You're in the middle of a dressage test at a show. For once your horse is behaving. You know the test by heart. You might even get a good score! Suddenly, your horse starts shaking his head around like a maniac. Then you hear the buzz-a big old fly is attacking your horse's head, and there's nothing you can do about it. What are you thinking right now? We know — flies must DIE!
Flies can be very annoying in the summer months. Not only do they torment your horse; they can spread nasty diseases, too. That's why you must declare war on flies, and we're going to help! Check out our tips to help you keep your horse fly-free.
1. Keep your horse as clean as possible. Flies are attracted to mud and sweat.
2. Clean your horse's eyes every day with a damp cloth. Flies love to swarm around gunky eyes.
3. After giving your horse a bath, pour about a cup of cider vinegar into a bucket of water and rinse your horse with the solution. Flies don't seem to like the smell of vinegar.
4. Put a teaspoon of garlic powder in your horse's meals. The garlic is absorbed into his body and gives off a slight odor when he sweats. Flies don't like the smell of garlic and they stay away.
5. Mix one capful of Avon Skin So Soft in a bucket of water, then rinse off your horse with the solution. Bugs don't like Skin So Soft products.
6. Spray your horse from head to hoof with bug spray in the morning. Spray extra on his legs. When bugs land on a horse's legs, it makes him stamp. Too much stamping can result in loose shoes and lameness. Use a roll-on lotion around his eyes.
7. Keep a fly mask on your horse during the day. They cost about $15 at a tack shop. Take it off at night so it doesn't start to rub your horse's head.
8. If flies really bother your horse, he can wear a fly sheet during the day. A fly sheet is a lightweight, mesh sheet that keeps flies off your horse's skin.
9. If your horse spends all day stomping away flies, you can put special fly wraps on his legs. These wraps are made of lightweight mesh, and they have fly repellent on them.
10. Put fly repellent or medicine with fly repellent in it around cuts and scrapes on your horse's skin. Flies love landing on wounds.
11. Hang fly traps and strips around your barn to cut down on pests buzzing around.
12. Remove piles of poop quickly from the stable. Flies lay their eggs in manure. Pick up piles out in your horse's field. If you can't pick up piles, go out with a rake and spread the piles around. Once the manure is spread out, the sun will help dry out and kill off the fly eggs.
13. Lots of flies breed in water-and they especially love dirty water. Keep water tanks clean and get rid of puddles from the barn.
14. If flies really drive your horse crazy, or give him rashes, you may have to keep him in his stall during the day. Make sure he's got some hay to munch on and plenty of water to drink. Try to keep him inside as little as possible. Being stuck in the barn all day is boring!
15. Place the manure pile (and its flies) far away from the barn.