As All Hallows’ Eve approaches, many of us will be tempted to create elaborate costumes that reflect the times, as well as our personal tastes in pop culture and horror. And after two years of lockdown, getting out and mingling with our fellow humans is long overdue.
We horsey folks have an incredible opportunity to design and make original costumes that involve ourselves and our horses and ponies. Classic horror characters such as The Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one such example. We scoured social media to find the most popular, scary, and funny horse-and-rider costume combos.
If you do decide to try one of these at home, ensure that you and your horse are in a safe environment, because sometimes even the most bombproof horse confronted by accessories like wings, sheets, or hats can get spooked! And if you’re not sure your costume is PC, check out US Equestrian’s The Inclusion Playbook, a guide to common costume pitfalls to avoid which can sometimes make people feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unwelcome.
This is definitely the winner, in our opinion. It’s simple, safe, and doesn’t require a lot of skill with a paintbrush, yet the result is stunning.
@Olivam_eventing posted her horse Emmett, a black horse sporting painted white “bones” creating a skeleton look.
Judging by social media posts, this is a very popular costume if you own a dark horse (and are brave enough to sport the spandex!). In the case of rider @francescabardelle19 the scary skeleton look can be done to create a matched set for both horse and human.
Not to be outdone, @clippersharp posted this image of an alternative approach to create black “bones” on a horse.
The horse owners who posted these images clearly know their way around a make-up brush. Gorgeous and terrifying masks created for both equine and human that will make anyone take notice.
@Laluce_ranch posted an intricate make up job on both horse and rider’s faces that resembles a Tim Burton character. It’s a stunning image, but definitely requires some major skills.
And kudos to @jack_o_heartbreaker:
Of course, why not make use of your chestnut’s gorgeous coat colour? This was the case for @littleredhorse, who stenciled a Jack O-lantern on her horse’s hindquarters, then posted, “I just found the most perfect Halloween pumpkin!”
Horses wearing “hats” including horns, are also quite popular. @our.journey.of.freedom posted her buckskin horse wearing a “bloodied” horn, creating a scary horror-tinged unicorn.
Other popular horsey hats include a witch from @roanranch, complete with pumpkin trick-or-treat pail and the essential black cat.
Some horse folks take their horse Halloween antics to another level, like @crazy_connemara, whose owner and grey pony donned the witchy look, but also created a spooky yet elegant black-and-white video as well. The young female equestrian wrote in her post: “Keevs and I had a bit too much fun making this, her dragging me through a bog in the woods and me spending wayyy to much time trying to make is creepy but thought we would try a different sort of Halloween edit.” If creepy was indeed the goal, mission accomplished. And bravo!
The iconic literary character is also a popular choice but requires your face be entirely covered. This costume relies on mesh or peep holes to see through for safety. But given the name of the character, it’s a no-brainer. @bluechipfeed asked their followers, “Anyone taking their horse out trick or treating?” and posted an image of themselves with a pumpkin head while riding a Friesian, who is also wearing a costume of leaves woven into its mane, as well as decorative saddle and breastplate.
And Then There’s This…
Straight from Pony Macaroni, @ponymacaronilove, an equestrian collection that offers horseback riding apparel, farmhouse decor and custom horse gifts for horse lovers and riders, comes this wickedly funny original video compilation that they dub “our first horror movie for horses…” and includes everything from a bag blowing on the ground to shadows, mailboxes, barking dogs, and of course, terrifying puddles. Now that’s truly scary.
American dressage groom and social media sensation Evan Donadt (159K followers on Instagram, 300K on TikTok) uses humour to entertain his fans, and Halloween was a natural. His videos, including “Scary Stories for Horses! Boomproof horses only!” are hilarious, with Evan speaking to the camera, holding a flashlight under his chin in classic campfire story fashion: “There was a garden hose, a shadow, and a puddle…all on the ground!”
You have to watch to appreciate his comedic timing and sound effects:
Evan also suggested this easy and inexpensive costume… place a quarter on your horse’s back and voila! You have a “quarter horse.” Bahaha!