How to keep flies away from eyes?
   

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How to keep flies away from eyes?

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  • Best way to keep flies off of horses
  • How to keep flies from horses eyes

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    10-05-2012, 11:26 PM
  #1
Foal
Post How to keep flies away from eyes?

Hi everyone (:
This summer/fall I noticed that on particular days, the flies seemed to be noticeably bad on my horses, which is normal - but they'd be all over their faces, in their eyes, etc. I don't want any diseases or problems, so I purchased a brand of Pyranha fly spray - which was recommended to be for being a little stronger, longer-lasting product, especially for the show season.

However, I haven't really had much luck with it. I don't spray it directly on their face, so normally I'd spray the fly spray on a soft brush or towel, and then brush it onto my horse's face. It'd work for like 10 minutes, and then the flies would be back.

I have considered getting fly masks, but I have three horses that would need it and I've only noticed the flies being terrible every now and then.. not constantly, if that makes any sense? I just want to try any other tips and whatnot before I invest in fly masks, which might get a little expensive for how much I'd use them.

So, in a nutshell, does anyone have any certain tips/tricks you use to keep flies away from your horse's face? Any brand of fly spray especially good?

(Oh, btw, I forgot to mention - my horses are in pasture 24/7 except for weather conditions; they do have access to indoors at all times also. I'm not really sure if this makes a difference?)
     
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    10-06-2012, 06:39 AM
  #2
Green Broke
Fly masks are really the best choice and will easily save you time, effort, and $$s in the long run over having to carefully try and apply pesticides on your horse's face. The good news is that face flies don't bite and your only real concern is the potential of eye infections (though we've never had a horse get one).
     
    10-06-2012, 10:33 AM
  #3
Showing
I've taken petroleum jelly and carefully wiped it very close to the inside corner of the eye and also apply it above and below. It does melt with body heat so keep in mind who much to apply without it running into the horse's eyes. I'm much more generous with what I put below. The flies need to land but don't like the jelly and learn to stay. I'd use masks but my horses are often in amongst pine trees with their sharp still branches.
     
    10-06-2012, 10:50 AM
  #4
Foal
Hey, thanks for the suggestions guys!
I was looking through a few fly masks on horse.com, and I found these:

Kensington Fly Mask with Fleece Trim - Horse.com

And

Cashel Breast Cancer Fly Mask - Horse.com
(^ for that one, I wouldn't get it just because it was breast cancer awareness.. but because it looks like good quality)

But I'm really kind of a dummy when it comes to brands of fly masks and everything. Any suggestions or specific ones that work really well for you guys?

Or am I better off just trying other things rather than spend 60+ on fly masks I'd probably only have to use a week or two out of the year?
     
    10-06-2012, 04:48 PM
  #5
Green Broke
You could try diaper rash cream. The generic stuff is $7 per pound at Walmart. Flies don't like being in sticky stuff.
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    10-06-2012, 07:45 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelseyxroxy    
Hey, thanks for the suggestions guys!
I was looking through a few fly masks on horse.com, and I found these:

Kensington Fly Mask with Fleece Trim - Horse.com

And

Cashel Breast Cancer Fly Mask - Horse.com
(^ for that one, I wouldn't get it just because it was breast cancer awareness.. but because it looks like good quality)

But I'm really kind of a dummy when it comes to brands of fly masks and everything. Any suggestions or specific ones that work really well for you guys?

Or am I better off just trying other things rather than spend 60+ on fly masks I'd probably only have to use a week or two out of the year?

This one Defender Basic Fly Mask with Ears - Horse.com Is not bad at all. I bought 3 and 2 of them got stolen.. the other I use on my Arabian mare. So far it is surviving a playful 3y/o and a rotten 4mo old yanking it off all the time and playing with it. The best part is it is ONLY $7.99. I bought them when they were on sale for $3.99
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    10-06-2012, 08:52 PM
  #7
Yearling
When I read your initial post, my very first thought was "I should tell her about those Kensington fly masks..."

I have one for my horse. They are INCREDIBLY durable. He rolls, he races around, when he was turned out with other horses he got into lots of fights...and the fly mask only got pulled off once, and it wasn't damaged at all. We're going on over a year with hard wear for that thing.

Get the kind with ears, too. No sense in keeping flies out of their eyes but letting them roam freely in the ears.

I have the kind with the ears and the fur trim. I love the trim. I haven't had any problems with it getting grubby. It does, but I have a stiff brush I use for cleaning caked on mud from the top of his hoofs, and if the fly mask gets grubby, I just take it off and give it a good scrub with that brush. The dirt just falls out of the mesh and comes right off that fur edge. And the fur keeps him from getting rub marks too.

The other thing that is awesome about those Kensington masks is that the stuff they're made from is a good bit stiffer than most of the other fly masks I've seen, like Cashels. The Kensington one is made so that it stands well out from the eye area of the horse, so it's not folding up against the eyes, or catching lashes or anything. I love mine so much that I'm going to be looking for one in a different color when I go to the Equine Affair next month...just because I'm getting such huge use out of the one I have that I've actually been able to get tired of it. :)
     
    10-10-2012, 12:08 AM
  #8
Foal
My horse tries to rub off fly masks on posts and things and makes me nervous that he will hang himself trying to get it off, I use fly spray on a leather cleaning sponge, the soft cotton like ones and go around his eyes and carefully over them when he closes his eyes.. Works great actually! I also just started using SWAT clear fly repellent... I forget the brand but its white container and blue label same brand as wound dust... I mostly use this under his belly at his "seam" where the flies really like to try and nest and it stays all day, but works great for around other wounds or sensitive areas
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    10-10-2012, 08:02 PM
  #9
Yearling
I have only had the Cashel masks but have been pleased. I definitely agree to get the one with ears.

My mare has constantly teary eyes (apparently Morgans are known for small tear ducts, and they often have goopy eyes?), so she is in the fly mask spring-fall. But if I know I'm riding outside, I will smear a thin layer of regular Swat carefully under the corners of her eyes. It does seem to help, at least for a short ride.
     
    10-10-2012, 09:19 PM
  #10
Yearling
Something else that really helps for the ride is the Cashel Quiet Ride mask. My boy REALLY HATES bugs. I used to ride him in one of those ear hats with the little fringe, but it was still nonstop head-shaking the whole time. Someone at the barn came in with a Quiet Ride, and I felt that it was worth a try. Thank heavens. There's almost no head-shaking any more...and if I space out and don't put it on after tacking up, my boy plants his feet and pokes me with his nose to remind me.
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flies, fly, masks, spray

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