How do you determine if your horse needs one or not?
I'm trying to figure out if Lacey does, in the summer she often has quite a few hives from bug bites, and being the protective horse mom that I am, I want her snuggly and protected. But, at the same time, I'm not made of money and I don't want to be going overboard, yknow?
They can sometimes be effective, but not always. Some flies can easily bite through the holes, and you have to remember that a lot of them are after the areas with a lot of blood vessels ie the neck, which is often unprotected. I know some people swear by feeding their horse apple cider vinegar/vinegar to keep the flies off, and you can also buy Fly Predators if you're up to it. I'd say buy a fly sheet to see if it works for you, but don't go out and buy 3 until you are certain it is effective for your horse.
There are fly sheets that protect the neck a little bit too. I just use fly spray, i dont think many of them mind the bugs, and I spray rena with fly spray which seems to work. I dont think she likes having blankets on all the time, it must be nice to have no blanket on in the summer :)
I use Endure, works AMAZING since its kind of made for outdoor horses, unlike other fly sprays that are kind of wimpy and made for horses who live in stalls and work in lighted arenas, haha.
I also thought of buying a fly sheet for Ice, he's pretty sensitive, but I just use that and it works great! The only problem is the price :/
Thank you all for the suggestions!
I'm mostly just thinking ahead to camp, 13 horses all stuffed into about an acre with the official ruling (a la the camp director) that we cannot move the poop anywhere and absolutely have to leave it in the field, does not make for the best fly situation. I think I'm going to give apple cider vinegar a try, Lacey's previous owner was doing something that worked beautifully (I just have no clue what that was). Lacey wasn't bothered by flies at all the first summer I had her (at camp) but last year and this year, she's just covered. She doesn't even try to flick them off either, she just lets them eat her. Argh!
She definitely prefers to not be blanketed so hopefully the vinegar will work. Do you know if you have to use it for a while before it starts working? Or does it just work from day 1?
I'll see what I can do about getting that fly spray, it sounds great! Fly spray is one of those things that I can stick on the camp's budget (as head wrangler, heheheheh) so as long as it's not a million dollars, I can probably swing it.
I would go the big route and buy the gallon bottles of whatever fly spray you choose and just use it on all of the horses then. They usually run 125-150 dollars, depending on what brand you get. They last though, since some don't come pre-diluted you get to make your own.
You can also feed your horse a garlic product (the name escapes me at the moment, but I'll let you know) that repels bugs. I have a friend that loves that stuff.
One of the products is called Buggzo. It has garlic and cider vinegar in it.
Fly sheets can help, but in my experience the most pesky flies are the face flies that can irritate the eyes, and the stable flies that bite the lower legs. We put fly masks on when the face flies are really bad and spray the lower legs with apple cider vinegar and that handles the worst ones.
I tried 4 different brands of fly sheets on my TB. All of them caused shoulder rubs within 1 day, so I'm back to garlic and fly spray. Fly sheets work for some horses, definitely not others.
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