Breaking in a bridle?

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Breaking in a bridle?

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  • How to treat leather of new bridle
  • Oil for bridles

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    06-10-2010, 11:05 AM
Question Breaking in a bridle?

I got a new bridle for Christmas (haha, I know. Long time ago. XD) and I'm trying to break it in now that he's not going to dirty it up with his winter coat and stuff.
I tried him in it for the first time yesterday, and he was being really naughty in it (which says a lot. He just does not act up that way.). I think its because the leather was stiff and the pressure points were different than he's used to.

How do you break in a bridle?
(if this helps, its a Plymouth bridle from SmartPak)
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    06-10-2010, 11:15 AM
Oil it up ! :)
Oil it once a week or every 2 weeks itll loosen it up. Also this will be super hard to explain but hold each piece in your hands and wiggle it around itll loosen it alot too .
    06-10-2010, 12:37 PM
Yes - oil it once a week untill the oil rots the stitching and it falls apart, either that or the leather will go all mushy .

As a saddler I would only recommend a leather grease/dressing and regular cleaning. None of the leather manufacturers I know will advise you to oil your bridle and I know for a fact that some will not honour any guarantee if the leatherwork has been oiled.
    06-10-2010, 12:45 PM
I obviously don't mean real oil . Saddle soap oil :S
A horse person on a horse forum do you really take me to be that stupid ...
Thanks though .
    06-10-2010, 01:10 PM
I would never treat anyone as stupid - it is that over the past 18 years I have been a saddler I have seen people using ' Leather Oil 'or ' Neatsfoot Oil ' on their bridlework .

Leather Oil or Neatsfoot should perhaps be used once a year, and then only wiped over lightly - it is a common beleif that Leather or Neatsfoot Oil should be used on a regular basis, I have even heard people advise others to soak their new leatherwork in the stuff .

I always make a point when I make a bridle for someone that they only use a Leather Dressing on their new leather - I will not replace any item that has been oiled as oil weakens the leather and will rot stitching over time.
    06-10-2010, 01:44 PM
Green Broke
NuttySaddler- perhaps this is a little OT (sorry OP if I'm hijacking!) but I've read a lot of your posts about never oiling things and it makes sense... but I grew up with the trainer who oiled EVERYTHING. CONSTANTLY. In fact, she never used any kind of conditioner, she oiled all of her tack. So that's what I grew up doing. I have bridles that are about 15 years old in fantastic shape. My saddle was about 20 years old before I sold it and it was in beautiful condition. None of my stuff (or her stuff) has ever rotted. It's all butter soft -which by your posts I think means the leather has turned to mush- but doesn't seem weak at all. I know you know your stuff, so I'm a little confused by your "don't ever oil anything" posts. I mean, if my stuff is that old and still going strong, is it terrible to keep doing what I'm doing?
    06-10-2010, 01:45 PM
Green Broke
Just to add.... my trainer taught me to always use mineral oil. Something about it absorbing better? Maybe it's different? I don't know. Just curious what your opinion was.
    06-10-2010, 02:16 PM
I heard that you should use saddle soap on just the saddle and there is special oil( soap ) for bridles as its on the more sensitive parts of a horse ?
    06-10-2010, 02:25 PM
I've always used mink oil on my leather. Works wonders.
    06-10-2010, 03:15 PM
Justsambam08 - mink oil is not really used in europe, I am told by others in the US that it is more of a grease than an oil, it's just called mink oil. As a grease rather than an oil it is OK to use on all your leatherwork.

Upnover - mineral oil is used by the tanners and curriers as part of the process to prepare the leather prior to dyeing and as such is not really bad for the leather, it is just the ammount used that is bad. After the dyeing process the curriers use ' curriers grease ' this is a combination of tallow ( rendered cow fat ), mineral or neatsfoot oil , cod liver oil and in somecases beeswax, the tallow makes up at least 75% of the mix so what you end up with is a grease - different curriers use a different that they over time have developed.

I will try to put it in terms that may make some sense - when you wash your car you don't take it to the local pool and submerge it, you use a bucket and sponge.

Natural oils are present in the cow hide , but the major part of the nourisment in the skin is a grease based substance , so what is recommended is to replace the grease to keep your leather in good condition.

bridle, plymouth, smartpak, stiff leather

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