by Annalisa Dockery
Let's face it, most horse-crazy girls are not thinking about their own hair.
We know how to give a horse a bath, we know how to braid a horse's tail, we may even know how to do those adorable button braids for shows, but when it comes to our own hair, we tend to be either clueless or apathetic.
We'll spend half an hour grooming our horse and brushing out tangles, with our own hair haphazardly gathered into a ponytail or messy bun with an old scrunchie that may or may not have been found on the tack room floor.
We know how to use Mane 'n Tail, yet we don't remember the last time we used shampoo on ourselves.
Look, no judgement. Equestrians are busy people, and when it comes to prioritizing, the horses come first. I totally get it. I was the same way, tossing my hair back in a ponytail and calling it good.
I wasn't too concerned about my own mane, so long as it wasn't getting in my way.
But I've kept my hair long for years, and one thing I've learned is that it knows how to get in the way, especially when you're climbing around fences or tossing out manure on a windy day. (Ask me how I know this.)
If you're like me with a long mane of your own to manage, you don't need it getting in the way while you ride or do barn chores. And especially if you live in a hot climate like me, keeping it loose is just asking for knots and a hot, sweaty neck. Yuck.
But you don't have to work extra hard or spend an hour in the bathroom to keep your mane contained, or resign yourself to looking like something the pony dragged in.
You can easily do your hair in seconds to minutes and have it stay put all day, whether it's show day or hay day.
I wish I'd known this years ago, and I'm going to pass on this wisdom to you. So put down the curry comb and listen up.
3 Easy Riding Hairstyles
There are three basic ways you can style long hair for the stable, from the fastest to the more intensive and there are several variations within each:
- The Ponytail
- The Bun
- The Braid
Let's take a look at these one at a time.
1. The Ponytail
First, the classic ponytail.
It seems like a no-brainer, but I want to mention the ponytail. It's typically the first option we go for; it's fast and easy, and it's still a good option for keeping long hair somewhat contained.
We don't need our manes whipping us in the face. (Leave that to your horse's tail.)
Braided Base Wrapped Ponytail
You can dress up a ponytail by taking a small section of hair from the base of your neck, braiding it, and wrapping it around the rest of your hair.
What about a High Ponytail?
When you're not riding, you may be tempted to go for a high ponytail, but I don't advise it.
The weight of holding all that hair near the top of your head, even if it's not that thick, puts plenty of stress on your scalp, and over time it can even make your hair fall out.
You don't need to be losing more hair when you're already pulling it out because your pony broke into the feed room again.
2. The Bun
Next, the bun.
There are a few different ways you can style a bun, and I don't mean messy buns at the top of your head.
Classic Low Bun
There's the classic low bun, of course.
The way I style this for long hair is to twist it into a rope, make an overhand knot, then wrap the ends around the base. Otherwise, if you just twist it up, it looks like a certain emoji.
Especially if you're a brunette…
One of my favorites is the Nautilus Bun. It looks classy and only takes a minute.
Nautilus Bun Tutorial
Make a ponytail with your non-dominant hand, then wrap your hair around three fingers. While holding the center, arrange the loop you made snug against your head, and stick your hair clip through the center, against your scalp.
It sounds more complicated than it is, I promise.
Messy Overhand Knot Bun
3. The Braid
Finally, there's the Braid. It's another classic hairstyle for horse riding and barn chores, but it obviously requires knowing how to braid.
Basic 3-Strand Braid
You probably already know how to braid your horse's tail, and braiding your own isn't much different.
Even if you don't know how, a basic three strand braid isn't hard to learn, and it keeps long hair in check, without the tail bag!
If you're willing to take the extra effort, a French braid is an excellent choice for keeping side hairs in check too, and it still fits under your helmet. You are wearing a helmet, right?
French Braid Ponytail
One simple way to wear your French Braid is to just braid your hair to the nape of your neck, then leave the rest of your hair out in a long ponytail.
Tucked French Braid
And if you're willing to show off, or going to a school show, you can braid the whole thing, tuck the ends under, and secure it with a no-slip hair clip.
Best Hair Clip for Horse Riding Hairstyles
As you may have seen from all my photos above, I am wearing a Flexi Sport. It is the absolute best hair clip for any horseback riding hairstyle, as it is waterproof, sweat-proof, easy-to-clean, super-grip, and will not slip out, even while riding all day!
You can find it in many different colors in my shop HERE.
And that's it!
And that's it! Plenty of horse riding hairstyles for long hair that will tame your mane and won't take all day, so you can get back to what's important.
Like mucking out.
about the author, Annalisa Dockery
Annalisa is a born horse enthusiast who lives in Texas and says Y'all, but prefers to ride English. She is a willing slave to three cats, likes to read, knit and cross stitch, and
rants writes about things at darkhorseannalisa.com.