Fly Sheets: yay or neigh?
Ok so I moved to my new barn last october (p.s. its amazing there!!!! my girl is doing great!) and everyone is gearing up for summer. The thing is they all are using fly sheets... I mean I understand using fly masks to protect their face from flies and really bright sun, but does the flysheet work that much better to keep the flies off them? Other people have told me they just use it to keep their darker horses from getting sunbleached which I can understand. But won't the horses get too hot? Do they really work any better than just using flyspray regularly?
Also while we're on the subject of horseware, how many people use hoods on their winter blankets? I've never used a hood but it seems like everyone at this barn uses hoods too. P.S. I live in MN where its like subzero (below -17 degrees C) during the winter yet its magically 90 degrees (above 30 degrees C) in the summer.
Is it worth it to invest in a fly sheet and winter hood or am I succumbing to peer pressure?
I try to avoid fly sheets unless 1. the horse is body clipped in summer or 2. the horse throws a major fit and runs around when bit by a fly. Horses, IME, with flysheets on seem to get a lot hotter and sweatier then ones without.
When it comes to hoods, I like the option of having the removable hood. Some days I find it helpful, others, not so much. At the very least I will buy a blanket that goes part way up the neck.
So here is my outlook. I moved to a new boarding place that I know work at and that year the flys were so bad. We got a lot of water so the fly's had gone crazy. Could not get rid of him for anything. Anyway. My horse likes to hang his pee pee out and for some strange reason the fly's layed eggs in it. I know it sounds gross. It was. I have a fly sheet on him now to keep the fays away from that area. Also some horses will get lots of fly's all over there back and having to all ways go back and try to get rid of them can drive a horse nuts. The fly sheet helps with that. It also prevents that fly's from biting them.
I use fly sheets at this time of year when the blackfly are really bad, swarms of them like hungry flying sharks and being surrounded by trees in a State that's full of trees doesn't help as they attract bugs. Without the sheets my lot would be racing around like idiots and getting really stressed out and after a long winter of feeding hay I want them outside as much as possible. With the sheets on they are all happy to do that
Once it heats up I cant use them in the day as they just sweat too much and that attracts bugs even more plus the horse & deer flies are more able to crawl up under the sheets than the small flies and that's also worse so they mostly end up in the barn with the fans on to stay cool and avoid whatever's having a meal off them
I have detachable neck covers but only use them outdoors if its cold and raining or really freezing - my horses get clipped in the winter and seem OK without them most of the time
Ronan is a bit of a sensitive horse so yes, I use a fly sheet to try to alleviate the fly problem.
He gets a modified body clip in the winter, so he's fully and adequately blanketed throughout the winter.
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thanks guys! really helped me out!
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