo above: Kathie Norman and Dulce of Texas, ACTHA’s #1 Open National Champions, and Dr. Susan Wingo and Cat, ACTHA’s #1 Pleasure Champions, also of Texas.

The ACTHA Monthly is published each month featuring stories about Ride Hosts, horse and rider teams, their achievements, and many contributed articles from some of the greatest sources of equine information and training including; Pat and Linda Parelli, Barbra Schulte, Joe Camp, Lisa Wysocky, Jeff Wilson Cowboy Dressage and our newest contributors, Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH).  Click here to choose from current or archived issues of the ACTHA Monthly >>