Equestrian Blog

News and thoughts from around the equestrian community

The Perfect Fly Sheet!

Amigo Aussie All Rounder Fly sheets are generally lightweight mesh rugs that have been designed to offer your horse the greatest protection from the irritating flies and midges that appear with the warmer weather. Along with fly masks, they’re an essential part of any horse’s summer wardrobe! A sheet may not safeguard every square inch of your horse, though some come close, it can though banish insects from large tracts of skin, enabling you to use fly repellent more selectively on what remains exposed. A fly sheet is one line of defense against disease-carrying mosquitoes and if you have concerns that days in the sun will fade your horse's show-ready coat, or even sunburn his sensitive white areas, a fly sheet has the added bonus of shielding him from harmful ultraviolet rays. Wearability For chafe-free comfort during hours of use, the newest fly sheets are constructed using fabric woven or knitted with soft artificial fibres such as nylon and polyester, as opposed to other fabrics made of vinyl-coated threads that give older fly sheets a stiff ‘plastic’ feel. Over the years, improved use of darts, pleats and gussets provide extra room for movement in the shoulder and chest areas. Special slippery nylon linings in the shoulder area and in the case of neck covers, along the top line, helps prevent rubbing of hair and contour darts in the rump encourage sheets to stay put in action, or return to position after your horse rolls. Breathability Small spaces between fibres in the weave or knit of the fly sheet fabrics will not admit insects but are designed to allow air to circulate freely. A breathable sheet doesn't cause your horse to sweat, even in hot weather. As fly sheets are typically light-coloured, your horse will also be cooler, as some of the sun's heat is reflected. Note that fly sheets are not waterproof or water-resistant, so rain will go right through them. On the other hand, a fly sheet dries immediately and continues to protect your horse after a summer shower, while most fly repellents will be diluted or washed away. Durability Some fly sheet fabrics combine very fine monofilament--thin fishing line--with other fibres, adding extra toughness. Punctures or small tears are often self-limiting as the fabric doesn't continue to unravel beyond the area of damage. Many manufacturers use rug designs that minimise ‘easy to grab’ areas, helping to make your horse's sheet less vulnerable to playful and destructive pasture-mates! Washability A fly sheet often takes dirt that would otherwise be on your horse as he interacts with the outdoors, so it's designed to be washed according to manufacturer's instructions. Hosing is good for quick clean ups and you may find that repeated laundering enhances the softness of some fly sheet fabrics. Maximum Coverage Flies are interested in areas of your horse's body outside the boundaries of many regular sheet or rug designs so manufacturers offer sheets which cover more territory!
  • The finer the mesh on the sheet the better the protection the fly sheet offers from flies and midges.
  • Any neck cover on a fly sheet may either be stitched to the main body of the rug so it’s permanently attached (a combo fly sheet), or fixed by clips so it’s detachable.
  • Any belly flap protection needs to fit snugly to prevent flies getting underneath.
With so many different styles of fly sheet now available, it should be fairly easy to find one that best suits your horse and your budget. Happy browsing and here’s to a fly-free summer!

Comments (0) -

Comments are closed