Choosing the best fly masks for horses depending on their type…
There are so many horse fly masks on the market. We know that choosing one is not a ‘one type fits all situation’. Just like when you’re trying on shoes or clothes, certain styles may be more comfortable than others – but it’s a personal decision.
We’ve categorised horses into 4 main types. From there, we’ve delved into the best fly masks for horses according to their type – what they are likely to prefer and what to consider.
Best Fly Mask for horses who are Houdini’s.
Do you find yourself spending more time looking for your horses fly mask, than it spends on your horses’ face? If the answer is yes, it sounds like you might have a fly mask Houdini. Normally creative in their ‘fly mask removal ways’, it might take anything from 5 seconds to 10 minutes for your horse to remove their mask.
The number one question is…. Why? Why are they taking their mask off? While you might feel like they are being awkward, it’s probably actually down to comfort.
Generally though, if your horse is deliberately taking their fly mask off, it’s probably like wearing a pair of sun glasses which are pinching your head and giving you a headache. Or maybe clothes that are too tight or warm for the summer air. Take a good look at the mask… Is it padded? Elasticated? Is the mesh thick or going to cause them to over-heat? How close is it to their eyes? Any of these reasons and more are likely to give your horse just enough ammo to say no thanks to the lovely new fly mask you bought them!
Best Fly Masks for horses who like to take them off:
For these types of horses, of course considering comfort goes a long way. But the other thing to consider is how much is on their face. Fly masks with little on them (i.e. no ears or nosepiece) tend to go down well with these types. Take the Field Relief Midi without ears for example. Every effort to ensure the comfort has gone into this horse fly mask and it also designed quite short and sits quite high on the face – almost like a pair of sunglasses (comfortable ones)! The less there is to cause irritation, the more likely the mask is going to be on at the end of the day.
The Sensitive Soul.
These guys normally hate fly weather and the trauma that it brings. Fly bites, midges everywhere, sun in their eyes – you name it, they have experienced it and likely reacted to it! Some horses, like people, are just sensitive to the elements. They might be found at the field gate waiting to come in or looking miserable.
Summer products for sensitive horses.
Starting with the main area of the body – a fine, tough but breathable mesh fly rug covering literally from ears to tail is the best bet. If it has a belly flap it’s even better. Consider the protectiveness of the material. Does it have UV protection? Is it lightweight or is your horse going to ‘cook’ underneath it as the temperatures rise? Sensitive souls have sensitive skin. Well – any horse has sensitive skin! The Field Relief Fly Rug actually has a unique yellow colour, which has been shown to repel flies too!
Next to the fly mask. If your sensitive horse is happy then a full face fly mask with ears and a nose might be best. However, being sensitive, some horses may not like a nosepiece. Again, a UV protective horse fly mask is a must to protect vulnerable eyes. Next thing to consider is the material. A soft, elastic binding is best to not rub the skin, especially if the fly mask is on for a long period of time. Fleece linings may help prevent rubbing; however, they are likely to absorb any sweat or wet and as a result, actually cause rubbing.
Lastly, having a standby tube of a soothing gel to take the edge off fly bites or rubs could help you ‘strike while the iron is hot’.
Pink Skinned Horses.
UV protection. UV protection and more UV protection. The sun can be harmful. Especially for horses with pink skin on their muzzle. This makes them susceptible to sunburn – which if you’ve had it you know can be a painful experience!
Summer products for pink skinned horses.
There’s a few options here.
Sun cream is one but can sometimes be difficult if your horse doesn’t agree with your choice. The protection may not be adequate for all day either.
The best fly masks for horses with pink muzzles are those with a nosepiece. The nosepiece will need to have UV protection to effectively protect the skin. The Field Relief range actually sells a nosepiece separately which fits on any fly mask within the range – so you can buy the fly mask of your choice and add the nosepiece to it.
Or you could consider just a nose cover. Maybe your horse isn’t bothered by the flies on their face and you just need UV protection on their nose. Muzzle Protectors fill this gap and help keep the pink muzzles pink and not red! Ideally, they should be used with a field safe headcollar too.
Lastly, having a standby tube of a soothing gel for the occasion of sunburn or sensitivity may help your horse.
Finally… Best fly mask for horses who are Hardy Types.
These guys don’t need much in the way of a fly mask. The tend to have long manes and forelocks to give them their own protection. You might decide you want to give them further protection though or have a fly mask handy for when the flies are really bad.
Best Fly Masks for horses who are hardy types:
The main thing to consider here is comfort. Something specific to those who have a lot of mane and forelock is space for their forelock to go. The Field Relief Midi without ears and with ears both have adjustable straps at the poll and space for the forelock. This not only allows the forelock to sit comfortably on top of the mask, but also allows you to adjust how the mask sits around your horses’ ears.
Find out more about the Field Relief Range here.