Fly gear is the unsung hero of the horse world. As you use it to protect your horse from irritating and disease-carrying flies during peak season, you unknowingly do much more to keep him comfortable like prevent sunburn, bites, scratches, and help him manage heat.
Away with Sun Damage
Many sunburns and peeling incidents are avoided when owners use fly sheets and fly masks for horses with UV protection. The areas of your horse’s body with white hair have sensitive pink skin underneath, which is more susceptible to sun-irritation than darker skin beneath darker coats. Cashel’s Crusader Fly Mask, for example, blocks up to 70 percent of the sun’s rays and prevents sunburn on to light-colored and white-faced horses. The polyester mesh of fly sheets and fly boots also safeguards white-hair areas and staves off sun-bleach to darker coats.
Closest Solution to Bubble Wrap
Though they’re meticulously cared for, horses sometimes get hurt. To avoid re-injury, they’re typically put on stall rest. But when it’s a small nick or scratch that can heal nicely as long as it’s kept clean and covered, it’s best to turn him out and let your horse be a horse. Fly gear is a quick, cost-effective way to add a layer of protection for these small injuries.
Ear nicks and infections are difficult to wrap, so once cleaned and treated, keep debris, ticks, and, yes, flies out of his ears as he heals with a fly mask with ears. In the pasture or on a trailer haul, fly boots protect against bots and minor scrapes and scratches. If you have a herd boss that tends to get territorial and nip around feeding time, protect other horses from painful and unattractive marks with a fly sheet and/or neck guard from Cashel’s line.
Riding Behavior that Bugs You
If your typically quiet, well-mannered horse starts to toss his head, get antsy and not stand still, or stomp his feet on a ride, this should be a red flag. It’s likely bugs are the cause of his misbehavior. On the trail and at certain times of the day, insects like flies and mosquitos are especially bothersome. Get his bad behavior under control and keep him comfortable with protection from Cashel’s Quiet Ride line. Notice the behavior, and then outfit to solve it. If he shakes and tosses his head, try the Quiet Ride Fly Mask. Solve kicks to the stomach, stomping of feet, and tail swishing with an over-the-saddle Bug Armor sheet or Belly Guard.
Humid and lakeside areas that are hit hard by mosquitos and horse flies are often some of the warmest, too. The lightweight mesh of fly sheets and neck guards, such as Cashel’s Crusader line, breathe well enough to allow airflow, but not so much as to allow insects to bite. Unlike winter blankets, which are engineered to keep body heat in, summer fly sheets are designed to dissipate heat. And because the mesh is light in color unlike, for example, the dark-coat of a bay, it deflects sunlight so your horse stays cool.