(From Clare's article archives, Circa 2010-2015)
(See the coyote?)
Summertime, summertime! Enter: flies, heat, dust, fox tails. Eakk! And for most horse people, ick.
You will definitely need to protect your horses from the irritants of summer.
Flies: very much an issue, especially in the eyes, and the mid section of the belly.
Sunburn: Can be a real issue for horses with pale pigment,
(chrome), sensitive skin, especially on the face.
Tail itch: This can easily be avoided!
Fox tails: very much an issue, especially if they embed under the tongue,
in in the gums, or up the nose.
Heat: Effect on horses can be devastating.
Lets deal with each of these Summer issues, individually:
Flies: I am certain that we will all agree that flies are horrid, and the summertime bain of a horse's existence. There are a ton of products out there on the market, to control flies, either that land on your horse, or reside in your barn, etc. My recommendation is: find the ones that work for you.
As far as fly spray is concerned, I like the Bronco:
Farnam® Bronco E Fly Spray
Bronco E Equine Fly Spray insecticide and repellent spray is for horses, ponies, foals and their premises. Repels and kills stable flies, horse flies, house flies, face flies, horn flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, lice, fleas, ticks, chiggers and gnats. Bronco-e Equine Fly Spray contains 0.033% prallethrin, 0.50% piperonyl butoxide, and 0.10% permethrin. Citronella scent.
And here are the reasons:
This particular kind, is the only fly spray that I can handle the smell of (the others make me nauseous).
It works great to repel flies.
It is very inexpensive, ($6.99 from Dover), so you will not 'break the bank.'
It is completely mild and non irritating (I will spray the Bronco onto a cloth and wipe it around my horse's eyes while I am riding, without fear of causing irritation to this sensitive area).
It comes with a fantastic sprayer that will never clog (one of my biggest pet peeves), will never break, and has very powerful pressure.
I go through ridiculous amounts each summer, with all my horses,
and should definitely invest in stock for the company!
I personally do not like the upgraded version of this Bronco,
called Bronco Gold ( in the gold bottle).
I think the horses actually like to be sprayed with this fly spray,
they seem to learn that the spray provides relief.
I also think that like the feel of the mist on their bodies.
The fly mask I recommend is the: Super Mask 2 by Farnam
Keeps flies, dust, dirt and debris away from your horse’s eyes
Protects your horse’s face and eyes from harmful UV rays
See-through mesh won’t obstruct your horse’s vision
Aids healing after eye injuries
Available with or without ears
SuperMask® II Horse Fly Masks Built to Fit, Built to Last, Built to Stay On!®
BUILT TO FIT
Designed and tailored to provide maximum comfort as it ensures clear, unobstructed vision. The soft plush trim follows the unique contours of your horse’s face to gently seal flies out. There’s a size to fit almost any horse—even minis!
BUILT TO LAST
Made of rugged, sturdy mesh, the SuperMask® II Horse Fly Mask provides your horse with exceptionally durable fly mask protection.
BUILT TO STAY ON The SuperMask® II Horse Fly Mask features a double-latch closure stablemates can’t rip off. It fastens twice for double security. The double-latch closure is positioned under the jaw, making it harder for other horse’s to reach and pull off.
You should be able to pick one up at ANY feed or tack store. They fit every size, from Mini to Draft. I prefer without ears and nose cover. I think the horses are more comfortable in the Classic version, and they stay much cooler. And here are the reasons: 1. The horses stay cooler in these masks. 2. They are more comfortable. 3. They are more durable. 4. They fit better, no matter what the size or shape of the horse's head. 5. They do a great job protecting the horse's eyes from dust. 6. They do a great job protecting the horse's eyes and eye area from the sun and from sunburn.
7. They are inexpensive.