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Rock hard dried leather...

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  • Rock hard dried leather...

    Has anyone managed to revive it?

    It's a lovely quality leather halter, think higher end Quillin's.

    I'd love to save it... But is there any hope?
    Breeding & Sales
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  • #2
    If the leather is cracked, I would think it's beyond hope.

    If it's just very dry, I would lightly clean it first and then apply Passier Lederbalsam. I apply directly with my hands, because the warmth of your hands will help the conditioner penetrate the leather. One it softens a bit (hopefully it will), then you can try working the leather with your hands a bit to help supple it.


    • #3
      what ever you do...do NOT soak them in a bucket of neadsfoot oil and forget that they are there for a few weeks.

      I had started a job and found a bucket of beautiful 4 in hand lines in a bucket of oil. The manager said,"oh there they are!" Oh my GOSH those lines were so gross, I laid them on the black top, threw them up on to the roof (more hot black top).

      nothing brought them back...we all now have a nice leather belts courtesy of the owner of the lines.


      • #4
        what ever you do...do NOT soak them in a bucket of neadsfoot oil and forget that they are there for a few weeks.
        Too funny.

        Will be watching out for the answer of this as well as I found a VERY VERY nice old leather halter I didn't even know I owned buried in the dark depths of my tackbox thats currently the color of the statue of liberty.


        • #5
          I have revived old, dry race track halters by soaking them in plain warm water for a day THEN applying leather conditioner or neats foot oil. Soaking dried leather in NF oil is a disaster!!
          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


          • Original Poster

            I'll give it your suggestions a try...

            I mean, otherwise this halter is dead. So it's not like I'm risking much!
            Breeding & Sales
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            • #7
              Ko-cho-line Leather Dressing will do the job beautifully.
              "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


              • #8
                Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                If it's just very dry, I would lightly clean it first and then apply Passier Lederbalsam. I apply directly with my hands, because the warmth of your hands will help the conditioner penetrate the leather.
                I did this to two old neglected (by me) bridles and it worked amazing. I could not believe how nice they came out.


                • #9
                  I like Hydrophane. There's also Hydrolan, made by Hydrophane but hard to find.


                  • #10
                    I'm in the process of trying to restore an old western saddle, as in scraping off mud dauber nests as the first step. I actually 'rinsed' it off with plain water and then cleaned it with liquid glycerine. Four times. Sigh.

                    The leather was so dry and stiff (but not cracking!) that I actually ended up pouring neats foot oil onto the underside of the leather, it just ate it up. So now (2 liters of neats foot later) the leather is nice and pliable but its still 'open' / porous. How do I get that nice polished shine? Tried buffing, nothing happened.

                    Interesting side note, it does not have the metal adjustable stirrup thingy, its designed for a leather thong to lace between the two straps with holes in them. To adjust it you would have to unlace and re-lace the whole series. Anyone else seen a saddle like this?
                    A student in all things.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HappyGirl77 View Post
                      . . . How do I get that nice polished shine? Tried buffing, nothing happened.

                      Interesting side note, it does not have the metal adjustable stirrup thingy, its designed for a leather thong to lace between the two straps with holes in them. To adjust it you would have to unlace and re-lace the whole series. Anyone else seen a saddle like this?
                      The polished shine comes from your butt, and legs, and hours of rubbing with a thin cloth like a pillowcase.

                      I've seen the laced fenders before, on a saddle that was old when I was a kid which means it's really old. Back in the day you had your saddle and it was set up to fit you. Changing it to fit someone else wasn't that important.

                      I have a really old beat up Mexican saddle that has had the fenders cut off and riveted onto new leather, when they did that they put on the blevins quick change clips too. It's a handsome old thing but I kinda think it would be better off as a decoration, the leather is so deformed from having sat on its front skirts and flat and every which way, I can't imagine it wouldn't harm the horses' backs plus the sheepskin is a tattered mess.

                      OP, good quality leather is often recoverable, with care. Good luck!
                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                      Incredible Invisible


                      • #12
                        FWIW, I have 2 favorite conditioners that I use. The Lederbalsam is for deep conditioning leather. I don't use it all the time, only when the leather feels "thirsty". The Lederbalsam will give a soft "glow" to the leather after it's been conditioned.

                        For light conditioning and to add a shine, I really like Belvoir Tack conditioner. I don't think it deep conditions like the Lederbalsam but it does a nice job lightly conditioning and puts on a beautiful shine. It's too tricky for me to apply by hand, so I use a small paintbrush and paint it on the leather. Once it's dry, I lightly buff the leather. I love the shine it imparts!

                        I'm wondering if the neatsfoot oil is keeping you from getting a good shine on it. Maybe try cleaning the tack again and then the Belvoir?

                        I also made the mistake of soaking a really nice bridle in neatsfoot oil and it really over oiled the bridle. I would not immerse any leather in neatsfoot or any oil for a length of time. I was able to save the bridle, but I'd never do that again. Too much oil can be as bad as not enough.


                        • #13
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling


                          • #14
                            When I got my TB, he came with his track halter. The thing was too stiff to even do up the buckle. I took it home, cleaned it up with saddle soap until I got all the grime off, then oiled it with veggie oil repeatedly for a few days. Now it's supple and quite a nice halter.
                            Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.