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

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  • #61
    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
    I think this is a great question and something worth adding to the card that comes with the product. The how it should be used information never hurts. If a user has their own technique they can do that instead but the novice tack cleaner could always benefit from instructions.
    I think this is a great idea, because I have never mastered any personal technique and am always relying on instructions!


    • #62
      Which one is called "confidence"? It sounds like something I want on me, too!

      What are the other scent combinations known for?
      Intermediate Riding Skills


      • #63
        Being a straight Lexol gal, it took me a few tries and reading ithe nstructions above to get a handle on how to use the soap. The first time--didn't see what all the ruckus was about. However, as time goes on, I'm getting to like this more and more.

        It is at the barn and the other boarders (4) have been invited to try it also. I must state I am cleaning more take than usual, and maybe I'll actually start wiping stuff off every day as recommended.

        P.S. The paddock boots got their first cleaning in probably forever, and they looked much, much better.


        • #64
          Originally posted by Bensmom View Post
          Sure!! I do just as Yellowbritches mentioned earlier in the thread -- and I will clarify directions on the Etsy site and in packaging.

          Sponge needs to be wet thoroughly but not dripping. Wipe over soap in container, wipe tack (or scrub, depending on how dirty it is!) and wipe off any visible suds or residue, with the same damp sponge. (If one side is too loaded up with soap, I flip it to the other side and wipe off) Let dry and you can follow with a conditioner if your tack needs it -- since the soap is a conditioning soap, if you use it after every ride, you won't need to use an additional conditioner. If your tack is very bad, old or just dry, I would follow with a light coat of a conditioner.

          A daily wipe down with the soap is all most tack should need, though!

          Let me know if that helps!

          Originally posted by Bensmom View Post
          I do use oil afterwards -- either Neatsfoot, or hydrophane, or sometimes straight Lexol -- but only if I think the tack really needs it. Over-oiling can be as bad as being too dry for leather, so I do a light coat -- only enough that it soaks right in.
          Just the info I needed. I mean, different people have different ideas on how much water/moisture to use, how often or even whether to condition as well as clean, etc. -- so it was nice to have the detail from the soapmaker herself as to the best approach.

          I can drive myself batty wanting to clean every square millimeter, including areas around stitching -- but not wanting to leaving stitching with residue where it might rot. But I don't want it dry or the stitches might pull. And I want it to get it CLEAN but not dry it out. But not leave it too oily or slippery either ... sigh. You can see how an OCD person could get tied up in knots over a simple thing like tack cleaning! lol

          I think I'll try citrus ginger, although vanilla lavendar sounds very soothing.
          If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


          • #65
            I am so glad y'all let me know that the instructions would be helpful! Since it was developed to use in the way I've always cleaned tack, I didn't think about the fact that folks do it differently!

            I'll add the directions to all the packages that go out with the soap from now on!

            I was thinking that perhaps, rather than the scents being a variety of the soap, each scent should have its own listing. That way information about the horse it is named after could be included.

            The Confidence blend is an aromatherapy mixture that I sent out to one tester to see what she thought -- I am giving some thought to naming it after Woody, but couldn't make it catchy enough, so I launched without it!

            The other scents are just combinations that I have found through trial and error that smell good, and I named them after special horses. Therein lies the difficulty -- I think I either need to list the aromatherapy properties of all the choices or not use tags like "confidence" at all.



            I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
            Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


            • #66
              Originally posted by ACMEeventing View Post

              Hey, can we start an "I was an original saddle soap tester club?"
              YES. "I have Higher Standards... do you?"
              I have Higher Standards... do you?
              Apalachicola Native (Alfie), '02 TB Gelding,
              Wild Man of Borneo (Hank), '03 Redtick coonhound,
              Augustus McRae (Gus), '01 Bluetick coonhound


              • #67
                Ok, before and after pics of my boots!

                Click here it it will hopefully bring you to the public album I made in my Facebook page.

                The paddock boots weren't in such terrible shape, but they did need to be cleaned. The Fat Babies, however, were just really pitiful looking! Sad part is I wore them all winter looking like that! They are my errand-running boots in the rainy season! They look fantastic now, though!
                I have Higher Standards... do you?
                Apalachicola Native (Alfie), '02 TB Gelding,
                Wild Man of Borneo (Hank), '03 Redtick coonhound,
                Augustus McRae (Gus), '01 Bluetick coonhound


                • #68
                  Okay, here's my review. I don't have a photo stream account, but I took before/after pics (Bensmom, if you'd like them, please PM your email address).

                  1) Rosemary Mint scent is GREAT (my sniffer started working again today, woo hoo). Very earthy and not "fake" smelling at all. Also, not overpowering. I'm not usually a huge scented saddle soap person, but I really like this scent.

                  2) Dug a very old, crusty, dirty bridle out of my currently-out-of-rotation tack box and it cut through the toughest grime no problem (very surprised, actually, that it was so tough on crime...I thought with the silky texture and moisture that it wouldn't be quite so powerful...proved me wrong). I had planned to use my expensive Stubben conditioner to go over the bridle once it was clean, but the soap left is so moisturized that I felt no need. Very, very impressed.

                  3) I usually only condition my boots (no soap), but I have a nice pair of Ariat cowboy boots that I use around the barn when not riding, so I decided to give it a go. They are restored to a gorgeous, lustrous deep brown color. The boots have rhinestones and stud work and the soap left no residue around the studs. Wow, just wow.

                  Truly an impressive and superior product. I usually buy the fairly pricey Stubben saddle soap (my tack is mostly Stubben), but I would say that their soap is a 9/10 and this soap was a 10/10. This soap had more moisture and a nicer scent than my usual soap. It was basically a soap and conditioner in one. I've typically used two products to clean tack because the 2 in 1s don't give me the same results, but this product absolutely did, saving me time (and I would imagine money once it's on the market).

                  I'm very excited for you, but also need you to get this stuff out there ASAP so I can get more. I will not be able to go back now that I've tried it.

                  Congrats on a great product!!!


                  • #69
                    OK. You all have convinced me. I'm placing an order right now.
                    Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.


                    • #70
                      Oh, wow!

                      COTH is amazing! I cannot thank you enough for the reviews -- y'all keep bringing tears to my eyes!

                      I have sold almost every jar in the house! The new GIANT box of jars comes Monday, so I just reset the Etsy store to reflect that processing time would be 3-5 days -- so here is another question for y'all as shoppers -- if you were to go to the shop and see that, is that an issue, or would it make you wait to order?

                      I didn't want to ever have a shopper go to the shop and see it say "sold-out" but I only ordered two sets of jars to test. I also will have to use the silver lids I got to fill these orders -- they are so very pretty, but I think the actual product, I will stick with the white, since you can see the labels better. It doesn't affect the soap itself and the lid isn't different, just a different color. I had thought the new jars would be here and I wouldn't need to use the silver ones, but the response has been so tremendous, I have no choice!

                      I do love them, though -- I would go with those if I could get the labels to show up more clearly on them.

                      Thank you guys for being the best market research group ever! This proves that the way to develop a better mousetrap is to ask the folks that use the mousetraps the most!

                      I have been out of the market for saddle cleaner for so long -- when you make your own, why shop? -- that I had no idea the need for a good, simple, effective product was so strong. I did go to a tack shop in Ocala on the way home yesterday and discovered that I didn't really like anything that was available in this type of product. I either didn't like the container (I don't like the tin ones) or I didn't like the smell or the feel (one of them was a glycerin based soap in a container -- but it was really greasy feeling).

                      I'm glad y'all have liked the scents, too. I try to do them so they aren't too strong, and yet, it still smells good, rather than unpleasant.

                      Oh, and someone asked how long they will last -- I have a friend that I gave some to as a gift in January of 2007. She is still using it.

                      Now, this is not recommended -- but apparently even stored in her trailer, it has not gone bad or had issues. I've had Lexol in a bottle go bad stored in a trailer, so I was surprised it didn't turn or change at all in the last six years. At least that tells me if you don't clean your tack much (she's an endurance rider and most of her tack is beta) it can last you forever!

                      Thank you guys!

                      I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                      Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


                      • #71
                        Ordered some a day or two ago, I'm so excited to try it! Unfortunately I have to wait until I get home in a few weeks. But hey I'm already excited about cleaning tack for the first time, well, ever! So it's already a win in my book


                        • #72
                          Well, it's taken me a few days to have a few minutes to test the soap, but I finally found an hour and took to cleaning. Then, I kept cleaning, and I kept going because it was working so well that it was fun!

                          My horse sweats. A LOT. Now, I don't want to complain about it because I know there are people who would love to have their horse sweat more, but it's kinda nasty. It makes my tack nasty. I'm used to doing a lot of scrubbing, and I have been known to just dunk my bridles before I even get started cleaning.

                          I was super impressed with how little scrubbing was required to get vast amounts of caked on lather, sand, pollen, and assorted other nastiness off of the leather. I didn't wipe with a damp rag first (which I always do, but going on earlier reviews I decided to skip that), just applied with a damp sponge in a circular motion, and then I wiped it off with a towel. Everything was clean and smooth with no elbow grease!

                          I'm a tack cleaning product collector, and if you name it, I've probably used it at some point or during some phase of pony club ratings. So far, I'm very impressed with it (I like the rosemary mint scent, and would like to try the others), and I'm interested in seeing how it works with regular long term use.

                          Great product!!
                          "One thing vampire children have to be taught early is, don't run with a wooden stake."


                          • #73
                            Bensmom, I'm a lurker rather than a poster but have come out of lurkerdom to ask if you could please enable shipping to Australia on your Etsy site? I would love to use it (and recommend it to my Aussie friends).


                            • #74
                              I also a hoarder/collector of leather soaps and conditioners. Now, it appears, I must buy at least one more....


                              • #75
                                Ok, y'all international folks need to help me out -- I haven't put other countries on my list on the site, 'cause I don't know anything about sending overseas.

                                Do I need to do anything special when shipping internationally? Do I need to learn and understand customs? Help! If it is fairly easy to do, I'm happy to jump on that bandwagon!!
                                I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by Bensmom View Post
                                  Ok, y'all international folks need to help me out -- I haven't put other countries on my list on the site, 'cause I don't know anything about sending overseas.

                                  Do I need to do anything special when shipping internationally? Do I need to learn and understand customs? Help! If it is fairly easy to do, I'm happy to jump on that bandwagon!!
                                  You'll have to fill out a customs declaration at the post office. It's a simple form that basically just says what you're sending and what it's worth. There's not too terribly much to understand when shipping to a major country like australia.
                                  Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                  you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


                                  • #77
                                    Overseas shipping is no biggie, you'll just need their address. You'll fill out a short form saying what it is you're shipping and, of course, it will cost more. Not sure how long it would take to get to Australia. My recent bout of lots of shipping to Saudi Arabia took about 3 weeks on average. Since Australia is further but with a better postal system, my guess is it would take about that long. Just a guess, though.

                                    ETA: Whoops, see soloudinhere beat me to it


                                    • #78
                                      I got my sample yesterday. My allergies have hit me full force so I can't smell anything Today I mostly stayed in bed (my allergies basically congest my whole head and make my eyes and nose run like crazy and my throat scratchy and I just downright feel awful) but miraculously mustered the strength to shower and go the barn to treat G's hooves and finally shorten her mane. And then I came home and was overcome with malaise (i exaggerate). But I will definitely be cleaning my saddle, which needs it and my leathers need to be flipflopped and my bridle can probably use it again, as she sweats just standing there once Spring hits, until Fall arrives, and I definitely want to clean her new leather halter....and I guess while I'm at it, I'll do my boots again Lordy I've given myself quite a task now. I do need to pick up little round sponges tomorrow, too.
                                      Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
                                      Facebook me!

                                      I have Higher Standards ...do you?


                                      • #79

                                        You said that your saddle fitter loved the soap. Can you use her/him as another outlet, either with tiny samples to include with saddles or using him/her as a retail source? Also, maybe you can send info sheets plus order sheets along with him/her.


                                        • #80
                                          I've actually starting exploring that avenue, as well as sending another sample home with a different saddle fitter this week -- I think that would be an excellent idea!

                                          My own trainer is a fitter, though not working actively at the moment, and she loves it, but she is buying her saddles through the first one I mentioned, so she isn't selling anything or seeing clients of her own. Which is a darn shame, as she is good at it and I'd have a built in vice-president in charge of distribution, as she adores the stuff!

                                          I think the link in y'all's sig lines is so great! Even made my DH laugh out loud a few minutes ago!

                                          Thank you!!!!
                                          I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                          Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap