I'm considering getting fly sheets and masks for my horses. I have:
yearling Shetland pony
two year old Shetland pony
The paint is on stall board but is turned out 24/7 unless the weather is bad.
The other three are kept at my parents' and are on 24/7 pasture with free choice shelter.
The flies are miserable at my parents. Outside there are horseflies, deer flies, the flies that gather around the eyes, and mosquitos at night. Inside there are those nasty flies that bite the ankles.
I'm looking for sheet recommendations and thoughts on whether it's safe to for the sheets/masks to be left on (removed occasionally for brushing, etc.). The masks could be removed daily but it may be a problem to remove the sheets daily.
We live in Northern WI and when it gets hot, it's also very humid so I'd need something lightweight and breathable.
For the paint, the sheet/mask would likely be removed nightly.
Any recommendations/thoughts are appreciated.
In the UK we do not (thank you) get the really bad flies that many parts of the US get.
I have told several people about a Neem Oil mix and they have been surprised at how effective it is.
Get a bottle of pure Neem Oil,
2 Tablespoons Neem
2 " liquid soap or shampoo
2 pints of hot water.
Mix this and sponge it all over the horse. It will last for a while.
The down is that Neem stinks but the smell does fade fairly fast and you do get use to it.
I'm going to try the neem mixture...tired of "fly spray". Also, I bit the bullet and ordered 50K fly predators. lol My chickens will be mad, as I think they've helped with the flies, but the flies are still a problem. I can see buying the fly predators once a year, but continually buying them throughout the season seems a bit much. We'll see. Can't wait to try the neem spray on my garden.
I have used neem spray for my dogs but never thought to try for the horses. I'll give it a try, thanks!
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With mine I use fly masks from the moment the bugs come out in the morning until they go away in the night. I would highly recommend getting them with ears. My show horse's ears were completely bloody and scabbed from I think it was nats biting her ears. If you keep halters on them put it under the halter, my horses sometimes got them off. Mine are farn-nam brand and stand up on my rough horses. I even ride in them sometimes.
Fly sheets, I always get cheap $25 ones at the farm store. They don't last long. We have had to sew them a few times. My lazy horse she ripped a like 2' long strip in hers, I really don't know how. But my other horse who loves to roll with it it lasted. I had a white one and purple one.
Fly Boots, I am going to invest in fly boots this year. My thoroughbred hates the flies and will stomp all day long until you give her fly spray. I have heard they work really well. As flies usually bite from knee below.
Other things we do- Give your horses vinegar in their feed, it helps as a fly repellant. I put I think a tablespoon in and they don't notice a different. We also set up many fly traps, the ones that hang and flies go up into it. We also use a cattle spray that is also safe for horses and that is the ONLY thing that works. Our horse sprays work for maybe 10 minutes. This spray will literally knock them dead. We spray the manure piles around the barn with this spray also and helps a ton. I will look today at what it is called and message you.
I also left my fly masks on sometimes for weeks at a time except for if I had to go to a show, trailer somewhere or doing some intense practice or something with games.
If my mare didn't have her fly mask on and she saw me coming she would race across the pasture because she loved her fly mask so much.
The great thing wit Neem is that there is no need for any waste.
I mix up a big tub and dunk all the dogs (18) what is left is added to and then the chickens all get dunked as it not only stops fleas and ticks it also stops red mite and lice in the birds.
Anything left from that gets strained and more water added and sprayed on the garden as it stops all plant eating bugs.
By the time all this is done I am also tick, flea and fly free!
It is also very good on wounds. I will add that I only used it neat on a large wound on a horse That was great as it kept the flies away but when I rubbed it neat into a lousy mane it did blister the horse's neck a bit.
I am also continuing to use the fly masks (with ears)
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