Who Needs to Wear Hair Bows for Horse Shows?
Heading off to compete in a horse show? Whether it’s your first time in the ring or you are a seasoned pro, you (and your hair) need to look good in the saddle. Often, this means topping your hairstyle off with a hair bow. But how you style your hair depends on your riding discipline, length of hair, and your age and size. Confused? Let’s break it down so you understand who really needs to wear hair bows for horse shows.
The exciting sport of equestrian riding offers more than a dozen type of horse show disciplines, including hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage. Each discipline sets specific rules for riders’ attire, so check with your trainer well in advance to prepare for show day.
For example, if you compete in the hunter/jumper class, you must conceal your hair under your helmet using a hair net to prevent wispy, flyaways. For older riders in this show ring, hair bows aren’t appropriate. However, an exception to this rule is allowed for young children and junior riders (see Age and Size section below).
Length of hair
With shorter, cropped hair, tuck it neatly under your helmet using a hair net to keep everything in place. With longer hair, gather your hair neatly in braids, ponytails or pigtails and secure hair with elastic bands, barrettes, and/or hair bows.
Age and Size
As we mentioned in a previous blog about bow size and shape, you need to take your age and size into consideration. For most children or junior riders age 12 and under, it’s common to see girls with long hair wearing one ponytail or braid in the back, or in two pigtail braids. (In the lead line competition classes, popular among the sport’s youngest riders, you’ll often see just one small hair bow.) The hair is then secured with elastic bands topped with hair bows.
Regardless if you wear one hair bow or two, your goal is to complement your outfit by matching the bow to the color of your shirt or jacket or even your pony’s coloring and markings. Remember, from a tiny lead liner to a more mature pony hunter, bows should fit the size of the rider’s back rather than overwhelm it. You don’t want an oversized bow—regardless of how beautiful–distracting the judges.
The general rule of thumb is that once girls reach their teens, they usually transition from hair bows to hair nets for competition.
The best way to determine whether you need to wear hair bows for horse shows is to discuss with your trainer, who might prefer certain styles depending on pony division, show class and your age. And for great styling tips, check out our YouTube Channel.