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Fly sheets are designed to protect your horse’s sensitive skin from biting flies. The protective mesh of a fly rug allows air to circulate while protecting its coat and body from bites. The ideal fly rug will keep your horse cool and discourage annoying insects from landing on it. The fewer distractions your horse has while grazing or waiting ringside, the happier it will be. Use a fly sheet indoors, too for added protection from nasty stable flies. Horze even carries a fly rugs with a combination rain sheet, providing both rain and insect protection in a single rug.
Fly masks are a convenient, easy way to protect your horse from bugs without additional fly spray. Choose a mask to cover the eyes, ears or even the muzzle to protect from frustration and the possibility of painful bites and disease. Fly masks can also shield your horse’s sensitive eyes from the glare of sun to make turnout more comfortable. Some fly masks include ear covers, while others are designed to mainly protect the eyes. A fringe covered fly veil is a great choice when a full mask isn’t required and will add just a bit of fabric to help your horse swish flies away while he relaxes. Whichever style of fly mask you choose, pair it with a fly rug or wear alone to suit your horse’s turnout needs.
Insects can make life difficult for horses from spring to autumn. This is especially true when grazing in the pasture. A light-weight, finely woven fly rug protects the horse from these pests. Of course, the material must still be strong and tear-resistant.
Recently, fly blankets with a zebra pattern have become available. Tests have shown that insects' eyes are irritated by this pattern. Therefore, insects can no longer land directly on the rug. If the horse is standing in the pasture with the rug, it should have a belly bib because the belly is also a popular target for insects. In addition, the rug should have built-in straps for safety reasons. If your horse is very sensitive or there are a lot of insects in the pasture, you can choose a rug with a neck piece.
The best rug for you and your horse would depend on your horse and the environmental conditions. For example, there are rugs that are treated with the insecticide permethrin. You can even wash them a few times before the effect wears off. However, chemicals for insect control are not for everyone. Also, a well-fitting rug should normally be enough.
Not every horse tolerates a neck piece or ear protection, although these are certainly useful for insect control. You just have to try it out. If you plan on leaving your horse unattended in the pasture or paddock for a longer period of time, you should make sure that the rug fits properly. It should also be made of a breathable material. Ideally, it should also have an antibacterial coating on the inside.
As with all horse rugs, sizing is important to ensure that the rug fits properly, is effective and does not hinder your horse's movement. The most important measurement for determining the size is the length of your horse's back. To determine this, measure from the withers to the base of the tail with a tape measure. This measurement in cm is the rug size. Make sure that you measure exactly along the spine of your horse.
However, horses do not only differ in the length of their back. There are larger and thinner, robustly built and petite horses. Therefore, you should also measure the chest circumference. Measure approximately in the middle of the chest from one side to the other. Often the rugs can be adjusted in size by adjusting the buckles. You can find rugs in all sizes - from mini ponies to Shire horses.