Spray for Horseflies?!?!

I’m not looking for a miracle… I know horseflies are sight flies but I am hopeful that there is SOME spray that will deter them long enough for a ride or for me to hand graze during the day.

Right now, they’re so bad the horses are in during all daylight hours, and will be until fall. I’m trying to avoid having to board at an indoor this summer.

I’ll use ANYTHING, honestly, doesn’t matter how expensive because it’s only for 1-2 horses 3-5x a week.

I use an Amigo Fly Rider sheet. Neck piece, an empty space for the saddle, and another piece that goes over the croup and hangs down pretty far. I also use an ear net.

Then I use the Farnam Endure oil based fly spray on the face, belly and legs.

Decades ago I used a fly whisk because I could find nothing else that worked, but the last decade or so the horses have “told” me that they really do not like the fly whisk hair hitting their sensitive bodies when there is an alternative.

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Longer term to cut down the population… I love my HorsePal biting fly trap. I walk by it and they are all stuck in there DEAD. It gets the big horse flies and the smaller annoying ones that circle around your head. Sometimes if a big fly is bothering us (in-hand work with a young horse) we can wander over near it and the fly will go to the trap instead of us!



I couldn’t agree more about the HorsePal. Worth every penny. I had my old one for 14 years. Finally replaced it this spring.

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I use only sprays with cypermethrin. It seems to work in the short term. A fly mask and Shoo-fly leggings help.

If you’re in a relatively cool climate (i’m not), try a fly sheet.

Regarding hand grazing, my sensitive horse is very fine with me SMACKING horse flies on him. I figure that it was his job to listen to me during the ride, it is my job to smack horseflies when I’m hand-grazing him. He drops some when I smack flies on him, so I know it is all good. THAT SAID, he understands the smack. You might have to work up to that. I aim to kill at least 3 horseflies at every visit.

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They figure it out quickly, don’t they? My old gelding will beeline towards me if there is a horsefly on him, often turning his butt or whatever body part it has landed on close to me for easier access :rofl: My delicate princess, on the other hand, looked totally betrayed the first couple of times I smacked horseflies on her, but now she does the same as my gelding - they know mom will save them!


I couldn’t stomach the cost of the HorsePal so I made my own from scrap materials, black spray paint, and a beach ball. It catches a LOT of greenheads but not as many of the big bomber horseflies, for whatever reason. Worth a try before buying a $300 trap though. Pics here: Super-cost-effective biting fly trap

LOL! My old man does the same. In turnout he’ll run over and sidle up to the fence to ask me to get one on his bum. On the other hand, it took a few times for my sensitive TB to not act really offended. Now he understands that I’m not smacking him but he still doesn’t see me as his savior like the old guy I’ve had for 21 years does.

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