Equestrian Blog

News and thoughts from around the equestrian community

Buyer’s Guide to Fly Masks

Field Relief Midi Fly masks are designed to protect the horse’s eyes and in some cases the ears and nose, from irritating flies. If your horse is particularly bothered by the flies then full fly masks are the way to go. The mask is semi-transparent and made from a mesh allowing the horse to see and hear while wearing it. Fly and mosquito protection is an important part of overall horse care, as biting insects are both a source of irritation and also may transmit disease. A well-fitting fly mask will protect your horse’s eyes and face from flies, midges and any other annoying flying insects without the use of chemical sprays or repellents. A mask will also protect your horse’s eyes from sand, grit, dust and other kinds of airbourne objects while turned out, or being ridden – making it particularly useful for horses who are prone to eye infections. Fly masks need to be removed at least once a day—twice is better—to check for any problems. It’s also recommended that you remove fly masks at night unless there is a medical reason to keep them on. It’s necessary to properly clean fly masks on a regular basis. Dirt and debris that collect on a fly mask can start to impair your horse’s vision if not removed on a regular basis. It’s generally a good idea to keep at least one spare fly mask on hand for each horse, so that you can regularly wash dirty ones while keeping a clean one on the horse. Features to Look For A good fit is very important as the mask must provide excellent clearance for your horse’s eyes and eyelashes. If the mesh is too soft, it could flop onto the eyes. A mask that has darts to keep the fabric away from the eyes is a positive feature. Soft padding at the brow and noseband will help to ensure that the mask sits well clear of the horse's face and will help prevent rubbing or chaffing. Adjustable, touch tape fastenings under the cheek and behind the ears, will enable the mask to be tailored to fit each horse individually. A mask that will come off your horse under strain is also a must. Buckle or snap clip fastenings will make breaking away difficult and these fastenings have the potential to damage your horse. The mesh used needs to allow the horse to see perfectly clearly. It will also protect the eyes from the sun’s rays Optional Extras Some masks feature a detachable nosepiece - this is perfect for horses that suffer from sunburnt noses as it helps protect the delicate muzzle area when the horse is turned out. It’s possible to get masks that have ear coverings which help to protect the sensitive ears from fly irritation. It’s important that the mesh on the ears is soft and pliable. Only the mesh covering the eyes should be rigid. Equilibrium Net Relief with Ears Masks designed to be used when riding are also available to help your horse concentrate on working, rather than the flies. The most convenient ones are those that can remain attached to the bridle when tacking up and untacking. There are several masks on the market, including the Rambo Vamoose Fly Mask, that have incorporated active ingredients that are known to repel flies and midges, into the fabric of the mask. This technology is the result of years of research and field study. Nose masks that have been developed for use on horses that are being ridden have proved to be a huge help for horses that headshake during the spring and summer months. The appearance of fly masks often raises concerns among non-horse owners, as it appears that the horse has been blindfolded. However even a durable mesh is fine enough for the horse to see through. Some masks have sunglasses or cartoon eyeballs printed on them and as well as making horse owners smile...these can also help passers-by understand their purpose. Biting and blood-sucking insects around your horse’s face and head can be a real source of misery throughout the fly season. Modern fly masks are designed to protect your horse from these nasty pests—which can spread germs as well as cause discomfort.

Comments (0) -

Comments are closed