Horseflies. Anyone else stop riding?

Coblover63

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Bridgnorf, innit!
I'm one of the ones that's allergic to horseflies. Not hospitalisation but the big, red angry, hot, hard, itchy reactions. I take a daily antihistimine anyway, plus all the usual stuff that your read about (Afterbite, hairdryer, etc). I wear a baggy shirt and wide-leg linen trousers over my usual horsewear to handle my horses but inevitably from time to time they beat my precautions and have me. This is not a post asking for deterrents.... I've tried them all, believe me!

When the horseflies hatch at the end of May I get a black cloud over me until they disappear at the end of August. I mostly stop riding, give up on local shows and fun rides and I tend to just stay indoors when the sun comes out through horsefly season. This morning I lunged my mare at 7am but I'm loathe to hack out early on weekdays because we have to ride on narrow lanes to get off-road...and at that time of the day I would expect people to be driving faster, not expecting to bump into an early bird horse and rider! My yard buddies think I'm a bit of a freak because I'm so obsessed with preventing horsefly bites, because they don't understand the pain, misery and lack of sleep that they cause me. They laugh when they come back from fun rides, camps and clinics as one of my first questions is always "were there many horseflies?" Yesterday we had a lovely bit-fitting lady come to the yard but before of the heart and flies, I couldn't (wouldn't) partake in ridden testing. My friend rode in our outdoor school for nearly an hour, testing different combinations - and got bitten to pieces!! Spring and autumn I come alive again.

I just wondered if I'm alone in being so miserable during the summer and feeling like I'm missing out on so much?
 

MuffettMischief

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I too am one of those people that comes up badly from horsefly bites. Bright red, boiling hot, rock hard welts that itch like crazy and hurt to touch. I carry anthisan cream and aloe vera gel wherever I go. I certainly dont let it stop me going and doing things but I wouldnt blame anyone if it did! They are horrid things!
 

scats

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I don?t react other than a red mark, but I?m bitten constantly. I get 3-5 bites a day off the things.
 

Ambers Echo

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They are evil things! Nature's terrorists! I have only ever reacted to one and it was awful. Swelling for several inches in all directions from the bite site and SOOOOO itchy. Unable to sleep itchy. It lasted almost a week. If that happened every time I suspect I would also avoid. But I rarely get bitten and if I do I rarely react.

I sympathise fully.
 

ponyparty

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990
I react badly too. I have had cellulitis from insect bites before so I'm super careful that they don't get infected. they drive me absolutely mad though, wake me up in the night, swell badly, itch but then also feel like a bruise?
This week I've been leaving it really late - like 8.30pm - before going to the yard. They aren't so bad then. My horse also reacts badly to them, he comes out in great big welts so it's best for us both to avoid.
I've ridden during the day in summer and me and horse have been eaten alive, and when I rode my friend's horse out last summer he became quite dangerous due to them. I really don't blame anyone for wanting to get away from them!

The only thing I've reacted worse to is wasp stings - got 5 stings a couple of summers ago from walking past a nest unwittingly. Now that was really awful, it made horsefly bites seem like nothing in comparison!

Roll on autumn..!
 

ponios

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Is this a particularly bad year for horse flies? For various reasons I didn't put my horse fly trap up in April like normal and not sure if its because I was delayed in putting it up or because it is a really bad year but I cant remember it being this bad before.

I also react quite badly to the bites so have practically gone nocturnal when it comes to horse activities! I was fencing at 10pm last night!
 

MyBoyChe

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N. Bucks
I dont react as badly as the OP but I hate the little bl****rs with a passion and my pony hates them too. Im also not a fan of the heat so from May through to late August my riding is a bit limited. Like the OP early morning hacks are out because of the rat runners so its 6am at the weekends for me or late afternoons on much cooler days. I am much happier in spring and autumn
 

Alibear

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East Anglia
I've stopped hacking as that's where they are worst and they really upset my mare. As she's pretty much angelic the rest of the time I see it as only fair to let her off that one. That said we are lucky and can box to local woods where the horseflies are few in number :) You do have to check carefully for ticks post ride though.
 

Keith_Beef

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Seine et Oise, France
I was once bitten on my knee by a horse fly when I was ten, or at least when I got home after riding my bicycle and described it to my mum, she said it was almost certainly a horse fly...

Where I live now, in France, there are almost none. I have once been told "there's a 'mouche plate' [i.e. new forest fly] on that horse's flank", but that's all. Other than that, they are all greenbottles and bluebottles.
 

cobsarefab

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At the yard
The horseflies are really bad around here. I don't get severe reactions as a rule but I had one on my ankle that got a rock hard golf ball sized swelling that itches like crazy and I put calendula cream on it. The next morning it just looked like a tiny prick so I keep that with me now. It works well for cobbus to who gets a reaction to bites around her teats.
 

joosie

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Normandy, France
I react badly too so I carry a bottle of lavender oil (the essential oils kind) in my pocket whenever I'm outside. Put it on immediately I get bitten and it stops the reaction being so bad. It works even through jodhpurs.

Where I live now, in France, there are almost none. I have once been told "there's a 'mouche plate' [i.e. new forest fly] on that horse's flank", but that's all. Other than that, they are all greenbottles and bluebottles.
Gosh where are you? We've got gazillions of them in Normandy!
 

Keith_Beef

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Seine et Oise, France
Gosh where are you? We've got gazillions of them in Normandy!
Maisons-Laffitte; the soil is very sandy, there's practically no standing water. Even with two yards just across the street from my house, and another seven or so within a radius of 600 meters, there are fewer flies of any description than in my mum's house back in Sheffield.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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I'm one of the ones that's allergic to horseflies. Not hospitalisation but the big, red angry, hot, hard, itchy reactions. I take a daily antihistimine anyway, plus all the usual stuff that your read about (Afterbite, hairdryer, etc). I wear a baggy shirt and wide-leg linen trousers over my usual horsewear to handle my horses but inevitably from time to time they beat my precautions and have me. This is not a post asking for deterrents.... I've tried them all, believe me!

When the horseflies hatch at the end of May I get a black cloud over me until they disappear at the end of August. I mostly stop riding, give up on local shows and fun rides and I tend to just stay indoors when the sun comes out through horsefly season. This morning I lunged my mare at 7am but I'm loathe to hack out early on weekdays because we have to ride on narrow lanes to get off-road...and at that time of the day I would expect people to be driving faster, not expecting to bump into an early bird horse and rider! My yard buddies think I'm a bit of a freak because I'm so obsessed with preventing horsefly bites, because they don't understand the pain, misery and lack of sleep that they cause me. They laugh when they come back from fun rides, camps and clinics as one of my first questions is always "were there many horseflies?" Yesterday we had a lovely bit-fitting lady come to the yard but before of the heart and flies, I couldn't (wouldn't) partake in ridden testing. My friend rode in our outdoor school for nearly an hour, testing different combinations - and got bitten to pieces!! Spring and autumn I come alive again.

I just wondered if I'm alone in being so miserable during the summer and feeling like I'm missing out on so much?

Nope I am still riding when I do and I just splat them and roll them into a fag. Get great pleasure despite the blood spreading
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
I went out hacking with a friend on Sunday afternoon, late'ish, and the horseflies were just AWFUL. My old boy, because he's got sweet itch, had his ride-on fly rug anyway, but the dang things were still biting him through that!!

My little youngster hasn't got a ride-on rug (not organised that yet, plus she's not ever been out riding in one so need to get her used to it); and she was being just driven CRAZY all the way along the ride. We just seemed to pick up squadrons of them as we went along! Poor horses were just going frantic, it just wasn't do-able, a really horrible ride, and I haven't taken either of them out again in this weather since.

Fortunately because we're quite high up here we do get a breeze coming up the valley, but as soon as you get out in the narrow lanes you get attacked by flies everywhere!

Total nightmare. Never been as bad as this, I know that. The legacy of the wet winter for sure.
 

MagicMelon

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North East Scotland
I think you should move OP! Honestly, I dont ever see them at my place. Ive had lovely hacks out in this boiling weather and just get the usual few regular flies. We do however get midgies sometimes which are a nightmare - they're horrid little things. I guess it depends on your area what you get.
 

Louby

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Manchester
Im another who reacts to them, usually its ABs and draw a pen line round the redness (hospital advice after cellulitis) so I can monitor the dreaded trail :(
Funnily this year, Ive been bit a few times and I seem to be getting away with it, touching wood frantically!!! They still go red, itchy and hot but dont seem to get any worse. I try not to take antihistamines unless I get bit, then I take generic Piriton, apparantly its the active ingrediant Maleate which does the job?? I put hydrocortizone cream on regularly and keep my fingers crossed.
The only thing that I think is different is I think Im at that time of life when Oestrogen starts to drop, and I had read that they liked Oestrogen! Saying that I mentioned this on a previous post and a lady on there had no Oestrogen and still got bitten so it may just be an old wives tale.
 

Reacher

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I think you should move OP! Honestly, I dont ever see them at my place. Ive had lovely hacks out in this boiling weather and just get the usual few regular flies. We do however get midgies sometimes which are a nightmare - they're horrid little things. I guess it depends on your area what you get.
We get both!

Couple of years ago I was bit on the wrist and later I wondered why my long sleeve felt tight. Took off shirt, my arm was swollen up like a sausage from wrist to elbow.
 
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dominobrown

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15 March 2010
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North England
The first few bites of the year make me swell up like the elephant man and I have limbs like plump sausages. Attractive...
Found lavender oil is helping to help take the swelling and itch down.
 

xDundryx

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10 January 2013
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262
This is the first year I've reacted to them , hacked out the other evening and had the little ******* hanging off my Jods now I've itchy welts all over my legs and arms 😬 may have to knock riding on the head for a while.
 

Dave's Mam

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23 July 2014
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Nottingham
hi sj this avon so soft is it oil or cream ? thanks.
It's an oil. I don't find it useful against cleggs, just midges.

I'm one that is often hospitalised by bites. I'm using Jungle formula for me this year & nothing works for Dave. He's warm & brown. A full horsefly dinner target.

I hate the sods, one bit me between my fingers one day & I didn't notice til I felt blood dripping off my fingers. BLEURRRGH (it got flattened off a wall)
 

huskydamage

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23 October 2012
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747
I haven't stopped hacking but avoided areas where I know loads of horse flies are(trees!) I've never found a repellant that works. I'm extremely paranoid as I react badly to them, one bit my ankle and my foot swelled so bad I couldn't wear shoes for 2weeks. I am scared one will bite near my eye or something. I carry a whisk and just bat them to death. I killed 3 on my hack yesterday it was very satisfying.
 

Daniel_Jack

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18 August 2017
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124
Not stopping me riding but just picking the best times to ride to avoid them. It?s so hot here just now that can only ride early or late in the day.

Hacked out in a slight breeze tonight and still manage to get bitten!!!
 

Keith_Beef

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8 December 2017
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Seine et Oise, France
Went out twice today.

First was my normal Saturday morning lesson that turned into a leisurely walk along the sandy horse paths around our end of town. No flies.

Second was from 16h to 17h, again on the paths, but half the time walking and half the time trotting. I couldn't see many flies, but there must have been a few, probably small ones around the eyes, rather than blood drinking horse flies. My horse for the afternoon was visibly bothered by them, shaking his head and whisking his tail around all the time, and when walking he would try to scratch his belly with a hind hoof.

It's not easy, letting him shake his head to get the flies away, and still trying to slow him down to stay a safe distance from the horse in front...

That's the last class of the year 2017 - 2018. I'm signed up for next year in the Sunday 11h to noon class.
 

HuT

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11 March 2018
Messages
35
Hi Anyone tried the bug bands that you attach to the horse and they last 15 days?

I am thinking of getting some but would be good to know if they work.

Thinking about these ones:

www.equinebugbands.com
 
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