The sun is shining!!!! Yay!!!!! It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for spring to arrive and suddenly it’s upon us and we are so excited for the summer months ahead. However, as the weather has turned so suddenly from miserable and wet to practically Mediterranean climes almost overnight, there is one annoying issue that is not quite so welcome – FLIES! Not that we wish to complain about the lovely weather (we would actually like more of it please) but we are predicting a bit of an insect boom over the next few weeks, with the moisture left from endless months of rain combined with the warm temperature creating the perfect breeding conditions for all sorts of creepy crawlies. So, now is the perfect time to make sure you have some tools in your armoury to keep your horses from suffering too badly with the flypocalypse that is coming our way!
If you do nothing else for your horse this spring and summer, please please please get them a fly mask! Flies obviously home in on horses’ faces, particularly the eyes. Not only does this irritate our horses immeasurably, it can cause eye soreness and even spread infections such as conjunctivitis, which is a nightmare to get rid of. If one horse on your yard has an eye infection during the summer, you can bet your bottom dollar that the rest of the yard will get it too. We have loads of fly masks in stock, including brands such as Horseware, Le Mieux, Equillibrium and Cashel. The Le Mieux masks are particularly lovely as they are super soft and comfortable with a high visibility mesh, meaning you can use them whilst you ride as well – perfect!
Secondly , stock up on fly spray! We are waiting for huge vats of the stuff to turn up here at the shop and we have several options available; including brands such as Carr & Day & Martin, Barrier and Equine America. Our personal favourite, though, is the Leovet Power Phaser – it absolutely stinks but it seems to actually work for a decent length of time! It also comes in a gel which you can apply with a sponge, catering for those who aren’t fans of being sprayed! We also have some lovely citronella shampoos which are worth investing in for bathing over the summer.
Top tip: If your horse suffers badly with itchy lumps caused by fly bites, try using the NAF Love The SKIN He’s In wash to soothe them. It’s lovely stuff!
We highly recommend that you invest in a fly rug for your horse this summer. It will help protect them from the flies and keep them comfortable. If you buy a good quality one then it will include UV protection also, helping to prevent your horse from cooking whilst out in the field when the sun is very strong. We have a lovely selection of fly rugs here at Equitogs, below is a run down of the ones that we stock:
Amigo® Vamoose® Evolution
This is a new rug for this season from Horseware, which includes loads of technical features to help keep your horse as comfortable and cool as possible during the summer. It is very lightweight, super soft and comfortable for your horse to wear and offers excellent coverage with a supersized tail flap with silky lining, full coverage belly flap, three straight surcingles and integrated neck cover, featuring Horseware’s disc-front closure. The rug also has sun reflecting properties which will protect your horse from harmful UV rays. The fabric has been treated with Horseware’s Vamoose® insect control technology – this means that the rug is covered with permithrin, which is an insecticide and will repel flies and other insects to stop them from landing on your horse. The rug comes in two colours which have been chosen specifically because they naturally deter insects from landing on it. This is because flies cannot perceive the colours orange or aqua and therefore, will not be attracted to these rugs.
Amigo® Bug Buster Vamoose®
This is a soft, absorbent and strong fly rug with sun reflecting properties to protect your horse from harmful UV rays. It has a supersized tail flap with silky lining, leg arches, belly protection, classic front closure, shoulder and mane lining and a removable neck cover. This rug is also treated with Horseware’s Vamoose® technology to discourage insects from landing on your horse altogether. We love this rug as it offers excellent protection for your horse whilst remaining excellent value for money.
Rambo® Summer Series
This rug is a cross between a fly rug and a turnout rug, fantastic for those wetter, chillier spring/summer nights. It has a waterproof and breathable softshell top section, with 600D ripstop mesh sides. This ensures your horse will stay dry over his back whilst airflow is enabled at the sides to stop him overheating when the sun comes out. It offers a detachable hood, with polyester lining to and also wither relief to prevent rubbing. The Summer Series comes with a 100g removable liner for the top section which is great if you know the temperature is likely to drop significantly overnight. This is a really smart trans-seasonal rug which will keep your horse cool and dry from spring through to autumn.
This is a great rug for any horses who tend to be destructive with their clothing! It is made from a lightweight but super tough mesh fabric which will not rip easily. It offers UV protection and excellent coverage for fly protection with a removable neck cover, supersized tail flap with silky lining, leg arches, belly protection, shoulder and mane lining to prevent rubbing and the V-front closure system. This is a tough and durable rug that will definitely last the distance over many seasons.
Amigo® Aussie Allrounder
This is one of our most popular summer rugs as it is soft and comfortable for your horse to wear whilst being water resistant, UV protective and keeping flies off your horse’s skin. It offers a detachable hood, front leg arches, tail strap, classic front closures and cross surcingles. It is excellent value and is a very smart, versatile rug that can be useful in or out of the stable.
Rambo® Sweetitch Hoody Vamoose
This rug is made from a very durable close woven 1000D polyester to prevent even the smallest of flies from reaching your horse’s skin. It is very soft and comfortable for your horse to wear and is built to last, as well as reflecting harmful UV rays. It is treated with Vamoose technology to discourage insects from landing on your horse altogether. It features a supersized tail flap with silky lining, leg arches, extended belly protection, V-front closure, silky shoulder and made lining, three straight surcingles and a neck cover to include the ears. This rug also comes with a fly mask to keep insects away from your horse’s sensitive face. It is included in Horseware’s pony range, meaning that the sizes range from 4’0 up to 7’3. We wouldn’t recommend this rug unless your horse has sweet itch or is very badly affected by the flies as it is designed for those who have skin conditions that occur due to insect irritation.
Bucas Buzz-Off Zebra Fly Rug
This rug is made from a very fine mesh which prevents even very small insects from reaching your horse’s skin and also deflects harmful UV rays. Research has shown that flies find the zebra print confusing and therefore are more likely to be discouraged from landing on it. This rug provides excellent coverage with a full integrated neck and belly pad. It is lightweight and comfortable for your horse to wear; featuring shoulder darts, an elasticated browband, silk feel lining on the shoulders and tail flap.