View Full Version : Darkening Bobby's bridles

Mar. 29, 2011, 10:02 AM
One of my students just bought a lovely new Bobby's bridle and martingale for her very black horse. Problem is, they bought the lighter, more "orange" shade of leather. The people at the tack store told her that it would darken up to a nice brown shade with no problems and when they told me this I said, well, ok then... I personally have a Bobby's martingale, but mine is the darker shade and it is lovely.

Unfortunately, they took it home and oiled it with neatsfoot compound and got zero change in shade. They waited a day or two and then did it again with mink oil. Again, barely a change. They have some hydrophane darkening oil on order because no local shops had it in stock, but that is next. I am concerned that the bridle may have that "film" over it that is helping to not allow it to accept the oil well and I really would like to NOT have to try to strip that off before the next application (I personally have never done it and my new-to-horse-owning customers certainly would have no clue). I am worried that this bridle will never darken up enough for her horse and I refuse to allow orange tack on a black horse coming out of my barn. :(

Anyone have experience with the orangey Bobby's tack?

Mar. 29, 2011, 11:28 AM
Nothing worse than orange tack, and especially on a black horse. If I have any doubts about something I clean it with Castile soap before oiling it. In this case, if you don't want to keep fooling around with it, why not take it back to the tack shop it was purchased from and ask them to oil it? Most tack shops offer that service for free if you've bought the bridle from them, and if they can't get it to darken to the desired color, they should allow the client to pick out something else.

Mar. 29, 2011, 11:34 AM
oh c'mon...orange tack on a black horse? It will be like Halloween! ;)

Ditto on taking it back to the tack shop. I'm sure they've dealt with this before.

Also, I'm curious what bridle she got. I've been looking at these as a cheaper alternative for a show bridle, but I've heard (like most makers) there are different "levels" of quality.

Mar. 29, 2011, 02:11 PM
Read the instructions from COTH member "flyracing" on this thread:


Mar. 29, 2011, 09:48 PM
I won the Orange bridle a while ago at a horse show and I drenched it in peanut oil worked beautifully and really softened up the leather, it might take a few applications of peanut oil but it should work for you :)

Bent Hickory
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:22 PM
Bobby's tack comes with a finish/preservative/wax on them from the factory. You need to strip this off first. I use a 50/50 water-ammonia solution. Dip in the solution and scrub with a tack sponge and then let dry. A couple days later, put the bridle parts in a gallon ziplock bag with olive oil. Shake the bag to distribute the oil over the tack. Add oil as the tack absorbs it, but not so much that the oil pools in the bag. Pat dry to remove excess oil (and cover anything that got missed in the bag).

I prefer the light tan Bobby's tack over the havanna ones because it doesn't bleed red for months. After oiling, the light tan tack is about the same color at the havanna color new.

I did this with 4-5 Bobby's bridles and martingales over the Christmas holiday. It all came out beautiful with one coat of oil.