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Costumes for Horses for Horse Shows, Halloween or Parades

Updated on August 26, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Halloween - fun for children and adults. I was noted for my annual Halloween parties and creative costumes.

Create a Costume for Your Horse and Yourself

Costuming a horse is a pretty big job. Why would you even want to put a costume on a horse? Actually there are many occasions when a creative costume on a horse is appropriate. Perhaps you want to ride the horse in a Halloween parade or participate in a horse show that has a costume category. Whatever your reason for wanting to put a costume on your horse, you need some ideas.

I've gathered some fun and creative costume ideas to get you started. Some are shown in videos. If you see an idea that you like, just watch the video over a few times or stop the action so you can study the costume.

Halloween Foal by PaintingPony from Zazzle

Get Creative in Planning What You Will Dress Up As

It's tempting to fall back on traditional horse costumes of western or Arabian tack. First try thinking beyond that. Don't think a costume on the rider is all that's needed. Keep the focus on the horse.

Keep your horse's comfort in mind. You don't want something that interferes with your animal's movement or one that flaps in a way that might spook him.

Think big. You have a large animal to cover.. You can look at fantasy art to get ideas, but converting him or her into Pegasus may be tough to pull off. This example shows stripes, which might be accomplished with applications of body paint.

You Can Turn Your Horse into a Zebra

What a fascinating idea. Take a white horse (or a black one). Use the opposite color to dye the coat, making the stripes. People love this idea. It looks very cool, too, don't you think?

The person could dress in African safari gear to carry out the zebra theme.

Basic Black Allows You to Be Creative

What can you turn this into? How about the Black Knight or maybe a Black Bear or .....

Use your imagination.

Add some things to accessorize on the legs and head, or you can sew or draw on the blanket itself to come up with a fun and unique look! Have fun with it and enjoy!

Rambo Supreme Medium Weight Turnout Horse Blanket
Rambo Supreme Medium Weight Turnout Horse Blanket

King Arthur Battling the Black Knight Post Cards by dmorganajonz


A Knight Costume for the Rider

You can duplicate some of this by making your own outfit. Look for silver or gray long sleeved shirt and tights for the foundation. The helmet is hard to make on your own, so may be better to buy one of those. You'll want a sword and a shield.

Knight in Armor Costume

Forum Knight In Shining Armor Complete Costume, Silver, One Size
Forum Knight In Shining Armor Complete Costume, Silver, One Size

Want to look really professional, then take a look at this complete costume - a suit of armor.


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Little Miss Muffet Costume Plus a Spider Web - for the Horse to Wear

This would be a fun costume. Choose the spider web to drape over the horse and a giant spider to attach to the web. The rider dresses up as Little Miss Muffet.

Another option is to have the rider dress in a scary costume such as a skeleton, zombie or as Dracula. You'll have an intense combination that will wow those who see it!

Giant Spider Web for the Little Miss Muffet and Horse Costume

9.5' ft Deluxe Giant Spider Web (White) ~ Halloween Spider Web Decorations & Props
9.5' ft Deluxe Giant Spider Web (White) ~ Halloween Spider Web Decorations & Props

I guess you could make your own spider web of string, but you can buy one ready-to-go like this one.


Little Miss Muffet Outfit

Child's Little Miss Muffet Costume (Large 10-12)
Child's Little Miss Muffet Costume (Large 10-12)

Isn't this one cute! Pink with a vintage styling suitable for a nursery rhyme character. The styling of this dress is reminds me of the old-time illustrations that one would see in a nursery rhyme book. You could try making your own outfit if you are a good seamstress.


More Ideas on YouTube

Take a look at these costume classes at horse shows. Fun just to watch, but be alert to costumes that might work for your horse. Pause the video to see more details on any of the costumes.

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Get Ideas for Funny Horse Costumes on Pinterest

I keep adding to this, so you can repin the ideas you like to your own pinboard or just check back now and then.
I keep adding to this, so you can repin the ideas you like to your own pinboard or just check back now and then. | Source

Create Something Awesome from a Simple Blanket

If you have a basic horse blanket with a color like orange, start thinking of all things orange. The first to come to mind is a pumpkin. Use black tape to mark out ribs on the orange blanket to look like pumpkins have. Add a vine with leaves (maybe weave it through the mane).

If you want a jack-o-lantern, add the mouth, nose and eyes using the black tape.

Look at whatever color of horse blanket you have. If it's black, think of witches and how to add a witches hat and broom and so on.

Use a Turnout Blanket as the Base for a Costume

TUFFRIDER 600D Turnout Blanket - Orange 74
TUFFRIDER 600D Turnout Blanket - Orange 74

The photo doesn't show it in orange, but there are a variety of colors in horse turnout blankets. Look them over for inspiration. They make a great base for a horse's costume for Halloween horse shows, for a parade or other event. Just let your mind free to invent and accessorize.


Arabian Show Costumes on eBay - The auctions change regularly

Take a look at some of the fabulous Arabian costumes available for horses and riders on eBay. If you see something you're interested in, bid today, because auctions and items change on a regular basis, and I'd hate to see you miss out on the item you want or a great price deal!

Although these costumes can be quite elaborate and therefore expensive, think of them as an investment. You'll get years of use from it.

What Costume Can You Make with a Green Turnout Blanket?

Royal Hamilton WB-1200D-HG-S Turnout Horse Blanket Hunter Green with Black Trim, 75-Inch, Small
Royal Hamilton WB-1200D-HG-S Turnout Horse Blanket Hunter Green with Black Trim, 75-Inch, Small

Add a Robin Hood hat with a feather for the horse and have the rider dressed as Maid Marian.

Alternate idea for a green turnout horse blanket: attach lots of artificial flowers to the blanket and have the rider dress as a gardener with a straw hat. The rider could carry a plastic watering can.


Use Blankets and Body Wraps for a Nice Base in Which to Start

For a blue horse blanket/turnout, think of the blue as a lake and dress the rider in a feathery swan costume. Use your imagination. Pin a few artificial waterlilies to the blue cover.

For a red checked turnout blanket, think of a picnic table. What could the rider dress as? A teacup, a giant ant, a victorian lady with a picnic basket?

For a purple horse blanket, think of California Raisins or clump of grapes.

Think of Historic Ways That Horses Were Used

This is a parade in Munich, Germany. The owner wears a traditional German costume and the horse carries beer making supplies.
This is a parade in Munich, Germany. The owner wears a traditional German costume and the horse carries beer making supplies. | Source

Ideas for Other Work Horse Outfits

Think of all the ways in the past that horses served mankind. How can you represent some of those in your costume and the costume for the horse?

  • Try costuming yourself as a coal miner and your horse as the overburdened animal that pulled the coal cart underground. This might be particularly effective on a light colored horse. Get a horse collar and harness, use horse-approved paint to put black smudges about the horse. Dress yourself in coveralls, liberally smudged with black, and put a pickaxe over your shoulder.
  • Fox hunter and his horse. You'll need the really nice jodphers, high boots, red jacket, and the black velvet cap. For the horse, just the regular English saddle. Get a stuffed toy fox and perch it behind the saddle. Pretend to be looking for it, and not realizing it is behind you.

Use Humor to Make This Costume Fun - Add a Toy Fox


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Sleazy Hood - Start Your Horse's Costume with a Sleazy

Sleazy Sleepwear For Horses Hood S Black
Sleazy Sleepwear For Horses Hood S Black

What does this make you think of?

The Sleazy hoods come in a variety of colors for horses. Let the color inspire you. How about adding a cape and going with a Zorro costume for the horse?


Start with a Full Body Sheet - Now, use your imagination to decorate with accessories for a great costume

This is available in a variety of colors. You can add things to it by drawing on it or sewing patches, words and drawings to make it unique and awesome. Sometimes it's nice to start with a plain and simple base color and add to it as you see fit.

My Pinterest Board of Dramatic Horse Costumes

This is a great source for costume inspiration.
This is a great source for costume inspiration. | Source

Turn a Horse's Fly Mask into a Halloween Mask

This could easily have features attached to it to look like a ghost. Then start thinking of white sheets to cover the horse's body. Remember to try this out ahead of the event to be sure your horse accepts the draping and possible flapping of the sheets.

Hamilton Fly Mask for Horses Extended Length, Large, Natural Mesh With Black Trim
Hamilton Fly Mask for Horses Extended Length, Large, Natural Mesh With Black Trim

Actually with a white horse, I think you can skip covering the body. Have the horse be Casper the Ghost and the rider can dress as Wendy, the Good Little Witch.


Costume Show for Horses - YouTube Video

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Stencil Stars or Hearts for Animals

Think of using the stars with some fabric puffy clouds, then add some angels around the mane area or dress the rider as an angel.

Use your imagination with these. There are so many possibilities. The sky is the limit!

Twinkle Stencil Kit - Set of Three
Twinkle Stencil Kit - Set of Three

How about stenciling stars on a black coat? The rider can be dressed as an angel or as the moon or a wizard. You need to buy the glitter gel separately. You can brush it out or wash it off when you no longer want it.


Carousel Horses Give You Ideas

Wouldn't this look great on your horse!
Wouldn't this look great on your horse! | Source

Look at Pictures of Carousel Horse Art for Inspiration

Duplicating this carousel horse costume would require some sewing skills and work with fabrics and maybe a glue gun.

Look onlline for photos of old-time carousels with the painted wooden horses. You can also check your local library for a book like the one below.

Add Some Sparkle and Shine - To Hooves, Coats and More...

Twinkle Glitter Products Toes Hoof Polish, Royal Blue, 4oz
Twinkle Glitter Products Toes Hoof Polish, Royal Blue, 4oz

Polish up those hooves and add a boa, feathers and frills for a glamorous look!


Fancy up Your Horse with These Products - Horse Glitter and Muzzle Oil

Who knew there were products like horse glitter and muzzle oil. Just what you need for your glamorous horse. Add some sparkle to that tail or muzzle.

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© 2010 Virginia Allain

Share your ideas for costuming a horse....

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      You may have to opt for a costume that doesn't include paint in this case. Too bad.

    • profile image

      sam 2 years ago

      I have experimented in the past with painting my horse. When my horse starts sweating the paint starts running. Is there a safe paint for my horse that will stay on but can be washed off later?

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @LanaPaints: I like that pirate idea. Take a look at the pinterest links I provided. There are lots of photos there to inspire you.

    • profile image

      LanaPaints 4 years ago

      I have a white and chestnut paint (pinto quarter horse) he's kinda lean and slender, so not super stocky, but he's tall (looks sorta like a thoroughbred). I can't think of any ideas! Last year I made a pirate horse sheet for my pony and he wore a pirate hat, eye patch, etc. I dressed as a pirate. I want to make another themed sheet this year, but I can't think of anything. Ideas? Nothing too complicated, just a colored sheet with maybe special fabric and accessories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: I would try to keep the costumes very affordable. Several of the riders I used to go places with quite often didn't have the time or felt they couldn't design something fancy enough. So I was kind of trying to see if there would be a market for ready made costumes. You have some really cool ideas posted here, very nice to see.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: There's definitely a need for costumes for horses. This page had 600 visitors this past week. Of course, many of them want to make their own and save money. I bet there are quite a few who want to buy a quality ready-to-wear outfit for their horse though.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was researching the availability of ready made horse costumes as I am thinking of starting a business making Parade, Medieval, and Fantasy costumes for clients.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: I'm a little confused by your question. Do you have more than one horse? I'm thinking "paint" means pinto. The black and white one sounds good with the cow idea. Dress up like a farmer with a milk pail, add horns to your "cow" and a cow bell around the neck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      hey I need an idea for me and my pony I have a white pony a red Arabian paint a black and white paint that looks like a cow and a palomino dapple grey ad he's a mini I need serious help it needs to be creative and original thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great ideas! I hope my Mini is in a good mood for some of these. Should be fun!

    • profile image

      racingdatabase 5 years ago

      Great lens - the zebra is brilliant! :-)

    • profile image

      greatgifts4u 5 years ago

      Love the Sleazy choices the best!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      looking for more "christmas" costumes for parades. The ones in our area have gone to evening times, so "glow in the dark" and "reflective" is important.

    • profile image

      snrklz 5 years ago

      What an interesting lens. I had a horse a long time ago. I'd love to have one now but they are so expensive to maintain.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Clever costume idea. Best of luck to you... hope you bring home a ribbon!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      im currently working on a witch costume for my horse she is going to be a broom and im going to be a witch.(she is a flea bitten gray thoroughbred) it is my first costume contest. i can't wait.wish me luck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Currently working on a witch costume for a horse show. Horse is a 2 year old who doesn't seem to mind what I'm doing. (Miniature horse by the way). Have had great success over the years with several costumes. Retired my first horse undefeated in costume classes. Great fun.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      As a horse owner I was curious, but this is not something we would want to do with our horses. Like you say it depends on their nature. We had a real sweety who would not have minded, but the current ones would get very upset.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      First my brain when tilt when i saw your lens title and as I got to your intro, it was of course...a costume for a horse...and you handled it all wonderfully. I think horses know when they are dressed up for something special and there's just a little more perk in their step and they have that 'look at me' smile about them.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: It is important to consider your horse and how much patience he has.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love Carousel horses and that would be what I would like to do for a costume but I'm afraid it would be more that my horse would stand for.

    • profile image

      LoveToClean 5 years ago

      Love the throwback costume idea to Pippi Longstocking. I always LOVED watching that show. Great idea! :)

    • KayeSI profile image

      KayeSI 5 years ago

      I came as part of a special quest and because I have a grand-horse at my grandkids house. :) I'm passing the info on to them. Thanks for a fun visit.

    • shahedashaikh profile image

      shahedashaikh 5 years ago

      Good ideas to dress up a horse for occasions.Horses are decked up in finery on weddings back home.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @shahedashaikh: How marvelous to dress up a horse for a wedding. You should make a lens about that with lots of photos. I'd love to see the ribbon and flower bedecked horses.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @JoleneBelmain: Thank you for visiting and for the blessing!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      @lclchors: I wish I had photos of those to show off in this lens. Great ideas and I'm curious about how they created the costumes.

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 6 years ago

      The best two I have seen were at a mustang show and they made them from scratch no hoodies or lycra. they were an elephant yes it had a trunk that touched the ground and a dinosour it had a tail that touched the ground. They were too cool

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Super horse is my Fave!!!! Blessed!

    • Im Horse Crazy profile image

      Im Horse Crazy 6 years ago

      love all the costumes

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Great lens! Loads of horse costume ideas! The real horse pictures were great! Blessed!

    • diaperbagdiva lm profile image

      diaperbagdiva lm 6 years ago

      I loved this lens! Thanks for the fun pictures and ideas - dressing up my dog doesn't seem like such a big job after seeing some of those horses, haha!

    • profile image

      jurante 6 years ago

      I just love horses, and love to see them in costume

    • mountainstevo profile image

      mountainstevo 6 years ago

      My wife is going to love these costumes.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 6 years ago from U.S.A.

      Interesting lens! Lots of ideas for cool costume ideas for horses. I really enjoyed it! :)

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 6 years ago

      Now, I've got two horses in my pasture that I have no time whatsoever to do anything with. They really need some costuming! What a fun lens!

    • AdeleW profile image

      AdeleW 6 years ago

      I run a fancy dress shop in the UK and a website. I am also a qualified British Horse Society Instructor. I saw this page and thought,this could be interesting and I was right! Thanks for sharing!

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 6 years ago

      Looking forward to dressing my horses up for some horse shows or parades in the future. Also thought it would be fun to either hang or paint a sign that says "Does this rider make my butt look big?" haha

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 6 years ago from Australia

      I always KNEW someone would design Halloween costumes for horses

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Fun costume ideas for horses. My dad had horses but never dressed them up.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      Very cool ideas. Now I just need a horse. Wait, I have a white dog who would make a great zebra.

    • profile image

      running4theroses 6 years ago

      That was cute! The angel with the unicorn was my favorite. I always dress up my horse on Halloween and walk up and down the streets- cars are careful because they know little kids will be out, and little kids are amazed because it's a HORSE! Last Halloween, she was a lion and I was a lion tamer- the kids went nuts!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Fun lens! We use to 'dress up' the horses for Parades...

    • JoyAgain profile image

      JoyAgain 7 years ago

      What a seriously fun lens! I used to design horse costumes on paper as a kid... now i design historical costumes of every kind for real (I have lenses on historical costuming and sewing :-) Thumbs up!

    • profile image

      jgelien 7 years ago

      I love the zebra horse! Costumed horses. What a cute idea for a lens.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      haha, Funny stuff. how about just dropping a sheet over him and with holes for eyes?

    • profile image

      mirichandler 7 years ago

      I would have NEVER thought of all these ideas. thanks!

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 7 years ago

      OMG ... Halloween costumes for horses! Who knew? I didn't ... but now I do.

      Like others here, the title just jumped out at me and I had to take a look. Great job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your title for this page is GREAT. I was scrolling through your pages and that title hit me right in the face and I HAD to go back and see about the costumes for horses. Nicely done.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 7 years ago

      An awesome lens, if I would have a horse, I would dress it up for Halloween now. Thumbs up.

    • starhorsepax profile image

      starhorsepax 7 years ago

      Wow! That's amazing. And I'd give serious congrats to anyone with the time, energy and a horse to pull it off. I'd love to see some pictures. I've known some you can do that with and others....well, would probably imitate a rocket and head for orbit.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Dressing a horse up as a carousel horse--I like that. Might suggest that to a friend of mine who has a couple of horses, because she was recently talking about doing something for Halloween with them.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      Great ideas. I love the Zebra and your intro image is adorable. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 7 years ago from Australia

      What a unique idea, a fancy dress costume for a horse is a great idea.

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      Very beautiful pictures. Fantastic ideas. Congratulations.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 7 years ago from West Virginia

      Interesting ideas. I had never thought about costumes for a horse before. The zebra idea looks especially interesting.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      I have to say making a Halloween costume for my horse had never occurred to me. Kinda fun to think about all the possibilities you've presented for ideas. Hmm.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great costume ideas for horses. I would never have thought of it.

    • remanon profile image

      remanon 7 years ago

      Some of my students will love this lens - look out ponies :)

    • beckyf profile image

      beckyf 7 years ago

      I never thought of costuming a horse! Love the zebra. :)

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      ha! zebra. too funny. and cute. :)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      very cool lens! I use to design Arabian Show costumes for years...our barn use to dress up their horses on Halloween, it was fun for the kids.

    • LaineA profile image

      Amy Stephens 7 years ago from Missouri

      I love the zebra, horse costume. Absolutely adorable.