Ask an Expert

How to Make a Bun

September 2, 2013

Ever wonder how to make a neat, tidy horsemanship bun? Get the inside scoop from a former AQHYA horsemanship world champion.

ask_expertCarey Nowacek, the 2010 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Horsemanship World Champion, explains how to make the perfect horsemanship hair bun.


I compete in horsemanship and I understand that it’s important to have a nice, tidy bun, but I can never seem to get the hang of it. I enjoyed watching the horsemanship competitors online at the AQHA World Championship Show, but their tidy buns made me jealous!

How do you make a neat, tidy bun?


The perfect bun first starts with a good pony tail.

The placement of the pony tail depends on the shape of your head and where your hat falls. Usually you want a lower bun, but not at the base of your neck. There still should be a little bit of hair showing at the bottom. You should have about 2 inches of hair showing at the bottom of your neck under the pony tail. And remember, the top of your bun is going to hit right below your hat.

There are four things that you will need to make a tight bun:

  1. Hair spray (preferably lower-end hair spray because it’s generally stickier)
  2. Bobby pins
  3. Hair bands
  4. A good hair net

After you’ve made the pony tail, twist your hair, then continue twisting until your hair twists into a bun. Use a hair band to secure the loose bun.

Next, place the hair net over your bun and twist and layer the net over the bun until all of the excess net is used.

Finally, use the bobby pins to secure the edges of the hair net to your hair. Ask a friend to help you direct bobby pins so that you have a centered, secure bun.

Carey Nowacek

2010 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Horsemanship World Champion

Check out the December 2011 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal for all of Carey’s tips, including some great visuals, on how to make the perfect tight bun.