Fenwick ear bonnets. Legal?

That’s because you put the bridle on over them. That’s not necessary you know, it could be done the other way. They could have a thin chin strap.

Chin strap?
Ear bonnets are not anywhere near the chin.

lol you’re right…ok, throatlatch strap.

The ones I buy do not have the throat strap. They are designed to be held in place by the bridle. They would not fit well over the bridle. I am not going to ride in the type designed for turn-out.
If you don’t like them, don’t use them. I don’t see the big deal. I don’t even see how you would find them offensive if somebody else shows in them. Haven’t you said you haven’t even been to a dressage show. You have lots of negative opinions about a sport you haven’t actually participated in or gone to see.

I come from more of a hunter back round so showing in the ear bonnets isn’t a thing. However I also trail ride. You can bet I put those bonnets on and frequently carry a fly whisk when I trail ride. My horse is also schooled in one at home. Therefore for showing I don’t care one way or another if somebody wants to use an ear bonnet.

If I remember you like navy or grey tack on your horse. That is your choice to wear it. Not one I would make. I personally only like leather tack and prefer dark havana brown. If you want to use something other than black or brown and non-leather have at it as long as the rules permit it if you show. You seem to want to be allowed to express your preferences in tack but then are critical when others do the same with an ear bonnet.

As long as they aren’t abusing their horse I generally don’t care what they want to use for tack. As long as it fits and isn’t hurting the horse go for it. I personally am going to be much more conservative in the show ring than at home or on the trail but that is my choice.

You have indicated that you are concerned that dressage riders and judges will be snooty and critical yet many of your posts come across as being snooty and critical dressage tack, dressage riders, dressage judges and other things related to dressage.

I have found that the attitude I put out to others gets reflected back to me by those around me. If I am kind, open and helpful I get that in return. If I am spiteful and judgey I then have people that are mean, spiteful and judging me in return. Just something to think about.


I live in a swampy area :joy: the bugs are prolific and when I work my pony between late spring and late fall, there is often a visible CLOUD of barn flies and gnats trailing behind him (in spite of fly spray). I tried working him without a bonnet last year and as the bugs got worse he was miserable - completely unable to focus and borderline rage-y at the persistent assault.


The voice of experience; come to educate us all, once again.

ETA: Interesting how you’ve gone from decrying the use of ear bonnets as a foolish fad to advising how to design a better one. Your confidence in the value of your opinion is impressive.


My last mare was like this too. More than one day I actually had to just give up, and bring her back into the barn under her stall fans because the bugs drove her so crazy.

I actually bought one of those riding scrims. I would also ride in polos, purely for their coverage of her legs.

Some of them REALLY do not like bugs. Having to spray on 3 different kinds of fly spray at a show and hope it gets you through the class is no fun.


I do think this bonnet look is unflattering on horses.
I’m a slave to my personal aesthetic. And i have very definite tastes. Not much of a fad follower, never have been. Not a trend-setter either. I just do me, and i don’t require much approval really.

We put spray on my guy when he is working, but I have also found that the Smart bug-off pellets added to his feed work really well. The flies still hang around, but they don’t seem to bite the horses as much and there is a lot less stomping and swishing in the pasture. My trainer thought it worked so well that she bought a huge bucket for all her horses last summer. My sensitive soul still does not want flies to even think of landing on his face, though. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I have one that doesn’t like his forelock hitting his ear. That said, I cannot find a bonnet for my horses’ well endowed ears! Any suggestions?

Do you know anyone who can crochet? They can make you one.

I am sure others will have good ideas for a longer eared model.

The Fenwick comes in L, XL. and XXL Maybe you can contact them to see if the ear size increases as the width between the ears does.

SIZE: (Width between ears)


5 minutes that I paid damn good money for, and want the judge to be able to see my horse without her flinging her head due to bugs.


(not to mention the schooling/warming up ahead of time…)


No-see-ums and gnats are miserable, nasty insects that cause horses real distress. I hope we don’t get to a day where we ignore our horse’s needs just because the solution is “unflattering”.


Mine wears the XL size from LeMieux. A friend ordered draft size off Etsy and submitted the measurements. It’s gorgeous and wasn’t expensive.

You win the best post award in my opinion!


I cannot imagine why you would care enough what other people do to comment on it, if that were true.


GP Jumper - Where did you find the USEF rule book pages that you posted in the beginning of the thread? They are too small to read and I counldn’t find them in the rule book.

Thank you!

That might not be the rulebook. Annex A and the Dressage & Attire Booklet are sometimes more useful. You can download both here: https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/dressage/rules--equipment

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lol. you just cannot resist me can you?