Updated date:

Costumes for Horses for Horse Shows, Halloween or Parades

Halloween is fun for children and adults. I was noted for my annual Halloween parties and creative costumes and enjoy this time of year.

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.

Cute Horse and Rider Costume: A Flower and a Bumble Bee

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!

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

A Colorful Knight And Horse Outfit

halloween-costumes-for-horses

Do You Own a Horse?

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

I made a pirate horse sheet for my pony and he wore a pirate hat, eye patch, etc. I dressed as a pirate.

— LanaPaints

Pirate Theme for Horse and Rider

There are lots of ways you can go with the idea Lana provided. She decorated the horse with a pirate hat and also dressed herself as a pirate. There are plenty of such costumes for people available in October in the stores. It might be a little tricky getting the pirate hat to stay on the horse.

Another way to go is to use a brown horse blanket. Use electrical or painter's tape to outline the details of a pirate ship on the sides to turn the horse into a pirate ship. Add a jolly roger flag on short upright stick.

Beard, mustache, fake knives and gun, are part of most pirate costumes.

Beard, mustache, fake knives and gun, are part of most pirate costumes.

Links to Photos of Horses Dressed Up

Lots of ideas from unicorns to a Harry Potter look

  • Halloween Horse Costumes - Dress up your horse (and yourself!) for Halloween. All costume photos will be posted here for all to enjoy. Send photos to iceryder@lycos.com
  • About Horses and Ponies Photo Gallery - Horses in Costume is a gallery of that site's reader's horses' and ponies. You can submit your own horse photo for inclusion in the My Horse Photo Gallery.
  • Amazing Horse Costumes - Did someone cast a spell on Harry Potter and turn the boy wizard into a horse? No, it's just a horse in a fantastic costume by the Horse Tailor... (Note that you have to click on NEXT PHOTO to see all the horses in costume on this site).
  • Franga Equestrian and Pet Boutique has equestrian costumes including unicorn browbands and medieval saddle blankets.
  • This site has ideas using
  • 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? Check out the ideas at the Horse's Costume Party
  • Justamere Equestrian Centre 2009 Halloween photo album will give you some great ideas.

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.

Did You Watch the Video?

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.

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

Arabian Costumes for Horse and Rider

  • Arabian Horse Costumes
    Costumes By Carolyn has been in business for 20 years designing, making, and marketing her Arabian Horse Native Costumes

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?

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.

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.
  • Juan Valdez and his burro. Create long burro ears for your horse to wear. Attach stuffed bags on each side of the horse. Use a Mexican outfit for the rider. Juan Valdez was a fictional character in coffee commercials.

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

halloween-costumes-for-horses
Juan Valdez with his burro and sacks of coffee

Juan Valdez with his burro and sacks of coffee

Did You Like This Costume?

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

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.

Zombie Horse And Rider Costumes

Use clothing and a horse blanket that you don't mind messing up. Use plenty of gory blood (available at stores in October wherever costumes are sold)

Use clothing and a horse blanket that you don't mind messing up. Use plenty of gory blood (available at stores in October wherever costumes are sold)

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.

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! An angel with a unicorn was my favorite.

— running4theroses

Costume Show for Horses - YouTube Video

Have You Ever Dressed Up Your Horse?

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!

Carousel Horses Give You Ideas

Wouldn't this look great on your horse!

Wouldn't this look great on your horse!

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...

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.

What Was Your Main Interest in Visiting This Web Page?

You answer helps the webmaster to add more on the topics you want to see.

© 2010 Virginia Allain

Share your ideas for costuming a horse....

Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on September 13, 2015:

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

sam on September 13, 2015:

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?

anonymous on September 19, 2013:

@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 (author) from Central Florida on September 18, 2013:

@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.

anonymous on September 18, 2013:

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.

anonymous on September 08, 2013:

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

racingdatabase on February 19, 2013:

Great lens - the zebra is brilliant! :-)

greatgifts4u on December 25, 2012:

Love the Sleazy choices the best!

anonymous on November 15, 2012:

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.

snrklz on October 20, 2012:

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 (author) from Central Florida on October 08, 2012:

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

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

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.

anonymous on October 03, 2012:

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.

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on September 12, 2012:

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.

anonymous on September 11, 2012:

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 (author) from Central Florida on August 29, 2012:

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

anonymous on August 29, 2012:

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.

LoveToClean on August 28, 2012:

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

KayeSI on August 27, 2012:

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.

Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on August 23, 2012:

@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.

shahedashaikh on August 23, 2012:

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

Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on May 20, 2012:

@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 on May 03, 2012:

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

miaponzo on November 08, 2011:

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

diaperbagdiva lm on October 24, 2011:

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!

jurante on September 28, 2011:

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

Blonde Blythe from U.S.A. on September 27, 2011:

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

ViJuvenate on September 19, 2011:

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 on September 06, 2011:

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!

Vladimir from Australia on August 19, 2011:

I always KNEW someone would design Halloween costumes for horses

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on August 13, 2011:

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

gottaloveit2 on August 03, 2011:

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

Delia on May 31, 2011:

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

JoyAgain on February 22, 2011:

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!

jgelien on November 07, 2010:

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

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on November 04, 2010:

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

Dee Gallemore on October 28, 2010:

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!

anonymous on October 27, 2010:

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 on October 20, 2010:

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

starhorsepax on October 04, 2010:

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.

Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on October 04, 2010:

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 on October 03, 2010:

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

Lou165 from Australia on October 03, 2010:

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

SofiaMann on October 02, 2010:

Very beautiful pictures. Fantastic ideas. Congratulations.

CherylsArt on October 02, 2010:

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

Mona from Iowa on September 30, 2010:

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.

remanon on September 20, 2010:

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

beckyf on September 17, 2010:

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

hlkljgk from Western Mass on September 13, 2010:

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

Delia on September 04, 2010:

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.

Amy Stephens from Missouri on August 31, 2010:

I love the zebra, horse costume. Absolutely adorable.