fly prevention for horses, fly control for horses

Tried and True Fly Control for Horses– Plus a Few from the Forums


Fly prevention for horses is a problem as old as equestrian sport. While we wish we could hit the trails in a TuffRider fly sheet  like this one, it’s sadly not practical once you start considering where to put your saddle. It’s tough to find the right combination of products that will protect your horse at the barn, let alone once you head into the woods. Trail riders often face the brunt of the unpleasant insects, as they ride straight into bug territory, unlike other equestrians who stick closer to home. It’s doubly hard to find fly control for horses that’s up to the task of repelling insects on their home turf. Luckily, if you combine sprays, barriers, ointments, and a few ingenious hacks from equestrian forums, you just might find yourself with a fly-free summer ahead. 

Bring a Barrier


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Your horse’s head and ears are most vulnerable to the attentions of biting flies. The insects are attracted to the moisture that gathers around your horse’s eyes, nose, and ears. Plus, your horse’s head is also farthest away from their fly-killing tail. While you can carefully apply ointments and sprays to your horse’s head and ears, you have to be extremely careful as you don’t want caustic chemicals dripping into your horse’s eyes. 

The best solution is the  Quiet Ride Fly Mask. Unlike many other fly masks designed for use in the bright sun of the pasture, this fly mask allows your horse to see clearly even in the gloom of the woods. It’s also designed so as not to interfere with the mechanics of your bridle, while still providing fly control for horses. 

Spook Prevention Plus Fly Repellent

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Do you have a horse that’s particularly irritated by the noise of flies buzzing around their ears? The  EquiFit SilentFit Ear Bonnet is a great option for these sensitive horses. Made from unique SilentFit material, the ear bonnet deadens sound while also providing a traditional method of fly control for horses. A contoured shape and durable EverLeather trim keep this bonnet looking sharp while ensuring no flies sneak under the brim of this double-duty fly bonnet. If you have a spooky horse, the noise-deadening bonnet can also prevent your horse from spooking at sudden noises in the woods and fields around them. 

Hit the Trail Prepared


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Equestrians who trail ride regularly are usually pretty prepared with extra  halters,  lead ropes, and possibly even  hoof boots. Unfortunately, it’s usually pretty difficult to cram a big bottle of leaky fly spray into your saddle bags. Luckily,  EcoVet developed a compact bottle of their signature fatty acid-based fly repellent for horses that easily fits inside most saddle bags. Perfect as a travel size,  the 4oz bottle creates a zone of repellency around your horse that smells like their unique herbal blend– mainly lavender with a hint of tea. 

Add a Lime & Shake It All Up


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Shake up your fly control for horses with a little coconut oil. According to the  USDA, “...coconut oil compounds were effective against biting flies and bed bugs for two weeks and had lasting repellency against ticks for at least one week in laboratory tests. In addition, the compound showed strong repellency against mosquitoes when higher concentrations of coconut oil compounds were topically applied.”

However, it’s important to use coconut oil sparingly on your horse’s coat. The oil attracts dirt and may make your horse’s back too slippery for your saddle. Additionally, be careful around sensitive areas, like the eyes. 

Take Advantage of Natural Predators


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Dragonflies may look innocent to us, but to horse and deer flies, these beautiful insects are terrifying. According to this  Forest Preserve District, dragonflies are voracious predators. “While they usually eat mosquitoes and midges, they’ll also eat butterflies, moths, bees, flies and even other dragonflies.”

Riders across social media and equine forums swear by clipping a fake dragonfly to their horse’s bridle to deter horse and deer flies. While this hack makes sense in terms of the food chain, make sure your horse won’t mind their new pilot on their head before you mount up. It won’t matter if the dragonfly deters any insect if your horse isn’t a fan! 

Fly Repellent Plus Shine

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There are some areas of our horses where a traditional method of fly prevention for horses, like a spray, isn’t appreciated, typically near their face. In this case, wipes are usually better received by our horses and can be used as part of your standard grooming process. The  Supreme Products High Shine Finishing Wipes are a great option for around your horse’s face, as they’re gentle enough to be tolerated around the eyes and muzzle. 

Not only will these wipes bring out the shine in your horse’s coat, they contain citronella, a natural method of fly prevention for horses.  Citronella has a very strong aroma and smells like citrus. Insects are very sensitive to odors, particularly orange, lemon, and those within the citrus family. Not only does citronella itself repel flies, it also masks the scent of odors that may attract insects, like manure.  

Start with a Bath


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Set your horse up for success with a nice  bath before you leave for your next trail ride.  Durvet’s Citronella Shampoo leaves your horse smelling citrusy fresh and deep cleans their skin and coat. While your horse will smell lovely to you– the biting insects that surround your barn won’t think so. Formulated with aloe vera, lanolin, herbs, and aromatic oils, this shampoo leaves behind a protective coating that nourishes your horse’s coat and mane, leaving it soft and shining. For All Your Fly Control Needs

As your online tack store, we understand how important it is to have multiple options when it comes to fly repellents. Each horse deserves a fly control solution for their unique situation, whether they need a fly spray for sensitive skin, a fly mask that works with a bridle, or fly repellent that can be wiped on and won’t affect their sensitive skin. When it comes to fly prevention for horses, we have everything you’ll need on, and at a great price, too. 

Don’t let the flies keep you from your next trail ride!  Shop here. 

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