The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007

    Default How to make leather soft and supple?

    I'm trying to make my reins more comfortable. They're kind of stiff. Should I soak them in oil over night or something like that? My son is 6 and is learning to ride and the stiff reins seem to be making it hard for him to grip them.
    Also are there any reins especially for tiny hands?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2006


    leather new balsam-- LOVE IT, was a good 20$ investment

    apply liberally if still stiff after one application slap more on and massage in, apply lots you can always wipe off excess when dry.

    I got mine at greenhawk
    Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

    Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Saco, Maine

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008


    NO SOAKING! It won't make the leather explode or anything but it will shorten its life and make it weaker, meaning it could break when your son is riding. Not something you want.

    My fave product is Hydrophane leather dressing. Get a paintbrush, and paint a thin coat on the reins, both sides, and then while it's still wet, gently roll the reins back and forth. If the oil soaks in immediately, don't roll it yet. It's too dry and will crack or weaken the fibers. Continue painting on thin coats until it doesn't soak in immediately. Then roll back and forth. If oil is present on the surface for more than 30 min. or so, you've oiled enough and you should wipe off the rest with a towel.

    Rolling with the oil on it is the key to softening leather. All my tack is butter soft. I mean soft. The added bonus to Hydrophane is that it waterproofs as well, and doesn't leave that icky gooey residue behind.

    ETA: They do make thinner width reins for little hands, but they're usually pony-length. There are curb reins like you'd use with a pelham, they are 1/2" width but are not laced so they will probably slip thru his little hands. If you do some digging, you may be able to find 1/2" wide reins somewhere, but I can't think of anywhere off hand.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005


    I have some cheap work tack, and it can be stiff. The key is to work the leather when you oil it, like Seven-up said. I use neatsfoot, but I might have to try that Hydrophane...

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 30
    Last Post: Aug. 16, 2011, 04:20 PM
  2. Looking for a boot conditioner to make boots buttery soft!
    By Dapple Dawn Farm in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Apr. 7, 2011, 05:44 PM
  3. Show quality halter with soft, supple leather
    By equidae in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Feb. 13, 2011, 12:18 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Jul. 8, 2009, 12:45 AM
  5. Ways to make a new saddle grippy and soft?
    By WombatCA in forum Off Course
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Dec. 18, 2008, 02:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts