I was given a whole sackful of Effol and Effax products at the Boyd Martin clinic I attended. Up until I started writing this, I thought it was all the same brand name, despite the fact that I kept calling it by whatever product I was holding at the time (I was wondering why I seemed to keep getting the name wrong), but apparently it is two different ones. But since their websites look identical, and they have the same mailing address, I’m going to assume they are from the same parent company. But just to be doubly sure, I checked the information that came with it, and they are the same company. Effax is a line of leather care products by Effol. (I’m sure you are all greatly concerned by these details.)
I have never used any of these products, so what better time to test them all out! Here goes…
My bridle was due for a good cleaning, so I brought out the Leather-Combi. Not that I usually judge my leather care products by smell, but this stuff smells kind of like nail polish remover. It also looks like nail polish remover – It’s a thin, clear liquid, basically water. Not what I’m used to in a leather cleaning product, I usually use a soap bar, or sometimes a cream. But, I poured it on my sponge and got to work. It lathered up more than I expected, and I got used to the smell after a while. Here are the results:
It was very clean, and not at all greasy. And then once it was completely dry, it was really, really smooth. I was enjoying just touching the leather afterward. Nice, smoooooth leather. It seemed like it did its job, plus if I kept rubbing it, it became shinier. But for the real shine…
This product looked like a proper leather cleaner. It is a jar of a soap-like substance, and it smells appropriately. The catalog describes it as containing a combination of lanolin, avocado oil and beeswax, leaving leather with a brilliant shine and giving it a special smell. Let’s check out the results!
I liked it. I can understand why it’s a best seller, and it does give a gorgeous shine. I don’t think the pictures justify it. It made my bridle so beautiful! It looked better than it had looked new. I had a really good shine on there from rubbing it. I’m now a believer – I must have this product for ever and ever. Luckily, even though I was only given a sample size, it took such a tiny amount to shine up my bridle, this is going to last me a long time.
I am really loving the leather care products this company makes, and I think I’ll keep on buying them.
This product is listed as “New” in the catalog, and claims to clean synthetic, patent leather and rubber surfaces, removing stubborn dirt and making them dirt repellent. It says it will make patent leather look like new. This immediately makes me want to test my patent leather dressage bridle, but the product says it’s for boots, and I don’t want to be breaking any rules.
So instead, I pulled out my pair of very old, dirty tall boots that I haven’t wore in years. There was a moment when the spray bottle design had me confused, and I almost sprayed myself. But luckily, I figured it out and pointed it at the boots instead. It’s an interesting way to class up the standard spray bottle!
If I thought the other cleaner smelled like nail polish remover, it had nothing on this product. This smelled so awful, I was wondering if I should put on a face mask. My dog gave me a disgusted look and moved away. Every time I squirted more, I had to hold my breath until it the droplets all settled.
Let’s see how it did!
It took a lot of scrubbing to clean up those boots, and they still have bits of dirt stuck to them. I’m undecided on this product. The smell is terrible, and there’s likely other products out there that will do the same or better job without making me want a face mask. But, it’s possible if I’d spent more time shining, I could have gotten a better shine.
Sidenote – If anyone wants a pair of recently cleaned Ariat tall boots, size 8.5 full calf, used for about 6 months, 5 years old, let me know and they can be yours.
Effol Riders’ Body Lotion
I love lotion, as I can’t stand to have dry skin. I’m always pleased when I get more lotion! So I smeared this right on. Immediately, it felt like I’d been swimming in the ocean, and hadn’t rinsed off. It says it includes sea salt in the ingredients, and that seems to be true. However, I don’t like the feeling of going around all day like I’d been swimming in the ocean. It’s not a moisturizing feeling, it’s a dry feeling.
Despite my great urge to immediately shower, I held out, since I literally showered before putting this on. After a few minutes I forgot about it, and was wandering around my house. Then I realized I could smell dog pee in my house, so I began seeking the source. After several minutes of making passive aggressive comments at the dogs and searching, I realized it wasn’t the dogs, it was this lotion.
But in the lotion’s defense, when I told Dave, he gave it a sniff and said it smelled fine to him. But still… I haven’t used it since, and I’m never using it again.
Effol Riders’ Body Wash
This one is the total opposite of above. It smells amazing! There’s no picture because it now lives in my shower. I’m not one of those people that can describe smells, so you’ll just have to find a bottle, and take a sniff. I think you’ll like it!
Effol White Star Spray Shampoo
This product is for cleaning up those white areas. Due to the container, I thought it was a dry shampoo, and was pretty excited about easy dry cleaning, but then I realized it’s nearly shampoo of the normal variety. The directions say to spray on a “damp coat”. I guess that works better, since I don’t have hot water in the barn. My initial thought of cleaning Vintage was discarded, since she’s an entire horse, and I went for something much, much easier. The only spot of chrome that any of my horses have: Pony Man’s tiny white sockette.
This is literally the first time I have scrubbed off this tiny sock. He gets baths, but I’ve never given it much attention. Now, it is time to make it the whitest it can be.
When I started scrubbing, Pony Man froze in fear, and his little eyes bugged out of his head. It might be cruel, but since he’s so small, his fear was hilarious and kind of adorable. While he was frozen, I could still continue washing him, so I persisted, and he eventually realized I was not about to murder him.
The soap foams up purple, and I could see all the dirt coming up, and his little sock getting whiter. Let’s see the final result!
Not too shabby! It was so white, I could see the pink skin underneath, and it really didn’t take much scrubbing at all. I like this product!
I barely ever use shine products because I don’t like how they make my horse’s coat dry afterward. Plus, I’m not sure they really do all that much. But Pony Man was bravely volunteered to test this product out.
I groomed him up, using lots and lots of elbow grease. He was about as clean as I could get him without giving him an actual bath. Again, too cold for that currently. Then I sprayed one side of him with the shiner. Then I did my best to set him up similarly on both side to show off the shine. Now, you tell me, which side is shinier?
I’ll give you a few moments to compare…
And the sprayed side is….
Is that surprising to you, or what you expected?
Looking at the photos now though, I feel like it’s more apparent than it was when I was taking the photos. At that time, there really didn’t appear to be any difference between the two sides. But I guess it was more subtle, and I can tell now there’s a more defined sheen on his sprayed side, and his coat color seems richer.
And the best part – I keep checking for dry skin, and a few days later, he was still slick, with no dandruff. I really like that!
Effol Mouth Butter
This product is used to make the bit feel nicer in the horse’s mouth, protect a sensitive mouth, and nourish the tender corners. It also claims to increase riding quality by 75%. I’m not quite sure how it’s possible to measure such a thing, but I decided to try it anyway.
Berry seemed pretty happy with it. She rode nicely, quietly, and was a good, good girl. Then the next two times, when I rode without it, she became a crazy witch. Coincidence?!
There were a few more products in the sack, but I am still undecided on them. One is a wound spray, but my horses have no wounds to test it on. Effol Summer Hoof-Gel is another, and it looks like it will be nice to use. I’m still trying to figure out how to dethrone the abscess queen, so if this ends up being the answer, I’ll mention it later on in the summer. The catalog says it’s ideal for horses with hard to normal hooves, ensuring elasticity of the hoof, and preventing it from becoming brittle.
But looking through the catalog, there are a few more products I’d like to try. One is Effol Winter-Hoof-Gel, which is guaranteed to prevent damp hooves in winter. After having Berry’s hoof literally fall apart this past winter, I’m eager for a product that will keep them dry.
Are you a fan of any of these products?