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Soring causes pain to the feet and legs of horses by use of chemicals or pressure to cause pain when they touch the ground, resulting in the horse picking its feet up higher and faster than it would do naturally. It is an abusive and prohibited practice, illegal in the U.S. under the Horse Protection Act of 1970. It is most closely associated with the production of a unique high-stepping action of the front legs called "big lick" movement in show ring Tennessee Walking Horses. Under normal circumstances, "big lick" action is normally created by horseshoes that have added pads and weight (sometimes called "stacks"), usually combined with additional weighted chains or rollers placed around the pasterns to create dramatic, high-stepping flashy action of the horse's front legs, desired in the horse show ring. Practitioners of soring do so because they believe that the pain associated with this practice exaggerates the "big lick" to a greater degree and gives them a competitive edge over horses that are not treated in this manner. Other breeds that have a history of soring abuses include the Racking Horse and the Spotted Saddle Horse. Both criminal and civil penalties can be assessed against individuals who engage in soring.

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