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Discuss How to soften leather? at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

Just bought a show halter - and its stiff as a board. The leather is ...
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Question How to soften leather?

    Just bought a show halter - and its stiff as a board. The leather is dull (not wax coated) and really hard, but its good quality, made in the USA stuff. I've been looking around and found that people suggest some kind of soaking in oil (neatsfoot, olive oil, etc) or a leather conditioner (effax balsam, leather honey, fiebings, etc) to be excellent.

    I was wondering what people would suggest in regards to a show halter? I'm just worried an oil soak might do something to the silver/plate. All I want is the leather to be super soft and look even better quality than what I bought - so its comfortable for the horse, AND doesn't look dull, cracked or cheap in the show ring.


  2. #2
    Senior Member+
    Tack Collector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Dreary Station, (NW PA, USA)
    Leather CPR, applied and buffed, should add some gloss to it. I'd probably use a little neatsfoot oil on it (assuming it's dark brown), apply sparingly a little at a time, and bend the leather back and forth to try to work the stiffness out.

    Fiebings Tan Kote is a waster based topcoat that you can easily wash off. But sometimes on dark leather, it will sooner or later crack and look like a white haze. It's no big deal to wash it off and reapply it but is kind of annoying.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Edmonton, AB
    Recently, I bought a really cheap, dark brown leather halter. It was stiff, so I coated it in Leather New and hung it in the warmest room of my house. Once the Leather New had a chance to sink it, I coated my hands in Effax and worked the leather in my hands, bending and rolling it. I let the remainder of the Effax soak into the leather and buffed it after a few hours. I repeated this process daily for about 1 week, and now, I have a very soft and lovely halter.*

  4. #4
    Senior Member kaitybug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    You should be able to take the silver off and then you can soak it

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