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Softest affordable reins?

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  • Softest affordable reins?

    Hey, where have you found soft, AFFORDABLE reins? I'm on a budget, but my cheapie stiff leather is bugging the heck out of me! I need some soft ones ASAP! Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    A friend has a Dover Crown bridle and the leather on the entire bridle is soft and supply right from the beginning, I was very surprised how nice it feels. And she never even oiled it in the beginning, in fact she seldom cleans it either and its still very nice for the money.

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    • #3
      You can usually make about any rein softer with a few coats of oil, rolling the leather after each coat until the leather is soft. Don't overoil or your reins will get slippery, but you need a baseline of oil, absorbed for a few minutes, or poor leather will crinkle from the rolling. Roll to your heart's content, the more you roll the softer the end product will be.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
        You can usually make about any rein softer with a few coats of oil, rolling the leather after each coat until the leather is soft. Don't overoil or your reins will get slippery, but you need a baseline of oil, absorbed for a few minutes, or poor leather will crinkle from the rolling. Roll to your heart's content, the more you roll the softer the end product will be.
        I tried going the oiling route with no success at all. Maybe I'm using the wrong oil! I haven't tried rolling, so will try that. Thank you!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JumpQH View Post
          I tried going the oiling route with no success at all. Maybe I'm using the wrong oil! I haven't tried rolling, so will try that. Thank you!
          No problem. To roll the leather, bend it in half very tightly back on itself and roll down the length. I usually do 8-12 inch sections at a time. The bend has to be quite tight. Go back and forth many, many times until soft. Like 5 minutes per section. Best to do in front of TV. The goal is to relax the fibers.

          Any kind of oil should work, I usually use 100% neatsfoot or olive oil. You want to use the oil so that the fibers can relax instead of tear (you don't want to weaken it too much).

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          • #6
            Warning: the following may be bad advice. Read all precautions before trying.

            One short-cut is soaking them in oil. Roll them up in the smallest zip-lock bag you can squeeze them into, pore in olive oil to cover them, zip bag, leave in a climate-controlled area (like your kitchen or bathroom counter - not the barn or your car) for 24 -48 hours.

            Do not try this with expensive or even regular priced reins, only with very cheap reins or ones you hate anyway. Do not try this with your ONLY pair of reins - they will have to dry for at least a week to be usable. At first they will be very slippery if you don't let them dry for awhile. But it WILL turn cardboard reins into buttery-soft ones. This method worked beautifully on the reins that came with my $29.99 schooling bridle from Dover.

            (Yes, the oil may eventually rot the stitching. But in my case we are talking an entire bridle that costs $30. If I have to replace it in a year but get to enjoy its softness in the meantime, that is well-worth it. Not so much if it were $$$$, of course.)

            The rolling will likely work too, and will probably be faster, considering the drying time involved in my method.
            Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night. -- Dylan Thomas

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            • #7
              While not exactly "affordable", my absolute favorite reins are the Arc de Triomphe calfskin covered reins. I bought them because I wanted something a bit thicker with a bit more weight to them than just plain raised laced reins, and they are AMAZING. Everyone at the barn absolutely loves them!

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thank you, all!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Denzel View Post
                  While not exactly "affordable", my absolute favorite reins are the Arc de Triomphe calfskin covered reins. I bought them because I wanted something a bit thicker with a bit more weight to them than just plain raised laced reins, and they are AMAZING. Everyone at the barn absolutely loves them!
                  Well if we are going to recommend less affordable, then I definitely vote for Antares reins, a huge step up in quality from the Dover Crown I originally recommended. Although at $500+ per bridle I doubt the OP wants to consider Antares.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by BAC View Post
                    Well if we are going to recommend less affordable, then I definitely vote for Antares reins, a huge step up in quality from the Dover Crown I originally recommended. Although at $500+ per bridle I doubt the OP wants to consider Antares.
                    Uh, you are right! For a schooling bridle/reins, that's on the high side!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You can sometimes find brand new higher end reins on e-bay for less than half of retail. KL Select and Arc De triomphe are nice.

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                      • #12
                        Bobby's tack is affordable and nice. I had a nice bridle by them, the whole thing was $100 and I was in love. Gave it to the woman that bought my other horse and I regret that from time to time, lol.

                        You can buy the reins seperately. I think the website was eqtack.com or something. They pre oil them for you..Yummy.

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