Unlike humans, running around frantically with their fly swatters, horses do have a pretty handy natural fly swatter at their disposal: their tail. Though, as riders will know all too well, when the heat intensifies horses can be besieged by a range of pesky insects: face flies, insects, mosquitoes, horse flies, stable flies, midges and deer flies, to name just a few. All of them like to descend during those long, leisurely summer days.
Outside of the obvious annoyance, they can also bring about some unwelcome outcomes i.e. if, say, your horse gets bitten, in some cases this can escalate from apparently small nicks to painful lumps and potential scabbing.
This is where a quality fly mask or fly sheet comes into play. Essentially, fly masks and sheets are there to shield your horse’s sensitive areas: a mask keeps head, ears and eyes under wraps, while a full sheet, in turnout-style, covers the whole body. By wearing them during scorching days, they reduce the chances of biting and blood-sucking.
To lend a helping hand as you’re browsing our array of fly masks and sheets, we’ve spotlighted some of our favourites. Everything on our shortlist features non-abrasive fabrics, stress-free designs and are guaranteed to last the course.
And as it’s all about finding a tailored match for your horse, there may be some particular design features they’re crying out for; so read on and start planning ahead as the temperature creeps up!
What size fly sheet do you need?
In order to find the optimum size – where there’s no gaps or entry points – it’s important to gauge a sense of size. So here’s a general guideline to discovering the right size sheet for your horse…
|To fit approx. hands high||11.2||12.0||12.2||13||13.2||14||14.2||15||15.2||16||16.2||17||17.2|
|Rug size in feet||4’0″||4’3″||4’6″||4’9″||5″0″||5’3″||5’6″||5’9″||6’0″||6’3″||6’6″||6’9″||7’0″|
|Rug size in inches||48″||51″||54″||57″||60″||63″||66″||69″||72″||75″||78″||81″||84″|
Bucas Buzz-off Rain Zebra Full Neck
The striking Zebra-stripe pattern on this Bucas fly sheet is hard to miss. Distinctive, durable and stylish, its unique hybrid design fights the elements on two major fronts. The fine mesh fabric keeps the flies at bay, while the expansive shoulder, back and hindquarter protection (made from sturdy turnout material) offers a cosy layer against the elements.
It’s worth mentioning the bonus features too: a detachable belly pad for great all-over cover and anti-UV materials to prevent overheating.
Rambo Sweetitch Hoody Vamoose
Also known as pruritus, sweet itch happens when horses, in a state of distress, nibble, scratch or rub at their own skin. It’s a condition that can escalate pretty quickly – so forward-thinking is key.
That said, any riders and owners should jump at the chance to preempt these irritations with a quality Rambo Sweetitch Vamoose. Their signature insect control technology means you’re getting the absolute best in pest-defying design.
You can shop here for more Rambo fly sheets.
Weatherbeeta Comfitec Airflow Combo
One issue with rugs and turnouts is finding a secure fit; one that closes just right. Holding this Weatherbeeta Comfitec Combo in place is a secure Ezi clip front closure, so the sheet’s unique assemblage of belly wrap, full wrap tail flap and side gusset will always stay in place.
Importantly, the soft polyester mesh is never intrusive; your horse can roam freely while benefiting from state-of-the-art protection.
What size fly mask do you need?
To land on the right size fly mask you’ll need to calibrate a few facial measurements first: ear to face, neck to jowl and nostrils to centre are all part of the sizing mix. Once again, so you get sense of appropriate sizes we’ve created an easy-to-follow reference guide…
A = Between ears to middle of face
B = Bottom side of ear to middle of face
C = Between ears to between nostrils down center of face
D = Around middle of face to middle of jowl
E = Around the neck 2” behind ears at mid jowl
F = Side to side across brow 2” behind & below ears
Bucas Buzz Off Zebra Fly Mask
The crowning counterpart to Bucas’ Zebra Sheet, this mask provides some fantastic head protection. Their quality materials are not only anti-insect to the core, but also reflect heat in the process – basically working overtime to block any UV radiation from the beating sun.
With an elasticated browband to hold the neck piece firmly in place, this is a great option for fending off those aggravating insects this time of year.
Horseware Rambo Plus Fly Mask Vamoose
Something of a marvel in fly mask engineering, this Horseware Rambo Plus fly mask features a host of frictionless, stress-reducing features. There’s an eye guard to stop over-rubbing, a detachable nose cover so flies can’t breach this super sensitive area and large fitting soft ears too.
There are subtle, smart deterrents everywhere: even the Vamoose fleece itself is treated to ward off any persistent flies trying to dig underneath the surface. For more Rambo fly masks, browse our collection online.
Weatherbeeta Fly Mask With Nose
The sleek black hood of a Weatherbeeta Fly Mask is immediately noticeable: its soft fleece binding, lycra inserts to slip on the poll and breathable mesh mask have a distinctive feel.
Even better, the bonus of mesh is being able to see through the material, and their adjustable tape closure system also makes for a very smooth fit.
So there you have it: a brief walkthrough of our high-calibre fly masks and sheets for combatting the barrage of insects this season.
You can shop our full range of fly masks and fly sheets online, or if you have any further questions about finding the right one for your horse – on matters like detachable extras or material quality, say – then don’t hesitate to get in touch.