The most appropriate way to style your hair for hunter or equitation classes is to contain it up in your helmet. If you do not usually ride with your hair up, this might require a slightly larger helmet in order to maintain comfort. If you are not comfortable putting your hair up in your helmet or you have too much hair to be fully contained, I have seen riders do a french braid and then tuck the braid inside the collar of the show shirt and look very discrete. If you go with this method, it's best to use a hair net as well to keep any fly-aways to a minimum. Whatever you choose to do, I do not recommend the black "show bows" that are often used for dressage to contain a bun. They draw unnecessary attention to your hair that is better kept on your horse or on your riding.
This post will focus on how to put your hair up in the hunter style. There are many variants of this style, depending on personal preferences and the need for additional security (some riders will pin their hair up), so this is something that can be experimented with. Some riders prefer to use two hair nets, but in most cases one hair net should be all that you need.
What you'll need:
- A hair elastic
- One or two hair nets matching your hair colour
Put your hair in a low ponytail, covering the tops of your ears
Lean forward and flip your ponytail up
Cover all of your hair with the hair net (some riders prefer to put the hair net on before the hair elastic so that it's more secure)
While still leaning forward, put your helmet on back to front, settling the bulky base of the pony tail in the back of the harness below the hard shell of the helmet and allowing your hair to fan out slightly
While in front of a mirror, adjust the hair net so that it looks neat and everything is contained
Here's a great video that shows how it's done (this video uses the hairnet before elastic method, and covers the ears almost entirely, which isn't necessary unless you like it that way):