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3255 Davidsonville Rd  Barns

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Any idea what happened to this saddle: Update: it is mink oil?

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  • Any idea what happened to this saddle: Update: it is mink oil?

    I took this saddle on trial thinking it was just discoloured (it is otherwise almost new), but whatever it is that discoloured the areas, is slightly leaching out and gets on my fingers. It is a tiny bit tacky/sticky. The areas discoloured are all along the back edge of the padded flap, the piping below the seat, and the corners of the cantle. The saddle overall does not seem over oiled, and the underneath of the padded flaps is not oily/sticky (so it does not seem that the foam fill of the padded flap is soaked)

    I took it to our saddle guy to see what he thought, and he couldn't figure it out either, and said he would have to take it a bit apart to assess (not something a trial covers obviously!).

    I was hoping someone might have an idea as to what it could be that would cause the discolouration in these odd areas.

    Trying to decide if I should take a risk on it and if I do, what would I offer.
    Last edited by CHT; Sep. 10, 2019, 05:05 PM.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    i wonder if somebody put gel on those areas and the fabric somehow got a hole in it and now it is leaking out? The knee roll looks like it is filled with some clear substance. So maybe somebody didn't want to pay to replace the knee rolls completely and filled them with gel.

    I am not 100% sure what it is, but that is my guess. I would take it to another saddle guy, maybe the brand that made the saddle, and see what they think.

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    • #3
      Would you say this is a high quality brand? Or is it a budget brand? I've certainly had cheap leather halters that had sticky glue on them that was obvious once they broke and split apart.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
        Would you say this is a high quality brand? Or is it a budget brand? I've certainly had cheap leather halters that had sticky glue on them that was obvious once they broke and split apart.
        It's made by Harry Dobbs for a local tack store. Seems quite lovely other than this.
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
          i wonder if somebody put gel on those areas and the fabric somehow got a hole in it and now it is leaking out? The knee roll looks like it is filled with some clear substance. So maybe somebody didn't want to pay to replace the knee rolls completely and filled them with gel.

          I am not 100% sure what it is, but that is my guess. I would take it to another saddle guy, maybe the brand that made the saddle, and see what they think.
          It is barely used. Still has the wax on the billets and barely a dent. That is the other puzzle: why are they selling this saddle that they must have bought new (rather than just return it).

          I had though there was something IN the knee roll, but the underside (which has ventilation holes) is fine/dry. Looking through the little holes shows the original looking black foam and nothing comes out through the bottom....so whatever it is, doesn't seem to have permeated the foam.

          We literally have one local saddle guy, and he works for the tack shop that originally had this model made for them, so he is familiar with the brand.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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          • #6
            why not contact the maker and ask if there was anything in the process of the saddle that might melt etc in high heat or bad conditions or if they have ever seen anything like that?

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
              why not contact the maker and ask if there was anything in the process of the saddle that might melt etc in high heat or bad conditions or if they have ever seen anything like that?
              That is the plan for tomorrow (message sent Friday night, I assume they will get it tomorrow). I have seen a few of this model saddle about and no issues, but the idea of heat perhaps being a cause is interesting.
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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              • #8
                It's probably some illegal substance being smuggled around the world in the knee rolls of saddles!

                Just a guess.

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                • #9
                  In those areas, sounds like it might be glue that was over applied when the saddle was made and oozed out when it was stitched. Try very carefully wiping with some Goo Gone Cleaner and see if it comes off. If it does, you're good. If you want to offer on it, Make your offer pretty low ball, because it has a significant defect.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Seller says it is overused mink oil. Which is a gross thought, but shouldn't wreck the saddle. I decided to make a low offer, which they thankfully accepted. I had planned to return and keep shopping but our old dog is ill, and decided to just buy the saddle and spend more time with him. Saddle guy said to try cleaning the saddle to help it out, so will try that.

                    It wouldn't occur to me to use mink oil on a saddle as it is quite expensive, so maybe that is why I have not had this issue?
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                    • #11
                      I think I've used it in the past to try to waterproof hiking boots. I'd be careful what breeches you wear for a while until you see if the oil is staining your knees when you ride.

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                      • #12
                        Mink oil is not that expensive . I think I paid 6$ for a large tin. I have never heard of anyone using it on tack. I use it on my archery finger tab to protect it in the rain.

                        I have never understood the passion some people have for over oiling tack. Quality saddle soap and occasionally conditioner is all you need. My saddle guy was very blunt about it and saddle came with a conditioner paste he said to use very sparingly

                        Regular use and care will break in leather and proper care will preserve the leather and the stitching
                        _\\]
                        -- * > hoopoe
                        Procrastinate NOW
                        Introverted Since 1957

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                        • #13
                          Mink oil is fab for darkening leather, have used it many times to even up the shades of brown on mismatches saddles / bridles and boots. If you're not especially attached to the shade of brown you could try heating some mink oil up and applying to the lighter areas to darken it to blend a little better.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            NO-CTRL I have an issue with the ethics of mink farms...it's a pretty brutal industry, so not using any Mink oil here, plus, the texture is just off. Going to try polishing with saddle soap at the advice of the saddle repair guy, but might just replace the padded flaps. The rest of the discolouring isn't that noticeable.
                            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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