Soring is the intentional infliction of pain to a horses' front legs in an attempt to exaggerate the horses' gait. Several different techniques can be used - all very painful. Usually caustic chemicals are applied to raw flesh to make the horse jerk his foot up high in response to the pain. Then chains are added to cause even more pain. Pressure shoeing involves cutting the hoof very short and then adding shoes to intensify the pain in a competition class known as The Big Lick. This is all done to show horses to increase the odds of winning.
Is this illegal?
Technically, yes. But enforcement is lax and haphazard. Pressure from the industry and inadequate funding have kept the law from being widely enforced.
What can you do?
Support efforts by the Humane Society to bring this cruel practice to an end.