Skip to main content

Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 2, 2019

Ellie and I did a show at our lesson barn this past weekend instead of taking a lesson.  I would have done a lesson on Saturday before the show, but my instructor went to NEDA Spring with her eldest daughter, who was able to get her last Grand Prix score for her USDF Gold Medal!!!  So that is a good reason to not be able to lesson haha.

I admit I was a little bummed about our low scores at the SMDA show two weeks prior.  I know a score of 6 (60%) is called satisfactory, but I really thought our performance was better than a low 60%.
I was determined to ride well and even though Beth was not there, I had her youngest daughter as my back up if the wheels fell off the bus LOL!  She was already in the warmup and at the show ring with her actual students, so it was nice to have her there to remind me to breathe and not hang on the left rein!  ;-)
Ellie unloaded and was totally calm.  Honestly, she loves her lesson barn and knows it is her second home haha.  She was much calmer tied to the tra…

Dyeing a Dressage Saddle

While I LOVE my child sized Stubben Juventus dressage saddle because it actually fits my tiny leg (I'm only 5' tall on a good day) and it fits my horse, I do NOT love the way the leather looks.  I found it used seven years ago and have taken great care of it.  But the seat has been fading for a while and last fall was just looking incredibly sad.  I knew I needed to do something to save it, but the thought of dyeing my saddle gave me a bit of pause.  OK, a lot of pause.


So sad.
I found a blog post last November about dyeing saddles and promptly saved it to my Pinterest.  I bought the materials I needed last December and stored them safely in my hallway closet.  Then I sat around and thought about this idea even more, mostly because I was scared to actually attempt to dye it (what if I totally screwed it up?!) and because the horses pretty much had December and January off.  It was too cold to ride or even think about dyeing a saddle anyway!

But this past week was our school vacation and it warmed up enough for me to consider that if I was going to attempt to dye this thing, I might as well give it a shot now.  

Not shown is the Tan Kote and Resolene

I printed off the directions found on the blog above, and I mostly followed the same procedure.  
I went with Fiebing's not just because that is what the original blogger used, but also because I think they are a reputable company and it was easy to find all the needed products on Amazon for only $29.41 (thank you Prime for your free 2-day shipping!)  I ended up not applying the Resolene at the end, though I still could if I wanted to.  

The first day I cleaned the saddle up, removed the finish with the deglazer, and applied three coats of dye.  I ended up doing a fourth coat on the seat because I really wanted to be sure if was covered.  This may have been a bit much, but whatever.  Once I started with the deglazer (which is pretty much just acetone), I knew I was committed and wasn't really nervous any longer LOL!  I used a microfiber towel to apply the deglazer.

I dyed the entire top of the saddle and the top of the "billet panel", plus the billets because they were looking a little sad too.  I did not do the underside of the top flap or the underside of the saddle itself.  I left the saddle to dry overnight.  It looked lovely and black but terribly dull.  I did not take any photos of this step.  But it was fairly easy to apply the dye, and I used a sponge brush and evened it out as needed with the microfiber pad.

The next day, I wiped down the saddle well and barely any dye came off at all.  I applied the tan-kote with another microfiber towel and the saddle started to look magnificent.  I did the first coat and let it dry before doing a second coat.  I didn't glob it on and made sure to buff it well as I went.  

Oh my goodness, the difference was amazing.  I cannot believe I waited this long to dye it!  I looks so much better.  Right now, I have left it like this and have not applied the resolene.  I am a bit worried about how it will look, as I know you have to be super careful with application process.  I don't want it to be streaky and I know it is totally possible I could apply it like the amateur I am haha.  Also, resolene makes an acrylic resistant finish, so while it may assure that the dye won't come off on my breeches, it will make the seat impermeable to leather conditioner.  So, I figure I will give it a shot with a junky pair of my lighter colored breeches and see what I think!




I cannot stop looking at these side by side comparisons!


Comments

  1. Looks awesome. I really want to try this, but, like you, don't want to do the resolene stage so I hope you'll do an update with how it works out sans resolene.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It looks so good!!! My mind is officially blown by how amazing that turned out! It looks like a new saddle!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!