I live in the Midwest, where the summers are hot and humid, and the biting insects rule. Last summer my poor geldings’ legs were eaten alive by the flies. He came in from pasture one day with bumps all over his legs! Some of them were oozing and they were painful for my horse to touch. It took a month and a half of diligent iodine shampoo baths on his legs and application of SWAT, twice daily, for the bumps to go away.
I would like to avoid this problem this summer! What do you all recommend? I was thinking about investing in fly boots, since he’s never in deep pasture where he can’t be watched. He stands 15.2 hands.
I use citronella fly spray, and also the fly leg wrap/boot things. Last year, at least, they were very effective. I also use a fly sheet with hood and belly band. The fly mask was a total loss – as soon as I was out of sight, he had it off, stomped in the mud and then pooped on it. So, I use dried wipe things, spray the fly stuff on those and wipe his face, ears and everything else I can (avoid eyes, nose and mouth).
I have also not had good luck with the fly leg wraps. But fly sheets do help to protect the horse’s body, although the only 2 materials I have found that hold up are Textilene (which looks like a loosely woven plastic-like material) and the white jersey material used by Schneiders and State Line. Unfortunately, if you buy on-line, you need to be careful because a lot of manufacturers (and even retailers) do not differentiate between T/O fly sheets, which are sturdy enough for the horse to be turned out in, and scrim sheets, which look a lot like T/O fly sheets, but are made of a much flimsier material that will not hold up if the horse is turned out in it. Scrim sheets are usually a good bit less expensive, and work fine for protecting the horse from flies while tied to a trailer at a horse show, so the manufacturers & retailers can get away with calling them “fly sheets”. A good T/O fly sheet can be repaired by your local blanket repair place, so it should last several summers.
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