Each Noble Outfitters product is designed with the direct involvement of horse professionals and enthusiasts. Designers are taking their time to meet with professional and leisure riders, shop owners and regional distributors, to ask them what they’d like to see in the future of the equestrian world. After these meetings, the design team follows the feedback they’ve received and creates innovative products for the consumer. But sometimes it takes only one or two of our customers like you to influence the design process of a new product. Meet Dr Terry Jordan and Phyllis O’Connor, who helped to improve the Guardsman™ Fly Mask.
“When my husband and I moved out here, to this country setting with our horses, it became obvious that a fly mask was essential for my horse at all times. In addition to the gnats that were irritating his eyes, my equine veterinarian explained that it was very important for Fritz to have UV protection for his nose because he has very light skin. Over the first four or five months, I went through five masks because he is very rough on them. He usually has rips and tears within a couple of weeks. In addition, I always had to cover his entire nose with sunscreen. Horse and Rider magazine did a piece evaluating some different fly masks and it appeared that the Guardsman™ Fly Mask was one of the best. When I went to my local tack and feed store and saw them in person, I was very impressed and decided that this would possibly be the one he couldn’t destroy. It also came with a detachable nose guard for UV protection,” says Phyllis O’Connor.
Unfortunately, the mask didn’t fit right and Phyllis and her horse experienced some problems. When Noble Outfitters CEO Dan Costa heard about the problems, he decided to reach out to Phyllis in person right away.
“We had approximately a half hour phone call in which he made it very clear to me how serious an issue it was to him to be sure that we identify any problems and modify the fly mask so that no other horses are negatively affected. I felt that I was a valued customer and that my opinion really matters as Dan asked for my help to modify the fly mask and test it out on my horse. My first suggestion for the designers was to lengthen the Hook and Loop Closure on the large mask. It was obvious that I had an issue with my horse because I did not have a properly fitting mask on him. The large mask initially did not have long enough material on the hook and loop closure to close properly so I had exchanged it for an extra-large which was way too long and caused the nose guard to hang over his nostrils. Secondly, I made the suggestion to change the fabric on the nose guard so that it does not come away from the mesh in the event it gets wet and comes down to the to the horse’s nostrils. The mask now performs as it was intended. The nose guard stops just above his nostrils.”
Phyllis had tried her hand at designing and we are proud to announce that the new updated Noble Outfitters Fly Mask, available September 2016, has incorporated all of her suggestions and modifications. Once Phyllis held one of the first fly mask customized according to her specifications, she couldn’t help but talk about the amazing quality of the fly mask.
“I am very, very pleased with the quality of the mask for the price. Previously I had purchased fly masks for five or six dollars less that only lasted my horse a couple of weeks before it would get holes in the mesh and tears in the fabric. My horse is very hard on his fly masks. He rubs his face on the edges of his stall and on trees. He and my other horse play a game of “bite the fly masks” and try to pull each other’s masks off. He has been wearing the Guardsman for a little over 3 months and there is not one sign of a rip or tear. I have absolutely been recommending this fly mask to everyone I know. For the little bit extra that it costs, you will actually save money in the long run because you will not have to keep replacing fly masks nearly as often. I cannot say enough about Noble Outfitters as a company. Through our many communications, it has become quite obvious to me that this is a company who cares about their customers and the quality of their products.” Dr Terry Jordan had a similar experience and after reaching out to Noble Outfitters, the designers decided to add fleece on the hook and loop closure to prevent rubs on her horse’s chin.