Softening leather split reins

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Softening leather split reins

This is a discussion on Softening leather split reins within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Softening cheap stiff leather
  • How to soften leather

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    08-15-2009, 02:22 PM
Softening leather split reins

I have these reins that match Toby's headstall, but they are so stiff from being new.

What suggestions do you have for softening them? I've tried spraying them with Lexol and they're still really stiff. TIA.
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    08-15-2009, 03:31 PM
Green Broke
They're also stiff because they're cheap. Those black or dark brown silver ferrel bridles are usually made in India or China and won't last. The only way to really soften them up is to put coat after coat of PURE Neatsfoot oil on them. Warm the oil up to help it soak in quicker. That will weaken the leather some, but it will prevent some cracking and soften them up a bit. Some of the leather dye may also run as well, so be careful what gloves you use and how you store them.

You normally shouldn't use oil on leather products, but because the leather is Asian and stiff, normal conditioners won't soak in well and really work like they will on quality leather. I normally recommend Passier Lederbalsam for leather softening, but I don't think it will soak in well enough on those reins.
    08-15-2009, 03:44 PM
Well shoot. Thank you. Guess I'll be looking for a better quality headstall.
    08-15-2009, 03:48 PM
To soften new leather, I dunk it in Neatsfoot oil for 30 second, wipe off the excess, then hang them to dry for 24 hours

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