Why Do Show Jumpers Wear Ear Covers? – Equestrian Space

ear covers ( ear bonnets ) look like small ‘ hats ’ that horses wear during showjumping competitions. always wondered why usher jumpers wear ear covers when riding or competing ? What is the determination of ear covers ? Do they even work ?
Showjumpers wear ear covers to distort or muffle sound, so a horse can’t react to things like loud crowds or normal show noises that can cause them to get spooked, be distracted, or become anxious during a showjumping round. Ear covers can also be used in everyday training if a horse is “sound-sensitive”, and to keep flies and bugs away from a horse’s ears.
auricle covers are besides known as ear bonnets, fly-bonnets or, earmuffs, and are an equestrian accessory that is worn on lead of a knight ’ south head and over the ears .

Reasons why show jumpers wear ear covers

Earplug to reduce sound

Earplugs are placed inside the horse ’ s ear to muffle strait ; the ear bonnet is then placed over the ears to hide the earplugs and ensure they don ’ t fall out during riding. ear covers can besides be used without earplugs and are made of particular sound distorting material, but more about this late.

In competitions

During showjumping competitions, and particularly at top level competitions, big herd of spectators normally gather to watch riders compete. This is the main cause for using earplugs and bonnets in showjumping as this could make horses anxious by the randomness they hear all around them. The herd could besides act as a big beguilement for the cavalry while jumping .
similarly, in indoor arenas, spectators are seated terribly close to the arena, and not to mention that you can hear a bowling pin dangle inside an indoor arena, particularly when the stakes are high. ear covers can muffle and help block out spectator noise and prevent a knight from getting anxious or frightened by the surrounding noise. Ear bonnets can aid in keeping a horse focused and not become distracted by the sound well .

Sound sensitive horses

ear covers can besides be used in everyday prepare for horses that are “ sound-sensitive ”. Show jumpers nowadays are sitting on a batch of well-bred horses, and the problem with excessively much blood is that horses are becoming more sensitive, making them more unmanageable to train. Ear covers can be used in everyday education for similar reasons you would use them in the ring for, to distort make noise and keep horses focused. When a cavalry ’ second hear is diminished, they become more “ zoned in ” on the rider and the rider ’ s aids .


Transporting horses could besides be another reason to use earplugs and bonnets to limit the noise inside a horse-box or truck when transporting horses. Show jumpers want to keep their horses equally relaxed as possible, so they want the conveyance of their horses to shows to be as stress-free and calming as possible .

Keep bugs away

Ear bonnets are besides used to keep flies and bugs away from a knight ’ south ears. Horses could often be distracted by bugs flying around their ears and using an ear bonnet will help keep them from bothering the horse while jumping a path. For the lapp argue, ear covers are sometimes used when turning a horses out into the field or paddock .


ear covers are besides widely used for fashion or even on a sponsorship request. top riders might be sponsored by brands that request them to use ear covers with the patron ’ second stigmatization and colors. Sometimes riders like to match the ear bonnets with the rest of their wardrobe and saddle pads for a more cohesive search. Ear bonnets come in all sorts of different colors, styles and designs and can range in monetary value depending on the brand and design .

Do ear covers work?

even though we are not certain as to which degree of heavy degree a horse can hear with the consumption of ear bonnets and earplugs, that does not mean that ear covers and plugs are not effective. even with the habit of earplugs, the knight ’ s hear may inactive be intact, but the spook, startling, and being distracted by noises are well diminished .
Although ear covers distort the phone, it will not wholly block it out. If you are standing in the in-between of a comforting herd, you could cover your ears and the legal will be diminished, but you would still hear it to some extent. Every moment helps and if it can help a horse even equitable a fiddling bit to be less anxious and more focus, then yes, they work .

What type of ear covers should you use?

Types of ear covers

There are two types of auricle covers. Normal, plain ear covers that are normally used when needed to stuff the ears, use plugs or keep flies away from a cavalry. And the newer technical school bonnets that use midst distortion fabric that is heavily padded around a horse ’ sulfur auricle.

Reason for use

If you are using an auricle hood to keep flies and insects from bothering your cavalry during work or in the paddock, a convention everyday bonnet could be used. If you need to distort sound or your horse is sound-sensitive, then you can choose a bonnet that is padded, or use earplugs under the normal hood to reduce the strait .

Earplugs or stuffing

In the past, and still widely used today ; cotton wool was used to stuff a horse ’ mho ears, and then the auricle bonnet was placed over the knight ’ sulfur ears to keep the cotton wool inside the ear. The bonnet was made from fabric that goes over the ears and poll sphere with a crochet practice coming down the cavalry ’ mho face and under the bridle .
even though using cotton wool as earplugs to stuff the ears are effective, it does not have a protective layer like the commercial earplug and therefore removal could be difficult ( specially if damp ). It could besides possibly break up during practice or removal, leaving debris behind in the ear .
similarly, earplugs act in the same way by placing them in a horse ’ south ears before pulling the ear covers over .
There are different types of earplugs on the marketplace that use different types of foam ( sometimes wool ) to plug the ears. One study suggests that earplugs made of memory foam have the most significant impression in distorting sounds. Stuffing the ears or using plugs is even the most effective way of blocking out the sound .

Sound distortion

There are some modern types of ear bonnets on the market today that are made specifically to block out sound. The fabric is thicker and layered with “ Sound blocking ” fabric around the front of the ear and can come with extra padding to muffle the sound .
Some owners do not like stuffing or plugs, and prefer to use this type of hood. They are besides less effective in distorting healthy than the traditional way of stuffing or using plugs .
not all horses are accepting of earplugs and some just don ’ t like something being stuffed down their ears. If the rider can not make the knight used to the earplugs and accept them then this type of hood can be used .

What are the rules of using ear bonnets?

When it comes to competing, most equestrian disciplines permit the function of auricle bonnets ampere well as auricle bonnets that have been padded to muffle noise.

Earplugs are still permitted during most showjumping competitions around the world, yet, the use of earplugs is not permitted during eventing, endurance, and dressage competitions. In Dressage earplug may only be used during prize-giving ceremonies for horses that are sound sensible or anxious about randomness .
other posts in this serial to check out :
Can You Jump in a dressage Saddle ?
Do Show Jumpers Wear Body Protectors ?
Why Do Show Jumpers Wear Spurs ?

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