November 25, 2013

Product Review: Higher Standards Leather Care Saddle Soap

I've been reading the "Bensmom's saddle soap - the review thread (if that's okay with Bensmom)" thread on the Eventing  forum since it started (on April 8th).  It's still going strong, and is 55 pages long.  I knew people loved this soap, (Higher Standards Leather Care on Etsy) and I wanted to try it, but I expected it to just be regular saddle soap that smelled good.

I was wrong.

This stuff is awesome.  It blows everything I've ever used before away.  I think my husband is tired of me going "This is AMAZING!  And someone is making this in her kitchen!"

The arrival:

It arrived two days after Hillary told me I won her contest (thank you again, Hillary!!), with candy, typed instructions, and a handwritten thank-you, along with a sponge in the soap

The smell:

Tucker approves.

Bitsy is interested.
I got the limited edition cinnamint scent, and it's really lovely.  More minty than cinnamony, not overpowering, and a very nice scent to smell for an hour while you're cleaning tack

The candidates:

Foreground, Micklem with cheapo rubber/leather reins.  Used daily, cleaned semi-regularly.  Background, $30 painted India leather bridle that's been stored in the pile formation seen above since I got the Micklem in April.

2002 County Competitor, before being cleaned
The process: 
The instructions say to get the sponge wet, wring it out so it's not dripping, and swirl it around in the soap but not to expect any foam or lather.  This is the first amazing thing about this soap: no lather means it didn't get stuck in the buckle holes or in the braids of the braided reins.  It also meant that I could really get the rubber reins clean without them turning white and then sticky with lather.

Amazing thing #2: it took dirt off effortlessly.  No scrubbing, and the dirt seemed to just fall off of my tack.  Even the gunk on the stirrup bars came off almost in a single swipe.  Dirt that I thought couldn't come off with my regular saddle soap, or that I didn't know was dirt, was coming off.  Like:

The "Rambo Micklem" logo and the "Front" directive.  They nearly disappeared when I cleaned it with Higher Standards, but were always very visible after cleaning with my normal saddle soap.
Third amazing thing: dirt.  So much dirt.  On tack that is cleaned pretty often.  I was stunned that my normal soap left this much behind.


Squeeze and watch the dirt disappear down the drain, then back to the soap!

Here are the "after" photos.

Clean, supple, and not tacky in the least.  No need to go over it later with a rag like with the normal saddle soap I usually use.  This is my favorite part, besides the fact that it magically removes dirt.

Soft and clean - yes, I still don't have black leathers for this saddle.  Sorry.


Not going to turn the $30 painted India leather bridle into an Antares, but it does feel very clean and supple now, especially the braided reins.

I've not been able to get those rubber reins that clean the whole time I've owned them.

- The best at dirt removal - it's almost magical.
- Doesn't leave tack sticky
- Tack feels SO GOOD when you're done - it feels silky, almost.  I couldn't stop running my hands over my bridle and saddle when I was done.
- Doesn't clog buckle holes
- Makes cleaning braided reins easy instead of annoying
- Smells awesome
- Will last a long time - you can't even tell that I used any after cleaning one saddle and two bridles

You can't go wrong supporting a fellow equestrian who is an entrepreneur and putting out a seriously amazing product.  I wish her all the success in the world, and will be buying some of these as Christmas gifts!


  1. Very cool! Love supporting fellow equestrians in their businesses. This will make very nice gifts indeed :)

  2. So glad you liked it. You pretty much echoed my thoughts!

  3. Wheee! Thank you guys so very much! I'm so glad you like it!! :)

  4. I want some too! I use Oakwood cleaner and conditioner - but this stuff sounds amazing!

    1. Kelly - you will love this stuff. I like Oakwood but I love this stuff so much more!