Top Notch: If the Bonnet Fits Bonnets

Fly bonnet, ear bonnet, fly veil, ear net … whatever you call them, they aren’t optional in Texas in the spring and summer. I wanted a few with mesh ears, so that Eli’s brain might stay a little cooler even in warm weather but his ears would still be protected from bugs. If the Bonnet Fits offers the mesh ears, so I ordered two … and then wound up getting a third with regular ears & ear embroidery. I have reviewed these bonnets before, and the new ones meet if not surpass the quality of my other If the Bonnet Fits bonnets. And as an added bonus, when I tried the mesh ear bonnets on Eli, he didn’t even shake his head! He always gives a bit of a shake when I put bonnets on him so for him not to do that makes me think he prefers the mesh ears.

I know many of you readers and fellow bloggers may already have a bonnet or a few from If the Bonnet Fits, so I will save you the trouble of reading any more about them and just give you the good stuff. I bucked the subtle trend …

meshears peridotandmerlot

greencrystals profiled

posed earembroidery

colorstory modelish

USG Bonnet Review

mintyeliEli makes a pretty good bonnet model. I’m just a bad photographer.

It’s no secret that I’m into bonnets for my horse. Bonnets keep the flies from bugging my horse’s ears and muffle sounds just enough to make it easier for me to keep Eli’s focus (kind of?). George Morris isn’t into bonnets for that same reason. Well, we can’t all be perfect. My horse will wear a bonnet, God of Hunt Seat Equitation! Heresy is not new to me.

So of course, when I say I “needed” a bonnet for schooling, just smile and nod. I want to keep my nice custom bonnets nice, but I still want to use a bonnet at home. As far as price and fit go, the USG bonnet fit the bill for a good schooling bonnet. And once I got my hands on it in person, I realized this bonnet would be nice enough for the show ring, as well.

bonnetwithstrapgoodsDouble cording, scalloped edge, nice material, a nice, open stitch (probably machine-stitched), subtle branding on the ear … I am very impressed with the quality of this bonnet for the price, ~$30. SmartPak has some colors, but has MANY colors. I picked up this mint & anthracite bonnet from

bonnetearsPeople indulge me by complimenting the color, but it kind of does look good on a bay. The bonnet is also available in more show-ring appropriate colors such as black or white, and I like this bonnet enough to be seriously considering a white one.

Eli had no problems wearing it. In fact, the bonnet has a feature that makes me think its designers KNEW how popular anatomical bridles would be.

topbonnetThere is plenty of material behind the ears–enough to keep this bonnet in place even with the wider, shaped crownpiece of my PS of Sweden bridle. This is probably my second favorite feature or the bonnet, the first being its cotton construction. I will definitely be using this bonnet all summer long.

The bonnet does lose some of appeal in my eyes for one reason.

dyebleedThe color bleeds. A lot. I hand washed this thing three times and color was still bleeding out into the water. I set it out on a towel to air dry, and the color bled into the towel. If you get this bonnet, hand wash really well it before using it. I think I’ve got the excess color out of the bonnet to where I feel comfortable to put it on my horse’s head without having to worry about the dye/color irritating him or staining him.

Overall, however, the USG bonnet is an excellent value. I recommend it, with the one reservation being that the dye washes out of the bonnet.

If the Bonnet Fits: Review

bonnetmodelI have a bonnet problem. Fortunately, I also have a bonnet solution. If you are thinking about a bonnet for your horse, but balk at the price tag of many custom bonnets, I have an affordable, quality, sparkly answer for you — If the Bonnet Fits.cordandrhinestonesEli is not a very good bonnet model, as he doesn’t get “posing” or standing still for that long. So the pictures don’t really do this bonnet justice.

I wanted another bonnet for Eli (of course), but I also didn’t want to spend $125, which is about what a custom bonnet can amount to from a handful of different vendors. Not all custom bonnets are this expensive, but I wanted something well made that actually fit Eli. I started browsing bonnets on Facebook and Instagram and kept coming back to If the Bonnet Fits (also on Pinterest). I couldn’t believe the base price, especially after looking through the photo album of many, many bonnets. They all looked very nicely made, and had cording and trim and crystals and rhinestones, so surely the ones pictured are well over the base price.

Turns out, they aren’t. The base price actually includes a few embellishments and adjustments, such as for ear size. All of the pricing information is available via the Facebook page, and you can order via a Facebook message or email. The bonnet I ordered, with custom-sized ears, a row of cording, two rows of rhinestones, and scallops worked out to $40. The price varies for each bonnet, and the bonnet is made for you BEFORE you pay for it. Once the bonnet is made, you get pictures of it and get to give the okay before paying, and shipping is a little extra. That is a rare customer service perk–most other vendors require payment in advance. The current turnaround time is about 4 to 6 weeks.

modelheisnotI tried the bonnet on Eli after I received it, and I am very happy with the fit. A great feature of this bonnet is the extra material behind the ears–plenty of material so that it won’t sneak forward of the crownpiece of a bridle. With the amount of material, I don’t think a throatlatch cord is necessary, although you can get one if you prefer it.

bonnetprofileI am also happy with the detail and craftsmanship that went into this bonnet. When I showed the bonnet to my mom, who crochets and knits, I asked her if she could do something like this and she just laughed. Funny, mom. Funny.

bonnetdetailAll of the yarn, trim, cord, and embellishment options are in a photo album on Facebook, so you can see what is available.

Eli wore the bonnet during our lesson on Saturday. A mild cold front had come through, and though it was 85F on Friday, Saturday it was about 60F and windy. With this bonnet, the wind didn’t bother him at all. I just have regular material for the ears of the bonnet, but I think soundproof ears are an option.

sometimeshedoesnotbiteWhile I am extremely happy with this bonnet and the customer service experience from If the Bonnet Fits, I do have one thing I might like different, if I were to order another bonnet. The yarn is good quality, but very heavy. For winter, the bonnet is perfect. But I think for Texas, it would be impossible to use this bonnet in the summer because the weight of the yarn. I would prefer a lighter yarn and some kind of open stitch for a bonnet that I could use in the summer.

I am already looking at the available materials on Facebook, imaging what bonnet I would order next!