Do you know the meaning of the different ribbons in the tail?

2 min.

It is not yet very common in Denmark to use ribbons in the tails of horses. It’s probably only a few riders who know the meaning of the different colored ribbons. In this article, we provide you with a complete overview of what it means if a horse has a red, yellow, white, or green ribbon in its tail.

When you come to the riding arena or indoor arena, you may see horses and ponies with different colored ribbons in their tails. And no, the ribbon is not there for decoration. Its purpose is to inform the other riders on the track that they should pay special attention to this horse. There are four different colors, each signaling something different: red, yellow, green, and white.


The red ribbon: The red ribbon is by far the most common one at competition grounds. Fortunately, it’s also a ribbon that most riders know the meaning of. The red ribbon is a warning to other riders that the horse might kick, so they should keep a good distance.

The green ribbon: If you have an inexperienced horse or pony that might be going to its first competition, you can advantageously put a green ribbon in its tail. This way, the other riders on the track will know that your horse is “new to traffic” and may be a bit difficult to control. They can then better accommodate you, so you and your horse have a good experience.

The yellow ribbon: If you have a stallion, it can be a good idea to put a yellow ribbon in its tail. It’s not very pleasant when mares get too close, and it becomes unfocused on the track. Some people also use a blue ribbon, so you might come across both.

The white ribbon: The white ribbon means that the pony or horse is for sale. So here’s an easy way to advertise a bit that your horse is for sale when you’re at a competition. If you’re looking for a new horse, it’s also handy because you can easily see if your competitor is for sale.


Regardless of whether a horse has a ribbon in its tail or not, it is important to show consideration to each other. It’s a given that when we move around the arenas, we should remember to be considerate—even if there isn’t necessarily a ribbon in the tail.

Read also: 20 fascinating facts about the horse’s tail, its anatomy and function

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