So I have a pair of boots.
They’re my favorite boots. Maybe my favorite shoes. They’re comfortable, cute, and have seen me through everything from engagement parties to quail hunts.
But they’re pretty well beat up.
Worn ragged might be the more appropriate term. But I love them, and I don’t want a new pair. I’ve tried mink oil, but that didn’t do the trick. It just made them kind of sticky and a weird color.
Also, they probably need a little vacation to the cobbler, but that’s neither here nor there.
HIGHER STANDARDS FARM LEATHER CARE
A few months ago, sweet Libby at Higher Standards Farm reached out to me about purchasing a candle from The Refinery. Just down the road in Greensboro, Florida, Libby is a fellow attorney with a much more fun side gig/professional hobbyist. As you can imagine, Libby and I became fast friends. Knowing that I loved all things handmade, she told me about the leather care products she makes in small batches and sells in her free time.
I’m no equestrian, but I have plenty of leather items that could use some TLC – first and foremost my beloved boots – so I gave it a try.
LOVE AT FIRST SUDS
They’re not looking good as new, but who wants boots without a little character? ;) I used the saddle soap first with the provided sponge, then rinsed them off, then rubbed in the leather conditioner.
It is the only leather conditioner I’ve ever used that didn’t leave a weird-feeling residue on the leather. Plus it smelled great and made the leather so soft and supple!
From Libby’s Etsy Shop, because she says it better than I could say it myself:
Back in 2003, while looking for a Christmas gift to give my barn friends, I decided to experiment with making saddle soap. I found a recipe, and began to tinker with it, researching different essential oils, and working on scent combinations. It was fun and challenging, and the soap worked really well!
The following spring, I developed a terrible crush on Karen O’Connor’s mount, Upstage, or “Woody,” owned by Dick & Vita Thompson. I was entranced by the story of the “little horse that could,” and I just loved his personality.
During Rolex week, I sent a care package to Kentucky for Woody and his “staff.” In that package was a container of my handmade soap. I was stunned a couple months later, when Karen’s excellent longtime groom, Max Corcoran asked for more of my soap, saying it was wonderful stuff.
For the next nine years, I made the soap for Max as she needed them, and shared it with other friends. So far, my soap has been to the Pan Ams, the World Equestrian Games, the Hong Kong and London Olympics, Rolex, Badminton, Burghley and many other top venues.
And now, the soap used by one of the best upper level grooms in the business is available to the rest of us, from entry level all the way to the top!
After many requests, Libby also began making the leather balm/conditioner. All of her soap scents are named after favorite horses, such as Buzz’s Citrus Ginger, Ben’s Rosemary Mint, and Fox’s Vanilla Lavender.
GET THE DIRT ON THE SOAP
I seriously can’t get over how amazing my boots feel after using Higher Standards Leather Care. I can see myself using this for the rest of my boots, leather bags, dog leashes and collars, and all manner of leather goods that aren’t related to horses the least little bit. I can only imagine how great this would be for those of you who actually use the saddle soap on saddles!
Many thanks to Libby for being super sweet and a new friend, for introducing me to this great product, and for saving my boots. :)
For more information on Higher Standards Leather Care, visit:
Higher Standards’ Etsy Shop
Higher Standards on Facebook
Higher Standards on Twitter