The Long Riders' Guild

Correspondence between The Long Riders’ Guild and the 3M Corporation

The following correspondence is provided to the public in an attempt to demonstrate how The Long Riders’ Guild has repeatedly attempted to discuss with the 3M Corporation the adverse effects resulting from allowing Wet Area Matting 1500 to be used as an untested, and potentially harmful, equestrian product.

Letter dated 18th June, 2005 –

From The Long Riders’ Guild to Richard Ziegler, Senior Vice President of 3M Legal Affairs.

In this letter The Guild revealed how horses belonging to Long Riders traveling in the United States and Central Asia were injured. In one of the examples provided to 3M, The Guild provided details of how after traveling almost two thousand miles without any injury or delays, the so-called “no sweat saddle pad” nearly ruined the horses being used in one of the most important equestrian journeys of the modern age.

“My route took me across 120 kilometers of desert,” wrote Australian equestrian explorer Tim Cope from eastern Kazakhstan. “First the no-sweat pad rubbed the hair off my horses. Then it rubbed them right down to the skin. My horses ended up with raw spots where the no-sweat pad rubbed them so badly.”

The Guild’s letter also revealed how a British Long Rider Keith Clark discovered the so-called saddle pad being used as a door mat outside a supermarket in Chile.

“An interview with the local supermarket manager prompted an emergency telephone call to their corporate headquarters. These people informed Keith that they had no knowledge of any horse saddle pad and that the product sitting in front of their supermarket’s front door was a licensed 3M product.”

Quotes from a renowned American Long Rider next described the sense of betrayal these equestrian explorers experienced when they discovered the product placed upon the backs of their valuable horses was in fact a commercial floor mat.

The letter concluded by asking 3M to investigate The Guild’s alarming discoveries, and provided Mr. Ziegler with copies of The Guild’s initial research, as well as one of the so-called saddle pads.

“I hope that you will assist The Long Riders’ Guild in protecting the horses whose trust we enjoy.”

Letter dated 1st August, 2005 –

From The Long Riders’ Guild to Richard Ziegler, Senior Vice President of 3M Legal Affairs.

In this letter The Guild expresses its concern that neither Mr. Ziegler, nor anyone from 3M, had recognized receipt of the documents and materials sent to their corporate headquarters.

“Sadly, neither you nor your company has acknowledged the alarming developments discovered by The Long Riders’ Guild.”

Letter dated October 26th, 2005 –

From James Palmquist, Assistant General Counsel for 3M Corporate Affairs to The Long Riders’ Guild.

In this letter Mr. Palmquist began by casting doubts on whether the door mat Long Rider Keith Clark saw being used in front of the supermarket in Chile was in reality 3M Wet Area Matting 1500.

“I question whether or not what was observed was even a 3M product.”

(Editor’s Note – a subsequent conversation with Keith confirmed that the product he observed was most definitely 3M Wet Area Matting 1500. As soon as he had made his shocking discovery, the Long Rider had the presence of mind to obtain the details about the door mat in question. The supermarket chain management confirmed that the product originated from 3M and provided its exact product name and description. Thus it was thanks to Keith’s confirmation that it was a 3M product in the doorway, and on horses’ backs, which led The Long Riders’ Guild to contact the 3M Corporation in the first place.)

Mr. Palmquist continued his letter by stating, “3M has not developed, marketed or sold any kind of saddle pad product.”

He next defended the decision by the Florida based, Dixie Midnight Company, to adapt the 3M company’s commercial floor mat into a saddle pad.

“…Dixie Midnight has been selling the No-Sweat product for ten years…..many individuals believe strongly in the value of this product….”

Mr. Palmquist went on to thank The Long Riders’ Guild for expressing our equestrian concerns and concluded his letter by stating, “We do not produce nor sell any products with representations that they might be intended to be used as saddle pads.”

Letter dated 7th November, 2005

From The Long Riders’ Guild to James Palmquist, Office of General Counsel for 3M Corporate Headquarters.

The Long Riders’ Guild began its letter by reminding Mr. Palmquist that we were not discussing whether placing a commercial floor mat on a horse’s back would, or would not, cause injury to the animal.

The Guild drew Mr. Palmquist’s attention to the fact that horse owners on three continents were being intentionally misled into purchasing a so-called equestrian product under false pretences.

“Seeing as you acknowledge that 3M has been selling the product to Dixie Midnight for ten years, the mind staggers to think how many thousands of injured horses we could be discussing.”

As proof, The Long Riders’ Guild provided testimony from an American horse owner who said, “the {Dixie Midnight} pad scalded the hair off my mare’s back.”

The Long Riders’ Guild next revealed that since sending our last letter to his office, The Guild had discussed the controversy surrounding Wet Area Matting 1500 at length with one of Mr. Palmquist’s fellow employees at 3M.

In a lengthy telephone conversation, a 3M customer service representative named John Reller revealed how he had personally fulfilled orders for years to the Dixie Midnight company. Mr. Reller also said he knew all along that the floor mat was being resold as a saddle pad.

“I know it’s being used for that purpose but we don’t market it for that,” Mr. Reller said.

Furthermore, Mr. Reller volunteered the information that 3M was aware that horses had suffered injuries as a result of having commercial floor mats placed on their backs by unsuspecting owners and that 3M was aware that the floor mat had “scarred some horses.”

In its letter, The Long Riders’ Guild then discussed how it had discovered that the misapplication of Wet Area Matting 1500 had now been taken up by at least other two well-known American equestrian equipment suppliers, thus compounding the possibility that tens of thousands of horses were being injured by the misuse of a 3M product.

The letter concluded by asking Mr. Palmquist, and 3M, to issue an immediate public warning to the five major equestrian editors in England, Australia and the United States, countries where it had been demonstrated that horses were definitely at risk of injury.

“The 3M corporation rightly enjoys a long reputation based on important scientific discoveries that benefited millions of people. I hope that this priceless asset of public trust will be weighed and that you {Mr. Palmquist} and 3M will alert the world’s horse owners to a situation you did not encourage to occur.

I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.”


After waiting ninety days, The Long Riders’ Guild has received no response nor acknowledgement from Mr. Palmquist or 3M in regards to this unresolved equestrian emergency.

Hence our decision to publish these letters and the remainder of our findings regarding 3M Wet Area Matting 1500.

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