Did I ruin my saddle?
This will have to be quick. I have to leave in two minutes. So short version...
I bought a new english saddle. The color is newmarket.
I just oiled the outer part of the flaps.
It darkened which I expected. Although I didn't expect it to be so dark.
You can see the brush strokes...
Will those go away?
And will it lighten up a bit?
I was told not to oil the seat or the padded part of the flap. Now my saddle is two-toned.
I'm freaking out, my previous saddle was black. I didn't have to worry about darkening then.
Help!!! Am I overreacting?
What brand is the saddle?
What type of oil was used?
I always use a sponge to oil saddles. Unless the seat ans padded flaps are suede or nubuck, you should be able to oil them. What does the manufacturer recommend?
What kind of oil was used?
It's a marcel toulouse celine. I used 100% neatsfoot oil. The flaps evened out and look just fine. I went ahead and oiled the knee rolls and the seat. Those parts are blotchy looking. I'm hoping that the more I ride in it, the more it'll even out.
Neatsfoot is notorious for darkening saddles. I would get some Hydrophane Leather Conditioner. It's oil based and works wonderfully on breaking and softening leather, without over darkening it. It also waterproofs the leather and works to preserve it. You can get it for around $15 from Dover.
Another thing you could try is Leather CPR, it warns that it may lighten the colour of leather, and is also a really good conditioner.
I would recommend using saddle soap and passier or something like that to clean your saddle instead of oiling it. I also find that more modern leather conditioners (leather CPR for example) even do a better job than oil for breaking in tack.
Oh also a story! I ordered a two tone black/brown bridle and it took like 8 months for me to get it. So of course when I do get it I'm so excited and I take it to the barn and leave it there. The next time I come back my coach had soaked it in neatsfoot oil overnight because it was a new bridle, and this is the thing to do. Lets just say it's no longer a two tone bridle..... :P
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