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What to do with a brand new bridle

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  • What to do with a brand new bridle

    Hi,
    This weekend I finally got a new bridle for my horse. I've read that you should oil it beforehand and "paint" on the oil using a paintbrush. Is that what you would recommend? And do you oil both sides or just the rougher side of the leather? Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Take the entire thing apart, oil both sides. Light coats. Roll the pieces. Let the oil absorb between coats.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sometimes I use one of those paint brushes with the sponge applicator, sometimes I work it in with my hands, or a regular tack sponge. Do a couple of light applications, hang each piece to dry. It will darken more on its own, gradually, as you ride in it and clean/condition it.

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      • #4
        Lay a towel out in front of the tv. Sit down. Take apart your bridle. Turn on the tv.

        Oil every piece and play with the leather a little. Hang it to dry and move on to the next piece. Rinse and repeat!

        Comment


        • #5
          Definitely take it apart and oil EVERY inch of it. As you ride in it, clean it, oil it, the bridle will develop a lovely softness and patina.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks everyone! How often should I clean/ oil it?

            Comment


            • #7
              Or the lazy way... take bridle apart, put all pieces in a plastic bag, glug oil into plastic bag, tie knot in bag and then scoosh around to cover everything in oil.. A bit like marinating chicken!
              After a little while take the bits out and wipe off excess oil.

              Comment


              • #8
                When I get a new bridle, I usually put the whole thing (reins too!) in a large plastic baggie about 1/4 filled with olive oil, seal it, and just work it in. Then I'll let it sit, turning it over every once in awhile, then work with it some more, and just continue for about 1-4 days. Then I take it out, rub off the current excess oil, and do that until all the unabsorbed oil is off. Makes the bridle SO supple and darkens it up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gnrock25 View Post
                  Thanks everyone! How often should I clean/ oil it?
                  Clean (at the very least wipe down) after every time you use it. Condition every once in a while (when it starts to feel a bit "thirsty"... probably depends on use and climate). Once it's darkened a bit, oil only a few times/year.

                  That's what I do, anyway. Some people don't use conditioner, only oil, and oil more often in place of conditioning.
                  If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                  Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Reading this with interest. Cleaning and conditioning my leather is one of my biggest insecurities.
                    Please excuse me if I should have started a new thread.

                    this seems like a weird question even to me but what do you call oil and what is conditioner?

                    I have a product called liquid glycerin, It is called a soap/conditioner.

                    I also have neatsfoot oil, which I understand is not to be used,
                    I also have Belvoir which is called a balsam conditioner, it smells heavenly.

                    When wiping with water do you add a 'soap' product?

                    I have heard you must clean the leather before you condition, then I talk with someone who have never done anything but ...........

                    Someone told me to leave the soap on then after a ride just wipe with a damp rag.


                    thanks

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by colorfan View Post
                      Reading this with interest. Cleaning and conditioning my leather is one of my biggest insecurities.
                      Please excuse me if I should have started a new thread.

                      this seems like a weird question even to me but what do you call oil and what is conditioner?

                      I have a product called liquid glycerin, It is called a soap/conditioner.

                      I also have neatsfoot oil, which I understand is not to be used,
                      I also have Belvoir which is called a balsam conditioner, it smells heavenly.

                      When wiping with water do you add a 'soap' product?

                      I have heard you must clean the leather before you condition, then I talk with someone who have never done anything but ...........

                      Someone told me to leave the soap on then after a ride just wipe with a damp rag.


                      thanks
                      Oils are liquid and usually have the word oil in their name, olive oil, Tanner's Oil, Hydrophane Darkening Oil, Walsh's Leather Oil, neatsfoot, etc. There is no reason not to use neatsfoot, some people feel it will rot the stitching and maybe years ago it did, but the thread used today will not be vulnerable to neatsfoot. Oil is used on brand new, unused tack, to prepare it for use and replace some of the moisture that was lost during the tanning process. Its also used if you get caught in the rain and your tack gets an unintentional soaking.

                      Conditioners are frequently a cream or solid product, sometimes a liquid. I clean my tack almost every time I use it, but I only condition it afterward, as needed. At least a couple of times a year, usually more frequently, but not after every ride. This is what your balsam conditioner is for. You don't want to condition when the leather is dirty though.

                      Glycerine (whether bar or liquid) is best used to polish and seal, after cleaning, although some people like to use it to clean their tack. If you use Castile soap, then you want to wipe the leather down afterwards with a clean damp sponge, just as you would rinse your face after washing with soap.

                      If you are just wiping down after a ride, you can use plain water, don't have to add soap. Its more important to remove the sweat and dust from the leather.

                      I prefer to clean with a liquid such as Effax Leder Combi or Belvoir LIquid Cleaner, then every few months or whenever I think necessary I will condition with Akene or Hydrophane Leather Conditioner (liquid) or a lederbalsam product if something is especially dry. My final step is to polish with glycerine and for that I use a barely damp sponge, no soap suds.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oil and conditioner are 2 different products. I like to use conditioner for quick wipe downs, oil after a real cleaning. Neatsfoot oil is wonderful and should absolutely be used! Though I strongly recommend NOT soaking the bridle in the oil, that destroys stitching and can ruin the bridle. My mother bought a Bobby's bridle and didn't like that it didn't soften after the first oiling so she soaked it, the noseband came undone when she used it on her horse because the stitching came undone. The bridle wasn't the problem, too much oil was.
                        Windy Meadows Farm
                        http://www.windymeadowsfarmcny.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by colorfan View Post
                          Reading this with interest. Cleaning and conditioning my leather is one of my biggest insecurities.
                          Meh - it's kind of like any other cleaning. Doesn't really matter *how* you do it, just as long as you do it.

                          Look at it this way - leather used to be skin (well, technically, still is). Sometimes we just need to wipe off our hands with a dry cloth, sometimes we just need to rinse them, sometimes we need a bit of soap, and sometimes we need a lot of soap several times and a good, stiff nail brush. In terms of conditioning, we don't usually need lotion after every time we wash our hands. Sometimes we do need a light lotion, and sometimes we need a heavier lotion. So look at your tack, assess its condition, and clean/condition accordingly.
                          If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                          Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hijacking this post with another question about new tack: how do you guys deal with the white waxy residue? I read somewhere that you rub it in...but not sure if that's correct.

                            As an ex- pony clubber from a million years ago there was a certain way I cleaned my tack (obsessively and weekly) but things have changed so much! We used to oil our saddles excessively and i remember using tons of Neatsfoot oil and staining all of my (canary) breeches!
                            I'm glad the products have improved since then. I love my Passier Lederbalsam and the Lexol quick wipes make it easy for everyday wipe downs.
                            Now I can finally afford new tack so I also want to take care of it from the get go, the right way.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just bought a cheap-o bridle for my mare (cob sized... I expect her to eventually fit into a horse size) and I'm going to soak it in hot water and then oil it this evening.

                              Soaking leather is going to be one of those things that people don't agree on - some will say it's terrible, some will say it's great. But I've done it in the past with stiff, inexpensive leather and it's made a world of difference. Important to oil afterwards!

                              That being said, many mid- to high-end bridles aren't going to need this kind of treatment.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                thank you bac, comprehensive answer, I appreciate it.

                                patnic, in other words, keep it simple..... thanks

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Whistler View Post
                                  Hijacking this post with another question about new tack: how do you guys deal with the white waxy residue? I read somewhere that you rub it in...but not sure if that's correct.
                                  I rub it back in.

                                  colorfan, no problem.
                                  If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                  Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                                    I just bought a cheap-o bridle for my mare (cob sized... I expect her to eventually fit into a horse size) and I'm going to soak it in hot water and then oil it this evening.

                                    Soaking leather is going to be one of those things that people don't agree on - some will say it's terrible, some will say it's great. But I've done it in the past with stiff, inexpensive leather and it's made a world of difference. Important to oil afterwards!

                                    That being said, many mid- to high-end bridles aren't going to need this kind of treatment.
                                    What does putting it in hot water do?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                                      Lay a towel out in front of the tv. Sit down. Take apart your bridle. Turn on the tv.

                                      Oil every piece and play with the leather a little. Hang it to dry and move on to the next piece. Rinse and repeat!
                                      This, but make sure the cat is locked out of the room because he will think you are playing with a toy and will attack your new cavesson leaving wee tiny claw marks before you even realize it.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Here's how I do it, and have for 30+ years...and I'm still using most of the tack that is that old, so it must work:

                                        I heat a big Pyrex bowl of neatsfoot oil in the microwave till it's very hot...take the bridle apart, and just put the pieces in.

                                        (It doesn't matter if you use neatsfoot, or any other kind of oil-any will do, but it's normally the most economical one to use.)

                                        The heat penetrates the waxy coating, and the leather soaks up the oil. I will work the pieces between my fingers till they are soft, then take them out and wipe the excess off with a towel.

                                        With reins, I slowly pull them through the oil a few times, making sure to do it evenly, so every part has been submerged. With rubber reins, only the leather goes in the oil, not the rubber portion.

                                        I will then condition the pieces with a mixture of Lexoil an glycerine, using the Lexol instead of water on a bar of soap, or simply melting the two together in the microwave in a jar.

                                        For normal cleaning, I wipe the tack with ammonia solution (using very hot water), then recondition with glycerine.

                                        About once a year, I re-oil any dry tack, or tack that hasn't been used in that time.

                                        I've had very few breakages; all my bridles are over 20 years old, some much older than that and are still going strong.
                                        Inner Bay Equestrian
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