How To Safely Dress Up Your Horse For Halloween

Halloween is almost here! This is the best time of the year to have fun with your friends and count the horses in! Designing costumes for your horse and dressing him up can be a joyful activity. However, horses are not accustomed to wearing spooky costumes and they might not like the idea of wearing something different than their usual tack. If you are planning to dress up your horse for the party, you should consider a number of safety rules to avoid any dangerous incident that can turn the fun into real horror. Here is a list of the tips to costume up your horse in a safe way:



1. Think about the event

Before designing your and your horse’s costume, think about the event that you will be attending. If you are supposed to ride, WEAR A HELMET! You can paint or decorate your helmet to make it match your costume. Is that a Halloween themed show jumping or dressage show? Then you should make sure that your horse’s costume is short, doesn’t interferes with the legs, and allows the horse to move easily. Besides, your costume should be flexible enough to let you move in the saddle and around the horse. If you are attending a costume contest or dressing up for fun with your friends, you can come up with slightly heavier and longer designs but still, keep in mind that the costume should allow the horse to move easily enough.


2. Know the horse

Every horse has a different personality and some of them are prone to get spooked at even the tiniest things. Think about your horse’s personality and go with simpler costume ideas if he spooks too often. Even if your horse is a calm one, be sure to check his reactions to the costume before the event. 


3. Introduce the costume earlier

Once you choose your costume idea and prepare everything, take your time and try it on your horse a few days before the show. Ride, walk him with the new costume and let him get to know the pieces of his costume. This will allow him to see that the costume is not something to spook at and if he continuously spooks at something, you will have enough time to change it. 



4. Scary herd mates

Don’t forget to check up on your friends’ and their horses’ costumes before the event. Even though your horse is ok with his costume, he might get scared because of another horse’s costume and this can cause a huge catastrophe in the whole group. If there is a person or horse with a costume that can cause your horse to spook, ask them to stay in the distance and keep your horse in a safe zone. 


Photo by @betancessister on Instagram


5. Choose safe materials and paints

You can use a large variety of materials to create your horse’s costume but for his safety, you should avoid hard and pointed materials. Any item included in the costume should be soft enough. You can use fabric, paper, soft plastic, and leather materials that won’t cause any harm. Do not put any hard, heavy, sharp material on your horse. 
If you are planning to paint your horse or stick decorations on his body, choose nontoxic paints glues, and stickers. You can use organic base nontoxic watercolor paints safely and wash off after the show. If your horse shows allergic reactions often, consider trying different ideas and skip painting.




6. Prefer Tack

Tack pieces are the safest costumes for horses. You can use ear bonnets, polo wraps, protection boots, saddle pads, and blankets in your costume. These items won’t cause any serious spook since your horse is used to wearing them on a regular basis. You can paint, sew, decorate all these pieces with your creativity, and create a safe costume.


7. Breakeaway

When we are talking about horses, we never know what they will do one second later. They might seem to be comfortable with the costume but they might suddenly change their idea and start to show spook reactions. Therefore, consider every possibility and check if the costume can be removed quickly. If it is hard to take off, think about the ways of making it easily removable. 



Finally, have fun and make good memories! 

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