Softening new leather bridle
 
 

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Softening new leather bridle

This is a discussion on Softening new leather bridle within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • How to soften brand new leather bridle
  • Best way to soften my new bridle

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  • 2 Post By Saddlebag

 
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    09-12-2012, 10:58 PM
  #1
Foal
Softening new leather bridle

Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone can clarify for me whether I am supposed to apply leather oil before oil conditioner or vice versa when trying to soften my bridle to get best results..


Cheers,
Stephi
     
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    09-12-2012, 11:24 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I only use neatsfoot (my boss's preference) or olive oil (my preference).

When faced with a new bridle or halter that is stiff, I put the whole thing in a container of the oil and leave overnight. The next day I hang it in shade to stop dripping (over the bucket of leftover oil, if possible) and at the end of that day, wipe off the excess.

Inexpensive or expensive leather, I like the results.
     
    09-13-2012, 03:22 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by boots    
When faced with a new bridle or halter that is stiff, I put the whole thing in a container of the oil and leave overnight.
I've heard lots of people do the same thing, so I ought to point out over-oiling like this will weaken the leather. Basically the fibres swell to the point they break apart, which is why the item appears softer or more flexible. Problem is it won't last so well or be as strong - oiling really needs to be done sparingly.

As to the original question it's traditionally oil before soap. Soap, applied on a dry rag so it doesn't lather and block buckle-tag holes, helps seal oil inside the leather for longer.

So it's oil first, surface treatment after for me
     
    09-13-2012, 08:06 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by boots    
I only use neatsfoot (my boss's preference) or olive oil (my preference).

When faced with a new bridle or halter that is stiff, I put the whole thing in a container of the oil and leave overnight. The next day I hang it in shade to stop dripping (over the bucket of leftover oil, if possible) and at the end of that day, wipe off the excess.

Inexpensive or expensive leather, I like the results.
I have found that olive oil really doesn't condition the oil, it is just a cheap way to darken the leather. Lots of people and saddle makers use neatsfeet or lexal. But I have found that hands down the best stuff to condition leather is Skidmore's Leather Conditioner, works better then anything else I have found.
     
    09-13-2012, 08:52 PM
  #5
Foal
Thanks for the help guys! =)
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    09-15-2012, 12:30 AM
  #6
Showing
When I worked in the restoration of library materials, much of which involved leather book bindings, Lexol was all we used because it is neutral as far as acidity was concerned.
     
    09-15-2012, 10:05 AM
  #7
Green Broke
I'd never heard that soaking, as I do, weakens the leather. I'll be looking into that. Thanks for mentioning it.

UncleA - Surely you don't oil over dirt. I soap first to remove dirt and sweat then apply oil.
     
    09-15-2012, 10:41 AM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by boots    
I'd never heard that soaking, as I do, weakens the leather. I'll be looking into that. Thanks for mentioning it.

UncleA - Surely you don't oil over dirt. I soap first to remove dirt and sweat then apply oil.
Wipe over with a wrung-out rag in hand-hot water to get dirt and grease off before oiling. I'm told it also opens the pores a little to better absorb oil, but that sounds a bit far-fetched to me - leather's dead skin after all.

The problem with using soap to clean is you have to get a lather to do it properly and that clogs buckle holes and leaves white residue in stitch lines, unless you wash it off afterwards with clean water. I think you just end up making the leather wetter.

I've always cleaned tack the old-fashioned Pony Club way. Maybe it's my age
     

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