I have a co-worker who is much cooler than I am, and subsequently teaches me all kinds of slang the cool kids are saying these days. I find this hilarious, because the slang is so stupid. An example of this is “On Fleek” which means on point / ready to go / cool / I’m not sure I’m too old for this stuff.

onfle

I think originally it had something to do with eyebrows, but since it’s stupid and hilarious to me I now say it all the time.

So for the purposes of this post, these bonnets are on fleek!

In the jumper rings at Pin Oak, there were three accessories that every “in” rider sported – an Ogilvy half pad, a Euro (Animo) soft shell coat and a fancy bonnet. Since I can only make/afford one out of these three items… we’ll concentrate on bonnets.

De La Coeur reigned supreme here, but before you get all depressed that you can’t afford a $150 bonnet… don’t lose hope.  There was a large variety of jumper bonnets.

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The classic black bonnet with silver sparkles always look beautiful, but sparkles equal money. I actually saw more bonnets that I suspect are DLC or DLC knock offs without sparkles than I did with. Sometimes less is more, and a DLC bonnet without bling is closer to the $100 mark… which is a tad easier to swallow.

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More important than sparkles and trim is the fit of your bonnet.  First off – no strings.  If your bonnet has a string… cut it off!  I promise, it won’t probably won’t fall off.

Second, make sure you get the right size.  The style right now is to have the bonnet come several inches below the brow band before it dips down in the middle.  The trim also starts above the eye, but typically doesn’t go all the way around to the ears.  If the fit of your bonnet is off, the overall look is going to hurt.

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If you want to add something special to your bonnet without the cost of bling, bonnet charms are a great option.  You typically see them clipped on around the ear, but sometimes people want a more front and center placement.

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Scalloped edges seem to be the least popular choice in bonnet trim, but they do add some drama without covering your ponykins in sparkles.

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Color wise, majority of these are black or navy.  I did see some grey/charcoal ones, but honestly didn’t think they looked good on certain colors of horse.  One bright pink bonnet stood out in the crowd, and at first I admit I did a little “ugh!”.  Then I realized it was embroidered with the Breast Cancer support ribbon, and I judged myself for judging the pink.

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For other types of embroidery, monograms are pretty much out.  I did see some farm logo embroidery around, which looks nice but not really my style.

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Now these were all bonnets that I identified (and I could be wrong!) as DLC or a similar hand made quality… but what about the rest of us?  You don’t need a $150 bonnet to play with this look.

Not $150
Not $150

There are tons of pre-made, store bought bonnets out there at different price ranges.  I’ve tried several, and some blend in more than others.

Simple, classy
Simple, classy

Pessoa makes a bling bonnet that is around $50, but it’s a lot bigger and floppier than I like.  It looks pretty nice on this black horse though!

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My favorite shelf bonnet was also the favorite bonnet at this show.  It’s the KL Select fly veil and will cost you between $20-$25 depending on where you find it.  SmartPak carries this bonnet now in a few colors, and you can tell because several people had the black one on at the show.

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A great way to make this bonnet unique is to add embroidery or change the trim up.  I’ve added sparkles to both of my KL Select bonnets, and I know that Dandyism replaced the trim on her’s completely.

Same bonnet with barn embroidery
Same bonnet with barn embroidery

These were my bonnet observations after spending a half day at Pin Oak.  While I still don’t have the budget for a fancy sparkled DLC, I play to work on my crochet skills until I can copy it dead on. We all know that Simon’s bonnet needs to be on fleek!

34 COMMENTS

  1. <—–Obviously, not a hunter princess.

    Can you help me with something? I know they're technically for flies (and when I say I know I mean I assume…) but are they more of a style piece? Or do they have another practical use that isn't as obvious to me? haha

  2. $150 for a bonnet! My mouth dropped… I WISH I could afford to buy fancy bonnets for my sass monster. Back to the crocheting hook for me! Also I have never touched or seen an oglivy pad up close, but I have heard wonderful things, Chestnut mare crafts on Etsy makes them for $100 cheaper 😉

  3. There are so many good bonnet makers out there these days, you can get a bonnet just as nice (if not nicer, IMO, because I’m not a huge DLC fan) for under $75. Some are even under $50. Everyone can have pretty bonnets!

  4. M doesn’t know this yet (because she will roll her eyes endlessly at me) but one of the main reasons I want to get Mo over his head shyness ASAP is because I have a pile of cute bonnets that people have given me or that I’ve found for a good price and I want to put them on his adorable head. But given that I can’t even pull his forelock out from under his brow band (I guess he likes it like that), I think the bonnets are still a ways off.

    I could put them on Red, though. He has two he’s never worn. I think it’s because when I hack alone at home I rarely bother, and if I’m taking him to M’s for a lesson I don’t want to deal with the eye-rolling.

  5. I weirdly resent bonnets. I don’t know why. I might even need to get one for Mr. Hates Spring Bugs. I even think they look adorable on other peoples’ bonnets. But I hate them and will resist getting one until my dying breath. Realistically, what I think I really hate is fads with no backing/reason behind them. Which explains a lot about me.

  6. I can’t get a bonnet over Paddy’s ridiculous forelock. Seriously, he has more hair on his forehead than I have on my entire head. I am slightly jealous of all those bonnet-wearing horses!
    Besides, they don’t allow them in the dressage arena so I guess I’m safe. 😉

  7. I love bonnets, I use them every ride in fly season, and I love how the jumpers look in them. I only have 3, and am limited to this number at present because I need ones that accommodate rather LARGE ears. If anyone knows of brands for the Auricularly Endowed horse, I would greatly appreciate suggestions!

  8. I still have the old, cheap style bonnet with the tassels and the string. I haven’t tried them on Chloe since I brought them back with me from my parents’ house so I will have to see if they will work with the tassels cut off. I’m thinking probably not. 🙁 I think you should open an Etsy bonnet store and make pretty bonnets for us to order! 😉

  9. KL Select fly veils are AWESOME! They come in like, every possible color combination. I’ll have to order some in black for work before we go to the H/J show in a couple of weeks. 😉

  10. I love bonnets on most horses, but on Hero they just cover up his cute star so I’m not sure about him wearing one.

    I used to always compete against a black horse that wore a red bonnet and it always reminded me of devil horns from far away.

  11. I can’t get over horses wearing bonnets indoors. I had one eons ago that was definitely NOT $150 and I used it because the annoying little ear bugs would drive my horse crazy when I rode outside. I just noticed the other day those annoying ear bugs were buzzing near Knight’s ears. There might be a bonnet in his future. But not a $150 one. 🙂

  12. my mare doesn’t really care for fly bonnets nearly as much as i do haha… which is probably for the best bc she’s kinda tricky to fit anyway (normal horse size ears but teeny tiny face…)

  13. I dug an old cheapo bonnet out of the depths of my parents’ basement lately, and it makes Addy look like such a legit jumper! I’m convinced that if we can just look the part then the skill will follow…because that’s totally how that works right? I can’t imagine dropping $150 on a DLC, but I do love their Instagram account, I drool over all the fancy jumpers.

  14. Yikes, amazed once again at how much people pay for so little (it’s just a bit of fabric!). That said, I love fly bonnets and I want to add to my collection (of 1) so my bonnets can match my saddle pads and riding shirts. Matchy matchy makes me happy.

    • That came out wrong. It’s not just a piece of fabric – it’s hard work to make, and something I’m not crafty enough to attempt on my own. But the companies selling bonnets for $100+ each must be making a killing!

  15. O lives in hers while we’re driving, even in the winter. I can’t reach up and swat flies – or get her tickly forelock out of her ears – while I am driving, so she always has hers on. Without it, she gets the headshakes like crazy and I live in fear of her bridle flying off. Which is semi-irrational since it’s not going to fly off, but I feel like I am surely not the only whip who feels this!

  16. I love bonnets! Sure they are a style piece… But so are the Parlantis, TS, Animo jackets, trendy helmets, fake tails, braiding… Whenever I see a jumper without a bonnet (and braided mane because I’m a snob) it looks unfinished to me.

    I’m lucky in that our barn provides (free…ish if you don’t consider the actual cost of showing with them….) De La Coeur bonnets when showing and they are beautiful. I’m too cheap to use that kind of item on a daily basis so my ponies go in Greenhawk $11 bonnets in fly season. They come in decent enough colors, and, well, hard to beat $11.

    I will admit to an extreme loathing of the colored ones though. Chestnut horse in a red bonnet? BARF. #sorrynotsorry

    • PS do not get the Animo love. I tried a few on at WEF and I think the fabric sucks and is heavy and coarse. Many better and prettier options for much less $$$.

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