Flies around the barn are unavoidable. All day, while your horse is turned out, he is likely being pestered by biting and nuisance flies. A liberal coating of fly spray and a fly mask are pretty standard, but the less frequently used fly boots and fly sheet can really complete the fly barrier package for those roughest months.
Benefits of Fly Boots
- Limit Stomping – Flies love to swarm around horses’ legs, which leads to continual stomping as they try to knock the flies off. All this stomping adds additional wear and tear on their legs and tendons and may cause shoes to loosen as well. Fly boots keep flies from touching the horses’ legs directly, which stops the stomping because they don’t feel the tickling from the flies on their legs.
- Breathability – While fly boots are doing their job wrapped around the horses’ legs to keep flies off, they are also allowing air in. The porous mesh that fly boots are made of allows air to circulate freely and prevents the legs from becoming too hot.
- Guard Wounds – Flies are particularly drawn to open cuts and wounds, which can lead to infection. Fly boots are a great way to protect lower leg injuries, that have caused open wounds, from both fly and dirt interferences to healing. Since they are not tight around the leg like normal wraps, air is able to get to the wounds to aid in healing.
Benefits of Fly Sheets
- Decrease Stress – Horses constantly shaking their heads, twitching their ears, swishing the tails and stomping their hooves are experiencing stress during their time outside. If you’re seeing bites from flies and other bugs on your horses, and noticing these behaviors, a fly sheet can help make their time in turnout more pleasant.
- Protect Skin Allergies – Some horses have skin allergies to insect bites and will develop large itchy welts from bites. A fly sheet will protect your horses’ entire bodies and keep them from having to suffer through these unpleasant bite allergies.
- Sun Protection – Many, but not all, fly sheets offer UV protection from the sun’s rays. This is found in fly sheets like the Rambo Fly Buster, and can help prevent sun burns on light horses and fading on dark horses. UV protective fly sheets also typically reflect the sun’s rays, which helps to keep horses cool on hot days.
- Breathability – As with the fly boots, fly sheets are made of mesh that lets air circulate freely, so horses won’t typically overheat on a hot days.
Fly boots and fly sheets are incredibly easy to clean since they are made of mesh. Simply hose them off if they become crusted with dirt or mud and allow to air dry in the sun for a short period before putting back on your horse. Equipped with an armor of fly barriers, your horse will be ready to take on an army of flies comfortably, without stress.