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Hydrophane Darkening Oil

Item #16414


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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

A unique dual-action formula that first penetrates new leather and progressively darkens light colored leather, and, secondly, the unique oil formulation helps protect new leather and ensure that mud and sweat can be removed with cold water. 16.9 oz 

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    86% of customers would recommend this product to a friend!
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    SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

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    Hydrophane Darkening Oil is rated 4.4483 out of 5 by 29.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Product I bought this recently to darken up my new bridle from SmartPak, as another reviewer who bought the bridle recommended this darkening oil. It worked great. The bridle took the oil easily, and with a few coats the bridle darkened right up. It is easy to use. I recommend it!
    Date published: 2015-04-16
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't work as well as I expected I'm giving the Hydrophane Darkening Oil a "Fair" rating after buying it to use on my Jerry's Harness bridle. The bridle has a redish hue and was a lighter shade of brown then my buffalo-leather dressage saddle. I applied a coat a day over the course of a week, but kept an flash and spare crown piece made from the same leather separate because 1- they're spare parts, and 2- I wanted to be able to compare the before & after... There were no changes seen. I assumed maybe the leather- though used and cared for regularly for a few months, may have had some finish that didn't allow the oil to really soak in. A little disappointing, but no big deal- what judge will really notice that the brown bridle on my horse's head is a slightly different shade then the brown buffalo leather of the saddle ;)Recently, though, I tried coating the oil on a medium-oil western saddle and didn't see a difference either. The saddle is significantly lighter then the Jerry's bridle, and has much more porous leather. What was changed by the oil though, was a LIGHT-oil headstall. After the first coat the headstall & reins darkened to a much richer shade, and by a third coat they matched the medium-oil saddle perfectly. That would be great, except I don't know anyone who buys all their tack in light-oil with the expectation of it becoming medium oil at it's darkest.Not sure why my results differ so much from those who did find it to be an effective product. Disappointed, but I guess one of the "charms" of having brown tack is that it does not all weather & wear the same way!
    Date published: 2014-09-25
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Works Great I get confused when people aren't happy with this stuff. It's been around forever and is definitely the easiest to use darkening oil I've ever worked with. You don't have to be super careful about even application - which I appreciate, and it does darken most leather really nicely. Typically for strap goods (like a bridle) I put it in a plastic bag, add about 1/2c oil and let it sit overnight. This seems to get a really even coat and good effect without too much work. I recently bought a new CWD bridle and wanted to get it from the redish color they all come with to a dark chocolate like the rest of my tack. 3 repetitions of the plastic bag trick and it looks great.Only caveat is that I don't think this oil really conditions your leather, if anything it leaves it feeling a bit dry, so I always treat my stuff with a separate conditioner after. For darkening though, this is great
    Date published: 2014-05-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really nice I bought this to try to darken up my horses new bridle as it was too light for my horse. It worked well. I had reapply it a bunch to get it to really darken up the leather to where I wanted it but it really did work. It also made the leather very soft which was nice as well! I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to darken up something leather, just keep in mind it might take a couple applications if you really want to darken something up more than just a tiny bit
    Date published: 2014-04-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Darkening Control This product works very well and as it is supposed to. I have a new Stübben Edelweiss saddle that in the color Tobacco, which started out as a very light red-brown. I applied the Hydrophane Darkening Oil with a sponge in a generous coat all over the saddle and let it sit in the tack room with the cover on for 5 days. When I took the cover off, the saddle was noticeably darker, but I will want a few more coats until it gets to a nice, dark shade. That said, this oil makes itself useful because it allows you some control of how dark you get your tack instead of drastically changing the color, which would not be useful if you only wanted to darken your tack slightly to match other tack. I used non-darkening conditioner twice a few weeks before using the darkening oil, which made the color very even. A little goes a long way - I only used one coat and got an effect!
    Date published: 2014-02-23
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't work for me. I had an oakbark girth (new) that I wanted to de-orange a bit, in hopes of making a batter match for my darker saddle. The product was easy to apply, but even after 6-7 coats I saw little darkening action. Such a shame you have to purchase such a large quantity only to find out it won't do the job. Maybe it works better on certain kinds of leather? If so, I didn't have that "certain kind."
    Date published: 2013-09-23
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Subjective Leather Darkening Oil I have an M. Tououlse saddle that I just wanted to darken the seat on, I applied about 3 coats, and it is maybe a shade darker, but not very noticeable. This is one of those products you have to apply again and again and have patience.
    Date published: 2013-08-20
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from I have put several coats on the saddle I was trying to darken, and still have not seen much of a difference. It darkened the knee rolls a little bit, but overall, I'm not very impressed and won't be buying this again.
    Date published: 2013-07-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great stuff for darkening. Got a new flash attachment that is still orange and doesn't match my worn-in bridle. Hydrophane does the trick. I like to soak in a zip-lock baggie with a bit of hydrophane and rub it in from the outside of the bag -- keeps hands cleaner.
    Date published: 2013-06-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from It Works I used this on my new Antares leathers. It works very gradually, so give yourself ample time to apply several coats, letting each one dry in between. It does not stiffen the leather at all and soaked right into the soft leather. I have also used it on some of the worn places on my saddle, as well as the seat to help protect it from the elements.
    Date published: 2013-05-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent product Does the job. It takes several applications to achieve desired darkness...which is great so you don't get too dark with only one application! This product takes the cake for darkening oils.
    Date published: 2013-04-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My All Time Favorite Oil I bought this oil based on the recommendation of a very helpful customer care woman. Because all of my tack is black, I was fine with the fact that this oil will darken tack. It was great on some of my older black tack where it was no longer quite as black. The Hydrophane "re-blackened" the tack. I was thrilled. The oil does not leave sticky residue. I will never use another oil!
    Date published: 2013-04-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Got the Job Done I purchased this with the hopes to darken a used french calfskin saddle that I had recently bought. The saddle was a mix between brown and orange, uneven from wear. All of my tack was a deep brown and I wanted this to match. It was a bit difficult to open ( something that could be resealed would be nice) but I ended up just poking holes in the top with a sharp screwdriver. The soft leather of my saddle ate this stuff up and produced a nice even color. After one coat the results were very prominent. I applied two coats to the flap, and three coats to the seat and knee rolls, as they started out more orange. Now, the saddle is one uniform shade, exactly what I had wanted.
    Date published: 2013-03-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great product! This oil did exactly what I needed it to do. It darkened my saddle into a beautiful shade of chocolate brown and didn't harm the leather at all (and my saddle is calf and buffalo!). Very impressed... I even had my friend buy it to darken her saddle, she was so impressed with mine :)
    Date published: 2013-02-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hydrophane products ROCK! I've been using Hydrophane oil for years, and this is the first time I've bought the darkening oil. I recently purchased a bridle w/o reins, and wanted to make my current reins match the new bridle. I put 2 light coats of the darkening oil on the reins, and voila - perfect match! It pains me to spend so much money on oil, but it truly is the best I've ever found!
    Date published: 2011-07-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this oil! Best oil you can get. I have an oakbark colored Amerigo saddle, and have been using this to get it to a less orange color. Very pleased with it's effectiveness.
    Date published: 2011-06-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this oil I love it. Provides the best protection for my leather
    Date published: 2011-03-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Does the Trick! While a little pricey, this oil does a great job darkening leather, while conditioning at the same time. Easy to apply.
    Date published: 2010-12-17
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from not impressive results Great for softening but did not see a big difference in color.
    Date published: 2010-05-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worked Great! I bought a saddle on sale that was much lighter than I liked. I read the reviews on this product and decided to try it. I used about 8 coats (only about half the container) to get it to the color I wanted. The saddle looks great, like it has always been that color. Love this product, I will use it whenever I need to darken my leather.
    Date published: 2010-05-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Money Saver!! I had a light colored bridle that at the time matched my saddle. I had to buy a better fitting saddle to fit my horse but the leather was darker and no longer matched the bridle. I loved the bridle so much and I really didn't want to shell out more money for a darker bridle so I gave this stuff a try. I bought it based on the reviews and I will admit I was skeptical. It did take several coats but within 3 days I had my bridle matching my saddle perfectly! It coated it evenly and wasn't spotty. I recommend applying it with latex gloves on so it doesn't stain your hands! Will definitely turn to this stuff again instead of buying new tack!
    Date published: 2010-04-20
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Protection and color change I have a dark, dark bay horse and struggled to find a dark brown or black close contact saddle for him. A) so it would look good and B) so I wouldn't have to buy a brown bridle and could just use my black dressage bridle. I found a chocolate brown saddle and got the Hydrophane Darking Oil to make it a little darker and to protect my investment from the sometimes rainy NW weather. The leather looks great after only one coat and I'm looking forward to putting another one or two on to take the redness out of the saddle.
    Date published: 2010-02-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome product that every barn needs A good friend turned me onto this incredible product. If you need to darken anything without worrying about blotchy uneven results, this is the product to wisk those worries away. I bought a new western show saddle and it wasn't quite the color I wanted. With all the tooling I knew it was going to be a chore. The Darkening Oil took care of it with ease. It's a gradual result but worth the time. Leaves the leather gorgeous but remember to condition it afterwards for a great look. Will never go without this product again!
    Date published: 2009-07-01
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    Mollie and Eden
    I started riding when I was 9 years old and quickly got swept up into the competitive hunter/jumper world. I showed my first pony, Chloe, in the Small Pony Hunter divisions were we competed at shows like Fairfield Hunt Club, Old Salem, HITS, and West...

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