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letters ...to the editor T e article discusses the importance of rid-


ing your gaited horse at a slow walk for a lot of miles to develop the back and loin muscles, to allow the horse to sustain their natural four- beat gait. It also discusses teaching your horse to rock back off its forehand. T is is something I stress in my “T erapy For T erapy Horses” clinics. T is is very important to any horse, every breed. Such work engages the hind end, where the power comes from; releases the poll and strengthens the stomach muscles. T at one thing could be a story all its own. T e article also dispels many gaited-horse


DISTANCE RIDING I commend you on putting together a


really nice magazine. I do have one point of disagreement with something that was stated in the April issue (“Are You Ready to Step Up to Distance-Riding Competition?): The so-called “pinch test” has been shown to be an unreliable method of assessing hydration status. Some research conducted by Bristol University and the Brooke Hospital for Animals concluded that the pinch test is basically useless. You can read about it here: www.horsetalk. co.nz/news/2008/12/030.shtml. I no longer recommend the pinch test as a way to check hydration status. Susan Kaufmann, California


Editor’s Note: T anks for pointing this out. Hall of Fame endurance rider and veterinarian Mat hew Mackay-Smith, DVM, has long maintained that the only place the skin-pinch test has any value whatsoever is on the point of the shoulder.


GAITED HORSES T at was a dynamite article in May about


gaited horses. T ere were a number of con- tributing writers in the story, including my mentor, Diane J. Sept. Anyone who has ever considered switching to a gaited horse should read this article. Even if, like me, you’ve always ridden gaited horses, it’s a very informative and insightful story to read.


myths, such as thinking they need special saddles, bits, shoeing and other gadgets. T e ar- ticle discuss the myth that folks believe a gaited horse should never trot or canter. Of course they should. When I rode endurance I wanted to use all the gaits, all the muscles. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and


study this article. Dutch Henry, Virgina


Dutch, you must be telepathic! Watch for the story by Peggy Cummings about “Strengthening Your Horse’s Back” in the July issue. And don’t miss Part II of our Gaited-Horse Panel on p.28.


KUDOS FOR TR IL BLAZER I am new to Trail Blazer and I just had to say


that I am so impressed with your magazine - So many great articles that are very relevant - Wow! It gets annoying going through the fl uff that a lot of magazines have these days - which is defi - nitely not the case with Trail Blazer. I love the fact that there are several well-writ en, in-depth articles in each issue. T e accompanying pho- tographs are great and the creative format ing makes them not only informative, but enjoyable to read. I am so glad that I found you and can’t wait for the next issue.T ank you Trail Blazer for publishing a quality magazine that I am confi dent will be of great benefi t to Pistol and I in our trail riding adventures! Nancy Golden, Texas


Email your comments to: editor@trailblazermagazine.us Or mail them to:


Letters to the Editor—Trail Blazer Magazine PO Box 27243 Prescott Valley, AZ 86312-7243


8 | June 2012 • WWW.TRAILBLAZERMAGAZINE.US


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