Ear bonnets and fly veils to keep out noise and insects

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  • Whether you use them to keep the flies at bay while you’re hacking or to muffle sounds at busy competitions, the best ear bonnets for horses should look smart and fit well. Ear bonnets are also known as fly veils or fly hoods, but they’re all the same thing.

    The fit is really important for your horse’s comfort and for them to function at their best; if your horse has particularly large or small ears, this is something you need to take into consideration before purchasing. A good fit will also help keep the bonnet in place and reduce any risk of it slipping off.

    If style is important to you, search for a design and colour that you like — ear bonnets come in the brightest and discreet tones — or, if you are so inclined, you will find some come as part of a matchy-matchy set with matching saddle pads, boots or bandages.

    Some ear bonnets are specifically designed to block out noise and the ears of these are usually made of dense sound-reducing foam or other fabric, and contain additional layers to help muffle the sound. Different materials do this with varying levels of success – if sound reduction is your priority, it would be worth opting for an ear bonnet that incorporates a foam material in the ears. If flies are your main issue, consider adding one of the best fly sprays to your fly defence kit.

    Can I wear an ear bonnet for dressage?

    Yes. The British Dressage rule states that ear bonnets are permitted for all competitions, and may provide noise reduction. They must not cover the horse’s eyes and should be discreet in colour and design.

    Best ear bonnets for horses

    LeMieux Acoustic Pro Fly Hood

    LeMieux Acoustic Pro Fly Hood

    Colours: Black, brown or navy | Sizes: M or L | RRP: £39.95 |

    This ear bonnet uses dense soundproof micro-foam to absorb sharp or loud noises to help with increased concentration and relaxation. The ears are made of a four-way stretch fabric that contours the ears while the soft bamboo inner lining ensures maximum comfort. The hand crocheted veil section features an embossed PU leather panel for an elegant touch. The latest design is wider behind the ears, which makes it more secure under the bridle. Machine washable at 30°C.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or equus.co.uk 

    Woof Wear Noise Cancelling Fly Veil

    Woof Wear Noise Cancelling Fly Veil

    Colours: Black, black/grey or black/navy | Sizes: S–L | RRP: £27.49 |

    Featuring acoustic foam in the ears to soften the harshest sounds and keep your horse focussed, this ear bonnet is made from a soft, technical mesh fabric that keeps your horses head cool while preventing pressure points. It’s cut generously behind the ears to enable a secure fit under bridles, including those with anatomical headpieces. The ear bonnet is finished with satin and a smart rope binding. Machine washable at 30°C.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, equus.co.uk, rideawaystore.com or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Equetech Soundless Ear Bonnet

    Equetech Soundless Ear Bonnet

    Colours: Black, brown or navy | Sizes: S–L | RRP: £28.95 |

    This ear bonnet provides noise cancellation with triple layer ear panels. It features a timeless crochet braided headpiece and is machine washable.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    WeatherBeeta Prime Ear Bonnet

    WeatherBeeta Prime Ear Bonnet

    Colours: 14 options | Sizes: Pony or full | RRP: £23.75 | H&H Review: 8/10 |

    This bonnet has high density cotton drill ears for noise reduction and features strings so that it can be secured to the bridle. It coordinates with the WeatherBeeta Prime range, is machine washable at 30°C and can be tumble dried on a cold setting.

    Read H&H’s independent WeatherBeeta Prime Ear Bonnet review.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, equus.co.uk, rideawaystore.com, gsequestrian.co.uk or naylors.com

    Hy Sport Active ear bonnet for horses

    Hy Sport Active Fly Veil

    Colours: 13 options | Sizes: Pony/cob, cob/full or full | RRP: £19.99 |

    The handmade close-knit crochet design has a smart look and can be coordinated with the Hy Sport Active range. It features high density ear fabric that softens sound. Machine washable.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, equus.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Coldstream Marygold ear bonnet for horses

    Coldstream Marygold Fly Veil

    Colours: Black, white, mulberry purple, blush pink, fern green or slate blue | Sizes: Pony/cob or full | RRP: £29.99 |

    This stylish ear bonnet is designed using a close-knit crochet to optimise fit, comfort and breathability. The smooth silk ears create a luxurious appearance and it’s elegantly finished with delicate golden braiding and logo pin detailing on a silk background. It coordinates with the Coldstream Marygold and Ednam ranges.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or equus.co.uk

    Fenwick Liquid Titanium ear bonnet review

    Fenwick Liquid Titanium Ear Bonnet

    Colours: Black or grey | Sizes: L or XL | RRP: £63 |

    This ear bonnet is made from Fenwick’s therapeutic liquid titanium fabric, which generate warmth and boosts circulation with the aim of aiding relaxation. The fabric has four-way stretch, can be used on a wet or dry horse and is machine washable.

    Also available with acoustic ears.

    Read H&H’s independent Fenwick Liquid Titanium Ear Bonnet review.

    In the UK? View now at ebay.co.uk

    Rhinegold Noise Muffler ear bonnet for horses

    Rhinegold Noise Muffler Fly Veil

    Colours: Black, brown, plum, raspberry, red, tangerine or turquoise | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £5.95 |

    Made with breathable cotton-rich ears, cotton crochet details and contrast binding. This is the cheapest ear bonnet in our guide, so would make a good starter bonnet if you’re unsure how your horse will feel about wearing one.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Derby House Pro ear bonnet for horses

    Derby House Pro Fly Veil

    Colours: Plum or teal | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £6.95 |

    This ear bonnet is made from a tightly crocheted soft cotton and has soft-touch high-density cotton ears for optimal comfort and noise reduction.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or rideawaystore.com

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