horse fly repellent for trail riding, horse and rider in silhouette riding through field on sunny day

Essential Horse Fly Repellent Gear for Your Next Trail Ride

There’s no better way to explore the world than from the back of a horse. Be prepared to hit the trails this summer with all of the horse fly repellents you’ll need, from sprays to ointments and gear. 

Fly protection for a trail ride can be a little tricky. It’s not like you can throw your saddle on top of your horse’s fly sheet! We’ve come up with 8 horse fly repellent options that will protect you from flying pests on your next trail ride. 

Keep It Simple

horse fly repellent ear bonnet

If your horse isn’t particularly bothered by flies, start simple with the  B Vertigo Monaco Ear Net. Our horses’ ears can be extremely sensitive and are actually a hot spot for fly activity, thanks to their dark, moist interior. Because the skin is so thin here, your horse can actually start to bleed and develop a  rash from the irritation.

The Monaco Ear Net provides full coverage protection for your horse’s ears, from the base to the tip.  Plus, the pretty crocheted pattern and three rows of corded trim add a touch of style and elegance that you can’t get anywhere else. This ear net is made of Coolmax fabric that will keep your horse’s head cool on hot summer rides. 

Is your horse known to be a bit spooky? Reap the benefits of both ear plugs and fly protection with the  EquiFit SilentFit Ear Bonnet. The ears are lined with an antimicrobial, neoprene-free open-cell foam that inhibits sound, just like a pair of ear plugs. The rest of the bonnet is constructed from air-mesh which will keep your horse’s head cool and dry.

Use a Full Coverage Fly Mask

horse fly repellent fly mask

There’s no better horse fly repellent than a physical barrier between your horse and flies. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a full coverage fly mask option for your trail ride, it can be difficult to find one that doesn’t disrupt your bridle’s fit, which can be a safety concern. Luckily, that’s where the  Cashel Quiet Ride Fly Mask comes in. 

This fly mask is designed to fit comfortably over top of your bridle, without affecting your horse’s vision, or your bit and rein control. It offers full coverage from their ears to their noseband. Modeled after the Crusader, this fly mask is made with lighter nylon mesh that fastens quickly and securely. 

Spray on Horse Fly Repellent

horse fly repellent all natural fly spray

Have you struggled to find a horse fly repellent spray that actually works?  EcoVet Fly Spray is a new alternative to traditional fly products that actually works. Instead of relying on toxic pyrethrins or essential oils, this spray uses a proprietary mixture of natural food-grade fatty acids and silicone oil that creates a zone of repellency around your horse. And it doesn’t just work on flies– it repels gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, lice and more. 

Safe to use on horses, beef, and dairy cattle, with EcoVet, all of your four-legged friends will be well protected. 

Whisk Away the Bugs

The horse fly repellent might be one that Mother Nature designed herself! Mimic your horse’s natural fly defenses with a fly whisk. These whisks look almost like a crop or bat. But at the end of the stick is a tuft of horse hair. A fly whisk allows you to shoo flies off your horse while you ride. The familiar sensation may even remind your horse of hanging out with their pasture mate in the paddock. 

Spot On Horse Fly Repellent

spot on horse fly repellent

Are you looking for a horse fly repellent that lasts a little longer than your average fly spray?  Equi-Spot Spot On Horse Fly Repellent only has to be applied once every two weeks! When applied correctly, Equi-Spot creates three Defense Zones around your horse that protect your horse from ticks, mosquitos, biting flies, gnats, and more. 

These pests are more than just a nuisance– ticks and mosquitoes can spread diseases like Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and Equine Encephalitis.

Guard Your Horse’s Legs

horse fly repellent leg protection

When many equestrians turn their horses out for the day, they put on fly boots. These mesh boots prevent bugs from landing on our horses legs and biting them. Unfortunately, it’s not recommended to ride in these mesh boots as they can slip or come off mid-ride. But don’t worry- you can still protect your horse’s legs on your next trail ride. 

Your standard set of polo wraps or boots will add a barrier between your horse’s legs and the flies. When it comes to polo wraps, choose something that won’t cause your horse’s legs to overheat.   Horze Nest Combi Bandages are made from a combination of both fleece and elastic bandages to decrease bulk around your horse’s legs. Plus, the elastic outer makes adjusting these soft bandages easy and allows you to provide your horse with the proper support and protection he needs on a trail ride. 

But think twice before using polo wraps if you’re going through water. Polo wraps will soak up any water and expand, leaving your horse with dangerously loose wraps around his legs. Opt for boots instead, as these will still add a barrier against flies, but won’t soak up water. A set of boots like the  Pro Performance Elite XC Boots are a good option. These extremely durable boots are designed so they don’t retain water, allowing them to stay on and fit well no matter the terrain. Plus, the honeycomb construction has the added benefit of increasing airflow to your horse’s legs!

Use Horse Fly Repellent Ointment

Not all horses are the same. While one horse won’t mind wearing an ear bonnet and riding in a fly mask, another may hate having the extra material around their head and ears. For these horses, a horse fly repellent ointment may be a good option. 

SWAT is a clear fly repellent ointment that contains a botanically-derived pyrethrin formula, which repels house flies, stable flies, face flies and horn flies, and kills them on contact. Plus, its unique composition lasts for hours, which means it will stay on your horse’s ears and face for the entirety of your trail ride. 

Hi-Vis Protection

horse fly repellent riding sheet

As always, at we advocate for safety first. The  Horze Reflective Wrap Riding Sheet is the perfect choice for trail riders, since it pulls double-duty. Not only will it make sure you and your horse are easily seen from far away, but it can also protect your horse from flies. This wrap-around riding sheet adds a layer of 420D polyester between your horse’s sensitive skin and flies. Try as they might, flies will only land on the sheet, not directly on your horse’s back. 

As bugs get worse at dusk, now you’ll be visible and safe, as well as protected from flies. 

Horse Fly Repellents for Trail Riding, and More

Whether you prefer to hit the trails or canter around the arena, has all of the horse fly repellents that you need to be able to relax and enjoy your time at the barn this summer. Whether you’re looking for physical barriers like fly masks and fly sheets, or the latest cutting-edge horse fly sprays, we’ve got everything you need for an insect-free summer. To learn more fly control tips,  check out this blog.

Shop our selection of horse fly repellents now.

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