IT is officially the best season to own a horse! Summer – where we can ride out late into the evening, there’s a lot less mucking out to do and all our favourite places are opening up.
During the summer months, many of our horses tend to be turned out for much longer periods, on better grass than in winter. It’s important to remember our duty as horse owners to ensure our horses are kept healthy and comfortable.
One important consideration during the summer months is flies. Flies are pests and can become a source of stress for horses, who are experiencing the constant crawling, biting and sucking from flies. Fortunately, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to ensure your horse remains mostly fly free.
Fly Rugs and Masks
Fly rugs provide a protective layer for the horse, preventing flies from biting. At Old Mill Saddlery, we offer a wide range of horse and pony fly rugs, ranging from our best value rugs such as Battles StormX Original Zebra Print Fly Rug, priced at £39.95 to more premium fly rugs, such as the Amigo Ripstop Hoody Fly Rug, which offers a strong 600D ripstop outer as well as 90% UV protection. The Amigo Ripstop Hoody Fly Rug is priced at £89.95 and £80.95 for ponies.
Fly masks come in two options; full face or half face. Full face protects the eyes, ears and muzzle, whilst half face protects the eyes and ears. The mesh allows the horse to see while wearing the mask. LeMieux have introduced two new and very well designed fly masks for this season – the LeMieux Bug Relief Lycra Fly Hood, which is available as a full or half mask.
The LeMieux Bug Relief Lycra Fly Hoods are made from a soft, four-way stretch lycra and provide a close and comfortable fit with an average UV protection of 75%. The bug-eye eye darts maximise freedom and visibility, giving a generous stand-off over the face, whilst the pull-on design minimises the chance of rubbing and prevents flies getting up and under the mask. The LeMieux Bug Relief masks are competitively priced at £14.95 for the half mask and £17.95 for the full mask.
For horses that are particularly bothered by flies, our Busse Exercise Fly Sheet offers great protection whilst riding. The closed polyester mesh material is breathable and is cut out at the saddle and side to allow for effective riding aids. The Busse Exercise Fly Sheet is available to buy at £37.95
Fly sprays work by coating the horse’s coat in the spray to repel flies from the horse. There are a number of options available and one factor to consider is if you’d prefer a natural or a synthetic fly spray.
Natural fly sprays, such as Carr & Day & Martin Citromax offer gentle protection using a natural formula with the key ingredient being Citriodiol – the most effective natural insect repellent.
Synthetic fly sprays tend to be stronger and longer lasting. Our best selling fly spray is Leovet Power Phaser, which guarantees long-lasting stay-off effect from all insect and horse flies, even when the horse sweats.
All products mentioned in this article are available to buy from Old Mill Saddlery, both online and in store. Prices are correct at time of print. For more information on any of the content in this article, please contact the saddlery directly on 028 9335 3268.