My horse's previous owner warned me that she is very sensitive to bug bites, so before the weather started warming up, I invested in a nice fly mask (with ears) and fly spray for her. The mask is obviously doing its job, but I'm not so sure the fly spray is. It's "Bronco" fly spray, and it's water-based.
She came in the other day from the pasture with these tiny bumps all over one side of her, in the area that would be under the back of the saddle pad on the side and just behind the saddle pad (English saddle pad), again only on the side of her. If you move the fur and look really close at them they're not red or anything, just skin-colored bumps. They don't seem to bother her, but I'm wondering whether they're bug bites or hives? Some at the barn who have looked at them say "oh those are hives" and others say "those are reactions to bug bites" from the little gnats that are out already here in Ohio (and some flies are starting to come out too). So a couple questions for the forum:
1. Do these sound like bug bites or hives?
2. If bug bites, what is a better fly spray I could use to keep them off her? Should I get a fly sheet instead?
3. If hives, what could be causing them and should I be worried?!