You know those greasy, sticky globs of dirt that develop when you don't clean your tack real regularly? You have to scrape them off with your fingernails, or if they're really bad, a butter knife?
THOSE are jockeys!
Yeah, those bastards. The ones on the saddle are definitely jockeys, the ones on the bridle actually look like little bubbles in the leather (which would make sense given the relative cleaning time devoted to each piece of tack- I've been obsessing about that darn bridle) which would explain why I haven't been able to get them up. Incidentally, the side of a dental pick works wonders on getting them up, if you can get over the fear of stabbing your tack by accident.
I was pleased with how my bridle felt the day after cleaning- it often either feels dry or feels sticky (depending on what I've used on it- this is really unhappy leather here) and it felt nice to the touch. A little tacky on some of the pieces that are inclined to get that way, but an improvement over what I'd been using.
As for the saddle, I usually give it a day off after I do the balsam thing to make sure it really absorbs everything, so I didn't even look at it yesterday.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I received my package today!! Thank you soo much!!! I will give away one piece as a present to my polo instructor and will kerp one piece for myself.. It smells very pleseant and look forward to use it!!!
For those that like a lather, I used it with a regular little tack sponge, the kind that comes in packs, and it lathered wonderfully with those, I think because it's rougher than the nice sponge that came with the soap!
Went and felt up a bridle I did last weekend, still so soft and .... Soft!
Just placed my order! Beyond excited! I have a weakness for fine leather goods and hoard many, many bridles, martingales, girths, and my 2 saddles.
If I love this as much as I think I will, you will have a frequent customer for life! I also have a long list of friends who are dying to try it based on how it works out for me! Congrats on all of your success thus far!
subk -- Stackhouse? Really?!! You did, of course, tell him that you knew of a new product that he needed to suggest with every new sale, right? Right?!!
I'm so glad you guys are pleased -- hundredacres, with your soap expertise, I can't wait to see what you think!
Spacytracy -- I know which sponges you mean, and those are actually the ones I usually use, because Jeffers sells them in colors too and I can keep separate the ones I use for bits from the ones I use for tack and they do lather quite a lot with those!
I didn't pick those sponges, because I would then stress to make sure that people got the "right" color sponge, and that would be impossible! Sometimes the OCD is not a good thing . . .
So I am really impressed. My usual routine is Stubben glycerin soap followed by Passier Lederbalsam. I have had lots of comments over the years on how nice my tack looks, and I have some tack that is REALY old. Also, I was Pony Club DC for 5 years, so I am a hard sell. I used the soap on some web reins that I got fed up with and threw in the washing machine. I had cleaned them with Stubben soap afterwards, but they were still really stiff. I cannot remember if I had conditioned them. I wasn't sure what to do with them as they were still so stiff, so they were hanging on a tack hook in the basement all winter. Well, after just one cleaning with your soap, they look much better, and more importantly, feel much better. I even took them out to the barn where I worked on them some more. I think that I can salvage them thanks to you! And they are nice KL Select reins, so that is a good thing.
Also used the soap on both my Micklems on the chin straps that are so hard to keep clean. Straps were nice and soft next day, which is the true test, and sensitive horsey did not get a rub from the soap. Do you rinse it off for flash straps etc?
Finally did my poor dressage saddle which has been ignored all winter and it looks lovely.
Thanks so much!
1) already asked above, but do you rinse it off the flash straps to prevent horsey irritation or no?
2) will it degrade rubber reins like Lederbalsam, etc.?
These two flexed pieces are the long strap that goes over the noseband (an aftermarket repair, English bridle leather, about a year old) and the crownpiece. Note that one of them looks terrible and the other does not. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2.../IMG_09431.jpg
I don't have decent before and after pictures of the saddle. It does look much better after a good coat of balsam, so maybe that was all it wanted in its life. The "after" shots of other pieces of the bridle also didn't come out well, between the dust in my phone's lens and the tack room lighting; I'll try again.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
IFG -- I've never had a problem with it irritating skin, and I had one of those horses like Yellowbritches' Toby that was sensitive to everything, but I am not going to say that it *can't* happen. So, my advice on the flash strap would be to go with your gut on it. You know your horse better than anyone else. And on the question about it possibly degrading rubber -- since it does have oils in it, I try to NEVER have it get on rubber reins. I've never had it "melt" rubber, but I did have lederbalsam do it years ago, and I've been scared off of letting anything get on rubber reins but plain water ever since.
Renn -- thank you for the before and after pictures! I am hoping the issue with your saddle was a one time thing, never to recur again! I love all the photos!
Thank you guys for your feedback -- it really makes my day!
I got mine on Monday and, while I haven't had a chance to clean much so far, I am really, really liking it. I've wiped my paddock boots down with it every night and I think it has actually done a better job than my beloved Effax Ledercombi! Also used it on my half-chaps that have been sitting around unused for almost two years and it did a lovely job--they're nice and soft and pliable now.
The scent is very subtle--I got the vanilla lavender and I actually don't smell any vanilla, just a light lavender scent. I have to admit that I am a bit of a vanilla junkie, so I would *love* a really strong vanilla bean or Tahitian vanilla scent! But the lavender is very nice. I'm looking forward to trying the other scents, as well.
I will get pics and do a full write-up on my blog and then post the link here, hopefully sometime in the near-future.
Just wanted to add, Libby, that I had a hard time finding you on FB. I searched for Higher Standards soap, and then leather care, and when nothing came up I actually came onto this thread and clicked onto your link to find you and "like" you. I didn't realize you were listed as Higher Standards Farm, so that was just a little confusing, at least for me.
Just wanted to also add in regards to the scent, that I went into the barn 2 days after cleaning stuff and I can still smell the lovely rosemary mint, but not in an obnoxious way. Just a nice, fresh smell.
Ok, sorry if I'm coming off stalkerific. But I used the stuff on my leather steering wheel and shifter, and WOWSA! So nice! The sponge was so nasty after doing that. 12 years of my hand dirt on that leather, and now its soft, smooth, and best of all, clean! And my stinky car smells better too. Bonus!
I took pictures, of course!!! Will post them once I get them off my phone.
And, since I've been thanking everyone else for their reviews, I thought I should add that I finally got out to clean my own tack this afternoon. Way back when, someone asked me if I put anything in the soap to retard mold or mildew -- I don't, but I am pleased to report that you can lock your tack up in the horse trailer, during a humid Florida Spring, and since the saddles were mostly clean when they were last put away, they were not very bad today. Even my one saddle that I fight a moldy/mildewy problem with regularly wasn't bad today, so maybe y'all are right and this is good stuff!
So, now, I just have to USE my tack and actually ride my horse!
I really do like this soap. It is super easy to use, and the more I use it, the more I like it. Thanks so much! Oh, and, so far, it has not irritated Mr. Sensitive under his chin (from the Micklem chin strap). In fact, I think he is happy that the strap is finally soft. I had not been able to find any soap before this that I could use on the chin strap without irritating him. So I had taken to wiping it down with a damp cloth after every ride. That left it clean, but stiff and uncomfortable. Your soap leaves it clean and soft.