by Cheryl Erpelding
When Don Van Kempen, a lifelong thoroughbred lover and owner, couldn’t find the kind of quality grooming products he wanted to use on his beloved thoroughbred racehorses, he decided to make his own. Animal grooming products in the 1990s were subpar in many ways. Manufacturers of equine and pet shampoos were not required to disclose the ingredients that went into their products – so they didn’t. Many manufacturers today still don’t. Don knew he could create a product line that would rise to the top in the horse and pet care world. Don and his family loved their horses and pets and saw them as a part of the family. They believed there was a huge opportunity to create a grooming product line that animal lovers would choose over lesser products. EQyss would soon be known for their high standards and top-notch product ingredients.
Don’s son Dallas, who has been running the company since 2000, shared his father’s passion for horses and pets. In 1991 their family set on a path to change the equine and pet grooming world by taking high end human salon formulas and adjusting the pH levels to be ideal for a range of specific animals for which their products were originally made. They created their shampoos and skin care products using the highest quality human grade ingredients that set them apart from their competitors. They removed ingredients that left residues in the hair, making EQyss the only weightless line of equine and pet grooming products on the market.
EQyss states, “Unlike humans, most animals are slick skinned. Which means, in order to properly hydrate and/or respirate, animal’s coats must be free of any residue or coating that blocks moisture in order to transfer moisture from the air, down the individual hair shafts, and into the dermis, or skin. A clean coat, free of irritants, and good skin and coat hydration, help to provide the foundation for building the healthiest environment for skin and coat.”
“Most pet grooming product manufacturers are using wood alcohols, soaps, and harsh detergents and cleansers in their formulas. These types of ingredients strip essential oils and dry out the skin and coat. Oils, waxes, and synthetic polymers (most commonly silicones) are cosmetic ingredients used to mask the damage caused by over-drying. This is done by making the coat look shiny and feel soft, slick, and moisturized using these common industrial and grade ingredients. The opposite is, in fact, true. At the end of the day, they are short term superficial solutions that cause significant damage over time.
Additionally, any residues left on the coat are not only adding to dry skin conditions, dander, and shedding… they stay on the skin and coat for weeks attracting dirt and dust, weighing down the coat, making the animal dirtier faster, and irritating the animal’s skin.”
Micro-Tek® is EQyss’ top selling shampoo which soothes irritated skin on contact. This product is fast-acting and effective for stopping scratching, itching, biting, or rubbing of red irritated skin. Micro-Tek® provides a healthy environment for healing and cleans even the dirtiest horse without stripping essential oils from the horse’s skin and coat. Once the horse improves, EQyss recommends switching to their Premier Shampoo and Spray.
EQyss didn’t stop with shampoos, and grooming products, they also added a fly repellent to their line-up. Their newest product, Barn Barrier®, is a gentle blend of four natural botanical oils. But the most important fact is that it does not contain citronella, which does not repel flies unless it is applied every 30 minutes and for many of us, it has a pungent and unpleasant smell. Barn Barrier® has been field study tested and proven to repel multiple species of flies: House Flies, Face Flies, Horn Flies, Stable Flies and it also repels mosquitos. Like all EQyss products, it is pH balanced, and unlike other fly sprays, it won’t irritate your horses’ skin. Plus, it won’t damage your tack.
Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride, the only (at time of this interview) U.S. Three-Day competitor headed to England to compete in The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials next month, shares her thoughts about EQyss: “I love ALL of my EQyss products because every product is so gentle and smells so wonderful that I want to, and can, use it on myself! They are as natural as can be which means a lot to me. Due to the season, I will choose the Barn Barrier as my current favorite. I ride a lot of sensitive and sensitive skinned horses. Before I knew about this product, I had essentially banned fly spray from the barn because of too many chemicals. And now, we use Barn Barrier with confidence.
One single tiny fly can terrify both horses and riders and there’s nothing more distracting when you’re training than wondering if you’re about to get bucked off or worse because a fly landed in the wrong place at the wrong time! And nothing can wreak more havoc on your dressage test than an insect doing a fly by during your free walk! You can use it anytime, anywhere, wet or dry on your horse or on yourself. Hot tip – we even spray their ear bonnets with it so we haven’t upset them trying to get the spray near their faces. Thanks, EQyss for always having our backs and everything else from nose to tail!”
Owner of miniature horses, Jiggy and Tubby, of Instagram fame
(@jiggyandtubby) writes: “I always get asked how I keep Ziggy and Tubby so clean … truthfully, I don’t. They are horses, I let them be horses and enjoy life being dirty when they want to be. However before photos are taken and on days where they have baths etc … there are a handful of products that I use. Most of the things we use are EQyss. I am a huge believer in their products and what they are able to do (for my horses and my dogs).”
EQyss invites you to explore their complete line of superior horse and pet care products on their website: www.EQyss.com. They are dedicated to manufacturing cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and above all else, 100% safe skin and hair products. The EQyss family assures their customers that they have stuck to these principals for over three decades, and that they look forward to serving the equine and pet industry for many years to come.