From Endurance to Dressage
I think my saddle is as black as it is going to get. Did it turn out as well as I was hoping? Yes and no, but that wasn't the fault of Clyde's Leather Recoloring Balm. In fact, that's the only part of this recoloring project that went well. If you are interested in dying your saddle, there's a link to my DIY post in Part 1. If you're interested in using Clyde's Recoloring Balm to recolor your saddle, read Parts 1 and 2. In the end, I would choose the recoloring balm over leather dye. It was a lot easier, especially now that I know which steps I would follow.
In a nutshell, the recoloring cream did what it was supposed to, and next year, I'll probably use it again. There are a few things that I will do differently though.
Before we left for Nashville, I decided to try the Tan-Kote one more time. I reapplied it only on the seat and small skirt, and then left my saddle indoors for nearly a week to cure. By the time we came back, the Tan-Kote was completely dry. The first time I rode in it though, the shine wore off under my seat and off the small skirt. While it is pretty ugly up close, it's really just cosmetic.
All of the faded areas of the saddle have remained black where I used the recoloring balm, which was my main concern in the first place. The leather feels soft and well conditioned; it just looks like it has old finger nail polish that hasn't yet been worn off or removed. I am hoping that over time, the Tan-Kote will get rubbed off completely which will ultimately make everything look better. Fortunately, the worst of the worn finish is under my seat and thighs, so anyone looking at it, like a judge or my trainer, won't see anything but a black dressage saddle. And again, over time, the unevenness of the shine should wear away.
Next summer, if I need to recolor my saddle again, these are the steps I will follow:
Overall, I am actually happy with how things look - except for the ugly spot right under my butt. All of the the leather is black again, and it feels soft and well-conditioned. I definitely wouldn't recommend doing this to a new saddle, but since this one has seen lots of wear, it didn't bother me to experiment with it. I would recommend Clyde's Leather Recoloring Balm and Conditioning Cream for a faded saddle, especially if it is black.
While my saddle is done, I just might try to "spot" treat that one area on the seat with more recoloring balm. I'll give the Tan-Kote more time to wear away first.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: