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Hairstyles for Competition

The tradition of having a neat appearance in the saddle dictates the particular horse show hairstyles appropriate for your age and riding discipline.

Hunter/Jumper You're required to have your hair concealed neatly under your helmet and contained in a hair net. Show bows and buns are not appropriate for the hunter/jumper show ring, and neither are colored hair nets. You do not want to give the judge any reason to be distracted from your riding. Choose a hair net that closely matches your hair color. Hair nets are available in a variety of colors and in heavy weight too for very thick hair. You may favor a One Knot Hair Net designed for the knot to be tied at the back with a matching hair band, leaving the front smooth and comfortable under your helmet.

Practice keeping your hair neatly tucked away every time you ride so you're adept at preparing your hair on show day. If you have long or very thick hair, it is possible that your helmet has been fitted to accommodate it, and wearing it any other way would mean that your helmet could be too loose.

For illustrated how-to details of wearing your hair under your helmet, see Helpful Tips for Hairstyling.

Hair is neatly contained under the helmet.

An exception to this horse show hairstyles rule is allowed for very young children. Those with long hair may wear it in one low pony tail or braid in back, or in two pigtails, secured with elastic bands topped with ribbon that matches the show outfit. Children or junior riders with short hair should wear a matching hair net to prevent stray hairs from detracting from their appearance.

Dressage Your hair must be neatly presented in the dressage ring. Even short hair should be contained in a hair net to prevent flyaway strands from distracting from your appearance.

Long hair may be worn completely tucked under your hat, but it is most common to see long hair fashioned neatly into a bun at the back of the head, tucked snugly under the rear brim of the helmet or hat.

Any of these horse show hairstyles are acceptable in the dressage ring.

A variety of hair products including some with bows are available to help you contain long hair in an attractive manner

Eventing Your hairstyle may change depending on the phase of your event:

  • Dressage phase— Follow the hairstyle recommendations for dressage competitions.

  • Stadium Jumping— Your hair should be concealed neatly under your helmet and contained with a hair net that matches your hair color.

  • Cross Country— During the cross country phase of your event, your hair should be tied back with a ponytail or tucked completely under your helmet.