horse ribbon colors

Horse Ribbon Colors and Their Meaning

by | Jul 7, 2023 | Blog

Understanding the meanings of horse ribbon colors is not merely an exercise in horse-related trivia. No, the knowledge goes beyond that. It is an essential component in the dialogue between horses and humans, a significant tool for communication that helps establish clarity in an environment where misunderstanding can lead to less-than-ideal consequences. Hence, it’s a topic deserving of close inspection and understanding.

The Significance of Horse Ribbon Colors

The significance of horse ribbon colors extends beyond a mere congratulatory token. They provide a quick and efficient way of communicating the results of horse shows, an equivalent of a medal in the Olympics or a trophy in a football game. At a glance, these ribbons can tell us who emerged victorious, who came close, and who put up a commendable effort. It’s a coded language that paints a vivid picture of the show’s highlights.

Apart from their practical role in acknowledging accomplishments, horse ribbons are also objects of great pride and beauty. High-quality ribbons such as those by Hodges Badge Company are designed with meticulous attention to detail and superior craftsmanship, making them treasured keepsakes. Their beauty and vibrancy reflect the essence of equestrian shows – a celebration of grace, strength, and skill.

Therefore, understanding the significance of these ribbon colors enhances our appreciation of the world of equestrian shows. It enables us to participate more fully in the event, whether as spectators, competitors, or even casual enthusiasts.

Understanding the Different Ribbon Colors and Their Meanings

Blue, often associated with serenity and wisdom, takes on a new form in the equestrian world. A blue ribbon is coveted, awarded to the champion, the highest achiever, the crème de la crème. It is a tribute to excellence and a mark of triumph.

The red ribbon, vibrant and assertive, is not far behind. It designates the reserve champion, the horse that, although didn’t steal the spotlight, impressed judges with its prowess and poise. In some regions, however, red might symbolize a third-place winner, reminding us that interpretations of these colors can sometimes differ.

Yellow or white often signifies third place, a recognition of effort and competence. The awarding of these ribbons signals that the horse, while not the star of the show, demonstrated laudable performance worthy of acknowledgment.

Then we have green, pink, brown, and the rest of the spectrum, each representing a different level of achievement or participation. Understanding these shades and their associated rankings is crucial for everyone involved in horse shows.

Awareness of possible cultural or regional variations in these meanings is also essential. The International Equestrian Federation is a fantastic resource for understanding the intricacies of equestrian competitions worldwide. For a practical guide that you can take with you to events, consider investing in “The Complete Guide to Hunter Seat Training, Showing, and Judging: On the Flat and Over Fences” by Anna Jane White-Mullin. This book provides an in-depth analysis of equestrian shows, including a detailed section on ribbon meanings.

With each color, we not only see a decorative accessory but also an emblem of achievement, an acknowledgment of effort, and a celebration of the bond between human and horse. It’s not just a language of colors, but a language of love and respect for these magnificent creatures.


To the untrained eye, horse show ribbons might merely appear as a beautiful, vibrant accessory, an aesthetic indulgence. However, for those steeped in the equestrian world, each color illuminates a story of triumph, perseverance, and unmatched dedication. They form a silent but impactful dialect, communicating messages of accomplishment and pride to those who comprehend their profound meanings.

The importance of these ribbon colors and the meanings they convey cannot be overstated. They are not only celebratory symbols but also serve as key indicators of a horse’s performance. To understand them is to appreciate the intricacies of equestrian culture, to decode the language of equine achievement.

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Issabella Mitchel</a>

Issabella Mitchel

Isabella is a remarkable equestrian and racehorse trainer, hailing from the horse capital of the world, Kentucky. Growing up in the heart of bluegrass country, she developed a deep affinity for horses from an early age.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This