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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I've never blanketed or used fly sheets, so I'm all new to this. I am planning on putting a fly sheet on my 3 year old mare this spring/summer when the flies are at their worst and am wondering how long people leave them on unchecked.

I know that they "should" be looked at everyday and taken off to groom your horse, but for those of us who can't see our horses every day, how long do you leave your flysheet on? (Assuming that it fits well, etc.) I live over an hour away from my mare and it is only her and another mare in the pasture. I'm mainly using a flysheet for keeping the horse flies and mosquitoes away, and I'm planning to spray her legs. Last summer she was covered in bumps and welts from bites.

PS I am planning on purchasing one of the heavy mesh ones so it doesn't get destroyed (similar to a Kennsington). I'm also from Alberta if that makes a difference, so it doesn't get super hot except for a couple weeks in August (so I'm not super worried about her overheating just standing in the pasture, and they have lots of shelters to find shade in).

To clarify, I know it should be looked at every day, but I am wondering if there are any owners out there who use a fly sheet but don't check it every day and then how often you do check it.

Also, anyone use the neck piece too? And do you use the belly band or no belly band?

Thanks!
 

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I use the sheets and neckcovers - also fly masks with ears because I like my horses to be outside in the fresh air and moving around as much as possible and using that sort of fly protection has made a huge difference in how contented and settled they are
I live on site though so they're being checked on constantly - obviously from roughly 10pm through to 6am they aren't and if I let myself I'd stress about that
I wouldn't feel happy not checking on a horse at least twice a day even without a sheet on - unless there was someone around that would call me if they noticed something wrong
 

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I leave a fly sheet on my mare through most of the summer. Her worst reactions are to mosquitoes so I leave it on overnight.

In the place I had her last summer, I couldn't be out to pull it off every day so it would usually go a couple days without being checked. The only time I really worried about it is when we would get a freak shower and I couldn't come take it off. Those things get pretty nasty when wet in my opinion, but hopefully it didn't bother her too much.

This summer she is at a place where the BO will change or check blankets, so it will be better monitored.
 

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I know some horses are more sensitive to the nasty biting bugs.

There's a bright chestnut out at the barn that always attracts way more than her fair share -she must be extra beautiful to the flies.She needs a sheet, or she is horribly tormented.

The problem with leaving sheets on is they can shift around as the horse rolls or lays down. Sometimes they can get tangled in blanket, especially if a strap comes undone or breaks.

Is there somebody to keep an eye on the horses?
 

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My boys head for the dark barn about mid morning and stay inside (their choice) until almost dark. They are fed hay while inside. Few bugs/mosquitoes go into the dark barn.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know some horses are more sensitive to the nasty biting bugs.

The problem with leaving sheets on is they can shift around as the horse rolls or lays down. Sometimes they can get tangled in blanket, especially if a strap comes undone or breaks.

Is there somebody to keep an eye on the horses?
That has been my main concern. My parents are both out there, but they don't have much to do with the horses other than giving them scratches/treats over the fence and checking their water/salt/mineral.

I'm trying to decide which is the less of two evils: let her get eaten alive, or use a fly sheet but have the risk of something happening.
 

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As long as they will straighten the blankets if they get really twisted and notice if they are caught in some way, I'd say you are fine. If not, I wouldn't do it.
 

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what are they being fed? if reacting to bug bites could be allergic to things like molasses, soy, protein. Or could be having an allergic reaction to the environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
what are they being fed? if reacting to bug bites could be allergic to things like molasses, soy, protein. Or could be having an allergic reaction to the environment.
They are on straight pasture, so I do not think it is related to what they are eating. But thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Any sort of blanket is bad for horses. Naturally horses don't have blankets. I don't blanket and my horses do great!
Some horses need blankets. Like if you take a horse from sunny California to cold North Dakota, he'll need a blanket while he adjusts to the temperature. Or of the horse is allergic to fly or gets hives, a sheet helps protect him more.
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Any sort of blanket is bad for horses. Naturally horses don't have blankets. I don't blanket and my horses do great!
Horses do not need anything. That's a fact. They do not NEED us to care for them, they are wild animals, no? I know mine was. As a wild animal, there are times of plenty, and times of scarce, but wild animals do not NEED to be fed. Mother nature makes it so that some starve, and weed the numbers. Doesn't she?

My mare needs no more now, than the day she was born in the wild. But now she's mine, and I adore her. I hate seeing the giant horse flies bite her, so I NEED to sheet her. She is sheeted right now, and she is much more content than when I pull it off, and the flies begin biting. That makes me very happy. I need to sheet her. I have no illusions about it.

There are lots of things that humans do not need. Like the computer you are using. If of course you have an argument that you *do* need this computer that you're posting from, I'm thinking it's as valid as the poster who has a horse that breaks out in welts and hives, and *does* need to fly sheet.

Besides, this whole argument is full of woe and gray area...
Horses do not need farriers and dentists. Fact. Oh but wait... we put them on soft ground, and remove 24/7 graze, and guess what? Horses NEED farriers and dentists.
 

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Oh, I wanted to comment on the original post, before I went off on a tangent!

Make sure you choose a fly sheet that is on par with a good quality turnout blanket. Good durability, with cross ties on the belly, leg straps, and metal hardware.

I have a couple, but right now she is in a kensington that we bought her, with crossed belly straps, and everything else that you could want. I fret no more about turning my back on her, than I do when she's wearing her really nice turnout blanket, that we use just for those long PNW rains up here. Flukes happen, but you can certainly head off a ton of issues right at the pass, if you go straight for the good equipment.

I do not yet own the belly panel (I actually purchased it just today!), but I suspect it's going to make a really solid blanket, even a bit moreso. We shall see...
 

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Mosquitos carry some really nasty infectious diseases so worth doing whatever you can to reduce the risks from those bites
 

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If your parents could just peek out once or twice a day, then I would put a sheet on her.
I know you want a quality sheet, but you also want something that if she does get tangled that it tear or break free. I would not use the neck piece since you cannot check her off and on through out the day if that slid down she could get her head or a hoof stuck.

As for the comment that horses don't need.. this is from a person that states he/she does not vaccinate and compares domesticated horses to feral horses . note the wild horse does not exist except for in Mongolia. All other free roaming horses are domesticated horses that have escaped .
 

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Hi,

I've never blanketed or used fly sheets, so I'm all new to this. I am planning on putting a fly sheet on my 3 year old mare this spring/summer when the flies are at their worst and am wondering how long people leave them on unchecked.

I know that they "should" be looked at everyday and taken off to groom your horse, but for those of us who can't see our horses every day, how long do you leave your flysheet on? (Assuming that it fits well, etc.) I live over an hour away from my mare and it is only her and another mare in the pasture. I'm mainly using a flysheet for keeping the horse flies and mosquitoes away, and I'm planning to spray her legs. Last summer she was covered in bumps and welts from bites.

PS I am planning on purchasing one of the heavy mesh ones so it doesn't get destroyed (similar to a Kennsington). I'm also from Alberta if that makes a difference, so it doesn't get super hot except for a couple weeks in August (so I'm not super worried about her overheating just standing in the pasture, and they have lots of shelters to find shade in).

To clarify, I know it should be looked at every day, but I am wondering if there are any owners out there who use a fly sheet but don't check it every day and then how often you do check it.

Also, anyone use the neck piece too? And do you use the belly band or no belly band?

Thanks!
So here are some pictures of my mare being treated badly. :wink:




So this is the Kensington "Surefit" cut (Friesian). It's a 75, on a 14.3 mustang.



I love it. And I didn't get a pic, but it's fully "cut out" for her tail... I really adore that. Um, this cut: "Cut combines the best qualities of both the Traditional and European Cuts", is a tad "smallish" for her naturally "deep neck"...



So I have the buckles a bit looser than I would generally like at the front. The space you see previously at her chest is not just from that, though. There is enough fabric there, it just won't stay in place behind the buckles, for whatever reason.

As I said I have the belly panel coming in the mail. I tried to save money and purchased a dunbar hood, instead. NOT happy with it. So I'm thinking about spending the extra to get the hood that goes with this, instead. I have some cashel crusader boots coming, I've read great reviews about those. She is SO much calmer sheeted. :)

alas... my poor baby...



:lol:
 
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I'd like to hear how you get on with the cashel boots as I have a mare who hates bugs on her legs and is constantly kicking herself, none of the fly repellant seem to work for her
I bought some fly boots last year but they refused to stay up - and she is no fine legged creature either!!
 

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I'd like to hear how you get on with the cashel boots as I have a mare who hates bugs on her legs and is constantly kicking herself, none of the fly repellant seem to work for her
I bought some fly boots last year but they refused to stay up - and she is no fine legged creature either!!
I haven't had luck with repellant, either! :? One year the little cowflies were SO bad where we lived, I just made mud, and just literally caked her legs in it. She was *miserable* otherwise. Constant ear-pinning and kicking. The mud wasn't perfect (dries and falls off after awhile), but it helped!

This will be her first ever experience with boots. I'm hoping they don't weird her out too much. :)
 
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I've seen good results with the boots.
They weren't Cashel's, but some 'generic' version from Schneiders tack. I think they were the mosquito mesh, but not 100% on that as it was a long time ago. The horse took some adjusting, but once he realized the boots kept the bugs off his legs, he was thrilled to have them put on, same with the sheet/ neck cover and mask.

A note, don't leave the horse unattended for the first day or two putting on 'new clothes'. Some horses will fight hard to get them off and might hurt themselves, one horse refused to move with it on, it was sad/ funny with the non-moving horse. But after a day or so they get used to it.
 
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