Equipment Everything Else More... Tip of the day

Tip of the Day: Fly veils and ear plugs.

You may have noticed that fly veils are now ubiquitous on showjumpers and increasingly on dressage horses when allowed.  This is not just fashion (although they do provide significant scope for playing dress up) or even for bug protection (not too many bugs in indoor jumping events) but because a large number of horses are more relaxed and rideable with their ears covered, particularly in loud or windy conditions.Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 13.31.38

Ear plugs are even more effective for many horses.  I usually use them with a veil to keep them secure, although there are various makes now which stay in easily and are comfortable for the horse even without covers.  Even if you compete in a discipline that does not allow either option do not discount them as a training tool, to foster a more settled and attentive attitude in the horse in stressful situations and, therefore, a better reaction to training.  Using them for hacking can be particularly advantageous – as the horse becomes more relaxed with the experience you can do away with them or, if you like, use them only on the windiest/busiest days.  You might be surprised at the difference!

Check with your Ruling Body regarding rules for competition.  Veils are sometimes at the judge’s discretion for eventing and dressage, so pop one in the lorry storage, just in case.

Photo is one of the fantastic range of Ear Bonnets stocked by Inter-Equine.

About the author


TarrSteps is a Citizen of the World (aka Canadian) currently working with young horses and "problem solving" - for both horse and riders - in the Surrey area. She has dabbled in most horsey disciplines but loves eventing because there is always another question to ask and another answer to find.


  • No you aren’t. You are allowed fly veils FEI eventing at the ground jury of that specific event’s discretion, but never ear plugs. I have actually had my horse’s ears checked for plugs under the veil, so beware!

  • even better when hacking are high-viz fly veils, gives traffic that all important extra second when on windy hedge country roads where your horses head is visible before you are

  • To clarify under rule 7.19.2 ear covers are allowed for BE events in all phases BUT must be discreet, not brightly coloured and must not muffle sound meaning ear plugs are most definitely NOT allowed at any level.

  • You can’t use ear plugs but can buy extra thick (or line your own normal) bonnets to help with the sound!

    • You have to be careful re thickness as they must not muffle sound and if lined or extra thick this would probably be deemed to be muffling the sound which if checked could result in disqualification.