And I see comments regarding LeMieux and stirrup designs from other companies....I think the horse world is a village, we need to spend our money carefully...and word of mouth should never be underestimated.
I'd agree, it's so common though.
I remember when the IR bridles first came to market with Jeffries, everyone was buying the Evision Equine version as it was loads cheaper. I have one of the first ones Issi made before Jeffries started making them. The original is still the best tho.... I have a Jeffries one as well and it's nowhere near as nice as the original IR one.
When Premier Equine first started to grow in popularity they seemed to have lots of very familiar products.... again i prefer the originals!
problem is LM have so much coverage in terms of advertising and driving up demand, they will probably eclipse these smaller set ups.
Glad you've posted this SBloom as I think it needs highlighting. I doubt I'll buy from Horse Health again, it's awful behaviour and so sad when small companies ideas will be eclipsed by the multi million marketing machine behind HH 😡😡😡
I need new numnahs for my two and won’t be buying anything LeMieux again. Instead I will buy from Griffin or Evolution. Making their own version of the Crafty Ponies is just nasty, they have such a huge market range they don’t need to entice people in with them when there is a small company being cut out of the loop. Even if they are freebies to attract new buyers it’s still a loss to crafty ponies sales.
IMHO it is legalised playground bullying tactics. 'We are the biggest around here, so let's pick on the little guy and they will soon give in' attitude.
And advertising - dear god - every magazine / webpage is awash with the big companies telling you how you possibly can't live without their products - it feels like a tsunami sometimes.
And don't even start me on sponsored riders! "I chose xyz products because they are perfect for my horse / me" Yeah right - more like there are loads of products thrown at them in return for positive advertising (and £ of course)
As my DH falls into the small business owner category, it really does make my blood boil at some stunts the big companies pull. Fair play to my DH though - he plods along, working away, keeping all his customers happy, ignoring all the rubbish flying around these days.
The attitude from the owner of LM was quite shocking, seemingly she doesn’t care. It’s sad when big companies like that, who are already successful, feel the need to do that to smaller companies. Seriously considering not buying from LM again. Ridiculously overpriced anyway so I’m sure there’s better out there if I look.
I have to say I have found the quality of their products to be inferior to others and I'm insufficiently bothered by equestrian fashion to want "this season's colour". I wasn't desperate to buy their products before, now I am questioning it even more.
Man, that stunt by LM is really REALLY low. Crafty Ponies are such a niche product, it's not something you could ever 'accidentally' copy in the course of regular equestrian product business. That a deliberate, calculated move to attempt to muscle in on a tiny companies speciality. Shame on them.
I don't think their attempt at market domination ends here either. I believe that they are bringing out a range of turnout rugs soon. I for one feel uncomfortable about their desire to enter every part of the equestrian market. However, the interest in second hand pads seems to have cooled a lot since the fever pitch of the first lockdown and this autumn's collection has not sold out immediately. Perhaps the attraction with LeMieux is not so great anymore
Nothing exists in a vacuum so while company X was developing fastenings they will have reviewed products made by other companies to find what did and didn't work. It's only business sense not to pay to make the mistakes that others already have.
Equally if development lead Company X to develop a fastening its not unfeasible that Company Y could reach a similar conclusion. If Company X patented their fastenings then its protected and they can take legal action.
Grooming bags aren't a new intention and there are lots of very similar rigid nylon zip up bags out there. I've got one that is neither le mieux or the brand on this thread. I think it's a bit of a reach to claim such a common product has been stolen or copied.
I know almost nothing about soft toy horses but I've owned and bought very similar toys not made by either Company on here. Yes if LM have exactly copied CP that's not on but CP weren't the first to ever create a large soft toy horse. So where would they stand as having an original product that has been stolen?
Lots of equestrian companies are in every aspect of equestrian sales. Often they are under the umbrella of someone like Zebra products so although they might have different brands its the same company that made your bridle, saddle, rug, saddle pad and brushes. I can't understand why any company wouldn't want to expand into every sales avenue and why it would be "uncomfortable" for a brand to do that.
The demand has to be there. Premier Equine are quite a good example of their being a high demand with there being a lot of excitement for new ranges and season colours. I have a personal bias because their rug was rubbish and their customer service even more so but over the past few years I've seen the demand drop away for their products. Certainly on here there are less favourable reviews and on social media less sharing of their posts and products. They too have expanded into human clothing, footwear, bridles and now saddles.
Le Mieux was a one woman start up. She was a friend of a friend so I heard vaguely about the process and would get a Horse Health catalogue at the beginning. The company grew because the products (was sheepskin/lambswool based originally) were good and ghr demand was there. It hasn't been an overnight emergence of some massive country spewing out coloured pads every quarter.
LM sheepskin pads were the go to for a long time and look how many cheaper copies of them emerged.
It's not a nice part of having your own business but it is part of it that you need to protect yourself should situation of "copying" occur. It's not unique to equestrian products..
Companies only supply to demand. If the demand wasn't there then there would be no new season colours from any company. So if you take issue with people buying saddle pads from other companies then it's the consumer that needs educated or there won't be any change.
I suppose if they had created a very different looking stuffed toy, that would have been one thing, but it really does look a complete copy, style wise.
A collab between CP and LM could have been really good, but I suppose LM wanted their own cut of that market.
I tend to buy 2nd hand or in sales and don't particularly support one company above others.
It is difficult for small companies who don't have large marketing budgets. However with the rise of social media and forums like this people have changed their buying habits and it is easier to get recommendations.
There are so many products out there is is really hard to choose sometimes. In lockdown I got a bit depressed and to cheer myself up subscribed to a box called forelock and fringe which I get every other month. It has taken away the decision making process for day to day products such as tax cleaner, lotions and potions and brushes and some clothing items such as gloves, socks, tops even jods. I got the most amazing waterproof jacket which folds into a tiny bag, which I wear loads and I would never have discovered it myself. A lot of items in the box comes from small businesses and there is a lot of organic stuff which I like.
I am thinking I would like a new riding hat which is vented for hot weather and menopause and again so much choice really hard to decide.
I've got a few saddle pads from LM but won't be buying any more as the colours aren't really my thing.
I have one from wb as I like their tie dye range.
But I am really trying to look for small businesses to go to now for things like saddle pads, jobs etc that are made here, good for the environment and don't cost the earth.
Rugs wise my boys are in big horse shop.they are brilliant rugs for bigger horses.i did notice a few years after they became a bit popular ruggles started doing their own version. Good on them but BHS have the quality hands down.
How do I choose ?
I do try and support small businesses and also try and get some feedback. But hate to say I often go with big business just because I've bought their products before and been happy.
But since learning about the sexual harassment that goes on in a certain feed company, I won't be touching their products. And seeing this from LM, I will seriously consider whether to give them my custom.
To answer the question in the thread title, honesty over postage costs is paramount. Don't tell me you offer "free" postage to mainland UK and then try to extort £10 from me for courier delivery to part of the UK mainland when it wouldn't cost you a penny more to send it here by Royal Mail than it would to the tip of Cornwall or Norfolk. Postage costs added at the point of checkout based solely on my IV postcode = abandoned shopping basket and me never shopping with you again.
Wow - quantity over quality on it's way, Once PE get their hands on something, it's ROI and not much else (although I have no LM products - I tried a saddle pad once and it was the worst thing I have ever used so binned it)
Why weren't the products patented? Bit silly showing something new and 'ground breaking' that can so easily be nicked.
I support small businesses where I can especially when their products are good. I also find that by supporting new small companies can reap dividends in terms of personal service even when they've grown and become much more popular.
Just seen LM's new turnouts and stable rugs. The 'new innovative' chest strap positioning seems suspiciously similar to a very well known brand as well as the whole rug in general and their stable rug looks to me like it's a copy of the other companies rug including the colour scheme.
I appreciate that there's only so much that you can do to make a rug unique but it does seem a bit too close to the other brand. Maybe it's just me being skeptical though!!