Horses are beautiful animals that provide us with fun and exercise every time we go for a ride. They give us so much so it is only right that horse owners give their animals the time and effort needed to make sure they are properly cared for. This means they need plenty of exercise, clean stables and plenty of nutritional feed. However, one area many horse owners commonly overlook is protecting their animals from flies and other biting insects.
One way I provide my horses with adequate fly and insect protection is through horse fly sheets and horse fly masks. These pieces of essential equipment are specifically made to protect horses from everything from insect bites to and dust. I prefer a horse fly mask over a repellant because it isn't a chemical and it provides more far-reaching coverage. A horse's eyes, nose and thinner skin membranes behind the ears and below the jaw are areas of that flies typically target. Obviously, you cannot apply a chemical repellent to these areas. That's why I prefer using a horse fly mask for my animals.
There are a few things you should know. First you want a fly mask that fits properly. You don't want a mask that is too tight or too loose. Either can cause irritations for the animal and do more harm than good. Also, it is important that the mask does not cover or obstruct the eyes. A good test is if the horse can blink freely through the mask. If it can, the mask is a good fit. However, when the mask doesn't fit right, the horse will not be able to see fully. Some masks have eye coverings made from mesh fabric. For these masks, the holes of the mesh should be small enough to prevent small flies and insects from getting in.
I also like to check that the ear coverings fit fine. Make sure they provide ample room for the horse to flip and move its ears with any type of hindrance. A little bit of space in the ear coverings also prevents any skin irritation on the ears due to rubbing.
Finally, get a fly mask that has a muzzle which goes below the cheekbone. These types of masks offer a wider range of protection than short muzzle masks. I choose masks that have an elastic muzzle. The elastic lets you put the mask on easier, while also allowing the horse to open and close its jaw more effortlessly.