Horse owners know to cover the basics to keep flies off their horse. They likely have a fly mask for each horse, and may even have a couple varieties to choose from for ear or earless protection. Roll-on, spray, and paste fly repellents are also staples in the middle of fly season.
But many horse owners get stuck when it comes to riding and full-body protection. Fly repellent is only effective for a brief period, and if you plan to be out for a long ride or simply aren’t home to re-apply repellent throughout the day, you want to ensure that your horse is comfortable. Do it with the fly gear you’ve always wanted, but never knew existed.
Guard Your Ride
Fly masks are effective when your horse is turned out, but the dense mesh isn’t suitable over the top of your headstall. In fact, it’s dangerous. A riding mask or guard made for riding solves this and eliminates the hazard. Cashel’s Comfort Ears, for example keep flies and gnats out of your horse’s ears. So, there’s no headshaking or irritation on a ride. Any of the fly masks from Cashel’s Quiet Ride line do the trick, too. The lightweight mesh protects your horse’s entire head, and the ear, earless, and long-nose options give you freedom to choose the level of defense needed.
Shaded areas with tall grasses or brush and trees are nice places to retreat to avoid the sun on the trail. They’re also havens for insects. You think you’ve done your horse a favor, only to realize that biting and bothersome flies start to bombard him. Rather than call it a day or head back into the sun, extend your ride and stay comfortable. Cashel’s Quiet Ride Belly Guard uses soft, lightweight mesh that’s not cumbersome for your horse and keeps flies away from his navel and girth. If full-body protection is what you need, then the Bug Armor 2 Piece is more suitable. It’s adjustable and connects to the bridle and saddle, so you can focus on your horse and not navigating more gear.
Coverage While You’re Away
Short of hiring a full-time hand to cover your horse in fly repellent on an hourly basis, there’s no way to guarantee that disease-carrying flies and other insects stay away for any length of time. Even if your horse can avoid the more painful welts and bites of horseflies, there’s always risk of fly-borne illness, or bot flies, which lay eggs in your horse’s fetlock and mane, or on his neck and chest.
Flysheets and neck and belly guards from Cashel’s Crusader line protect the sensitive areas, aside from your horse’s head, where flies congregate. Because the gear’s lightweight and engineered to fit your horse, it accommodates airflow so he doesn’t overheat. Fly boots and the Crusader leg guards also shield your horse by keeping flies and egg-laying bots off his legs. They do double-duty on your peace of mind. They’re durable and keep abrasion at bay, both self-inflicted during play, and from sticks, trees, or other horses in the pasture.