Re-dye Redux

Obviously re-dying a saddle is probably the biggest and scariest project I can imagine, but I have become emboldened by it’s success and am now working my way through the rest of my tack. I bought my girth used on ETT for $25 about a year and a half ago, and it’s always looked a little janky at the top on each side where the color has been rubbed away.


I’ve never really cared that much about the color, but it finally occurred to me while I was tacking up one day that I could actually fix this myself now!

Dyeing the girth was significantly easier than dyeing my saddle. First of all, the leather wasn’t coated so there was no need to deglaze. I just rubbed it down with a wet rag to clean it off, slapped on a coat of dye with a rag, rubbed it in, waited a minute, slapped on another coat of dye, rubbed that in, and voila – even color.

After dye, before top finish

I opted for Tan-Kote as a top finish for this piece and did a very light coat of that, rubbing in quick circles. Start to finish it took me all of 15 minutes to do this and $0, since I already had all the supplies. Now my girth is back to beautiful again! It looks better than when I bought it.

all done

Seriously considering dyeing my CWD this chocolate color. Poor saddle is pretty unevenly colored and its always been very reddish, which is now fading with age to look kind of orange and gross. I mean… why not, right? I’d basically be dyeing the whole thing to match the darkest parts in the middle.

In case anyone is wondering how the Childeric’s dye job is holding up, it still looks gorgeous. I never had a single bit of dye leech, no bleeding on my breeches, etc even in the rain. Still super happy with how it turned out!


27 thoughts on “Re-dye Redux

    1. Love your blog Amanda. I can definately relate. I have never had trouble with dye wearing off my girths. The elastic on mine seems questionable after a few years so I just buy new long girths every 2-3 years. It is amazing how fast horse stuff wears out – Kruiser’s schooling jump boots are looking sad!


    1. I’m sure I’ll blog about it when I do the brown one! I was kind of surprised the girth was so easy, I was expecting it to be harder to get even since it’s brown.


  1. Okay, that’s it. I’m inspired. I got a beautiful new martingale for Christmas, but it’s just a *tad* too light and the leather is sealed and won’t darken easily… Time to print out your posts and get to business 🙂


  2. Chocolate brown will look so much better than orange! I never would have thought about dying a brown saddle. I bet it will look amazing when you are done!


  3. I’ve dyed several things (bridles, breastplates, reins) but I am scared to death to try to dye my old County dressage saddle! Also, I didn’t know about the Tan-Kote… that is just a sealer, I take it?


  4. Hi there, I know it’s been a while since you dyed your saddle but I’m actually wondering how it has gone now you can’t oil it because of the top coat?i.e has it cracked at all??


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