The Long Riders’ Guild seeks international investigation into floor mat being sold as a saddle pad
The Long Riders’ Guild, the world’s first international association of equestrian explorers, has issued a plea to legal authorities on three continents to investigate how a 3M corporation product, originally designed as an abrasive floor mat, is being resold as a saddle pad to unsuspecting horse owners.
The Guild became alarmed when horses belonging to equestrian explorers were injured after being fitted with what was being billed as the “no sweat pad” in America and the “cool breeze” saddle pad in England.
The international equestrian scandal was exposed when a British Long Rider discovered the “saddle pad” lying in front of a Chilean supermarket, where it was being used in its original application as a door mat.
During the subsequent nine month inquiry Long Riders in five countries discovered that a 3M product known as “Wet Area Matting 1500” is being knowingly sold by the corporation to individuals who cut the coarse synthetic material into saddle sized pieces.
The disguised floor mat, which 3M describes as being suitable for high traffic areas in sports centers, hotels and hospitals, is being remarketed as expensive saddle pads in the United States, England and Australia.
An example of this practice was uncovered when a colleague of The Guild telephoned the English offices of 3M to enquire if the company sold a saddle pad. A 3M spokesperson immediately supplied the name of a well known London saddle shop. At no time during the conversation did the 3M representative advise the caller that the product in question, now being called a “cool breeze saddle pad,” was in reality a floor mat.
When contacted by The Long Riders’ Guild, a 3M spokesman at the company’s corporate headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota confirmed that the company knew horses were being scarred and injured by the misuse of their product.
However, despite The Guild’s repeated requests that the company issue a public warning to horse owners worldwide, the 3M corporation refused to publicly acknowledge these documented concerns.
Furthermore, following The Guild’s requests for action, the company’s website has been altered and incriminating photographs which might link the floor mat to the so-called saddle pad were removed by 3M.
In order to alert the global equestrian community to this growing threat, The Long Riders’ Guild has now dispatched its findings to equestrian editors around the world. This report includes all of our correspondence with 3M, interviews, photographs, the website links which 3M thought to alter and samples of the abrasive floor mat which were supplied to a Long Rider as a saddle-pad.
Additionally, The Guild has asked law enforcement agencies in the USA, Great Britain and Australia to undertake an immediate investigation into the businesses involved in the manufacture and sales of these potentially harmful “saddle pads” and to order this untested product to be withdrawn from the equestrian market.
To read The Long Riders’ Guild policy on testing equestrian travel equipment, please visit - http://www.thelongridersguild.com/Equipment.htm