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Discuss SOAKING tack in Leather Oil? at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

I've heard of people doing this.... my dressage bridle just really needs some major moistorizing ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ Alpha App's Avatar
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    SOAKING tack in Leather Oil?

    I've heard of people doing this.... my dressage bridle just really needs some major moistorizing before this season!

    I've never ever soaked leather unattended in oil (I have Neatsfoot oil) and I can't afford another *nice* bridle, so maybe I'm being a little paranoid.

    Anyone else do this? How long should I soak it? Will the hardware rust? Any tips or precautions about doing this?

    Thanks!
    Life is rarely fair. You can either sit in sorrow or open your wings. I choose to fly.

  2. #2
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    I've done it before with older strap goods (bridle parts, stirrup leathers, lead shanks) before and had good results. I wouldn't do it if your dressage bridle has the white padding (it may discolor), or if it's brown and you don't want it to darken. It shouldn't cause problems if it's solid black or brown leather. If you have one of the embellished crystal browbands, personally, I would just wipe the leather parts of it well with oil, but not soak the browband. I disassemble the whole bridle, clean everything well, and soak it overnight. In the morning, I take a towel and wipe all the excess oil off. You may have to wipe it before use the next couple times you use it if the oil really saturated it. The hardware will NOT rust. Oil is hydrophobic and excludes water from whatever it coats; water causes rust but oil prevents it.

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    Don't soak any good leather item, and definitely don't soak anything that has padding. It will wind up sopping with oil, will be weakened leather, and will ooze, stretch, thin out, and wear out prematuresly. Oil leather sparingly a little at a time. Work the leather with your hands to help it become liable. Kacholine Leather dressing is a harness dressing, but it's like Vaseline for tack and it softens leather and takes the "crackle" out.
    sparkzwb and TeeK987 like this.

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    I agree with Tack Collector. What I have seen happen with cowboy gear done this way, is it gets gummy feeling, not bad, but for sure not what you want with English bridle leather.

    And would not use it on fine leather goods, like your nice bridle for sure.
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  5. #5
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    You can dip a new bridle into oil but you should not soak leather in oil for an extended time. I like Hydrophane Leather Dressing.

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    Tack Collector - I think I remember a post of yours where you explained that English bridle leather gets different treatment than western harness leather goods. I think you said to try to keep oil off English straps because of the type of leather or the tanning process (?) but that harness leather could handle oil. Could you verify that, or did I dream that up?CheersM

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    I think that was in regards to the smooth "bridle leather" that is used for English saddles. not exactly the strap goods. Any European leathers don't need more than an occasional infrequent oiling.

    Our USA harness and skirting leather can take a lot more oil and probably needs it. So can the Argentine thick cowhide with the hogprint texture, like the old Borelli and Collegiate saddles and probably the current HDR Club and Advantage. I'm not sure what the differences are in how it's tanned, though. The European leathers seem to have tallow in them and the skirting leathers don't.

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    Thanks TC. I knew you had mentioned differences in how you care for the two types of leather. Is it safe to saddle soap (liquid) a nice English made saddle with some frequency? CheersM

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