What’s the purpose of a bonnet? Are they just to make my horse’s ears look pretty? Well, while they do complete the ‘matching’ look, they were actually invented for a reason. (Surprise!) Well `admit it… Half the reason why you use a bonnet is cos it’s fashionable, hey?
Anyway, moving on to the three main uses for a bonnet:
a) To prevent bugs and flies from entering your horses’ ears and causing irritation.
c) Looks cute! (No explanation needed)
Anyone up for a history lesson? Keep reading! Lets go back to medieval times…
“The earliest form of a horse bonnet or hat is found in the mid-14th century when horses became targets in battle in order to dismount the knights on them. In order to protect the horses from archers and other attackers, barding, or horse armour, was invented. In most cases, the horse had iron plates on its body for protection, including the head. These protective shields for a horse’s face were called ‘chanfron,’ and covered the whole front of the horses face as well as much of the ears and cheeks.”
“At the turn of the century, however, barding was not really necessary anymore. Horses became mostly modes of transportation and companion animals. A more modern take on the horse bonnet came to play. In the 1890’s “sun bonnets” for horses were all the rage in France. These sun bonnets were basically hats for horses, keeping the sun out of their eyes and shielding them from the heat of the day. These ranged from simple straw hats to elegant and frivolous masterpieces.”₁
Have something you’d like to add about this fashionable ‘hat’? Drop it in the comments below J
₁Theplaidhorse.com. (2017). What in the World is a Horse Bonnet? | The Plaid Horse Magazine. [online] Available at: https://theplaidhorse.com/2017/02/13/what-in-the-world-is-a-horse-bonnet/ [Accessed 4 Sep. 2017].
Horse Sun-bonnet Patent From 1870 is a painting by Celestial Images which was uploaded on December 10th, 2014.