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Bensmom saddle soap - the review thread (if that's okay with Bensmom)

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  • I got to use it twice over the past few days, and I'd recommend it to others. It has a clean, subtle scent.

    And it's durable in the jar I left the jar of soap in a hot car all afternoon (oops!), and it retained its shape and texture nicely. No melting, no mess, no separating.

    My tack is in pretty good shape and I clean it fairly regularly, and this is how the soap worked for me:

    I especially liked how my Micklem bridle felt after a cleaning. The leather was soft and supple with a little shine without any hint of grease or buildup.

    The soap also did a nice job on my Quillin halter, which has more of an oiled finish to it. My paddock boots and half chaps also cleaned up well.

    For my saddle (a newish Kent & Masters, which incidentally, I'm really liking so far), I will continue to follow up each cleaning with a separate leather conditioner since it needs a little help softening up as it breaks in.

    It looks like it will be a nice addition to my tack cleaning kit, and I'll follow it with a heavier conditioner for the items that need a little extra TLC.

    I also plan to give it as gifts in the future.
    Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Instagram

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    • Late to the party but super impressed with what I'm reading. How do I buy this magical stuff???
      \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Quinn View Post
        Late to the party but super impressed with what I'm reading. How do I buy this magical stuff???
        You can purchase it here! Bensmom has the link in her signature!
        http://www.etsy.com/shop/HigherStandardsFarm

        Comment


        • I just put in an order today for myself. I can hardly wait to try it. Thanks Bensmom!!

          Comment


          • For what it's worth, I'm the one whose saddle reacted poorly the first time I used this soap. Apparently the saddle just freaked out because it was in want of balsam. I cleaned it again today and it did just fine.
            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

            Comment


            • Finally cleaned my tack yesterday and while, after reading this thread, it would be too easy to oversell this stuff and assume it will fix your tack, walk the dog, and pay your board, I was still ridiculously happy. For me the keys were the nice smell, how my hands felt afterwards, AND how dirt that I just assumed was now a part of my tack was removed without extreme measures. There is still some dirt that will require extra effort (I guess those jockeys mentioned above), but it cleaned up a bunch that my previous soap did not.

              Sooo, Bensmom, when will you be inventing an equally awesome conditioner?
              Although this soap definitely left my tack feeling soft, I doubt I will ever be able to totally get away without conditioning in dry dry dry CO, and the thought of getting my nice soft hands all greasy and stinky after using your soap was disheartening. You know, something to work on in your free time......

              Comment


              • Renn, I am SO glad to hear that your saddle did fine the second time around. Whew! I was worried!

                Fawkes -- I know what you mean -- I was tempted to claim it would do your taxes too, but I figured y'all would call me out on that

                And so glad to hear it didn't melt in the car -- DH is always worried about that, but I've never had it happen!

                Time for more feedback -- if there was a conditioner, would you prefer liquid, balm, or lotion-esq consistency? Hmmmmmmm.
                *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                **********************************
                I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                Comment


                • I vote balm.

                  Comment


                  • I used mine for the first time today - I got both Vanilla Lavender and Citrus Ginger, and used the Citrus Ginger. Scent is very subtle - if anything, I wouldn't mind a bit more. Didn't mind the lack of lather, I could tell from the sponge that dirt was lifting away (I do clean my tack every ride, so no jockeys or build up to judge on), less to wipe off while cleaning, and nothing felt tacky afterwards. Everything (Barnsby saddle, Beval girth, Dover breastplate, Horseware bridle, Ariat boots and half chaps) felt nice after using the soap. Happy so far!

                    And I also vote balm.

                    Comment


                    • The products labelled "balm" in my possession have the consistency of a thick lotion. Is that what you're going for?

                      My vote is "whatever ends up absorbing the best." I don't tend to care for liquids as much because I find they like to run off rather than really sit into the leather. I also find thicker conditioners like balsams hard to work in. So, my vote is for something no "thinner" in consistency than, say, olive oil, and no thicker than butter. How helpful isn't that?

                      I gave my low quality schooling bridle another going over with the soap yesterday, after I used that to hack out the pony because I expected to get rained on... and boy did Mother Nature deliver while we were out in the back field. I'll be darned- the thing really is softer. And I don't think it was because of the rain.
                      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                      Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                      Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                      Comment


                      • Renn -- that feedback is extremely helpful!

                        I ordered the ingredients that will make up a balm yesterday. I am just a little nervous because I had 9 years of product/field testing with the soap, so I had fewer concerns about offering it for sale -- especially after COTH tested it!

                        But a new product will make me more nervous, so I guess we will have to accelerate testing! If the new materials come by Friday, I will make a test batch on saturday and we'll see! But, I'm thinking the consistency of soft or whipped butter -- in fact, I wonder if whipping it would work? To the consistency of a whipped body butter?

                        Incidentally, the recipe I'm going to work with is also "good as a body balm" for people! So you could condition your hands, and your saddle! I want it to smell pleasant tho -- so that will require some fiddling.
                        *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                        **********************************
                        I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                        Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                        Comment


                        • I got mine last week ... Vanilla Lavender. My mare wears a leather halter
                          for turnout, and I used it on that. It's older and has been rained on and such
                          for a year or so now. The soap did bring the color back up - but I do think
                          this muchly-abused piece of leather needs a good conditioning every so often
                          too.

                          It was great on my leather girth and my leather breastcollar ... got that icky
                          sweat off it and left it feeling very nice. I mostly ride with a synthetic Tack-a-tack
                          bridle, but do have a nice one that I use in the ring when mare is not sweating
                          so much. It did a nice job on that too.

                          And best of all it is encouraging me to keep up with my tack cleaning a little better
                          LOL ... we all know how that is.

                          For the conditioner - I love the consistency of Lederbalsm, but dislike the greasiness
                          that sometimes happens. So something thicker than a lotion, but not too 'goopy' so
                          that it gunks up everything, would be fantastic.

                          Thanks !

                          Comment


                          • Ah, I was thinking the same thing! I like the consistency of Lederbalsam, but not the greasiness -- so I will experiment with my ingredients and see what I come up with! (and I love the tack-a-tack products!! I have several neat things Tara made for me )
                            *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                            **********************************
                            I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                            Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                            Comment


                            • Oooooo... conditioner! That would be lovely. I have been using Lederbalsam, but agree that the slight greasiness is a turn off. Plus, it can be a bit sticky the day after using (which irritates me because I just cleaned and conditioned my tack and then every dust particle/bit of hair in the barn sticks to my saddle). And that is one of the big bonuses to me of your cleaner - it makes leather soft, but isn't sticky. I like the idea of a soft butter consistency for conditioner. Not sure about whipped - my experience with whipped butter and yogurt tells me that you get less product for the volume then Hmm.. the Udderly Smooth Udder Cream sitting on my desk right now has a very good consistency that would be nice.

                              Since I'm posting anyway, I'll update again. I think I have seriously turned into a tack cleaning phene... I have been cleaning my saddles and bridles/breast collars after every ride. I have also already cleaned my paddock boots again (you know, the ones that previously were only cleaned maybe once a year) since it is so easy and takes such little time. Wore my new paddock boots and half chaps last night to break them in (thank you Rolex shopping!) and cleaned both after. All of my leather stuff loves me right now
                              I have Higher Standards... do you?

                              "For the love of my horse, I know who I am."

                              Comment


                              • I let my trainer use it...and it disappeared into her trunk of cleaning products! I don't think she's giving it back, so I'll just have to order my own now if she's serious about keeping it. It got good marks in the barn for the nice smell, and another woman rubbed her fingers in/on it and then rubbed her fingers together and said she really liked the way it felt.
                                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                Comment


                                • I just placed an order for vanilla/lavender .
                                  Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                  Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                  VW sucks.

                                  Comment


                                  • I'm anticipating loving this soap, so can I put in a request for a vanilla/citrus scent?
                                    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                    VW sucks.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Bensmom View Post
                                      But a new product will make me more nervous, so I guess we will have to accelerate testing! If the new materials come by Friday, I will make a test batch on saturday and we'll see! But, I'm thinking the consistency of soft or whipped butter -- in fact, I wonder if whipping it would work? To the consistency of a whipped body butter?

                                      Incidentally, the recipe I'm going to work with is also "good as a body balm" for people! So you could condition your hands, and your saddle! I want it to smell pleasant tho -- so that will require some fiddling.
                                      Bensmom, a local soapmaker that I'm a big fan of sells a whipped soap (for people) product that's LOVELY - he just sells it in a tub (like the ones you get deli salads in), instead of a bar. I think that its the same soap base as his bar soaps, and that he uses a drill with a mixer attachment to whip it. It's interesting because it's fluffy, but still has body - very much like the consistency of whipped butter (but it doesn't melt, of course!).

                                      Also love the idea of having something that would work as a body balm, too - and if it works out, I have a couple of knitter friends who would probably love it!

                                      Comment


                                      • Ok -- for you international folks, I have added shipping to Canada and Australia as those are the ones that were requested! I am hoping that I've correctly calculated postage and set it up correctly!

                                        So excited to work on a balm this weekend!
                                        *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                                        **********************************
                                        I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                        Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                                        Comment


                                        • I would like to try some, but it's showing $19.00 to ship one container of soap to Ontario? That seems excessive...plus we might get dinged for taxes at Customs too. I guess I'll have to live vicariously through everybody else.
                                          I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

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