Tips + tricks for horses against insects
It's finally that time again. The sun shines with its warm, bright power and brings you summer! The atmosphere is generally great. People more cheerful and sociable. You will also notice the pure joie de vivre of your horse, because now the grazing season has finally opened again. Everything could be so beautiful and perfect! If only it weren't for those nasty little pests that rob rider and horse of their last nerve. As soon as you feel the wonderful sun on your skin, they are back! Horseflies, black flies and other annoying critters. Of course, they also have a right to exist. Nevertheless, they are extremely annoying when they attack you and your horse while riding. Tail slapping and shaking the head are then the order of the day and with the training lesson or the relaxed ride it won't be anything for the time being.
Of course, the industry has not been long in coming to provide horse and rider with a wide variety of products to bring some relaxation to the situation.
But before we get to that, here are a few tips on how you can support your horse without other aids:
- Never cut your horse's head. It is like a perfect protection for the eyes if it is long enough.
- Do not shorten the tail too much and do not weave it in. This way your horse can drive away the insects himself.
- Horse cumshot! It not only cools pleasantly, but also washes away the sweat residue from the fur.
- Sand surfaces for rolling also protect, as the layer of sand or mud on the fur helps well against the flies.
- If possible, no paddocks near bodies of water.
Of course, this alone does not bring enough peace and quiet, which is why many riders resort to various aids. From sprays, gels and ointments to fly ears/hoods and fly blankets, everything is included. But what is good for whom and when? What really makes sense? And most importantly ... Are the products that promise so much also all harmless to health? Today we try to shed some light on this for you.
Let's start with the fly ears / fly masks :
Often these are used more as fashion accessories. But they can really do much more than just round off the outfit. If the little tingling mosquitoes are constantly buzzing around your ears or in the ears of your horse, it only has a chance to ward off the pests by hitting its head violently. Of course, this is extremely annoying when riding. We ourselves then use fly ears for our horses and have made the experience that it provides an enormous relief for horse and rider.
Fly masks are rarely worn while riding. You are more likely to use these for grazing time. But make sure they fit really well. It was not uncommon for various eye injuries to be caused by ill-fitting masks.
Fly blankets also have their purpose:
For many a horse they are a real enrichment for the grazing season. In the past, we often wondered why horse owners completely covered their horses all summer. Until the time when a pony moved in with us, which was constantly attacked by the annoying pests. Totally punctured body or chafed tail turnip and mane comb were then the consequences. This is terrible for a horse and it suffers. This is where well-fitting fly blankets can work wonders.
Now we come to the sprays , ointments and Gels :
Ointments and gels can be used very well for very specific areas. They have a firmer consistency and are applied with a rag or sponge. Horse owners often use such products around the eyes and ears.
The classic is certainly the fly spray. With this you spray the entire horse and are then immediately taken care of, because it whirls around a lot.
But be careful!
With all these sprays, ointments and gels, you should look closely at the ingredients. Unfortunately, they are not always as safe as you might think. Insecticides kill insects, even the good ones. Most conventional horse fly sprays contain pyrethroids, cypermethrin and permethrin. They act as a contact poison / neurotoxin. Through the skin and breathing, they not only get into the horse's body, but also into your organism.
There are now many good alternatives to the chemical club. With natural active ingredients, the fight is declared against the little beasts. You can also find great instructions on the Internet to make your own fly protection. Certainly, we have to cut back on the duration of the protection. But let's be honest ... there is still no such thing as perfect protection. At least not in the way it is often promised.
As is often the case, you have to make your own decision about which means you want to use. We believe that nature has everything we need to get through the season well. Sometimes you have to make the effort and experiment a bit. Not everything always helps the same for everyone!
But in the end, the environment, your health and the health of your horse will thank you if you let more naturalness into your life.
If you already have a great recipe, let the Royal Riders know in the comments!