After reading about it on the COTH forums, I purchased a new saddle cleaning product: Higher Standards Custom Leather Care. I’m sort of a saddle soap junkie; always trying new things and looking for the next best one. This is going in my must have list.
I ended up purchasing the rosemary/mint scent and eagerly awaited it. The soap came fast but sadly the lid was cracked.
The maker had been using up some extra jars with a different lid so as not to make people wait and I ended up getting one of those. I think the harsh edge of the silver lid just didn’t hold up in the shipping. I actually wasn’t too concerned because I could still completely seal the soap but I did send the maker a note just so she knew there might be issues with other silver jars. To my surprise she offered to send me another jar of soap! So I decided to pick the vanilla/lavender.
To start with, the scent is perfect. It smells wonderful but in no way is it over powering. I actually have to hold the jar of soap up to my nose to smell it. The smell does not stick to the leather (or to my hands) at all. So if you’re not a big fan of smelly products or are worried about bugs, don’t let that put you off trying this.
The first time I used this, I didn’t have many pieces to work with as all my tack was in NV. But I did have one very dirty and disgusting piece of leather: spur straps! I am terrible, I never clean these things.
The soap doesn’t lather like I’m used to but it cleans fantastically. Not only does it get the grime of with minimal scrubbing, it also does a good job of conditioning the leather. My straps felt nice and soft afterwards.
Since then I have used them on every piece of my leather tack and gotten the same great results. For me this is more of an every day leather cleaner (something I have been less then perfect about keeping up with) rather than a deep before show cleaner or a conditioner. Although it did a good job with everything I put it on, if I had something really stiff I’d imagine I’d still want to use oil to really soften it.
The thing that really stood out about this product compared to any other saddle soap I’ve used is that it leaves no sticky residue on my hands! That alone makes it a must have for me. Similarly it also doesn’t leave residue on my tack.
All in all, this product gets a thumbs up from me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually run out of even one of my jars but I’ll be buying more when I do!