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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 27, 2011
    Posts
    246

    Default Darkening Tips?

    My saddle went to get reflocked a couple of days ago, and I requested to have it cleaned and oiled while it was there, too. I went and picked it up yesterday and it's is just gorgeous . . . and a couple of shades darker.


    I'm not mad or anything, as I understand that's what happens when you oil sometimes. I just want the rest of my tack to match, but my bridle won't cooperate!

    I've worked warm Neatsfoot's oil into it with my hands two separate times, and still no change.

    Do anybody have any darkening tips?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2012
    Location
    Los Lunas, NM
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Can you ask the saddle shop what oil they used to clean it? Maybe a different oil will darken differently.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2012
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Peanut oil from the grocery store works great!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2011
    Location
    Southern WI
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Plain old olive oil or neatsfoot oil. Put it on liberally and set the tack out in the warm sun; it "tans" it for lack of a better word, although leather doesn't tan in actuality. I have unintentionally darkened a few things this way! If this fails I would certainly contact the saddle shop, because I hate it when my nice tack doesn't match!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2006
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    Some bridles won't darken no matter what you do to them. It's been my experience that the ones with a sort of plastic-y appearance, orange color, black painted edged to hide the fact that they aren't tanned all the way through or maybe just "painted" rather than tanned properly. Those ones will not darken, period.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2006
    Location
    North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gumshoe View Post
    Some bridles won't darken no matter what you do to them. It's been my experience that the ones with a sort of plastic-y appearance, orange color, black painted edged to hide the fact that they aren't tanned all the way through or maybe just "painted" rather than tanned properly. Those ones will not darken, period.
    Well, if the leather has the tallow residue remaining on it from the tanning process, oil will not sink into the leather and darken it.

    You can try soaping the tallow off if that's what's stopping the leather from darkening, but I've found that I prefer not to do this as it does tend to give the leather a rather dull appearance after oiling.

    And it's a good sign if the leather has edge dye on it - as long as the edges are smooth. If they are rough and dyed, that's a different story and usually means a poorer quality leather.

    But then again, I'm of the vintage where London Tan coloured tack was the norm and you had to soap and then oil it to get it to a state where it looked reasonable!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2006
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    Not necessarily. I have a set of the crappiest reins you could ever find. They are quite smooth on the painted edge. Smooth on the wrong side, too. But they are total garbage. I think I paid $40 brand new. They won't take oil at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimstar View Post
    Well, if the leather has the tallow residue remaining on it from the tanning process, oil will not sink into the leather and darken it.

    You can try soaping the tallow off if that's what's stopping the leather from darkening, but I've found that I prefer not to do this as it does tend to give the leather a rather dull appearance after oiling.

    And it's a good sign if the leather has edge dye on it - as long as the edges are smooth. If they are rough and dyed, that's a different story and usually means a poorer quality leather.

    But then again, I'm of the vintage where London Tan coloured tack was the norm and you had to soap and then oil it to get it to a state where it looked reasonable!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,803

    Default

    I've found mink oil will darken pretty much anything I've put it on. I just work it in with my hands, let it sit for a half hour or so, then wipe it off with a soft cloth.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2012
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    231

    Default

    hydrophane darkening oil?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2011
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Mineral oil works great! My saddle has gotten really light over the past year from being rained on at horse shows a few times, and after using mineral oil a few weeks ago, my saddle is noticeably darker. I've heard that the Antares oil is really just mineral oil.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Location
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Blue Ribbon Oil - it's a bit hard to find, but it's out there. I got it from 4showhorsetack.com (primarily a saddle seat tack store). Go ahead and buy a gallon!

    Disclaimer: as others have said, some leather just won't darken. But I'm guessing since you have a saddle nice enough to be reflocked (said because most cheaper saddle are foam, not wool), then I'm guessing your bridle is good enough quality to darken as well (there are exceptions to this, of course, like some of the Beval New Canaans).
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 1999
    Location
    Virginia and North Carolina, Parrothead Clique!
    Posts
    4,930

    Default

    That's an interesting idea. My New Canaan (which Beval no longer makes, so most of them have some age on them now!) took Hydrophane's darkening oil beautifully, and after several light coats is now dark enough to go on my black horse.

    I have a New Cav that needs help, though, as despite the Hydrophane it's still a little too orange for my taste.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Location
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
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    3,394

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    That's an interesting idea. My New Canaan (which Beval no longer makes, so most of them have some age on them now!) took Hydrophane's darkening oil beautifully, and after several light coats is now dark enough to go on my black horse.
    I have one that is dark and beautiful, one that won't darken but is still a nice color, and a martingale and breastplate that are both a weird, tobacco color. Even Blue Ribbon oil hasn't helped... but I hold onto them in the hopes that someday, something will help.

    But I've found Blue Ribbon oil to work on just about everything else!!!
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



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