The area we trail ride on is adjacent to a fresh water lake, it is pretty extensive body of water. Today was his first time solo around the lake; he was so well behaved and not a step wrong! However, we encountered clouds of swarming small flies or midges or gnats several times while on the ride. They were horrible, and because he's just getting better from an ulcerated eye, he wasn't too happy to be in their midst. They were getting in my eyes, his nose, ears and eyes.
I allowed him to trot off through the cloud of bugs as to get away from them. At some points he would break into a canter because they were so bad. For the most part we just trotted out of these clouds of bugs, but I wonder what else to do? I don't think its possible to use a fly mask? What about a fringe? Bug spray wouldn't make a difference I think because they were so thick - everywhere in some areas.
It must be a seasonal thing but unluckily we have to travel the same stretch of trail to get to a riding ring later this week. I can still feel bugs parts in my eye.