Equestrian magazine editors were in for a nice surprise last year when little black boxes, wrapped in elegant gold ribbons, arrived on their desks. Nestled in black tissue paper inside were samples of a new line of grooming goodies by Ponytail. The company's founder, Nicolle Lubman, has an extensive background in the cosmetics industry and "I knew I had to knock their socks off," she says.
The packaging got the editors' attention, but what has enabled the Los Angeles-based start-up to have a terrific first year is the effectiveness and appeal of its products. Positioned as beauty products for horses and humans, the Ponytail line includes Bubbles & Bucks conditioning shampoo, Ready To Roll leave-in conditioner, Show Pony Shine high-gloss serum, Trot The Spot rinse-free shampoo, and Mane Stay styling spray.
All formulas utilize ingredients that are human grade and many customers use them on their horses and themselves. When Nicolle was able to return to horse ownership in adulthood, she quickly became frustrated by the lack of grooming aids that met her standards. "I realized there was a lack of unique products with ingredients relevant to this day and age," she explains. "Coming from the cosmetic industry, I knew about a lot of extracts and oils that can be used to great effect and that are not included in many horse
With that idea, she spent the next two years working on formulas for Ponytails and was ready to roll out product last August. Extracts of alfalfa, carrot and rosemary are among the powerful, natural components found in the company's handsome black bottles. Each has unique attributes. Alfalfa, for example, has deep roots that absorb proteins, vitamins and minerals and deliver a rich anti-oxidant that conditions and nourishes. Carrot root extract is known to be therapeutic for skin and hair and its rich supply of beta-carotene and vitamins A & E helps soften and cleanse hair. Rosemary extract is familiar to many women for its role in skin toners. With horses it helps improve circulation and protects the skin. Argon oil, found in Show Pony Shine, is another ingredient that's currently all the rage in the cosmetic industry. Not every horse owner will recognize that connection, but they will notice the effect it has on their horse in the form of clean, show-ready shine.
Nicolle predicted that horse owners would like knowing what was inside their products. "Pet care products are not held to the same standard of transparency as cosmetics, so a lot of people are not aware of what they are actually using because some companies don't disclose their whole ingredient list." Ponytail products are made in an FDA-licensed lab, assuring customers that the products are safe for both their horses
The Ponytail proprietor knew she was onto to something early on. They debuted the brand in August, which is the tail end of bathing season in much of the country, yet the line sold well right away and kept doing so. She predicts that a fair bit of that immediately great response was horse owners buying Ponytail items as holiday gifts. This year, the company will greet the holiday season with "proper gift sets," Nicolle reports. A hoof care product is also in the works, and a line of dog grooming products is due out in August. Nicolle says all this represents only the beginning for the young company.
Nicolle is grateful to many of her friends and their horses for all of their support and enthusiasm. They have all served as product testers along the way, but her best tester is her own horse, a black and white Paint. "He is always a challenge to keep clean and he has taught me a lot about what it takes to maintain a beautiful, clean shiny coat."
For more information on the Ponytail line, visit www.ponytailproducts.com or call 888-765-8245.
Check out Ponytail's ad in this issue and vote for your favorite tail on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/ponytailproducts.