The economy has made all consumers more interested in getting the most bang for their buck. That's good news for EOUS by Equisupplies, an equestrian brand that prides itself on well-made, quality products at an affordable price. The line includes apparel for horses and riders and is particularly well known for its blankets and high-tech english show coats, both of which reflect the company's mission of making durable, practical products at a fair price.
When the Tempe, AZ company started seven years ago, "We took a look at where there was a need in the industry," explains Jennifer Reichle. "What we felt was needed was good quality products that are affordable to the average horse owner." Today the line includes jackets, vests, riding pants, show clothes and accessories for adults and children, and blankets, coolers, fly sheets, girths, saddle pads, etc. for horses. They even make fleece rugs and waterproof blankets for the horse person's favorite accessory, dogs.
Named after the mythical sun god Helios' horse, EOUS is owned by its distributor Equisupplies, which eventually plans to carry several brands. The short-term focus continues to be EOUS, where there is exciting news in several of its product categories. A three-year guarantee on all EOUS turnout blankets is new in the horse apparel department. The program protects buyers from any manufacturer defects involving waterproofing, breathability, etc., and provides a lifetime guarantee on all of the blanket's hardware.
In addition to construction and fabric that makes them last a long time, EOUS' blanket line is well thought-out. Neck holes are a bit smaller than those in other brands to help the blanket stay put in front of the withers, rather than pulling down and back on them. The company eschews shoulder guards on its blankets. "We don't believe in them because if your blanket fits correctly you won't need them," says Jennifer. That reasoning illustrates one of the ways the company keeps costs down. "We don't add a lot of frills that are not necessary and would make it more expensive."
That's why even its most expensive blanket, the EOUS Heavyweight Turnout, is priced at a modest $159. Made of super-durable 1800 denier fabric, this blanket may not have any frills but it does have plenty of functional details. Rubber stoppers keep fittings secure, double front stainless steel buckles feature "stay-put" Velcro reinforcements and the waterproof, breathable fabric is lined with nylon that helps give horse's coats a polished look.
Another popular blanket, the Bainbridge, is designed for harder-to-fit horses with extra fabric and an arched seam that facilitates rub-free movement through the shoulder. "It's fantastic for horses like Friesians that are typically harder to fit," says Jennifer. "It allows freedom of movement without shifting, rubbing or pulling."
Such details reflect the level of horsemanship savvy that goes into EOUS products. A sales manager, Jennifer also works with product design, drawing on a lifetime of horse ownership to help develop useful items. The company's entire staff has a similar equestrian background to contribute to this process and asking customers what they want is part of every staff member's job description. "Often we hear about products that people love but consider too expensive and we create something similar, but less expensively," Jennifer explains.
Doing so without cutting quality is a challenge, she acknowledges. In many cases the key is leveraging relationships with suppliers to get the best materials at a low price.
EOUS' Resis-Tech show coats are a good example of that approach. Made of high-tech soft shell fabric that is lightweight, machine-washable and waterproof, these $130 jackets for the hunter/jumper and dressage market look like their competitor's offerings in every way but one: price. The dressage coat came out last spring and the hunter/jumper version arrived in October.
Jennifer has been with EOUS and Equisupplies since shortly after the companies were formed. "It's been exciting to see how much it's grown and to hear from our customers. I think we have found our niche in the industry by providing quality and fit at a good price." The Horse Journal is one of several entities that agree. The national magazine gave EOUS' Phlegon blanket its Editors Choice award this past September for durability, fit and price point, Jennifer notes proudly.
EOUS' no-frill emphasis doesn't mean no fun. With the gift-giving season upon us, Jennifer offers plenty of ideas. Hats, beanies and neck warmers made of fleece that matches items in EOUS' horse and dog blanket line are mix and matchable, inexpensive presents for horsey friends and family.
Visit www.equisupplies.com for a list of retailers in your area or a catalog, or call
888-825-0061 for more information on EOUS