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View Full Version : Question about Neatsfoot oil and darkening tack



cleartheoxer
Feb. 14, 2009, 03:37 PM
Well, my first question is...does neatsfoot oil expire? I have some that I've had for awhile that I want to use but I'm not sure if I can. Second, I want to darken my saddle, even if it's just a little. How do you apply this stuff? I know with some other tack cleaners/oils you use damp sponges and not with others, so how does this work?

Thank you!!!

BaroquePony
Feb. 14, 2009, 03:53 PM
To my knowledge, 100% neatsfoot does not expire if it has been kept in a reasonable climate controlled environment (not over 120 degrees F or under freezing temps or in direct sunlight for any extended time period). Maybe if its twenty to thirty years old, but I don't think it gets rancid, maybe just a little thick which wouldn't really harm anything.

Put it on leather with a dry cloth (piece of T-shirt) or a piece of wool or a small sponge.

It is, uhm, rather messy, but it will soak right in. You don't want to saturate leather with it because too much will make leather limp. But you can put a whole lot on in three of four good applications, separated by a day or two between each application to make sure the previous application has really soaked in.

Depends on the original color of the leather how much you can darken it within the first year. If you have a light leather color and you put so much oil on it that it becomes a dark brown, that probably would be way too much.

But, you can put on maybe three to five liberal applications over maybe three monthes and begin to get a nice rich light medium brown.

mortebella
Feb. 14, 2009, 03:59 PM
I put it on with a soft clean rag. Don't know about it going out of date, but it's not that expensive. If appearance matters, I'd just buy new. I have had unpredictable results with new, NON-DARKENING neatsfoot. Turned a good quality well broken in, nice, mellow, dark havana bridle absolutely BLACK. :eek: Didn't see that coming at all. I've always been a staunch neatsfoot user, but I would proceed with caution if the cosmetic aspect matters.

cleartheoxer
Feb. 14, 2009, 04:00 PM
thank you, that was a big help. I am aplying it to a small part of my stirrup leathers that you can't really see just to see what happens. I can definately see that it's a teeny bit darker.

Thank you!

fair judy
Feb. 14, 2009, 05:14 PM
in florida pure neatsfoot draws roaches. they love the stuff and will eat your tack along with the oil:no: . also pure neatsfoot will rot your stitching. i use neatsfoot compound if i have to, but prefer hydrophane or tanner's.

amastrike
Feb. 14, 2009, 05:57 PM
Everything I've read says that the compound rots stitching, while pure neatsfoot is fine. My instructor has been using regular neatsfoot for decades now and her tack is fine. I won't touch the compound, but love pure neatsfoot.

Ready2Ride
Feb. 14, 2009, 06:40 PM
Do you put the neatsfoot on both sides of the leather? And do you do the entire saddle, or are there parts of the saddle you shouldn't put neatsfoot on? Thanks- sorry to hijack this thread!

amastrike
Feb. 14, 2009, 06:45 PM
I oil everywhere. Put a little more on the flesh side of the leather, it'll absorb the oil better.

Oh, and when you oil, don't be afraid. It might look streaky and horrible, but don't panic. Just cover it lightly with a coat of oil and leave it alone overnight. It'll soak in and even out.

Drifter
Feb. 14, 2009, 07:22 PM
I heard that if you let the saddle sit in the sun , it will open the pores and absorb the oil better!?

DallasES
Feb. 14, 2009, 08:40 PM
Be careful, pure neatsfoot will eat the stitching in your leather. I used the hydrophane darkening oil on a new newmarket (read:orange) bridle and it darkened it really well. I would stay away from neatsfoot if possible.

EAY
Feb. 14, 2009, 08:52 PM
I always heard that in order to open the pores to encourage the oil to soak in it was good to put your tack in a warm spot prior to oiling but not in direct sunlight.

amastrike
Feb. 14, 2009, 08:56 PM
You can also warm the oil before using it. I stick it in the microwave for a few seconds.

WorthTheWait95
Feb. 14, 2009, 09:00 PM
Well, my first question is...does neatsfoot oil expire? I have some that I've had for awhile that I want to use but I'm not sure if I can. Second, I want to darken my saddle, even if it's just a little. How do you apply this stuff? I know with some other tack cleaners/oils you use damp sponges and not with others, so how does this work?

Thank you!!!

If you are just looking to darken your tack I would recommend hydrophane over neatsfoot oil. Neatsfoot seems to leave more of a residue on my tack that I'm not crazy about.

Lou-Lou
Feb. 15, 2009, 08:57 AM
I also prefer hydrophane.

Ready2Ride
Feb. 15, 2009, 12:13 PM
Hijacking again here :no: sorry.

I've never used hydrophane but hear lots of people recommend it. I found a website and looks like there are lots of different types of hydrophane. Which one do you use on saddles and bridles? And which do you use on boots? THANKS

http://www.equishopper.com/m-70-hydrophane.aspx?pagenum=1&pagesize=999999

WorthTheWait95
Feb. 15, 2009, 12:18 PM
I use this one (http://www.equishopper.com/p-4425-hydrophane-leather-darkening-oil.aspx) to darken leather.

When you say boots do you mean tall boots? I don't use any kind of oil on my tall boots. Just a damp sponge to wipe them off, some polish and a buffer brush is all you need. I can't imagine putting oil on your boots would be very good for them.

I've never used Hydrophane's soaps/conditioners so can't tell you how well they work. I generally just use leather therapy.

DallasES
Feb. 15, 2009, 12:18 PM
I use the Hydrophane Darkening Oil for any new tack. It makes it really soft, but be sure you want your leather darkened, bc it really works. I have not used any other hydrophane products. I use Tattersall soap for regular tack cleaning.

Ready2Ride
Feb. 15, 2009, 12:46 PM
Thank you! okay- I must have gotten confused. I thought before I had read to use hydrophane for boots, but I was thinking maybe it was the hydrophane waterproofer because I didn't think it would be the same stuff that is used on the saddles and bridles. now I can't find where I thought I read that, so maybeI was wrong, or maybe it was my trainer who said it.

Thanks

Party Rose
Feb. 15, 2009, 10:44 PM
Don't use neatsfoot oil on any leather that has stitching, as it rots or deteriorated the stitching. Use a non oil product.

fair judy
Feb. 15, 2009, 11:11 PM
Everything I've read says that the compound rots stitching, while pure neatsfoot is fine. My instructor has been using regular neatsfoot for decades now and her tack is fine. I won't touch the compound, but love pure neatsfoot.

sounds like you are out voted on this one........... and neatsfoot tends to leave not so nice stains on the crotch of your breeches.........

IsolaBella09
Feb. 16, 2009, 12:07 AM
I also recommend Hyrophane. It is an amazing product that conditions, softens, and darkens your leather subtly, without rotting the stitching out. I used the Hydrophane Leather Dressing on my saddle, girth, bridle, and martingale. All have turned out lovely.