Soring is deliberately causing pain on the front legs or feet of a horse to create an exaggerated, high-stepping gait. Examples of the exaggerated, high-stepping gait.

To gain a competitive edge and win a ribbon in the show ring.


A variety of cruel and devious methods are used to sore horses.   They can include painting caustic chemicals, such as diesel fuel, kerosene, mustard oil, etc., on the horse's pasterns and then wrapping the legs in plastic wrap with leg wraps over the top so the chemicals can "cook" into the flesh.  Injections of harmful chemicals and drugs are also made into the horse's pastern area above the hoof using hypodermic syringes.

Mechanical means such as pressure shoeing involve putting a foreign object, such as a screw or bolt, or half of a golf ball, against both of the horse's front hoof soles, and then shoeing with a pad and horse shoe over the object. Each time the horse steps or puts weight on that hoof, it causes pain. Pressure shoeing also involves cutting a horse's hoof wall and sole down to the quick, where it starts to bleed, and then nailing a shoe over that surface. This makes a very tender hoof that is sore again each time there is pressure from the animal's weight.