Finally, spring has sprung! After a very long and cold winter, I feel like the weather these past few weeks gives me hope that my rides will no longer require me to wear four layers of clothing to keep warm (yipee!). However, with the warmth of the spring comes the never-ending battle between my horse, Rocki, an APHA gelding, and bugs. Rocki is particularly sensitive to the bugs, and he has a very low tolerance for them; therefore over the years I have had to work hard to define the best products for my high-maintenance gelding. Here are a few of my must-haves:
- Rockin’ SP Quarter Horse Cut Fly Sheet
I have used many fly sheets in my day, and this one is the best combination of durability, fit, and breathability. The lightweight mesh material is excellent for the hot summer days as it allows for continuous airflow. The cut back wither feature and wide shoulder design also prevents rubbing on my stock-type gelding.
- Crusader Fly Mask – Standard – With Ears
I love this mask for several reasons. It’s made from a soft fabric that doesn’t cause rubs and it stays on my horse’s head. I went through several other brands of masks that didn’t fit my horse’s head very well, and he would take them off within an hour of being outside. My horse needs to have a fly mask on as much as possible because of the reaction he will get to flies around his eyes, so having one that stays put is important. Many others in my barn have this fly mask as well, so being able to embroider it with his name was also a plus!
- SmartBug-Off® Pellets
I have found that this supplement has worked well at helping to deter biting flies from landing on my horse over the past few years. I add it every spring to his SmartPak before the flies arrive and its helps to keep him comfortable, plus he has fewer flies bothering him.
- Endure Sweat Resistance Fly Spray
Before I ride, I always add a little fly spray for some extra protection against the flies while out on the trails. I find that this fly spray protects the longest even when he is sweating. For his eye area and around his ears I use the Endure Roll-On
The combination of these products makes for a VERY happy horse in the summer months and therefore a happy rider!