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Horse's Costume Party

Updated on March 29, 2014
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.


Dress up yourself and your assigned horse for FUN! What do you dream about while you ride? Are you a knight in shining armor, a princess, or Indian riding the prairie? Are you a rock star or a farmer milking a cow? Let your imagination go wild. Just keep in mind the safety and comfort of your horse while designing your costumes. Refreshments will be served!

The horse's costume party was an annual event at my riding academy. Every year I was surprised at the creativity of my students. Yes, we had a horse masquerade as a cow. And there were unicorns, horse flies, playboy bunnies, and lots of Indian ponies. The most surprising part of all was how the horses sweetly tolerated being dressed up in gossamer, construction paper, long flowing robes, and yes a cow's udder.

The most fun I think was the process of costuming the horses. Giggles and belly laughs could be heard from outside the barn's doors, clueless parents stood by holding rolls of duct tape and hay string, and once in a while a horse would whinny in the spirit of it all.

When is a Horse a Cow?

photo by Donna Campbell Smith
photo by Donna Campbell Smith

After all were dressed up they marched out of the barn and to the arena. The rule was they had to parade in hand unless they wore their safety helmets. Only a few managed to figure a way to make a riding helmet part of the costume so it basically was a lead only class. The judging was done by the spectators and secret ballots with enough categories to assure a prize for everyone. In cases of ties there was a "panel discussion" between the judges to see who needed a prize. Not the most democratic process, but it made everyone happy.

Next came the photo session. Parents and guests eagerly run to the car to get their cameras and we take group and individual shots until the contestants weary of our silliness and vote to undress the horses, feed them and meet in the lounge for their own refreshments. Already you can hear talk of the next year's party with new costume ideas.

With Halloween and fall festival season upon us its time for you to plan a horse's costume party at your barn. I promise it will be a hit. Just let the children's imaginations go wild, all you have to do is furnish the refreshments and prizes. Prizes can even be part of the fun. Let the students design homemade ribbons, or take a trip to the dollar store for some seasonal trinkets like small plastic pumpkins, glow sticks, or candy.

The most important element is tolerant, easygoing horses, which most riding schools have. Make sure the children remember the safety rules in all their excitement. They still have to wear their boots, and if riding, their safety helmets. And do not forget your camera.

Butterflies n Fairies

photo by Donna Campbell Smith
photo by Donna Campbell Smith


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    • Narsuki profile image


      7 years ago

      This sounds like fun! Hm... Maybe you could even do a collaboration between barns! Since my barn isn't very big, with less than 10 who take lesson(It's a fairly new barn, not very advertised), we could maybe have a "Horse costume party" with one or two of the barns near by!

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      8 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Rusty, maybe Google "knight" and you'll get some ideas from some pictures. I am thinking cover a breast collar with aluminum foil, and for your costume you could make a poster paper cutout of a breatplate and cover it with foil also. Also cover half-chaps with foil. You might find a helmet someplace where they sell costumes, Anything metallic on the saddle, bridle as long as it can't harm the horse. make a shield from cardboard or foam board and also cover with foil.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      ya i need a good knight costume idea for my pony!

    • SwanofWar profile image


      9 years ago from In My Imagination

      Hahaha, sounds like a lot of fun. Reminds me of the time when I was little and had just gotten my first digital camera. I went into my old costume box and dressed up my dog in all these different outfits and took pictures of her. At first, she kept trying to take the clothes off, but I started to feed her treats for each picture, and then she didn't mind. Something tells me horses would be the same way :D

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I wish, but I don't think I've got all my ducks in a row yet!!!

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      11 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Tara, you going to have one at your barn this fall?

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Having been both participant and judge of some of those costume parties, I can verify they are a BLAST!! You'll be talking about it the rest of the year...

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      11 years ago from California Gold Country

      That did look like a fun event. The horses must wonder how human minds work, sometimes.

    • jimmythejock profile image

      Jimmy the jock 

      11 years ago from Scotland

      Ha! what fun, I would love to see all of those dressed up horses, thanks for sharing.....jimmy


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