Letters: 04/00

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Vita Royal Response
In reference to your answer in the February issue to reader Marian O’Brien of Palos Park, Ill., who asked for help in duplicating our very effective product Untie: You should know that manufacturers of high quality products like Untie spend thousands of dollars and much time in the testing and formulary stages to create products that really work. There are many ways that proprietary secrets of a products’ success can be protected from exposure by a simple ingredients list. Indeed, some of the raw material ingredients in Untie — which offer special, unique benefits — are manufactured exclusively for us under contract, and therefore are not available elsewhere for any price, least of all from one of our competitors.

Bottom line: There have been many attempts to copy Untie, none of them successful, and it’s wrong for you to suggest that your readers can simply duplicate Untie’s value by do-it-yourself supplementation using individual ingredients. Because of Untie’s special ingredients and formulation, it’s not advised to attempt to achieve the same benefit using ingredients that owners can’t obtain anyway.

We suggest Horse Journal readers call Vita Royal to determine how Untie might be worked into an individual feeding regimen. If cost is an issue, we can recommend feed schedules or supplement combinations that will achieve results cost-effectively. Your readers can contact us at 810/653-5478, or they can email us at vitamail@earthlink.net. They can also visit our website: www.vitaroyal.com.

-Linsey McLean
Vita Royal Products

We agree that special processing and precise chemical formulations make it hit and miss at best when attempting to duplicate an effective product with a homemade mixture. In fact, we stated just that in our answer to Marian O’Brien. It was not our intent to direct the reader to any of Untie’s competitor’s products, merely to advise where owners who do need single ingredients to supplement their particular diets can obtain those single ingredients. Vita-Key’s Anti-Oxidant Concentrate is not a substitute for Untie. Untie addresses mineral imbalances that may be at the heart of tying-up. Anti-oxidants function in “damage control,” helping minimize the cellular damage that can result when a horse works hard or has a tying-up problem.

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Consider Saddle Fit
In February, a reader wrote in about her gelding who “won’t slow down.” I was surprised that your response did not suggest that she also check her saddle fit to see if her horse might be responding to an ill-fitting saddle.

I’ve recently purchased a new, professionally fitted saddle for my Anglo-Arab. He, too, liked to put his head up. My trainer and I were able to correct the problem with a combination of training and saddle fitting. Without the saddle fitting, we could not have solved the problem 100%. A professional saddle fitter (one with good credentials) was invaluable in this process.

-S. Carrick
Poolesville, MD

Your suggestion is a good one. Certainly, any training difficulty can arise from a number of sources, including physical (equipment, soundness, conditioning, feet, teeth), lack of training, fear, rider position, and so on. It can also be a combination of several causes, leading to a “chicken/egg” effect. The case you cite concerns an older horse in infrequent work with an ingrained habit to rush, especially on circles, so we suggested conditioning and balance as points to consider first.