PONY'TUDE Approved: Twofer Tuesday!

The Easter Bunny came early to my house this year, and brought me TWO presents!

My GPA New Extreme Helmet and Higher Standards Leather Care Soap both came in the mail yesterday! OH HAPPY DAY. I'll be reviewing both items for you today. Buckle up!

First up, the GPA New Extreme.

Oooohhh! Ahhhhh!
As most of you probably know, this purchase comes with a bit of a saga attached! My old GPA Titium is past its expiration date, and I had a fall in which I hit my head last summer, so it needed to be replaced. HOWEVER the new style Titiums don't fit the same way since GPA changed the shape of the helmet, so I was in a pickle. Plus GPA helmets are dang expensive, so I had to wait until I got a commission check from my job, which took FOREVER. (Thanks a lot super-slow listing broker.) But eventually I decided to take a leap of faith and order a GPA New Extreme from the lovely ladies at Farmhouse Tack.

Naturally, the helmet had to be special-ordered from the supplier because my head is so freakishly small that there were none in stock in my size, and the one that I ended up with was actually the VERY LAST ONE. Fate, y'all.

So after weeks of waiting and agonizing and calling up Farmhouse being a total pest, it's here!!

Fresh out of the box, my first impression was, "OH MY WORD I'M IN LOVE." The helmet has the same matte finish as the Speed Air, and a super-modern looking metal mesh grate over the front vents. I.e., I can clean it by spraying it with a hose or wiping it with a rag. The liner is also anti-microbial and anti-odor, which is pretty sweet. The vents are also much larger than the ones on the Titium, and there is actually some palpable airflow through those bad boys. When I rode in it for the first time, I thought my hair was falling out of the helmet, but then I realized that the lovely tickle I was feeling was air through the vents.

The fit is PERFECT. For all of you fellow round-headed riders out there, the New Extreme is where it's at! This helmet passed the Eyebrow-Wiggle and Upsidedown-Head Tests with flying colors, and is exactly as snug as it should be. After waiting about a month for it to come in, and spending a lot, I was definitely worried it wouldn't fit right. But it has the exact same fit as the old-school Titium. Halleluia!

One very happy customer!
Plus it looks KILLER. I absolutely love the sleek, modern look of this helmet! It's just different enough without being super flashy, and doesn't look like every other helmet out there these days. I was never one to roll with the crowd or follow trends anyway, so style-wise it's the perfect fit!

The only thing I can find to complain about is that GPA has seriously downgraded on the quality of the storage bags they include with their helmets. There is no logo, no exterior zipper pocket, and the fabric is a cheap swishy nylon instead of soft sueded fabric. A bit of a bummer after paying nearly $500, but the helmet itself is absolutely perfect. I'm very, very pleased with my purchase.

And now, the saddle soap that the ENTIRE INTERNET has been raving about. I wasn't going to order the Higher Standards Leather Care soap. I wasn't. I had found a product, Belvoir Leather Cleaner, that I really liked, and it was doing a good job cleaning my tack. I didn't need anything new. But then the last little bit of my Belvoir leaked out all over my tack cleaning bag, so I needed more cleaner. And by that time the hype had gotten the best of me, and I was curious, so I ordered a tub of Buzz's Citrus Ginger saddle soap.

This stuff smells awesome. Very gingery, light, and fresh. It smells like fresh-cut ginger root and lemons, and reminds me of my favorite tea. I kept opening the jar to sniff it before I even cleaned anything. The packaging and label are very nice, and incredibly professional for a "homemade" product. Plus the navy & silver logo matches all my stuff. Points for color coordination. Higher Standards shipped out my soap VERY quickly, and included a cute little instruction card, some mints, and a sponge with the soap. Five stars for customer service!

Now, to find out if Higher Standards lives up to the online hype. So many leather lovers are saying that this stuff is the best saddle soap ever. But is it true?

Before. Grody.
Yes. Yes it is. This soap is magical.

After! Soft and clean and lovely. 
My first victims for the Higher Standards soap were my paddock boots and half chaps. I wear them just about every day, and while I don't clean them after every ride, they do get well taken care of and are in pretty decent shape. I was SHOCKED at how much dirt came off of them. After working up all the dirt with the soap, it took no less than three damp sponge "rinses" to get it all off. The "before and after" photos here aren't that impressive, but what they can't capture is how lovely this soap makes the leather FEEL.

Before and After - Boots
There are a lot of products out there that claim to clean and condition leather, and in my experience all they do is make tack sticky and greasy. (*cough*horsemensonestepisthedevil*cough*)After using the Higher Standards soap to clean my boots and chaps, they were truly CLEAN - I hadn't just made the dirt wet and sticky - and the leather felt so soft, but not overly dry. The Belvoir spray I'd used previously does a bang-up job at cleaning, but you definitely need a follow-up with conditioner since it does have a bit of a stripping effect if you really go all-out with it. The Higher Standards ACTUALLY cleaned and conditioned the leather. Truly. I don't understand. It works! I put it to use on my bridle after riding as well, and it removed the noseband gunk with no scrubbing. Winner.  I'm not one to give in to hype, but Libby at Higher Standards has NAILED IT with this soap. A tub of her conditioning Balm is next on my wish list!


  1. I wasn't kidding when I said this soap was the bomb! :) everyone needs some!!

    1. DUDE. I really wasn't expecting to love it as much as I do! I'm still trying to get over the fact that it actually does what it says it does, and the hype is fo' real!

  2. Haha I may have to try some of this soap some day! After I run out of the gigantic jar of Albion soap my lovely mother bought me. Also I never experience sticky/greasy tack after using Horseman's One Step :(

  3. I love that soap. I just got a small trial size... so I really need to order a bigger size!

  4. Really like the helmet! I do have to try the Higher Standards saddle soap...

    1. I'm obsessed with the helmet, and you should really just give in and order the soap. You'll be hooked. I'm a tough sell, and I love this stuff! It totally lives up to the online buzz.

  5. I just ordered the soap!


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