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Leather halter with rough edges?

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  • Leather halter with rough edges?

    Just got the leather halter I ordered from a reputable place (that I don’t want to name because I haven’t had a chance to talk to them about this), and it’s beautiful except for one thing: a couple of the edges are rough, not finished smooth like my Walsh halters. It’s not a cheapie - lots of reviews have it equal to Walsh - so not what I expected. Has anyone experienced this and had it resolve with conditioning? I have a little PTSD because my Bartville halter edges never smoothed out - but that wasn’t supposed to be (or prices as) super high quality. TIA!

    and I’ll let you know what he mfr says if anyone’s interested. Hope it resolves because it’s a very nice halter otherwise.

  • #2
    My experience is rough edges will get a little smoother with time and conditioning, but will never have the same look/feel as truly finished edges. If you’re not happy with it now, it’s not likely to magically get better

    FYI - Dover’s high end halters are made by Walsh and are frequently included in their sales. I’ve now bought these for all my crew and they are lovely. I believe it’s this model -


    • #3
      I agree. It sounds like a defect. Hopefully they'll offer you a replacement.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by GreyDes View Post
        My experience is rough edges will get a little smoother with time and conditioning, but will never have the same look/feel as truly finished edges. If you’re not happy with it now, it’s not likely to magically get better

        FYI - Dover’s high end halters are made by Walsh and are frequently included in their sales. I’ve now bought these for all my crew and they are lovely. I believe it’s this model -
        I just returned a cob size that was 50% off. It was too small. Was made by Walsh but irritatingly it had the Dover name stamped on both headstall buckles. Would not have ordered it if I knew that in advance.


        • #5
          Is there a way for the average person to finish the edges on a halter that is rough?


          • #6
            Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
            Is there a way for the average person to finish the edges on a halter that is rough?
            You can try. First, try taking it to a shoe repair shop and see if they can skive the edge and add a dab of dye. Or, if there is a leathercraft shop in town take it there and see if someone there can do the same thing. Be prepared to pay them for their effort. You can get a receipt for the work, send it to the seller, and demand payment. Other places would be a saddle maker or tack repair shop. Near any Amish or Mennonites? They do that sort of thing.

            If this is an otherwise good quality product, though, I'd send it back. Put a demand on the seller to make it right.

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


            • #7
              Mere mortals can finish their own edges. Here's a Tandy video of edge kote 101:

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                Is there a way for the average person to finish the edges on a halter that is rough?
                As drimmel hand tool (mini grinder) will smooth it gently.
                Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sirensong4 View Post
                  Mere mortals can finish their own edges. Here's a Tandy video of edge kote 101:
                  I've been doing this for a couple of decades and have a bunch of tools to do it. How many here keep edge skivers in their tack box? Or bottles of dye? The video is a good learning tool if you have the materials but if you don't...?

                  Using a Dremmel tool with an abrasive to finish and edge is a very fine way to ruin that edge. And, again, how many here keep Dremmels in their tack box?

                  Send it back to take it to somebody who knows what they're doing.

                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


                  • #10
                    Actually, GraceLikeRain all you need is water and something hard and smooth (plastic is better than metal) - a pen would work. A bit of paste conditioner, or beeswax.

                    Dampen the rough edge and rub with the hard, smooth object building to a fair pressure. Depending on how wet you get the leather you may need to wet it again. Too much water will make the leather mushy and it won't pack down. Rub in the paste and polish again with the pen (or whatever).
                    If there are any longer fibres trim them first using sharp scissors, nail clippers, or craft/utility knife.

                    You can start the compressing/polishing with a bit of canvas or denim. Just rub the cloth in one direction, not back and forth. It won't give as hard a polish, but it's surprisingly effective. I used to do both edges of a strap at once by wrapping a bit of denim around the strap and pulling the. strap through.


                    • Original Poster

                      This is all very interesting advice, and I have an old rough edged (but it was inexpensive so no complaining) halter that I can experiment with. The seller was lovely and offered to take it back and take a look, saying that maybe the edges weren't properly finished, but my friends have talked me off the ledge (numerous suggestions I'm a little OCD) so going to condition it and see how it goes. If not that, I'll take try RedHorses' method. Thanks, everyone!


                      • #12
                        NO DREMEL! You'll eat up the leather before you even know it. Trim up any long bits with sharp scissors. It's fine to do some dressing of the edges with fine sandpaper if you do it by hand which you may or may not need to do depending upon how rough it is. Get the edge slicker from Tandy or another leather shop. They're cheap and you'll be surprised how much you use if you have it. The video linked above is fine but most of the time if you're just touching up something you bought you won't need the edge cutting tool or a skiver. Use the technique demonstrated in the Tandy video of dampening the edge and using the slicker on it. I like to finish it with some beeswax after it's smooth to seal it but that's optional. Just rub the wax along the edge and use the slicker again.


                        • Original Poster

                          oh, trust me, I'm not going to use a dremel on it. LOL


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                            Is there a way for the average person to finish the edges on a halter that is rough?
                            edge bevel tool if it has a real square and nasty edge. I used that tool on some expensive stirrup leathers that had corners that drilled into my legs.
                            This edge slicker tool might do it for softer leather. Or you can use it to smooth out the bevel you just cut.


                            • #15
                              Don't accept an inferior product when you've paid for quality.


                              • Original Poster

                                Agreed, skydy, and I'm pretty ruthless about that. But in this case, the roughness is pretty minimal (my ocd is a bit of a joke in my barn currently) and the seller has agreed to take it back if it's still not right after I condition it, so I'm not ready to throw in the towel. But for the slight roughness, the halter is gorgeous. Going to play with it this weekend and see what we've got.