From Endurance to Dressage
Most of you have heard about the Higher Standards Leather Care Products. I am late to the party. Maybe you are, too.
Libby, the owner and creator of Higher Standards, contacted me and asked if I'd like to review her products. I was honest with her and said that I don't typically do that kind of thing for fear of not liking the product in question. I kind of make it a point to only write good things about other people and products. You know the adage, If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. She was willing to take the risk and mailed me a container of her soap and conditioner.
The leather soap comes with a nice little tack sponge that can be stored inside the tub. The soap itself is a soft solid, similar in density to Chapstick. When you wipe it with a sponge, only a thin layer of the product is lifted. I imagine that it lasts for quite a while, even with daily use. Libby sent me "Ben's Rosemary Mint" which had a light, clean smell that wasn't "perfumey."
I try to clean my leather after every ride, but in all honesty, it's probably more like every three out of five rides. The day I used the soap, Sydney's bridle had been used at a clinic and Speedy's had been used several times since its last cleaning. They weren't particularly gunky, but they needed to be cleaned. I followed the directions as printed.
The directions say: "sponge should 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 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, follow with a light coat of a conditioner. Designed for daily use. Contains glycerin, fats and essential oils."
I was really pleased with how little pressure I needed to use to wipe off the dirt and sweat. It seemed as though the soap just melted the dirt right off the leather. Once I had gone over the bridle from top to bottom, I did it again with just a clean, damp sponge, rinsing the sponge after every few strokes.
I left that bridle to dry while I went and rode. When I came back, the leather was super clean with zero residue or stickiness. It actually felt brand new, out of the box clean. I was pretty impressed. I usually use Effax's Leather Soap, and while I like the soap's conditioning properties, I don't always like the little bit of gumminess that it leaves behind.
I followed the cleaning with an application of the conditioner, but I definitely need to use that a few more times to decided whether or not I like it. I will do a later review of that product. Since I've only used the leather soap once, I don't know how well it actually conditions. I'll need to use it for a few weeks to see. But as a cleaner, it sure did a nice job.
A one time use doesn't usually give you a true sense of the efficacy of a product, especially in leather care. With that said, I can definitely suggest that you add the leather soap to your leather care routine. I haven't had a chance to use it on really dirty leather, and probably never will as I never let my leather get that dirty, but for daily cleaning, Higher Standards Leather Care can be recommended to leave your leather feeling clean and smooth.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read