BY JESS CLAWSON
Today’s equestrians are health-conscious and environmentally-aware animal lovers who want the best for themselves and their four-legged companions. As equestrians, we have all become more educated about the importance of what we feed ourselves, our horses, and our dogs because we know that it’s very important to our health to eat and feed the best.
Virtue Soap Company wants to do the same for soap. Using the highest quality soaps matters, not only because of the environmental impact of what we’re using, but because quality ingredients are the best for animals and humans alike.
Virtue Soap Company soaps contain only all-natural ingredients – there is nothing synthetic in them. This is important to the creators because the skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it. So using products with no harsh chemicals or harmful ingredients is part of good health.
Gail Goldman founded the Virtue Soap Company with that in mind – the need for quality skincare products for humans. Then, her long-time friend Carol DeLacy (a rider, trainer, and USEF R judge) asked her about formulating quality products for horses and dogs. Horses and dogs benefit from the same all-natural healthy ingredients as do the humans bathing them.
Gail and Carol have put as much consideration into the scrubber as they have into the soap itself. The soap comes in a mesh bag that helps promote lather, so no sponge is needed, and is attached to a reusable wrist lanyard. This makes it easy to hold on to – the soap is more effective on the horse than on the wash stall floor. It also makes it possible to hang the soap to dry between uses. As opposed to sponges, loofahs, and washing mitts, the scrubber does not promote bacteria growth and is recyclable.
Virtue soap works beautifully on horses who need to look their shiny best. Users have found that it whitens their horses’ white legs beautifully and without harsh ingredients. Many leg- and tail-whitening hacks work, but employ harsh chemicals that can be hard on the horse’s skin and hair. Virtue Soaps won’t dry out the skin and hair.
Their dog soaps come in the same delivery system with a finer mesh bag. It was important to Gail and Carol to put the same care into their products for dogs.
Both of them have rescue dogs and strongly believe in the importance of fostering and rescuing animals. Accordingly, they have chosen to partner with Danny and Ron’s Rescue, a Wellington, Florida and Camden, South Carolina-based dog rescue company founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by long-time horsemen Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta. It was a natural connection between the two groups. “They’re horse people doing dog rescue,” Carol says, “and we know we can trust them.”
Carol and Gail believe that giving back to animals is important because animals have given so much to them. Gail explains, “The basic premise of the whole Virtue product line is that you’re caring for yourself and others. So when I’m fortunate, I should pay it forward in honor of those who helped me over the years.”
Virtue soaps for people are available with or without the mesh bag and are offered in lovely, natural muted colors, as no synthetic dyes are used in their making. The soaps have a nice scent, not a perfumed aroma, and do not use ingredients that are often irritating to sensitive skin.
Gail and Carol hand-make their soaps in their workshop, and every step of the process is done in-house. Gail is a professional designer and has herself tackled designing the soap molds, the logo, the packaging, and even the website. The soap itself is a true labor of love, from sourcing the highest quality ingredients to the two-month-long curing process necessary with their all-natural recipes.
A welcome addition to the world of horse care, the Virtue Soap Company horse soaps are a must-have for the 2019 show season. Virtue offers bathing products that are good for us, our animals and the environment, and each product purchased gives to a terrific cause.
About the Author: Jess is a professional historian and educator who lives in northwestern Virginia. They completed their undergraduate degree in English at William & Mary, and did their masters and doctoral work at the University of Florida. Jess is an event rider with a passion for thoroughbreds, and has extensive experience in community organizing around queer identities, racial marginalization, and labor.
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