Fenwick ear bonnets. Legal?

Hi guys,
I have a quirky guy that I gave up on showing. He goes very well in the basic fenwick ear bonnet. (It looks like a regular bonnet. Not the face mask) are these legal? I know you can’t have a bonnet with sound proofing, and this doesn’t have that. I’ve attached the link so you guys can see. Thanks in advance.


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I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. There are no rules about what the fabric has to be made out of. I’ve shown plenty in a Back on Track ear bonnet.

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I think it’s iffy, because it claims to produce a calming effect. Do yourself a favor and write USEF to about it. You don’t want to risk being eliminated.

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Hi guys.
I just checked the rule book and the fenwick is specifically mentioned as being FEI and USEF legal.(as of this posting. Who knows what they will do)


Good to know!

The soundproofing ones are legal now, for dressage. No earplugs though.


Oh good! I haven’t been following the rules that closely. Personally, I’m not a fan of the sound proofing bonnets. They seems so thick that they have got to be hot/uncomfortable.

how long have ear bonnets been fashionable in shows?

Since a split second after they became legal.


since people realized they can use it as advertising space.


i’ll be happy to see the fad fade away. It’s not a very flattering look. I’ll bet folks will look back on the pics of the horses in them and kinda feel the same way one does looking back at 1980s and seeing all the shoulder pads …oh what a strange fashion that was.

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It depends on the horse. Some don’t like bonnets and will get annoyed, which is not a good look in dressage. But for some horses the sound-muffling bonnets can be useful.

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Also super useful on a horse who hates his forelock braided.

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Yes, absolutely - or for riders who are terrible at forelock braids…


This, but also great for horses who hate flies!


I have Fenwick Face Masks with Ears. I paid extra for the ear part because I ride early in the morning and I hated when there was a cold wind blowing over their ears.

As a side benefit the Fenwick ear covering helped me cure ear shyness in two or three horses. They started off very resistant to any touch, one threatened to rear, and a few months later these horses would stand, head down when I brushed their ears inside and out and I never had them act ear shy after that. At times the horses will angle their head so I could get to a particularly itchy patch inside their ear, something that never happened before I started them on the Fenwick ear coverings.


i have one new mustang with a giant ‘Sacred Zone’ that includes everything from her cowlick to her poll. We are working on it every single day. She is gonna be quite the prima donna…and will be an amazing ride! (I just LOVE a proud mare!)

Both my mules will mob anyone they think they can talk into a good ear scratch…inside and out… they are insanely addicted to having their ears cleaned too. I use old socks, stick my fingers inside and give them a good ear cleaning about once a week.

But ear covers for a 5 min ring go-round? cummon…that’s just fashion. I think it’s a very weird look. Now, i personally have ideas of what looks good that most others disagree with, so, as they say: There’s no accounting for taste!

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I use ear bonnets in warm weather because the bugs here are insane - it’s extremely difficult to establish an actual connection with the bit while my horse is shaking the bugs off his ears every three steps (even with fly spray on board). It’s not all fashion for some. :joy:


Here, it’s the deer flies in the Spring that are the worst on ears. But they are more susceptible to chems. The horse flies go for butts and those green eyed monsters=bellies. At least that’s what goes on where i live anyway.

Schooling/lessons …for a half hour, hour is one thing…but five mins in the ring?

I’m pretty sure folks would do leg-wraps if they could, because of fashion. But, for five mins in the ring, there’s no need.

Nobody I’ve seen is only putting the bonnet on for the 5 minute test? Most people put all their tack on, go warm up for 20+ minutes, complete warmup 5-10 min before ride time, then go ride the 5 minute test. So really, it’s a minimum of half an hour and realistically for many horses who require a longer warmup it’s twice that time that they would be wearing it.

I understand that you think it’s silly, my point was that for a lot of people bonnets ARE actually serving a real, protective function besides just “fashion”. I know you are new to dressage and have your own ways of doing everything, but try to keep an open mind. You must not have biting gnats where you live? Here, any ear left uncovered during the daylight from spring to fall will be filled with bleeding gnat bites.