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Everything You Need To Know About Protecting Your Horse From Flies This Summer

by Eland Lodge 16 Mar 2022 0 Comments

Did you know? There are approximately 7000 different fly species in the UK alone! As we all know, flies can be a nuisance to horses throughout the spring, summer and autumn periods. Stables, yards and fields all provide the perfect environment for flies to thrive, so it’s important to manage your horse’s environment carefully.  

The kinds of problems can flies cause horses:

  • Painful bites
  • Allergic reaction
  • Transmission of diseases
  • Infections
  • Fly strike
  • Irritation
  • Stress

This blog takes a look at some of the preventative measures you can take and products you can use to protect your horse from flies in the field, in the stable and while you’re riding.

Fly Protection In the stable

If you’re bringing your horse in to avoid the flies outside, it’s important to make the stable environment as comfortable as possible, and that involves minimising fly numbers inside.  

  • Remove droppings, wet and soiled bedding as regularly as possible, this gives the flies less places to breed.
  • Let the stable air dry. Not only will this help keep the stable fresh, it will also help restrict larval feeding and therefore reduce future fly numbers.
  • Dark, cool and dry conditions tend to be avoided by flies.
  • Keep the muck heap well managed and in an area away from the stables.

Everything You Need To Know About Protecting Your Horse From Flies This Summer

Products that can help protect stabled horses:

  • Fly Repellents – using a strng, long-lasting fly repellent can help reduce the number fo flies landing on them while they are in the stable.
  • Fly Traps – placing fly traps in strategic places can help to draw flies away from your horse, and reduce the overall fly population in the stables.
  • Fly Rugs – Some horses, such as those prone to sweet-itch, may still need the protection of a fly rug indoors to reduce their irritation.

Fly Protection In the field

Flies can be a real nuisance for horses while they’re turned out, particularly those horses that suffer from sweet-itch. Here’s some top tips for reducing the irritation for your horse while they’re in the field:

  • Keep your horse away from standing ponds or similar water sources where flies gather in high numbers
  • Try to choose turnout where there is a constant breeze as this lowers fly numbers – open aspect fields or hill fields are great for air movement.
  • If the flies are really bad, or your horse suffers from sweet-itch, avoid turning out at peak times for flies – this is usually early morning and early evening.

Fly Protection In the field

Products that can help protect your horse from flies while they’re turned out:

  • Fly Masks – Keep the flies out of your horses eyes and away from their face with a fly mask. Choose a version with or without ear protection or a nose net to suit your horse.
  • Fly Rugs – Fly rugs are designed to keep the flies from landing on your horse and irritating or biting them. There’s loads of choice available now, so you can pick a rug that has all the features you need, whether this is a fly-dry rug with waterproof back, a detachable neck version, or one with extra belly protection or long tail flap.
  • Fly Socks – Not only do these keep the insects off your horse’s legs, they often also offer UV protection, so they’re great for horses with photosensitive skin
  • Fly Repellents – choose a strong, long lasting fly repellent, and apply it as often as possible to give your horse the maximum protection. If your horse doesn’t like sprays, try a gel or fly tag instead.

Fly Protection while Riding

When you’re riding the last thing you want is a load of flies bothering you! We’ve all been there – that lovely hack that turned into an irritating nightmare thanks to you and your horse getting covered in flies or bitten, that promising schooling session where your horse just wouldn’t settle thanks to flies distracting them!

We there’s a few things you can do to protect your horse from flies while you ride:

  • Avoid riding during peak times of the day when the flies are at their worst – times to avoid are early morning and early evening.
  • Avoid riding near water sources or standing ponds, as flies congregate in these areas.
  • Ride in airy spaces – somewhere with a light breeze is ideal.

Fly Protection while Riding

Products that can help to keep the flies away while you ride:

  • Fly Veils – designed to keep flies away from your horse’s ears while you ride, a fly veil fits neatly under the bridle.
  • Ride-on Fly Rugs – just like a regular fly rug, a ride-on fly rug has been designed to keep flies and biting insects away from your horse’s skin, the difference is that ride-on fly rugs have been specifically designed to work alongside a saddle.
  • Fly Repellents – Using fly repellents on your horse, such a spray, gel or tag, can help to put the flies off and keep them away from your horse while you ride.

Handy products:

Fly Masks

Fly Masks

Fly Rugs

Fly Rugs

Fly Repellents

Fly Repellents

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