Looking for recommendations for fly masks for a delicate flower of a horse. She gets super bothered by flies but everything I’ve tried either rubs her hair off or irritates her eyes when she rubs her face on things. I’ve tried Smartpak brand, Cashels, Rambo, and the zippered ones. Anyone have reccs? I’m stumped and have built up too big of a fly mask collection at this point
Maybe you have this already, I don’t know the brand name, but the stretchy bug eye ones? I love them but silly me didn’t put the halter on over it so there’s a nice one out in the pasture somewhere.
Could maybe the earless and fleece-lined ears of an earless fly mask help? I used a Cashel eared mask all last summer. This summer had been really hot and humid and the non-lined ear fitted part started to rub and create an abrasion on one ear. I also found it as often in the pasture as I did him this year. I switched to their earless fleece-lined ear hole and the rub is healing and he’s keeping the mask on.
There is a brand of fly masks that really has built in support around the eyes to keep the mask off the eyes. Some have ear screens. I know it is a common brand but I can’t think of it at the moment.
You could try the Kensington fly masks, specifically the Uviator, which comes either with ears or without. The link takes you to Smartpack’s version but you can find the mask on Amazon and in tack stores as well:
The mesh breaths well, and the darker mesh over the eyes stands well away from the eyes. Good UV protection too.
What about those fly fringes ( or veils) ??
I really like all of my Shires fly masks. They have a nice lift off the face, and some of them have a pretty soft mesh for the chin/cheek part. All of the ones I’ve ever had have ears, but among those I’ve ranged from ones with no nose, ones with a full nose, and ones with nose fringe. I tried buying a couple other brands this year and hated them all, wound up throwing out the ones that were ruined and donating the rest. Went back to the Shires. Good luck!
Schneider makes a mosquito one that is very fine mesh w some nice fleece lining.
I got a Shires ultra lite one for my horse on stall rest because he always gets eye funk from the flies this time of year, in the barn or out. It’s lighter mesh, including lighter material on the ears. And their fuzzy lining on the seams. He hates it. After removing it himself twice, dunking it in his water and then burying it in the stall, it now belongs to my other horse despite it being more $$ and other horse has already killed 3 Cashels this season. Sensitive eye fella is back in a Cashel during the day. Both horses have sensitive skin also and do ok. It does help to make sure if their face gets sweaty at all, you clean that off with a damp cloth at the least daily or the sweat will rot the hair right off.
I haven’t found a stretchy Lycra one that either horse likes that also fits.
My current fly-hater who rubs easily is in the Professional’s Choice lycra mask. The very, very rub-prone pony I just sold was in a Cashel Crusader. No rubs but he did occasionally manage to rip it off.
I have this one for my white faced thin skinned horse who I tried several masks on. Zero rubs with this one.
Have you tried this one? How soft are the ears? The rambo one’s ears rubbed off her hair, but I really like this one if the ears are soft!
Haha I’ve had to go on a few expeditions for missing masks over the past few weeks! Have tried the bug eye ones and she rips the eyes open, lol Thank you!
Unfortunately she needs the ears, but maybe I could buy one of those and just sew ears on the fleece haha! I’ve tried the Rambo one with eye support but I’ll look at what else I can find. Thanks!
OMG I think this will be my next try… thank you!!
Ooh I’m definitely going to try one of these, thank you!!
Good luck! I hope it works for you. They met my needs of: have ears, have multiple styles, hard for heathen gelding to rip off his friends, hard for heathen gelding to rip off himself (the only other one that would stay on was a Farnam Supermask, and he still mangled a few every summer), nice clearance from eyes, good UV rating, fun colors. For your girl I would probably try one of their “Air Motion” masks that have one large velcro closure as opposed to two velcro straps. The bottom is a little softer and more breathable. But I’ve really liked all of my Shires.
Fly masks that I’ve tried, wanted to love, and which have been either soundly rejected or destroyed: Kensington (every type. UViator, regular, with ears, without ears, with nose, without nose, with fleece, with webbing…they ALL got ripped off within two hours, multiple times a day), LeMieux (wanted to love this so bad, but the nose was huge and it rubbed my guy raw), Farnam SuperMask (ears rubbed, without ears was better but then had miserable horses), Schneiders (weird fit, popped right off), Cashel (got yanked off repeatedly), Professionals Choice Lycra ones (did ok, but not much UV protection and got shredded easily), Rambo (didn’t stay on). There are probably others I’ve tried over the years that I’m forgetting, but all in all I’m very sold on Shires.
I have Arabs. So, super sensitive to bugs, thin skin, and prone to ditching any mask that doesn’t fit perfectly or comfortably. The Professional’s Choice lycra masks are definitely far and away better than any other brand/style (and, yes, after 20+ years of horse ownership, I have literally tried them all - lol). The knock-off brand lycra masks are NOT equal to the PC ones, from my experience.