Monday, May 20, 2013

Over-oiling: a dark, dark lesson

Apparently there is such a thing as over oiling tack.

Bought a new show bridle (as if I needed one) and it come a medium brown. It's an Arc De Triomphe Gazelle. Apparently it's their lower quality line. I have an Imperial and would agree the Gazelle is lesser, but it's still really freakin' nice.

ADT Gazelle - brown
I hand oiled it with a cloth and it turned a lovely dark brown. Perfect. I then used it about 2 times to start breaking it in, but decided it wasn't as supple as I thought it should be. Seemed a little dry. So I brought it home, took it apart, poured some non-darkening Hydrophane in a container, and proceeded to run every inch of the bridle through a tiny pool of oil. I pulled off excess with my hands - and did a bit of rubbing in while I was at it. (ruh-roh). Then I let it air dry.

It did not lighten. It was dark. Very dark. I happened to have some black stirrups at home, hanging. I assembled the bridle and hung it next to the stirrups. Same color, same shade. AHHHHHHH!!!

Totally made me sick to my stomach for like 3 days.
Seriously oiled bridle
It is very oily to touch. I looked everywhere online for a solution but everyone pretty much said, "You're screwed!" It's suggested I use it and slightly abuse it and it will *someday* lighten a bit - Maybe. Grr. I did wrap it in some tissue paper which took some oil. I left it outside in the wind for a day. I do plan on buying a big huge back of rice and putting it in that for about a week.

Sorry for the blur, we were moving
In the meantime, I thought I'd bring it to the barn and (ab)use it. I usually ride without gloves and while the bridle is super soft and supple now (yay!) I was definitely riding with oily hands. Fortunately, Sam was very, very good yesterday and I didn't have to use any force with my reins. Bridle is now home awaiting rice, since it's probably not safe to ride with slick reins. :)

I grabbed a few shots of the bridle on Sam. It actually looks pretty good on him, though I wish it had a hint of brown to it still. It does exactly match the center pommel/seat and panels of my saddle which are pretty darn near black (but still brown). 

What do you think?

Cute photo of Sam (preview of totally cute new baby pad!)
Weird angle unflattering body shot
Interestingly enough, in many of my show photos which are all of my other show bridle (Courbette) it often looks black. It is very dark, but does have a slight havana tint to it. It's more obvious in brighter lighting, but even the picture of my last post, it looks black.


  1. Someone just posted about bridles at the COTH forums:
    "For a black horse, I suprisingly have really liked how the pessoa's oil up. With two coats of olive oil, my pessoa bridle (bargain bin!) is near black and looks great on my near black horse."

    YAY for someone loving near black on their black horse! I don't feel like such a loser!

  2. Omg omg omg, that baby pad... it's adorable!!!!!! Besides that, it sucks that it got so dark! I've never seen that happen before, but I've usually gotten super cheapy bridles that don't take oil or really expensive ones that hold their color well. For what it's worth, I don't mind the dark on him. It looks elegant and it's obvious it's not shining patent black leather.

  3. It's dark but I don't think it looks bad!