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What goes on a horses face?

If you are searching for information on the question “What goes on a horse’s face?” you may not find exactly what you are looking for without being a bit more specific.

The question can be interpreted in several different ways. For example, some searchers may be interested in a horse’s facial markings, or anatomy, others may want to know how to wash, groom or clip a horse’s face.

When providing our answer, we are going to assume that you are talking about equipment and concentrate on the type of horse tack that can be fitted on a horse’s face. There are actually several different pieces of horse tack that can go on a horse’s face. This very much depends on the equestrian discipline, or the problem you are trying to correct. So let’s take a look at some of the equipment.

Horse Bridle

Bridles fit over a horse’s head and around the nose. Bridles are used to assist riders with control of their horses via reins that are attached to the bridle. The rider can hold onto the reins to steer the horse in the desired direction. There are over half a dozen parts to a common bridle and whilst designs can be simple they have been used as effective control of a horse for hundreds of years.

There are many different types of bridles, but they all serve the same purpose: to help riders control their horses. The most common type of bridle is the English bridle, which is used in dressage and show jumping. Other types of bridles include the Western bridle, the racing bridle, and the Hackamore to name some of the most common ones.

Face Masks

What is the mask they put on a horse’s face? And why do horses wear masks? The answer to both these questions is a face mask or face shield and the main reason is to safeguard a horse’s face against flies and other insects. Some horses can be very sensitive to fly bites, especially during the summer months and it is impossible for a horse to evade flying insects and so a fly mask provides excellent protection.

They are normally made from synthetic materials and are available in all different colors, shapes, and designs. Some fit the entire length of the head including the ears and right down to the end of the nose, others just cover the eye section of the head. Horses are still able to see through the mask because of a mesh fabric that is fitted over the eyes, just like looking through a mesh window.

Horse Ears or Ear bonnets

Whereas the full-length face mask is used on a horse whilst they are grazing in a field or stabled, flies and other biting insects can still be a problem whilst riding. The last thing you want is a horse galloping off to evade a pesky horse fly whilst you are sitting astride! The answer to this particular problem is an ear bonnet or fly veil.

These headpieces are made from crocheted cotton and fit over a horse’s ears and poll, resting underneath the browband. Ear bonnets are available in many styles, colours, rope trims, and embroidery and over the years have become a real fashion statement. However there is another less obvious use for the ear bonnet. Ear Covers reduce the sounds when a horse is in a crowded environment, such as a competition. Loud noisy crowds can distract a horse, make them anxious or even spook them when they need to concentrate the most. This is especially true when showjumping.
Earplugs can be inserted into the horse’s ears and kept in place with the ear bonnet and for those that don’t like earplugs, there are sound-reducing bonnets now available.

Grazing muzzles

What are grazing muzzles for? Another piece of equipment that can be fitted to a horse’s face is the grazing muzzle. Grazing muzzles or nose nets can be a highly beneficial device in the battle against equine obesity and laminitis. Muzzles can be worn by many breeds of horses, and are not just associated with pony breeds. Grazing muzzles consist of a plastic or webbing bucket that sits over the horse’s nose and mouth and is attached to a headcollar. The muzzle does not stop a horse or pony from eating or drinking but can restrict the amount of dry food intake by as much as 30%.


What are horse blinkers? Blinkers are crescent-shaped cups that fit around the eyes of the horse. They are either fitted to the bridle or onto a lycra-style mask that sits under the bridle. Horses have wide peripheral vision because of where their eyes sit in the head and the goal of blinkers is to block the peripheral vision and focus the horse on only looking forward, eliminating any other distractions. They are mainly used in horse racing.

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