Trail riding and biting flies - Page 2

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Trail riding and biting flies

This is a discussion on Trail riding and biting flies within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    06-18-2013, 10:38 AM
I make sure they are completely brushed out. I take a cotton glove and some what soak the palm(with my hand in it)with good fly spray and wipe their entire body thoroughly. I also pack a can of Deet(If ya' need it, you need it.)
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    06-18-2013, 10:39 AM
Buy a riding fly sheet, put it on your horse. Spray the horse's belly and legs with fly spray or coat with swat. Spray yourself with big repellent.
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    06-18-2013, 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by goneriding    
I make sure they are completely brushed out. I take a cotton glove and some what soak the palm(with my hand in it)with good fly spray and wipe their entire body thoroughly. I also pack a can of Deet(If ya' need it, you need it.)
LOVE the glove idea. Grace (my mare) does not like the spray bottle, so I use an old rag to wipe her down and put on her fly mask every morning, and I wipe her every evening. I always wipe her between her hind legs, all up in there. I wiped her before the rides as well, naturally.

It's up under her belly that the biting flies drive her CRAZY... up under, on her soft teats. Even in the field, she's very sensitive to flies, which is why I am diligent about using the wipe daily AM and PM. On the trail, the sweat obviously attracts them... and seemingly, mostly "down under" her. I really didn't notice any flies on her butt, where I could get them.

So here's my big question: "Is getting off to deal with flies a good idea?" She's going nuts under me, and I'm in the middle of a trail. What to do? I don't getting off to shoo flies is wise, because 1) they come right back and 2) over time, won't she get into all kinds of mischief when she realizes that behaviors can get me off?

On the other hand, to force her into working when she's really being bitten in some tender places seems cruel and unusual. So, "fly fixes" (sheets, wipes, etc.) aside, if flies get through whatever precautions I take, how do I best deal with her bahaviors, do you you think?
    06-18-2013, 12:27 PM
Diaper rash cream is also good to use to protect the sheath/teats. It also lasts longer than fly spray. Swat works too of course.

For me, I address the bucking or what have you. It's okay if my horse lets me know that he's unhappy, it's not okay if he puts me in danger.
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    06-18-2013, 01:50 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Roadyy    
We have been plagued with the green horse fly here in Northwest Fl. I usually see 2 or 3 flying around each of the horses to the point that one of the other horses tries biting them in mid flight. I keep a small spray bottle with flying insect repellent to douse them while riding.

Here is a pic of what I'm talking about and they are the same size as the usual dark colored horse fly.
Attachment 214010
"Northwest FL" I'm sure they wouldn't have much trouble finding their way to southern Middle Tennessee <sigh>

Please keep those ugly looking things down your way. Maybe you could hook up one of those big vent fans that go into the side of a cow barn, and blow them into the Gulf????

Geez, they are more nightmarish looking than the black ones

Storybook, it's a crap shoot when it comes to getting off or staying on, out in the woods. I've done both, just depends on the situation. If I can twist around and get the fly on the butt, or wrap around my horse's neck to get it on the chest, I stay on. If not, I get off and do some major killing.

Your horse learns what's what - believe me. 9 horses out of ten won't think you getting off is an "aha!" moment, if you're engaged in fly killing.

Now, if you get off because you're in a panic attack over something the horse did, yes they will pick up on that in a skinny minute

I don't sheet my horses in the summer but, I may end up making this summer an exception, if those d**n deer flies coming right into the barn (and I didn't have the lights on:( mean anything
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    06-18-2013, 02:44 PM
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    06-18-2013, 03:42 PM
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We've got deer flies (I think that's what they are) early this year and they drive my horses mad - some more than others but the buggers really do hurt when they bite you so can't blame them for getting upset
Loads and loads of spray, protective gear, if we get in a bad spot we get out of it as fast as we can. Heavily treed areas (yay Connecticut!!) are worse than open land for attracting them
We carry long leafy twigs off trees and swish them away while we're riding along but some horses get nervous about that so you have to desensitize them to it first
    06-18-2013, 03:51 PM
We've owned and trail ridden horses since 1985. I live in IL which is particularly buggy in the summer, as I'm sure that WV is, too. She is probably reacting to Horse Flies. I have been bitten many times by all the flies that love horses, and the horse flies REALLY bite hard, so be sympathetic.
I suggest that you bathe her before trailering for a ride, and use SWAT under her eyes, on her ears and ANY fly sensitive places, plus use the strongest and best fly repellent ALL OVER. Make sure that you only use ACV on her face ABOVE her eyes bc fly repellent that weeps into their eyes can sting. I use gloves or a rag to put fly repellent on my horse's faces. If you have crocheted ear covers (?--don't remember what they're called, sorry) those are effective, too.
If you're riding Western you could attach one of those fly whisks (cotton) to hang from the cinch.
    06-18-2013, 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by Corporal    
If you're riding Western you could attach one of those fly whisks (cotton) to hang from the cinch.
I'm riding English, but in a trail saddle, so I have rings. I think attaching a whisk that I could flick under her belly might be a REALLY good idea. THANKS!

I do agree with others above that the biting flies HURT. Hence, my query about getting off. I know it's situational; I was more asking for a general opinion of the likelihood of her taking advantage of my kindness vs. riding her through the situation and REQUIRING her to mind. THANKS to all who responded. I've learned a lot!
    06-18-2013, 08:55 PM
I suggest applying fly sprays AFTER you put the saddle on. Some horses react to fly sprays in areas like under the saddle when they sweat heavily.

I have also heard that a BLUE (not red, like the song, sorry) solo cup, strapped to a horses head between the ears, coated with glue stick glue will actually attract the deer flies to it and they get stuck. I have never tried it, since I am afraid it would attract more than might be there otherwise. You can also put one on your own helmet. However, being the product of an older brother who made always made up something stupid for me to do so he could laugh, this seemed eerily similar......
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