Extreme Reaction to Flies - What to do?

Tanyahayter

New User
Joined
11 February 2014
Messages
3
My cob has an extreme reaction to flies. Not fly bites just if flies land on him. He stamps, snorts, his head comes up and then he panics. Even in the field he gallops round like a lunatic and usually ends up in the field shelter. I am in the New Forest with the notorious crab flies but he seems to do this with any fly. He was born in Wales but has been here for about 3 years. Fly spray does not seem to work well enough to keep away any flying insect and to be honest he is dangerous to ride as he is quite spooky and sensitive anyway. He can even be dangerous in the field as he loses the plot.

When he is fly free, he is well behaved. It's like owning a horse with a split personality.

Does anyone have a solution? Or has anyone experienced this and can give some advice?

Thanks
 

HappyHollyDays

Slave to 2 cats and 2 ponies
Joined
2 November 2013
Messages
13,169
Location
On the edge of the Cotswolds
Shires do a decent fly rug with a neck for field use, it is very lightweight, bright and keeps them cool. Although I have never used one you can get fly sheets that can be used when your riding.

For heads I have an ear mask with tassels over the eyes which I think is nicer than a full mask which covers the eyes completely and can rub if your not careful. There are full masks that can be ridden in but I can't remember the name atm.

I don't like rugging in summer but I have no choice as mine gets eaten alive so he is in during the day with rug off and out at night with it on.

A lot of people like Premier Equine but I have never seen one in the flesh. Hope you sort something out as it's not nice for either you or your horse.
 

Tanyahayter

New User
Joined
11 February 2014
Messages
3
Thanks lindy. Have thought of a rug but that won't help when he's ridden and not happy about wearing one when I hack. Seems to only react badly when flies are around his back end or "undercarriage".
 

siennamum

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 February 2004
Messages
5,569
Location
Bristol
My gelding is the same, he gets really distressed. He is rugged completely when in the field, I bought a rambo rug which seems to be doing the trick. he will come in for periods also, so he can relax in his box.
He isn't so bad hacking, I use flyspray, my friend has a PE flyrug designed for hacking tho.
 

dollyanna

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 November 2011
Messages
1,310
Have you tried neem oil instead of fly spray? It's very effective and stays on for ages even in the rain (not sure about sweat as mine are youngsters so not ridden yet). It's great for slapping all over their undercarriage and not harmful on sensitive areas.
 

Mince Pie

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 June 2011
Messages
9,760
Have you tried neem oil instead of fly spray? It's very effective and stays on for ages even in the rain (not sure about sweat as mine are youngsters so not ridden yet). It's great for slapping all over their undercarriage and not harmful on sensitive areas.

You can get neem fly spray on eBay which I find quite effective.
 
Top