A rule proposal was written addressing the vile cruelty and treatment of horse tail alteration of reining horses, but it fails to make the rule book.
It is reported that this proposed rule change was filed timely for a 2020 rule book inclusion, but it has not been included in the 2020 rule book.
Following the NRHA Board of Directors Spring Meeting (2019) to review proposed rule changes, NRHA President Mike Hancock said “I think the overall direction of NRHA is exemplified by the relatively small number of rule changes that were submitted for 2020,” “This shows we’re moving in the right direction.”
We would disagree Mr. Hancock.
What is Horse Tail Alteration
Tail cutting, blocking or numbing, is ingrained in showing reining horses so they have ‘the look’ of a quiet tail. We would say this reported proposed rule change did not go far enough and any alteration of the tail, whether permanent or temporary, should be banned.
Notably, the document states the only reason to nerve a tail is to make a horse look better. Not quite right! It is well known and written about by NRHA members as a way of disguising heavy spurring and sour minded horses. It can also disguise soreness in horses for some ailments. The excessive tail movement has an indirect 5 point penalty – that can stop someone winning money. The penalty of excessive spurring is often applied with the signs made by the tail. They can also get a minus 1/2 point on the score of each maneuver for the tail wringing. That is the real reason it is done, as reining horses are valued by their prize money earnings.
Some members and reining horse owners report that most tail blocks (injections for numbing) are done by trainers and barn staff. Some without the owner’s permission.
WHAT VETERINARIANS SAY:
The side effects of tail blocking, nerving is well documented and even the veterinarians are in breach of their code to carry out such procedures. Horses can, and do, suffer lifelong pain and injury and owners take the risk just to win money.
Read what Veterinarians say about tail nerving, blocking, and injecting. It’s not as safe as many attempts to make out.
- American Association Equine Practitioners
- Quiet Tail is “perhaps the most dangerous tail alteration procedure”, which the AVMA defines as “numbing the tail to cause it to hang limply.”
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