Online Tack and Horse Equipment Guide: Crocheted Ear Bonnets


Crocheted ear bonnet
Crocheted ear bonnets (also called “ear hoods”) first became
popular in the world of show jumping. Grand prix riders, competing on grass
fields during spring and summer, realized their horses were often distracted by
flies and gnats. It was disconcerting to gallop toward a 6-foot jump on a horse
that was shaking its head due to pesky insects. The ear bonnet became a welcome
addition to the show jumper’s tack box. It didn’t take long before riders from
other disciplines discovered the potential benefits of the ear bonnet. Today
they’re a colorful accessory during gnat and fly season, even gaining in
popularity among recreational trail riders.

  • Tightly woven fabric encases
    the horse’s ears and to keep them free from gnats. Fringe and tassels along the crocheted edges
    swish flies away from the horse’s eyes.
  • When choosing an ear bonnet, make sure
    the ear hoods are a roomy fit for your horse. Too snug and they’re likely to
    annoy your horse more than any gnats or flies.
  • Try the ear bonnet at home before
    heading out for a ride. Let your horse wear it beneath his halter for a while
    before trying it with a bridle.
  • Because ear bonnets are available in a
    wide range of styles, designs and embellishments, make sure you understand how
    to properly attach the one you selected so it doesn’t come loose during a ride.
  • Crocheted ear bonnets are allowed in
    jumping competitions and under certain circumstances in dressage. They are not
    permitted, however, in classes for hunters and hunt seat equitation, including
    medal classes. When in doubt, check the rules before adding an ear bonnet.

Back to HorseChannel’s Online Tack and Horse Equipment Guide


  1. I’ve always thought horses with ear bonnets on looked very elegant and professional, but I’ve never known their actual use! Thanks HC!

  2. I have some fly mask, and have been considering the ones with ears. I will try to make a fly mask with ears on.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here