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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Out hand grazing the other day with two horse buddies. We were beset by a big horsefly and boy are they determined! One horse shook itself when the thing landed on him. My GF's horse didn't seem too worried. But my new horse was panicking and ran in circles trying to get away. I think because he came from the prairies and had space to run that was his strategy.

Those fly sprays don't seem to do anything when it comes to horseflies. Right now, I've got a fly sheet on him when he goes out to graze - the horseflies don't appear to bug him.

I was thinking if he learned how to 'shake' like they do when they get up from a roll, wouldn't that be ideal?
How to think about teaching that?

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14,681 Posts
Horse flies are vicious beasts....they hurt!!

My horses if we are riding will actually stop and are smart enough to get me to recognize where the fly is and wallop it...
I mean really hit it and hard to kill it..
My horse isn't fazed in the least that I hit him, he knows my strike was to kill the fly that was biting him all up...
And you don't need to teach the horse to shake to rid himself of those flies...he will react when he has had enough.
If he was loose he would probably drop and roll to squash the buggars...but with you near him, try talking to him quietly as you see the bug and then a hard swat...he'll figure it out real fast you aren't disciplining him but helping him.
My horse will present face, neck, show me his chest by twisting his head & neck as far away as he can...
I often ride with others and at horse-fly season we will swat each others horses to kill as needed, horses never bat a eye they just know we are trying to help them...
If you are riding in trees, break off a branch with leaves and use it as a fly swatter for extra arm reach... I carry mine near the entire ride.
Just try not to let your horse eat the fly swatter if yours is like mine.. :lol:

They do make a actual horse fly impromptu branch works just as well astride or when we are just taking a walk together on the trails... and it was "free"... :wink:
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