Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Life for a Saddle


A few weeks ago I read this post about re-dyeing a saddle. I thought to myself: "I know a saddle that would love this." 

introducing the $600 Niedersuss - well-loved and mostly destroyed

So I ordered a bunch of things on the internet, including this slightly concerning product:

Ummmmm

But in the end, the result was absolutely gorgeous.


Okay already! To the nitty gritty of what I bought: 
So for about $48, I'd assembled the ingredients. 


I then took a bunch of photos of the ingredients.


And after that I finally made it out to the barn. You can read about the whole process (or how it's supposed to go) in detail on the original post, with my additions here:

I think I skimped a bit on the deglazing portion, and that definitely affected how it all turned out. A bit more elbow grease would have served me well.

Here's the saddle with just the first coat of dye on it
I essentially coated it with dye, did the other side, took a photo, re-coated the thing with dye, rode a horse, and coated it a third time. I then rubbed it until it was dry and felt impatient so I put the tan-kote on right away. Basically I'm the worst at following directions.

And here's the saddle with a layer of tan-kote, about ten minutes after I started putting it on?
I experimented a lot with putting the resolene on, and essentially I came to the conclusion that that stuff's a bitch so don't let it dry with bubbles in it. I have no good advice. Neither does anyone else on the internet. I think it's one of those "feel" things that we as horsepeople are always going on about. Feel under saddle does NOT translate to "feel" with resolene. I repeat. Does. Not.

I also straight dropped the container of resolene on the ground and it spilled everywhere and one of my floorboards now has a funny color to it. Don't tell BO that's my fault.


This photo if you look closely you can sorta see how I didn't get the resolene to layer completely evenly, even three layers later, but honestly the saddle looks 10,000,000 times better. It also looks better in person than photos reveal, I keep having people ask me about my new saddle and I giggle a bit.

My conclusion? Probably don't re-dye your expensive saddle until you've experimented on an old, cheap one first. But DEFINITELY re-dye your old cheap saddles. I have enough supplies to probably do two more black saddles, but it turns out my barn is filled with old cheap brown saddles so I dunno what to say about that.

23 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. GREAT write-up on your part -- thank you for the courage to try it!

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  2. Resolene is the most frustrating part! I did my old cheap brown saddle and it looks amazing, despite the streaks from the Resolene.

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  3. Replies
    1. I know, it's crazy isn't it? Like a different saddle

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  4. I wonder if you've found an alternative to the tanning salon.

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  5. I dyed a bright red breastplate black, and I completely agree that the resolene was the worst part!!

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    1. I wish you had a secret tip for me on that.

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  6. Awesome. I vote you dye the brown saddles black.

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    1. LOL that's an idea!

      "Ummm Kate. What happened here?"

      "See, I had half the supplies necessary so I just went with it, okay?!"

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  7. Nice - definitely a vast improvement!!!

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    Replies
    1. FOR SURE it was a very sad saddle and much happier now that it's been remodeled.

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  8. Great review and great idea! Yeah my current saddle is looking a little dye-less these days in some areas, but since its my only saddle there is no way in heck I'm attempting to re-dye it myself lol

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    1. It's a great idea for sure - really not all that much work. I'm going to re-dye my newest dressage saddle eventually too, it's not nearly as bad as the first but I'm wondering how much the lessons I learned will help the second time around.

      If I get five or so saddles in I could do yours ;)

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