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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Darkening A County Stabilizer

    I just got my new County Stabilizer. County is great. The old rep didn't fit me well so the saddle was huge. Anyways to make a long story short, they took back my too big saddle and made another one in my size. The new rep is fantastic to work with. She is awesome.

    I got the oakbark color because my horse is a dark bay and I don't think the dark brown color would look good on him.

    I want my saddle to darken but was told by the County rep oil is bad for bull leather. She told me to clean it after every ride with Effax. I've cleaned it twice so far but the leather has not darkened.

    Does anyone had the bull leather in the oakbark color? If so how did you darken your saddle.

    Thanks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2004
    Posts
    10,609

    Default

    It is best to let it darken gradually, which will happen as you continue to ride in it and clean it. Saturating it with oil or other products to darken it immediately is never good for the leather. Be patient.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2006
    Location
    The not-so-frozen North
    Posts
    1,667

    Default

    I've had the regular leather in oakbark (truly quite hideous, isn't it?)... we used olive oil to great effect. Turned a few of them a gorgeous kind of nut brown. I'm afraid I don't know what would darken leather outside of oil/conditioner, though. :/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Posts
    365

    Default

    I have a Black Country and was also told NOT to use any oil on it.

    It was suggested to use Passier Leder Balsam. It did darken it quite a bit, however it wasn't all that light to start with.. Oxblood that darkened to havana.

    I used it every other week or when I notice it needs it. I'm not sure if it is any different then the Effax though...
    Last edited by kgro632; Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:46 AM.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    5,014

    Default

    I have the oakbark bull leather from County and I don't recall the rep mentioning not to use oil. In fact, she looked at another County saddle one time at our barn and remarked that it needed oil. I have oiled mine with neatsfoot oil a few times and it has made it somewhat darker but nothing like the next step up in the County line (the brown is quite brown!). I like the color, however, so I'm not really trying to darken it.

    The rep also mentioned the Passier Leder Balsam as a product she likes to use, so since someone mentioned they had good luck with it darkening, you might try that.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,868

    Default

    Most of the Countys I've seen in the Oakbark don't darken all that much.

    Of course you can use pure Neatsfoot oil on leather. It's made from cows. Just don't saturate the leather on a continual basis.

    I truly believe that a lot of these saddle and bridle makers tell you it's bad to use Neatsfoot oil or plain old glycerin so they can sell you their VERY expensive brand of leather cleaner and conditioner.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2009
    Location
    USEA-Area 3/USHJA-Zone 4/USDF-Region 3
    Posts
    337

    Default

    I have used neatsfoot on my stabilizer once or twice, and it hasn't really darkened at all. I agree that it doesn't need to be oiled very often; the leather is SO NICE!

    I just tried olive oil for the first time ever on a different saddle, an ancient Crosby I am rehabbing, and the results were so wonderful that I think I am going to try it on the county next. It darkened the leather quite a bit, and evened out the color. It's very light density oil, so its hard to overdo it, and it makes your hands and nails really nice when you are done, instead of all stinky like the neatsfoot. I wish I had taken before and after pix, because you really would not believe the Crosby is the same saddle now.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2006
    Location
    The not-so-frozen North
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    1,667

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Centaurian View Post
    I just tried olive oil for the first time ever on a different saddle, an ancient Crosby I am rehabbing, and the results were so wonderful that I think I am going to try it on the county next. It darkened the leather quite a bit, and evened out the color. It's very light density oil, so its hard to overdo it, and it makes your hands and nails really nice when you are done, instead of all stinky like the neatsfoot. I wish I had taken before and after pix, because you really would not believe the Crosby is the same saddle now.
    It's really impressive, isn't it? I've rehabbed a couple saddles with olive oil, and IMO it works like nothing else. Plus I love that it darkens!

    I wish I had before and after pictures of one of the Stabilizers we did... I also did the olive oil thing to a BRIGHT orange Pessoa - it was truly pumpkin orange - and it turned practically havana. Huge difference - made it possible to take the darn thing out in public!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 1999
    Location
    In the land of make believe
    Posts
    635

    Default

    Just got a new County Stabilizer XTR in the bull leather/oakbark color. The rep, while stating that the company doesn't recommend oiling the saddles, told me that he uses the Passier Leder Balsam on all of his saddles, and they have darkened nicely. I put three coats of Leder Balsam on my saddle over the course of about 8 weeks. The color has deepened nicely, and while I certainly wouldn't call it dark, it is definitely darker/richer than it was when I received it.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,377

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 3DogNight View Post
    Just got a new County Stabilizer XTR in the bull leather/oakbark color. The rep, while stating that the company doesn't recommend oiling the saddles, told me that he uses the Passier Leder Balsam on all of his saddles, and they have darkened nicely. I put three coats of Leder Balsam on my saddle over the course of about 8 weeks. The color has deepened nicely, and while I certainly wouldn't call it dark, it is definitely darker/richer than it was when I received it.
    Is this the one you use? http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...uctClassid=216

    How do you use it? Do you clean your saddle first and put this on after? Thanks



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 1999
    Location
    In the land of make believe
    Posts
    635

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AHorseSomeDay View Post
    Is this the one you use? http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...uctClassid=216

    How do you use it? Do you clean your saddle first and put this on after? Thanks
    That is the one that I used. I rode in the saddle 5 or 6 times initially, then just wiped it down with a damp rag and applied the first coat of the leather dressing. I let it soak in well and then wiped off any excess. After that, I applied another coat every 3 - 4 weeks, until I was happy with the color. Unless the saddle is very dirty, I just wipe it down with a damp sponge/rag and then apply the dressing. I will probably do one more coat, as I would like it a bit darker. Regular use will, however, darken it up over time as well. As a side note, I was very happy with the condition/softness of the leather upon receipt of the saddle. There was no stiffness to it, and it was absolutely comfortable the very first time I sat in it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2005
    Location
    Aiken SC / Fay NC
    Posts
    5,367

    Default

    Do you mind PMimg me the name of the county rep that did not fit you well, and the one that did fit you well?
    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,377

    Default

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I am going to try the Passier Leder Balsam. I am going to a show and don't want to have a yellowish saddle.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2007
    Posts
    121

    Default

    I have a county stabalizer and to get the oakbark dark the rep told me to use Hydrophane Leather Darkening Oil. Worked great made it a beautiful havana/nut brown. Give it a try underneath the saddle to see if you like the color. GREAT SADDLELOVE MINE wouldn't own anything else.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2009
    Location
    USEA-Area 3/USHJA-Zone 4/USDF-Region 3
    Posts
    337

    Default

    Lederbalsalm has a great reputation, and I'm sure you'll be very happy with the results.

    I would love to see some before and after pictures!

    I will take some before and after shots of my own if I get around to cleaning tack this weekend, although Saturdays are pretty much a wash these days thanks to college football



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