Snob Essentials

What Is Pony Hair?

What Is Pony Hair?

To start off, your pony hair item is not made from the skin of a adorable small horse! So you can relax!

So if it’s not horse, then what is it??? It’s commonly cow or goat hide that is shaved so that the hide looks similar to the hide of a horse. That’s it! The name just refers to the look of the pelt. Pony hair is also commonly referred to as haircalf, calf hair, or hair-on leather.

The hide is usually bleached white and then dyed in different colors or patterns like leopard, tiger, or zebra, and incorporated into clothing and accessories. Depending on how it is treated and used, the price for pony hair products will vary.

Pony hair is water resistant, but you should use care when cleaning it. If something gets on the fur, let it dry and then brush it out. Don’t use water as it can dry out the skin and cause cracking. Preferably use something like Mane ‘n Tail for any deep cleaning. Pony hair should be stored in a climate controlled environment, away from direct sunlight and heat, just like minks, furs, and other leather products.

So now that you know what pony hair is, and you’re looking for something a little different than just regular leather, give pony hair a try. Since it is from cow, it is not considered an exotic leather, but it can spice up any wardrobe!

What Is Pony Hair?

Burberry London Calf Hair Trench Coat (on NET-A-PORTER for $6,500)

What Is Pony Hair?

Christian Louboutin Rougissime Calf Hair and Leather Clutch (on NET-A-PORTER for $1,350)

What Is Pony Hair?

Valentino Rockstud Slingback Pumps (at Barneys New York for $1,445)

What Is Pony Hair?

Elizabeth & James Cynnie Calf Hair Bucket Bag (on NET-A-PORTER for $595)



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  1. I´m really not very interested in these hairy bags. I think that it is emotional,since I´m fond of animals. Exotics are ok,cause they are quite distant for me. I realize that this is a paradox, cause they are animals too.This is a tough one.

    1. Each creature is living and breathing. Blood in it’s
      body, raising a family and simply trying to survive.
      Respect should be given to all creatures yet it is not.
      Most people destroy these creatures without the blink
      of an eye.

  2. I had a haircalf bag and it would shed so I never thought to buy another one until I saw a Jimmy Choo that I fell in love with, it’s jet black and doesn’t shed so if you’re going to get a pony hair get a good quality one.

  3. This is entirely ridiculous I know, because dead animal hide is dead animal hide, but pony hair creeps me out. I like the idea of different textures changing the look of the bag, particularly if it’s black, (see Anya Hindmarch’s Slade for instance) but just the thought of touching it makes my skin crawl.

  4. Ditto. I know it doesn’t make any sense, like you said, but carrying pony hair makes me feel like carrying ostrich… It reminds me that I’m wearing somebody else’s skin, and I don’t like that feeling at all. I should really just give up on leather, I’m the worst vegetarian in history. :/

  5. Mette and other creeped out peeps,

    It is biologically natural to be more put off with cow or pony than with a reptile skin. The cows are mammals, as we are, and share so many more biological traits. The further away from our make-up, the more tolerant we are to killing.

    Reptiles are cold blooded, egg laying, animals.

    I once sat in an intro biology class, and during the lecture, the prof kept cutting off flowers from a pot, and putting them into a vase. The point was, he was executing the plant, but no reaction was give. He then took out a field mouse, and the entire hall erupted.

  6. Don’t worry! I’m the worst vegetarian in history too! My closet doesn’t do wonders for sticking up for my eating habits 🙁

  7. I’m confused. I know they kill cows for leather, but are they shaving the cows fur to utilize the ponyhair or removing their skin with the fur still attached? Does anyone know?

  8. Ladies, I assure you that I MUST beat you out for the worst vegetarian EVER. I want to make you feel better about yourself, visit this on line confessional, and also know deep down insdie that I have “bad” vegetarian cyber sisters………, here it goes, I carry spiders, ants, and goose bumping roaches outside before killing them, I am repulsed by eating meat and would NEVER do it, but I have found some amazing camilla skovgaard “shaved pony” wedges and now that I have confirmed pony hair is just a cow and not a cute little pony………….I really need to buy them. Thanks for info.

  9. oh my god, what the hell is wrong with you ‘vegetarians’??? I can only presume that you are vegetarian for dietary reasons, not ethical, because if you were, leather or this kind of thing would be a definite no, cow, horse, whatever! You are not vegetarians. p.s a flower does not have a central nervous system, so it does not feel pain. Changes in environment, yes, but not pain. I think the point of being vegetarian/vegan is that we don’t want animals to feel pain and fear. To produce this bad something did somewhere. Try Stella Mccartney!

    1. Well said, Denise!

      Vegetarians don’t consume or use products that an animal had to DIE for. This includes leather, fur, basically anything that involves removing an animal’s damn skin!

      The point of ethical vegetarianism/veganism is to reduce the suffering of our non-human animals that we share this planet with.

      You’re not a vegetarian if you buy leather, fur, any garment an animal died for you to wear.

      I suppose you all are the type of “vegetarians” who eat fish, too…


  10. Hi, I’m eyeing on the Kelly ponyhair but all four corner were missing some hair and I would wonder can this Kelly ponyhair repairable? Many thanks!!


    Also, you can tell Horse hide of the article is very smooth and shiny, with no pores. They say it’s “leather” -Yes, it is… horse leather.

    I do not buy such products as horses are sent from the USA to slaughterhouses across the border in Mexico. They endure GRUELING, long, hot, sweltering trips packed in standing room trailers without water, the ability to lie down or rests before being butchered.

  12. I was told by a Chinese executive dealing his entire life in footwear that horse hair, ACTUAL horse hair, is indeed used in footwear. Also, pretty much all of the ‘leathers’ in footwear are NOT a by-product. They are made for fashion. I highly recommend socially conscious folks to watch the documentary “Earthlings” narrated by Joaquin Phoenix. I believe you can watch it for free on Google Video.

    By the way, in China they sell puppies on the side of the street in crates to eat (this I have seen with my own eyes. This is fact). These are called “meal dogs” and are usually a German Shepherd or Lab type of dog. When they grow to be big dogs they are eaten.

    Watch “Earthlings” then you can make your own INFORMED decision.

    1. China also sells cats, kittens and rats and monkeys on the street…I’ve seen it too, disscusting!!! and restaurants use them for their meals ….when you ask what meat they use they always say”chicken”…)

    2. I just became a full fledged vegetarian that is returning my $398 Ralph Lauren calf hair purse tomorrow! I asked the salesperson about it as I was purchasing it but she was clueless, that is what ultimately brought me to this page. Thank you for educating me!

  13. I respectfully disagree with all of the vegan/vegetarian posts. We, as humans, are at the top of the food chain. The shape of our teeth tells us that we are carnivores as well as herbivores. Unfortunately, I am well aware of the slaughter industry of cows and chickens (among others), but I still shop at the grocery store and buy/eat these items. Back during the Great Depression, it was not uncommon to eat your boots for survival. There is nothing wrong with killing animals for food or clothing. I personally believe that killing for sport is wrong – you will never see a ‘head’ on my walls! If anyone chooses to be a vegetarian or vegan, that’s fine, too. I find it amusing that the term “pony hair” shocks and offends so many people, but the word ‘leather’ does not. Same with veal. A lot of people eat veal, but what if it was called Little Baby Cow? Would the same # of people continue to eat it? I logged onto this site to see if there was any way to repair tiny missing bald spots on my pony hair purse, but I must be in the wrong place. I thought this site was called Bag Snob, not PETA. Have a wonderful day, ladies! 😀

  14. I live in a different world. I have never pondered what kind of leather/pelt to chose on a $2995 handbag.

    It’s good for me to see you legitimately struggling with this kind of problem. Makes me realize that I need to kick it in gear and do what it takes to improve my career track.

    Thanks for the inspiration ladies… I have to get to work now.

  15. I have struggled with years of becoming vegan or vegetarian!!Doesn’t work for me have iron problems and like my seafood!!I do find quest bars help to eat less meat. The have protein,fiber and low sugar!!The truth is I respect Native Americans and Buddhist way of life!!In life for me it find balance!! Just like in nature animals eat other animals and it not very kind or pretty.We have the intelligence to give animals the respect the deserve in life and death.Being friends with farmers and riding horses make realize more is part of nature.If animals are raised, loved ,and cared for in loving home then used for meat is that really bad thing?I disagree with any how abuse or kills an animal for sport !!Also people should stop the killing of endangered species !! If we don’t will be left in the future? I love animals and put money where mouth is!! Give to all kinds of shelters and rescues for animals and help donate to all kind of different charities .I grew up in home saving where we save and rescue kittens,puppies, dogs and cats. We found them loving homes and kept some over the years.If feel bad about using animals to wear. Yet do where leather and some sheep skin because winter very cold where live. Sometimes looking for fake leather and fake fur is better option all together . So can get look you want for cheap with out any animals dying.Try to know where you food and clothing comes from!! Try to support your local farms and do your own research. If fur comes from china I refuse to buy it !! It not going be what the say it is and you don’t know what animal truly is. How it was raised,handled,killed and there laws much different then ours. I did paper in high school on people thought they where buying coyote fur (from china)!!Guess what it turned out to be german shepherd fur. Which grew up three that German shepherd that I adored. I cried through the whole paper when find hidden videos and how the treated the dogs. Be the voice of reason,and if something doesn’t feel right then maybe you try avoid buying real fur and skin!! Research,research everything in life so in end you make the smart choice and not feel bad about know where clothing and food comes from.Peace.hope and love Christina

  16. this is disgusting. Any product that uses DEAD ANIMAL INCLUDING LEATHER ANYTHING IS MADE BY KILLING AN ANIMAL!!!!! How people don’t see this is beyond me.

  17. I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish. I try not to buy any goods that have been made with animal skins but occasionally I have. I should be more vigilant about finding out the history of cosmetics I buy. I volunteer whenever I can for the RSPCA. I have rescued many homeless animals off the streets and found them a home or taken them in myself. I don’t call myself a vegetarian, I tell people I’m a non-meat eater. But here’s the thing – I try and I am mindful and that’s gotta be worth something.

  18. Indeed, what we do to animals farmed for cheap food or fashion is inexcusably cruel. We all gasp with horror at bullfighting, yet those bulls have a better life than our beef or dairy cattle. The life of farmed animals is horrendous, they endure the most excruciating suffering, yet most of us avoid thinking about it. Yes, human beings are naturally carnivores, but most of us are not brutal monsters who condone cruelty, so we should all be putting pressure on the food industry and our parliamentary representatives to make food and leather production more humane. Do it now!