Equestrian sport is very much about tradition and legacy. We do what we do because it has been done a certain way for hundreds of years. Here at SP RHODES, we appreciate that.
However, there comes a time when a job at hand demands more from the tools required to get the job done right. We evolve as horse people but our tools don’t always evolve alongside. Why is that?
This question was the inspiration behind our new SP RHODES (SPR) Dual-Groom Brush Collection. We made a decision 18 months ago to research different shapes, efficiencies, weights and materials in relation to grooming tools. Our hopes were to enhance the overall grooming experience for both horse and rider.
We weren’t interested in creating “just another brush set”. This new idea needed to meet the criteria of both quality and enhanced utility. Prototype after prototype, revision after revision, different shapes, different wood options, different bristle fabrications ensued. Being patient has given us the confidence to say that any SPR brush in our new grooming collection is a “must have”.
Quality is about consistency and we can count on this new line meeting our standards; it’s within our control.
What we are really proud of more than anything is delivering what we consider to be an exceptional brush system that is superior in quality with friendly pricing. As expected, all of our new brushes can be customized with one of our logos, your logo and even text in your font of choice. Purchase custom or blank; either way, you will be investing in new salon quality tools that will improve the overall grooming experience for both you and your horse.
In our initial meetings, everyone seemed to face the same grooming dilemmas. Below we outline some of these points:
1. Why are face brushes so small and narrow? Why can’t they fit entirely in our hand in a more comfortable way? The job could be done faster if the brush weren’t so tiny; especially when dealing with a horse who isn’t fond of face grooming. At home, we would always end up using full-size polishing brushes rather than standard face brushes. What could we do to improve this experience?
With a standard face brush always feeling too small and a full size polishing brush feeling too big, we needed something that felt “just right”. Our new SPR Dual-Groom Face Brush design fit the bill. Ergonomic, fits perfectly inside your hand, side slots for secure handling, one pointed end, one round end (Dual-Groom design) and the most luxurious natural fiber you will find in a face brush. It also happens to fit in you pocket so also ideal for ringside touch-ups.
The Dual-Groom aspect of the brush design relates to the bristle configuration on the underside of the brush. The bristles follow the contour of the wood block so that one side can be used for precision grooming (eyes, ears) and the other side can be used for general grooming. All three of our foundation brushes in the SPR Dual-Groom Collection feature this design innovation.
2. Most full-size brushes feel like large bricks. Both ends come to a point. They are heavy. Areas on the horse that require precision grooming (armpits, behind the ears, etc.) benefit from a pointed brush end; we can all agree. What if we had another option in the same brush? What if the opposite end of the dandy brush also featured a rounded end with increased bristle count? Maybe the flank needs a more vigorous groom while the top of the head doesn’t. The idea of a two-in-one brush that works efficiently on all areas of the horse.
We decided to apply the same theory to the polishing brush, the natural fiber dandy brush and a brush with waterproof bristles. The idea of easy to hold, light in the hand, efficient to use, multi-purpose and high-quality was a winning combination.
For the dandy brush, sisal fiber was our natural fiber of choice. Derived from the Agave plant, this fiber is perfect for a horse brush. It features antibacterial properties in addition to rot and mildew resistance.
3. We then moved on to the body brush. Most body brushes use goat hair as the primary fiber. There are a couple of things that made us consider an alternative; goat hair tends to shed out of the brush block frequently. What if we used a more sustainable bristle fiber that had inherent benefits far greater than goat hair? Enter wool. Resilient, less shedding, still extremely soft but with a thicker filament allowing for a stronger fiber. Stronger means longer lasting. Wool fibers do an exceptionally great job of distributing oils and won’t leave as many stubborn hairs behind. If you have a horse with a dark coat and have had to brush off the brush hairs, you know what we are referring to. This problem was now also solved.
The density of our body brush is also luxurious. If you can see the wood block through the hairs of a body brush, you may want to consider a better quality option.
When we say this, we mean waking up and going to the horse show or barn only to find Black Beauty in a stable blanket covered with shavings. Getting the shavings off the horse isn’t an issue; getting the shavings off of a blanket can be; especially wool or fleece. For this reason, we created another brush offering that is also dual-purpose. Our Ring Ready Show Coat & Horse Wear Brush can be used for last minute show coat lint removal at the horse show or for removing shavings and other debris from horse wear. Fleece and wool blankets are notorious for attracting shavings and particulate; hang this brush on the stall and never be frustrated again. Old school riders will never use a synthetic lint brush or a sticky roller brush and it’s for a reason. The short, tight bristles or our show coat brush are ideal for both horse and rider wear. We of course suggest you keep one for your horse and another for yourself.
We have put a great deal of time into our new brush collection and hope that they bring many hours of productive grooming. As we all know, grooming your horse is part of reinforcing your bond. Doing so by using the right tools is the best way to go about it.
You can shop for any of our new collection here on this website under “Horse Brushes” in the top menu.