Spring is here, which means that the bugs will be back too. Those pesky flies have bothered humans and their horses since the beginning of time. Luckily, there are measures that you can take to keep the bugs at bay.
A great way to keep flies off of your horse’s face and out of your horse’s eyes is with a fly mask. A fly mask has a mesh covering that goes over your horse’s eyes to keep flies from landing on its face and causing infections in your horse’s eyes. The mesh allows for breathability and still allows your horse to see where he is going, while keeping the flies away.
Fly masks are available in several different styles. The type of fly mask you need depends on the area you live in as well as what your horse needs. For added protection of your horse’s face, fly masks also come with options to have ear covers or extended noses.
The basic design is just a covering over your horse’s eyes. A great example of this is the Cashel Crusader Standard Fly Mask. This fly mask offers basic fly and sun protection around the eyes, as well as offers a hole to stick your horse’s forelock through to prevent the hair from being damaged from rubbing on the fly mask as your horse moves around.
If you live in a sunny area without much shade, or have a horse with a white nose, you may want a fly mask with a long nose, such as the Centaur Got Flies? Super Duty Fly Mask. This fly mask offers a nose piece to shield your horse’s nose and provide UV protection. There is also soft fabric at the base of the ear for added comfort and to protect from rubbing.
If your horse has a problems with getting bugs in his ears, you can get a fly mask like the Professionals Choice Equisential Fly Mask With Ears. The covering allows for breathability, but keeps the bugs out!
Another great fly mask that is a little bit different from the rest is the Roma Stretch Bug Eye Saver With Ears. This fly mask is a little bit different because it hugs your horse’s face to prevent flies from flying under the mask. The eyes of the mask pop out to prevent rubbing, but still have the mesh to keep bugs out but still allow the horse to see.
If you are looking to add some excitement into your horse’s turnout wardrobe, or if you horse keeps losing his fly mask in his field, the Cashel Animal Rescue Benefit Fly Mask With Ears is the fly mask for you. This fly mask has bright orange on the ear covers as well as an orange stripe along your horse’s brow to make the fly mask more visible.
The Bucas Buzz Off Fly Mask is designed with zebra print which has been scientifically proven to confuse flies from landing on your horse as an added measure. The fly mask provides 80% UV protection and blocks even the smallest of insects to keep your horse as protected as possible.
If you need a fly mask for riding the trails, there are specially made fly masks that still block the flies out, but are made of more translucent materials to allow your horse to see clearly with out impairing his vision on the trail. The Cashel Quiet Ride Long Horse Fly Mask With Ears is an excellent choice that can be worn under your bridle. This will help reduce head shaking in order to remove those pesky flies to make riding in the summer a more enjoyable experience.
A great way to keep insects out of your horse’s ears while you are riding is to use an ear net. Ear nets are also great to muffle sounds to keep your horse focused. They are available in a variety of colors and styles in order to keep your horse looking his best. You will want to be sure to check the rules before using an ear net during competition. Many people use them in the warm up ring and then take the ear net off before entering the competition ring.
The Pessoa 2-Color Ear Net is a stylish crochet ear net with scalloped edges. This ear net is available in a variety of colors and sizes to fit either your horse or pony. It even comes with an attached string to help keep the ear net in place while you are riding.
Keep your horse stress-free with Cashel Comfort Ears. It is a great ear net to use when on the trail. It is made of a light, breathable sports-jersey nylon mesh to keep your horse comfortable and isn’t too bulky to fit under your bridle.
The Centaur Crochet Horse Ear Net is a great addition to your horse’s outfit. It is available in a rainbow of colors in order to match your saddle pad! The fringe on the ear net brings the added bonus of shooing flies away from your horse’s eyes.
Fly Sheets and Fly Boots
Fly sheets are a sheet made out of mesh in order to keep biting flies off of your horse. They are also a great way to protect your horse from harmful UV rays while still giving your horse the breathability he needs in a blanket in the spring and summer months.
If you are looking for a lightweight fly sheet, look no further than the Bucas Buzz Off Classic Fly Sheet. This insect and UV protective sheet made of specially developed lightweight fine mesh fabric. This mesh blocks even the smallest of insects and reduces the effects of ultraviolet radiation. The fly sheet is made of one piece of seamless fabric to increase the durability of the fly sheet as well as to decrease chafing.
A great combination flysheet to use is the Shires Sweet-Itch Combo Fly Sheet. This highly breathable lightweight polyester 600 denier fly sheet gives your horse full coverage from head to tail! This fly sheet is even equipped with an anti-rub lining to neck, chest and shoulders to keep your horse comfortable and keep his coat on his body.
For larger horses, you will want to use the Amigo Bug Flysheet- XL. This fly sheet is cut for the larger horses with features such as front leg arches, a classic front closure, shoulder and mane linings, cross surcingles, along with a removable neck cover. It is made out of knitted polyester fabric that is soft, absorbent and strong with sun reflecting properties to keep your horse cool and comfortable.
If you are looking for fly protection for your horse’s body while riding, you will want the Rambo Fly Rider. This fly sheet is ideal for those summer rides when pesky insects are an issue. It offers the same fly and UV protection as your typical fly sheet, but allows for more movement and includes cut-out’s for your saddle.
Fly boots are a great accessory to keep insects away from your horse’s legs as well as to reduce stomping. The Professionals Choice Fly Boots are made out of a heavy-duty, uniquely breathable and UV-protective nylon mesh that resists stains and wrinkles.
Fly spray is the easiest defense against those pesky insects! You can just pull out the spray bottle and spritz it onto your horse. There are several different factors that go into choosing the ideal fly spray for your horse including the environment your horse is exposed to, the region you are in, as well as the type of skin your horse has.
If your horse spends most of his time out in the field grazing, Farnam Tri Tec 14 Fly Spray is a great choice. Not only does this fly spray protects your horse from those annoying biting insects for up to 14 days, but it also contains sunscreen to protect your horse from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This fly spray is also water based, so it will not irritate horses with sensitive skin. Tri Tec 14 protects against horse, house, stable, face, horn, and deer flies, as well as gnats, mosquitoes, lice and deer ticks.
For show days when you want your horse to look his best, Officinalis DER Spray is perfect for keeping away insects while conditioning your horse’s coat.This fly spray is all-natural and has a pleasant scent that humans love, but flies hate. Officinalis DER Spray repels a wide range of insects, including biting flies, so your horse will be one happy equine.
If you are looking for an all-natural fly spray that is so safe, you can spray your horses face, look no further than the Eqyss Marigold Horse Spray. It’s no secret that insects don’t like marigolds. This fly spray has the same components that bug’s don’t like, but will not leave your horse sticky or slick, and helps to keep your horse clean by repelling dust.
Around the Barn
Keeping your barn clean is key when keeping insects away. You will want to make sure that stalls are cleaned as often as possible, and that your muck pile is away from the barn. Keep your grass cut short and remove any standing water in your barn, such as full water buckets in empty stalls, as well as making sure the air in your barn is circulating well, to reduce the amount of flies and mosquitoes around your barn.