Fly Mask pros and cons, please. - Page 2

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Fly Mask pros and cons, please.

This is a discussion on Fly Mask pros and cons, please. within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-19-2011, 01:46 PM
There are just a couple potential downsides to ears.
One is that if a fly does get inside, they'll sometimes work their way up to the ears and get stuck in there, which is worse than having nothing covering them so at least the flies can come and go. I haven't seen this happen to my boy, but I've heard of it happening to others once in a while.
Two is that some horses (or at least one at my barn, lol!) knows how to grab the ears of other horses' fly masks to pull them off. Everyone in his field has earless masks right now, it's the only way to keep them on.

That said, I prefer ears on my boy. He gets annoyed when flies are in his ears. Like an earlier poster, I also always ride in a bonnet this time of year.
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    07-19-2011, 02:02 PM
Hey there,

Both my horse wear fly masks as the bugs really get to them. Not only in their eyes but in their ears too. The barn I work/ride at also puts fly masks on almost all the horses there. They just make the horses more comfortable.


*Protection from bugs in eyes and ears.
*Can offer protection from sun in the eyes. (good for sensitive horses, or ones with eye troubles.)
*Allows my horses to be turned out longer as they are more comfortable despite massive amounts of bugs in my area.
*Keeps the bugs from munching on your horses ears until they bleed.


*If the horse rips it off in the pasture you get to go searching for it. Lol
*If they're not strapped on tight and a bug gets inside the mask some horses really hate that.
*Some horses get a little nervous when wearing one because their vision is slightly limited.
    07-19-2011, 02:04 PM
Ears or no ears..
Tough call.

I prefer the ears because it cuts down on the problems with the gnat things during gnat season.

And heck, pink ears on a fly mask are too cute to pass up.

Bad side of ears is I have to meet a horse that does not find it much easier to remove their fly mask if it has ears.

Not saying not having ears is some type of guarantee it will stay on. But having ears seems to make it much easier to remove.

Mine all have masks with ears most of the time. BF wears a mask with out ears all winter to act is a sun screen for her eyes. If you think trying to find a fly mask in the summer is a pain, try finding one in the winter in the not fun.

I do suggest you buy more than one....just saying.

ETA - I have never seen my horses have an issue with a bug getting caught in the ear. That does not mean it has never happened. Just saying I have not seen it.
    07-19-2011, 02:26 PM
The link wouldn't work here at work, so I couldn't see what fly mask you picked, but you might want to consider the ones with tehe nose guard on them too. It can keep a pink nose from gettting sun burnt. I don't have that on my horse or ears, but some of the other boarders do.

A big con that nobody has mentioned - my gelding can't wear one because he scratches his head on everything and rubbed an ulcer into his cornea. I even tried one with the popped out eyes so that they wouldn't rub and he did it again. He is fly mask free from now on. There was a boarder at a previous barn who had the same problem. I think it is rare, but keep an eye out if you've never used one before. My mare doesn't have a problem with hers.
    07-19-2011, 02:28 PM
Good thing to mention, livestoride. Though I think it is very rare. My three rub on things all the time. That is one of their creative ways to get their masks off, I sometimes find them hanging from the no-climb fencing.

I do make sure I glance at their eyes in the evening when I remove their fly masks.
    07-19-2011, 02:51 PM
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My guys keep taking their masks off but I remember once with my old black horse that he kept it on really well and then one day I went to pull it off and I had put it on too tight. (I'm not even sure how long it had been on). It had rubbed a sore and it had caked itself so bad that the mask was stuck to him. I felt horrible. I had to peel the mask off and then treat it.

So my suggestion would be just check it every other day or so to ensure it's not to tight and no bugs have gotten inside.
    07-19-2011, 05:10 PM
This is more like the one I use:
Farnam SuperMask II Shimmer Fly Mask -
I like it because it has a double velcro closure so other horses can't pull it off.

I've never tried one with ears, so I don't have an opinion on that. I think I would like it because the flies bite my horse's ears so bad. But maybe not if other horses try to pull it off that way. Plus they look kinda silly.

Like some others said, make sure you get it on tight enough that flies can't get in (& it's not sagging below their chin to get caught on things) but not so tight it rubs when your horse moves or eats. You will definitely feel like a mean horse mom if you cause your horse to get a sore on her jaw (not that I ever did that!) Definitely check it every day or better yet, take it off every night.

Yes, I believe there is reduced visisbility when wearing them while it's raining. Think about looking through a window screen that's been sprayed with water. It kinda drives my girl crazy so I try really hard to make sure she's not wearing it when it rains. I would assume there would be more difficulty seeing through it at night as well.

For me, for my one horse, a fly mask is a MUST. They bother her so badly. My other mare I use one sometimes if they seem to be really bad, but she doesn't really like it, so often she doesn't wear one.
    07-19-2011, 05:18 PM
I think the only Con for me is.. You can never really just have one mask. Thankfully they don't cost all too much in my area.
    07-19-2011, 05:19 PM
Green Broke
Fortunately my Barn Owner will put them on/take them off for turn out.
    07-19-2011, 05:26 PM
I can't even think of any cons.

I keep fly masks on Apr - Sept, sometime into Oct. My only suggestion would be if your horse has white face/nose, long nose mask seems to work nice to prevent sunburn.

BTW, I ride with one on too (even 2 on my qh: nose net + short mask)

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