Ear bonnets 2023

Is it just wishful thinking on my part or are earbonnets finally going out-of-fashion? Did not see many at our regionals (but it was hot hot hot here then, so maybe it was the heat)

Personally, I don’t mind ear bonnets, but I only use them during fly season. For me, they’re a necessity to keep the horse from constantly shaking his head and fussing about the flies.


Just… don’t use one. Voila! No wishful thinking needed. :slight_smile:

They’re necessary around here in the summer time, unless you want to have a horse who can’t focus because the flies are driving him/her mad. I also will throw one on in the rain to avoid the shaking head from raindrops on the ears.


Mine is definitely not fashion :laughing:

That said, I only use a plain black one, or black with simple piping/decoration, I don’t like them colorful.


Same, finding a plain black one, with no piping and no embellishments, that wasn’t noise cancelling … I just ended up ordering custom.

Why do you care? Seriously, why does it matter? You seem to have a bee up your ass that the only reason people use them is for fashion or whatever.

You come across as someone tries to be the gentlest, kindest horse whisperer on the planet. It absolutely boggles my mind that you cannot get over ear bonnets being useful devices to make horses more comfortable.

May you have a million gnats fly into your ears while both arms are in casts and no-one is around to help you.

Note, I am neither superstitious nor dangerous, so take the “ill-will” at face value - a mere attempt to try to get you to realize that it’s not all about offending your delicate visual sensibilities, but about the comfort of the animals you profess to love so much.


i think they’re really dumb-looking


We don’t have significant insects here in most riding arenas. And never in winter.

It had occurred to me they might be useful in the rain. But they might lead to colder wetter ears.

I also don’t use leg wraps or boots.

I have to say I don’t like the look of ear bonnets or leg wear. To me they break up the line of the horse and look fussy.

I also think ear bonnets have been a growing fashion trend over the past decade, and as they reach mass saturation and every 12 year old gets a matchy matchy set for Christmas, they will fall out of favor.


The good news is, the horses don’t care what we humans think. They just know the flies are less tortuous. Yay!


lol. but, you see…your opinion of me is of no consequence to me.


I have a couple of low-budget ones-

This one, which is ok but sometimes doesn’t sit totally flat-

And this one, which is perfect when it’s relatively new but the ear fabric does fade-

Serviceable, but without going over what I’m ready to pay, I haven’t found a unicorn yet.

First one has piping - even if black, I wanted no piping.

The second one looks pretty good! I wish the ears were wicking material, but for that price you can just have a couple on rotation.

I’m good for now, but will save these for the future! Thank you!

I have seen them with the ears marked left and right


Due to gnats, we would not be able to ride without them from spring to fall in my area. When the gnats get so bad we even ride with mosquito nets on our own heads. It is miserable sometimes.

I do find that in the show ring I don’t notice the bonnet as much if it matches the color of the mane and tail. My bay horse has a black one for shows. A brown bonnet in the correct shade looks great on a chestnut. Gray bonnet on a gray horse, or cream on a gray/white horse (because you will never get the horse as clean as the fabrics). I think it cuts a more streamlined look over navy, green, burgundy, etc ears and head.


I see them all the time at shows. I tried one with my mare, but it just seemed to irritate her more than the flies. Plus I’m terrified my bridle might slip off. So I use the cashel riding flymasks at home - ear and eye protection, lightweight and not too tight on the ears. The horses seem to appreciate the protection for ears and eyes.

I don’t like the look, but I can get down with the function.

I put plain black on my bay, and have gotten them from LeMieux and Eskadron, in case anyone is looking.

I didn’t use one for the most part because the bugs never bothered my horses ears (where I used to live)… And there was that time my entire bridle did come off. So unless the bugs are actually bothersome, I go without. If they improve the experience for the horse re bugs, then I put one on. Simple.


LeMieux is what made me think about it… The matchy-matchy toy horses with their earbonnets look pretty adorable! But, when children adopt ‘a look’ that’s usually the end of it.

i think Scribbler alluded to this trend spiral…

I hope not! I don’t think I could the 4 hairs of my horse’s forelock in a braid if I tried! So much easier to cover it up with a bonnet! Simple black bonnet on a black horse!



They aren’t just fashion!

My TB is uber sensitive to bugs around her head. Some of our show grounds have crazy bugs.

I even had a judges comment 2 years ago when my horse shoook her head all across her free walk “too bad about the bug”.

If you don’t like them, what does it matter if others do.


Well, it doesn’t. Should my dislike of them matter to anyone else?