New USEF Rule Prohibits Soring

New USEF Rule Prohibits Soring, Action Devices

The United States Equestrian Federation has enacted a new rule to prohibit soring and the use of action devices in gaited horses competing at recognized competitions.

Rule GR839n, under Welfare of the Horse states:

Soreing and/or the use of an action device on any limb of a Tennessee Walking
Horse, Racking Horse, or Spotted Saddle Horse (each a breed not recognized by
the Federation) in any class at a Federation Licensed Competition is prohibited.
An action device is defined by the USDA as any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other
device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse
in such a manner that it can rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg so
as to cause friction or strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint or pastern of the
horse. (Protective bell boots or heel boots are specifically excluded from this definition).
The use of a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, in conjunction with a hoof band
or other device or material (commonly referred to as a performance package)
placed on, inserted in, or attached to any limb of a Tennessee Walking Horse,
a Racking Horse, or Spotted Saddle Horse (each a breed not recognized

by the Federation) in any class at a Federation Licensed Competition is prohibited.
An action device is defined by the USDA as any boot, collar, chain, roller, or other
device that encircles or is placed upon the lower extremity of the leg of a horse
in such a manner that it can rotate around the leg or slide up and down the leg so
as to cause friction or strike the hoof, coronet band, fetlock joint or pastern of the
horse. (Protective bell boots or heel boots are specifically excluded from this definition).

The use of a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, in conjunction with a hoof band
or other device or material (commonly referred to as a performance package)
placed on, inserted in, or attached to any limb of a Tennessee Walking Horse,
a Racking Horse, or Spotted Saddle Horse (each a breed not recognized by the
Federation) constructed to artificially alter the gait of such a horse, and which
are not protective or therapeutic in nature, in classes at a Federation Licensed
Competition is prohibited. EC 12/17/12 

Opponents of “action devices” say that the chains and pads are used to exacerbate and hide soring.

The new USEF rule is effective immediately.