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I have an English saddle that is really light brown in color, and I for the life of me cannot find a bridle to match it. They are all just too dark! So, I know you can dye Western saddles (as black dyed saddles are really "in" right now) but can you dye an English saddle? I know I wouldn't want it black, but just a dark brown would work. At least that way I could match it with the multitude of bridles I already have!

When I bought this saddle I was only thinking of how comfy it was for my horse and I and it never crossed my mind that leather color would be an issue.

Thanks!
 

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I have never tried to dye a saddle.

The colour - light tan is called London Tan and you can get bridles the same colour.
 

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Pure Neatsfool Oil if applied very lightly, let soak in will darken the leather a few shades...so does just sitting in and riding the saddle.
Depending though upon the finish process of the leather {quality of saddle} will have a lot to do with it accepting anything to darken it or not.
Cheaply finished leather does not normally accept anything and doesn't "wear" mark darker either.
If you have never dyed leather like a saddle...don't.
Take it to a saddle shop and pay someone to do the task if you really hate it...it takes a skilled hand to do a nice job evenly applied.
Sadly, often you can tell a homemade attempt by "the look", and that is not a complimentary comment.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Yep. If you want to change the colour that badly, take it to a professional. Personally I just wouldn't care that much about matching the bridle to it. But there certainly are bridles in a lot of shades out there, so I'm sure it's possible to find a match if you look around enough.
 

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Do you have a picture of the tan? This is one that I would call tan but doesn't match the london tan. As another user mentioned the leather will determine if it can take a dye and know that once dyed they can and do bleed.
 

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There's leather darkening oil that you can apply. It will take it a few shades darker, which probably isn't enough for your purposes, and it rubs off eventually.
 

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Leather is usually "glazed" by burnishing, often using beeswax or some similar substance. This makes the leather smoother, glossier, and helps keep the dye from rubbing off. It also keeps new dye from penetrating the leather. There are various "deglazing" substances which will help remove the glaze and make your dye job more effective. However, after dyeing the leather, you will have to seal it again or the dye will rub off. Rubbing it for many hours with a compound of glycerine, saddle soap, and beeswax will do it. There are also commercial products available off the shelf which are pretty good and don't require all the time and effort.
 

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I did this last year and posted it on here. It was one of my best restores and I liked how it turned out. (The saddle never sold and I use it for colt starting now). Hmmmm I wonder if I can find the old thread and the instructions I used.
My collegiate dye job:
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-ta...ation-tuesday-collegiate-saddle-800807/page1/
The tutorial I followed is posted there too.

The key is consuming enough alcohol that you don't panic about ruining your saddle. And always start off lighter than you want because once on you can't lighten it.
 

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I asked a professional saddler and he said he did not recommend it. The dye will eventually come off, on your pants, on your saddle pads, everywhere. I'd try darkening it using oil, but I wouldn't use dye out of fear of ruining the saddle.
 
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