Fly sheets - the good, the bad & the pricey

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Fly sheets - the good, the bad & the pricey

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    05-02-2012, 11:01 AM
Green Broke
Fly sheets - the good, the bad & the pricey

I am on a quest to discover the best fly sheet for my horse. I have used several brands in the past, some worked some didn't. I seems difficult to choose...too many options, not a lot of good info...

Currently I am using Kensington sheets on two of my horses. This is the second year for one horse, the first year for the other. Description of the sheets says textaline (PVC coated?) 1000 denier. I really am not sure what that means, but the sheet is very stiff feeling.

The good: they hold up to a long, hot summer, more than one season and even seem to be working ok with current barbed wire fencing. They really shorten grooming time! Very few tears even though it is worn 24/7 for 7+/- months. Unofficial study of my own horses on two very hot days, showed horses more sweaty without the sheet that with it on.

The bad: Really don't fit the horses quite right, they hang too long down the sides on the QH & the arab/paint cross. They did fit my warmblood well, but I don't have him anymore. They are in dark colors (or ugly light ones) which make them hotter. The neck area is too long, causing the neck opening to extend behind the withers. They stink when they get wet. They are on the pricey side ($120 the least I can find them).

The problem? I don't think I can find a size to fit my new Rocky. He is 14.3 hands & measures 71" in length (short, yes? My previous horse wore an 80"!). I tried on the 72" the QH mare wears, and it fit from withers to rump, but only if I pulled the chest strap out over a foot in front of his actual chest!

Since he is Chocolate color (silver dapple on black horse for you technical ppl) he gets very hot in our hot, humid climate.

I would love to get everyone's advice on fly sheets. The only other ones I have tried were Saxon by Weatherbetta, which yes is soft, but ripped totally up the first 3 days and went in the trash can...Defender, which worked well for 2 seasons but they have since changed to a "softer" sheet so I am afraid to try one.

Has anyone used other fly sheets in the pasture that worked? I expect my new Rocky will be tough on sheets because he often has little scrapes in his coat most days. Still a little young & mouthy too.
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    05-02-2012, 04:05 PM
Green Broke
Do these provide any protection underneath the horse ? Seems that's where the flys head.
    05-02-2012, 05:18 PM
Green Broke
Some have bellybands, but not any I have had. I never noticed a big problem on their bellies though, maybe because the sheets hang down low on the sides.

The horses stay a lot cleaner, which is a big bonus. All I have to do before a ride is clean their feet & run a brush over their head & girth area. Ready to saddle & go. My horses stay covered up with something most of the year. That way they don't grow long hair either.

Picture of the gang 2 in sheets:
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    05-02-2012, 05:33 PM
Green Broke
How hot does it get where you live? I am looking into one for my girl, but it's consistently in the 90s here and goes over 100 a few times during the season.
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    05-02-2012, 06:10 PM
Green Broke
Get a rectaal thermometer and track body temp. Pressing down on the hair I would assume it disrupts the horses ability to self regulate. But it does block the sun so who knows.
    05-02-2012, 06:14 PM
Green Broke
Official temperature is 87 degrees, I just checked mine outside, in the shade, right now, it is 88 degrees. The horses shed out completely at the end of march...i don't know what the humidity is today, but it usually is around 90-95 all summer long...
    05-02-2012, 06:16 PM
Green Broke
And yours don't seem to get too hot? I've been looking into the Kool Koat sheets which are supposed to aid in cooling.
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    05-02-2012, 06:20 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
get a rectaal thermometer and track body temp. Pressing down on the hair I would assume it disrupts the horses ability to self regulate. But it does block the sun so who knows.
I built the horses stalls in the pasture, they can go in whenever they like. Chivas, the chocolate Rocky is VERY hot, I can't even ride for long he is hot to the touch. Didn't think of that before I got a dark-colored horse. I can check rectals though, good idea.

The sheets keep them a lot cooler, I have tested it more than once. My big guy would hold his head out for me to slide the sheet over. He haated the cold. I have kept fly sheets on for years, the horse are definaately cooler, flat hair or not. I am not sure the whole flat hair thing is a fact or just a theory anyway.

Enjoy your ride tomorrow Joe - take lots of pics!

I have to leave - graduating tonight, finally!
    05-02-2012, 06:21 PM
Green Broke
Plz excuse typos
    05-02-2012, 09:09 PM
I have used the kensington, which worked/fit my first TB mare amazing, never had a issue and never had to replace over multiple years, When I got my WB mare as a three yr old I bought her one as her back was shorter then my TB and it fit for a couple years, but as she matured filled out I had to buy a bigger one and I have had serious issues with rubbing on her shoulders so had to stop using it

I don't have the extreme heat issue but I like to avoid the sun bleaching, love how much cleaner they are and of course the bugs lol

Like you my mare is on 24/7 turnout and all those thin light fly sheets would be a total waste of money for me so I am interested in hearing what other people have to say. I am considering getting a custom one made this year as they are not that much more expensive as the Kensington, have the same durable material and would be custom fit so hopefully avoid the rubbing!

Or I have been looking at the big D ones as they are light colored, have the shoulder room as made for more of a QH, anyone use them?
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