Summer in Colorado brings so many great things! Warm air, clear skies, and many adventures. Yet, as the world wakes up with the sun, so do the bugs. An equestrian’s worst enemy is the flies that always seem to be attracted to our horses and us while we do our chores or go out for rides. But I am here to share some essential tips and tricks to help you keep the pests down to a minimum both at home and while enjoying horse time.
First and foremost, fly spray is you and your horse’s absolute best friend! While you can find a bottle for yourself almost anywhere, finding one for your horse means heading down to your local feed/ranch store and seeing what they have in stock. From here, choosing a brand is purely trial and error.
Some horses may be reactive to the sound of the spray when using it, so it is a good idea to spend a few sessions of training on seeing how they react and help them see that the sound is not as monstrous as it may seem. I recommend filling an empty spray bottle with water and desensitizing your equine until you feel comfortable that you will not be wasting product. (Look out for an upcoming blog for more help with how to work through simple desensitization. ) Ensure to spray away from the face, but many other goods can be used as security there
If the fly spray doesn’t seem to be enough protection for your horse alone, it a great idea to invest in a fly sheet or fly mask. These products cover areas of the equine body with a light mesh material to keep bugs from landing directly on their skin. You can even find sheets and masks that you can ride your horse in!
Besides spraying down or suiting up, you can also help your horse daily by checking the environment and seeing if anything is attracting pests. Manure is the biggest culprit in this area, and the best part for horse owners is that it is never-ending! It is a great idea to make sure piles left for you to pick up move out of your steed’s place of living daily. You can make it into a heap on the other side of your property, spread out as fertilizer across the pasture, or dumped into a dumpster to remove later. Also, check areas for excess moisture. Is that pound of water supposed to be there? If not, consider draining it as stagnant water turns into breeding grounds for insects quickly.
These are simply the basics of many more options when considering fly control with your horses. One last note to consider is the importance of fly control. Flies and many other pests are not only annoying, but they can easily carry diseases to and from your four-legged friend. If you keep these tips in mind, you not only will be keeping your horse happy and much less annoyed, but you will also be promoting their health and safety!