WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Babbs in the Woods: On ball caps and power ponies

“OK, so that’s not an ‘old man’s’ ball cap, Mom. That’s a trucker style.”

I got the lowdown on ball caps from my daughter – the one who advises me on shopping trips using three words: frumpy or not frumpy.

I really miss that kid, because she’s the one that advised me that underwear, er panties, need to match the rise of the jean and that it’s not acceptable to wear underpants two or three inches higher than the waistband of my jeans.

Ball caps always seem to be in fashion.

Here I am in my new fav ball cap from RO Drift Boats. Photo by Walt Fulps, the Trout Hunter of Missouri.

I just received my 25th ball cap in about 24 months – free. Yes, free. Everywhere I go, it seems, someone hands me a free ball cap, and sometimes, I get two or three!

I am beginning to think ball caps are like your favorite jeans. You might have 15 pairs of jeans, and you will wear two or three pairs all the time. The others just sit there going out of style with their skinny legs or bell bottoms.

The last free ball cap I received came from RO Drift Boats, Bozeman, Montana. According to my daughter, it’s a trucker style cap. It also is called a “gimme cap,” because it is often the style given away for advertising. The hat features a mesh back — which is ever so cool — and a plastic thingey with nubbins on it that align with holes in another plastic thingey.

According to my daughter, the “old man” hat has a metal clasp that allows for adjustment of a fabric band. I actually prefer this style of hat, because some days it seems that my hair swells.

Side Bar: The Power Pony … a “must-have” if you wear a lot of ball caps

I know you’ve seen these … fake ponytails that you can clip onto the back hole of a ball cap. Don’t go there. They never match what’s truly under your hat and usually look like a Halloween costume accoutrement. God forbid the wind blows your hat off your head. You’ll be chasing a pony.

Instead, opt for the real thing: the power pony.

The associate editor, Paige Eissinger, and I have been growing out power ponies for about 18 months now. Her hair is down to her waist practically, and mine sticks out about three inches from the back of my trucker style hat hole.

I see that my pal Holly Heyser is growing her hair out, too. I wonder … is it because she wants a power pony? She wears a lot of ball caps.

My other pal, Marti Davis, an avid outdoors woman summed up the main reason for wearing a ponytail with a ball cap: “I got tired of being called a boy.”

We figure if we get the power pony going, then for the most part, identification of our gender does not require going lower than the neck. Although some men wear ponytails, it still works to trigger almost immediate identification of being a female … that is, unless you’re sporting a moustache like the waitress that usually works our section at the local Steak ‘n Shake. Come to think of it, she also wears a ponytail.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/babbsbaird

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  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Nancy Jo Adams says: August 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Oh….and I have one with a built-in pony tail holder….It actually goes around your hair. This would be the perfect hat for riding the four wheeler or HuntVe, if it were not STARK WHITE. But I do love it. Actually, I have some pretty neat hats…but I still wear my favorites all the time. 🙂 Great article Barb…It makes me want to reach back and grab one of the 5 ball caps that are laying on the back seat of my truck! 🙂

  • Women's Outdoor News says: August 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Nancy Jo, aka Guru Huntress,
    Wow … I never knew all that stuff about you and your ball caps! Did you see Tracy’s suggestion above to send your caps to kids with cancer?


  • Nancy Jo Adams says: August 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I own over 100 ball caps…most brand new, never worn. And you are absolutely right–I have several which are my favorites and I wear them completely out before replacing them. I have bought 4 of the same hats before just too have spares on hand.

    I am PICKY-PICKY when it comes to ball caps…and those close to me know that very well. A ball cap has to be “just-right” for me to wear–no trucker hats or high dome hats. The top must be low dome and MUST touch the top of my head…even if just lightly…it is a requirement for it to adorn my noggin.

    I have had my “power pony” for three years now, just because of ballcaps. That is the only reason I have long hair, seriously, because my hair is so thin it really doesn’t look good long without a ball cap….but I just have to have my ball cap. It is worth the trade-off because I am in a ball cap more than I am not. I have VERY few pictures of me without one. Matter of fact the last picture without a ball cap on was posted on Facebook and I had people send me a private message that they would not recognize me without a ball cap in public….hilarious!! I got married in a wedding hat, I don’t even bother to take my ball cap off for a power nap, I never take it off until I get ready to take a shower and put my P-Jams on at night. Kookie…I know…but….


    Nancy Jo

  • Babbs says: August 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Wow … who’d a thought there could be SO many opinions and reasons for the power pony? Tammy and Stacey … get over it cuz hat hair happens.
    Terry … I don’t know why we’re all growing out our hair, maybe because we can? 🙂
    Holly … uh, that’s technically be named a “hat hole” here, not an opening in the hat. Get with the lingo, Lady.

  • Tammy says: August 27, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Love this. I hate shopping with my kids because what I like they think is to old for me or too young for me. I hate being in the middle aged bracket. Daughter says I need to watch What To Wear. Who has time…. Jeans, t-shirt, and a ball cap will work for me. Great Pony, but hat the hat hair bangs.


  • NorCal Cazadora says: August 27, 2010 at 10:56 am


    I’m growing my hair out because 1) I hate to be that woman who never changes her hair style, and 2) I don’t like being mistaken for a man at 4 a.m. when we’re all hanging around in waders and Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man jackets at the duck refuge.

    And yes, there are men there with pony tails (I *am* in California), BUT men wear their pony tails low and under the cap’s edge, while women wear them high so they can go through the opening.

    I wear the power pony because last January I had to fire my hair stylist because he was sabotaging my efforts to grow out my hair. I’m afraid to get it cut yet, so I’m growing it out ugly. Solution: Power pony and ball cap!

    That fake power pony makes me giggle…

  • Terry Scoville says: August 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Good post Barb. I have so many hats and a few favorites. The high rise truckers are ones I re gift asap. I’ve had my own hats made for both my woodworking business as well as blog. Both low profile w / velcro closures that I can’t seem to go without. For us women it takes a bit more searching to acquire low profile hats. The Snipe Hunter’s Forum also had hats made which are my dress up hats. No shop dust on them. As for the pony, yea don’t go there is right. Good call and what’s up with all us huntresses growing out our hair? Must’ve been in the air.

  • Jackie says: August 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    This one had me cracking up at my desk! Thanks for the shout out today. I miss you, bunches 🙂

    • Women's Outdoor News says: August 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      You are my one and only and favorite daughter, Jackie B. Why don’t you pull a gravatar someday, too? Glad you got a chuckle out of this story, and yes, there were other dressing room tales that I could reveal, but will not. LYM – Mom

  • Barbara Hannon says: August 26, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Great info Babbs! But what about me, with my pixie haircut? Guess folks will just have to look lower than my neck!

  • Paige "Chicki Chicki" Eissinger says: August 26, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Another benefit to having a power pony is that it holds my hat on when I’m cruising in my Mustang convertible.

    • Women's Outdoor News says: August 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      Yes, Paige … you have truly graduated into having the cool ball cap look, with all that hair flying out the back of your hat hole while driving in your convertible. Which, btw, when are we going cruising again?

  • Tracy says: August 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

    If you have extra brand new hats I think you can donate them to help kids at http://www.hatsoffforcancer.org.

  • Stacey Huston says: August 26, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Only problem I ever have with hats, is they eventually have to come off.. and that is never a pretty sight.. Thanks for the advice of the clip on pony tail, because I often think that wigs would be much easier than real hair!
    Great article Barb.. and .. yes.. thank God for our kids keeping us “up, to date with fashion” .. walking through the store one day. I pointed out a dress and our son cracked up and said… o- mom.. you would NEVER fit in that !” of course he was right, but I still gave him a hard time about it..

  • Women's Outdoor News says: August 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I nominate your power pony for the prettiest one in the business. I mean it.

  • Marti Davis says: August 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Yep, I’ve got my very own Power Pony! 🙂

  • Babbs says: August 26, 2010 at 7:50 am

    You are SO right. I hate those hats without ponytail holes. Never buy them.

  • Gretchen Steele says: August 26, 2010 at 7:46 am

    LOVE IT!!!! I have one whole book case full of these ball caps and you are exactly right – I have 2 or 3 that wear all the time ( my WON hat is my ” dress” ball cap). Love the part about the Power Pony as well – you should see the looks I’ve gotten when I’ve complained about “no pony tail hole” in a hat.. I mean where am I to put this wad of hair other than out the back.? Another great post!