Letters: 05/06

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Letters In Opposition
I was disturbed by ”Taking 'Natural’ Too Far.” Has this author ever had to make the decision to put his horse down or desperately find an organization that advocates ”natural” to keep his horse alive' I have, and I can tell you that ”natural” works 100%. Humans should not impose their human ways on the horse. 

Carrie Johnson
California

I am disappointed in your article. Herbs have helped my horses more than drugs, especially antibiotics. Our soil is deficient in minerals, so they do better with a good mineral supplement, custom-made, based on hair-mineral analysis. They are all barefoot with hard soles, big frogs, thick walls.

Outi Denny
Maryland

”Taking 'Natural’ Too Far” was offensive. There is a large, growing segment of the horse owners that consider themselves ”natural” horsekeepers. We are not only owners, but trainers, trimmers, holistic practitioners, and more. The natural movement is not about ignoring current horsekeeping practices that work but rather embracing the true nature of the horse and allowing it to live under natural circumstances.

Kate Christie
New Jersey

I take great exception to your article. It’s an inaccurate account of the healing power of a natural lifestyle for a domesticated horse. Your magazine was supposed to be above that sort of nonsense, since you don’t have advertising. Instead, you support a model of management that causes disease and suffering.

Anne Brown
Maryland

I was unpleasantly surprised to see your article. The tone is such that anyone involved with natural horse care or barefoot horses is going to be offended. While there are points in the article that I agree with, the way the piece is presented overshadows this. Most of the topics have not been scientifically proven either way. A simple ”we don’t really know for sure, but here’s our opinion” would have sufficed. I hope that stirring up anger wasn’t your goal.

Yvonne Welz
Arizona

Letters In Agreement
I was glad to see your article. I am a natural-care advocate and, while going barefoot rehabilitated my navicular horse, I have learned that this natural movement can indeed be carried too far.

We need to remember that when providing our horses with a natural environment we are still dealing with domesticated horses. To expect these horses to exhibit the instincts, genetic immunity and natural hardiness of their wild ancestors is unrealistic. Owners attempting to go natural toss good sense out the window. You put this natural movement in perspective.

Claire C. Cox-Wilson
Arizona

Kudos on ”Taking 'Natural’ Too Far.” This is a well-overdue commentary. My horses are domesticated, not ”natural,” and I certainly do not want them to behave in a ”natural” manner.

Kirsten Marek, DVM
Illinois

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Spot-On For Ticks
I’ve been using the spot-on products for a couple of summers. One plus of the spot-on products is that they repel ticks. I use the spot-on products until around November 1 to keep the ticks off.

Karen Morris
Arizona

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Visualizing
Your editorials are the first thing I read. Their insights and passion for this way of life are infectious. A while ago, you wrote about being a conscious rider while one is driving, walking and all manner of activities removed from riding. From that suggestion I figured out half-halt while down shifting in traffic and turns from riding as a passenger on a motorcycle: Follow your eyes and don’t lean.

The March ”OK to Pretend” editorial is another great tool. Even before I was able to ride, I kept photos of particularly excellent riders where I could see them continually. When I’m taking a lesson or trail riding, I visualize where that heel is, or how high or forward the hands, or how relaxed their faces can be.

Julia Crookston
California

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Toxic Plants
When you have an article about toxic plants (March) you should reference the botanical name of the plants mentioned. A common name can be imprecise and regional possibly lead to misidentification or a plant, which could be dangerous.

Kathleen Aspenns
California