Just when we start to enjoy the warmer weather that summer brings, we find ourselves irritated by flies. Here are our top tips to help you and your horse manage flies this summer…
· Give them shelter- it’s important that your horse has access to some form of shelter at all times, this could be a hedge or tree that produces natural cover, or something like a field shelter. Many people find that their horses use shelter more in the summer than the winter, to get away from the flies.
· Masking the issue- flies are attracted to horse’s eyes and faces, and this can lead to irritation and rubbing. If you’re not happy applying fly repellent around your horse’s face, he has sensitive skin or you want to provide a barrier, look at fly masks and fly fringes. There are lots of variations available, some just cover the eyes and some cover the ears and nose as well.
· Repel them- fly repellent is the obvious way to repel flies, and can be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, there are now other repellent products (in addition to sprays, gels and creams), like tags, bands, leg wraps and more.
· Rug ‘em up- if your horse is really struggling or has a condition such as sweet itch, buying a fly, bug or sweet itch specific rug might be the answer. These provide a physical barrier between the flies/midges and the horse’s skin...and some even have ‘built in’ fly repellent. There are lots of options available, so work out what you need from the rug and then explore.