Hello,
The flies where I ride are literally feasting on my horse. I took him out for a 10 minute walk and trot yesterday and he came in with fly bites all over his shoulders - and these are from stable flies!
Even at a trot, the flies were swarming us.
I have sprayed him with various commercial sprays. We have stable flies, horse flies and deer flies, as well as mosquitoes, as we back onto a regional forest.
Does anyone have any effective suggestions for protecting him while I ride? My only solution seems to be riding inside and I hate to do that.
Thanks!

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Have you tried using any home made versions of fly spray. I used to ride at a farm where the riding ring was in a bush of mostly cedar trees and my instructor made her own fly spray from home and it worked wonders (on humans too). I'm not sure what the mixture was but maybe google it on the internet and there might be some recipes? Good luck!
Hi there

I have a recipe for a natural spray that seems to work on my horse. He has very sensitive skin so I have had to turn to natural ingredients rather than buy commercial sprays that have a lot of chemicals in them.

I see someone has suggested the same thing below.

My recipe is
1 cup of water
2 cups of white vinegar ( any brand will do)
1 cup of avon skin so soft
1 tablespoon of eucalyptus oil

You can make as much as you want and use as much as you want as it will not harm your horse. I found the pickling white vinegar had a stronger smell so it might work better. You might want to buy the large container.

I am also keeping my Avon lady in business with the skin so soft.
Mary-Joe
Thanks Mary-Joe, I'll try that recipe. A person I knew at an old barn used to use it, but without the eucalyptus. I think that will be the finishing touch. I'll let you know how it goes!
There are fly protective horse clothing items that are made to ride in. Cashel has a line that has a piece for almost every part of your horse's body.

I have the mask/neck cover one, and the one that goes over the butt. They are made from bee keeper mesh, so they are light and cool. Cashel also has one that covers the chest as well. We have all the bugs that you mentioned, and my poor horse would just go NUTS if he got deer flies on his neck - and who could blame him! The one piece covers his face, ears and neck.

These take a couple of extra minutes to put on, but are well worth it!
What a coincidence! We just got some at our farm and have "planted" them (I'm sure that's not the right word!).
This was about a week ago. How long does it take for them to hatch and for us to see results? This would really help, as we are on a regional forest and the flies are terrible. I will tell everyone at the barn about your success. Thanks!
Yes, the predator wasps will work wonders - at least they did for us. I'm not sure how long it took because they don't kill the adult flies. They eat the larvae so that not nearly as many flies are able to hatch. I think it depends on exactly what stage the flies were in when you put them out, your temperatures, etc. so hard to pin down an exact time table.

Just be patient and you will see a huge difference - at least we sure did. Haven't used the turn out fly sheets for two years - since we started using the wasps - except for a mosquito outbreak last year.

Still, when I ride away from the paddocks, the critters come out of the trees and the creek and attack. That's why I use the riding fly nets from Cashel when I ride out.
tea-tree oil in a 1:10 water ratio and spray it on him, not only with his hair be glossy and shiny but it keeps the flies off him and you while you ride and is really cost-effective
Thanks Tanya!
I find citronella still works especially when you buy the real oil from a pharmacy or naturopath. I do the 1:10 ratio also and sometimes add some tea tree as well. My horse are on pasture and get bit by flies on their chests, abdomen, girth area so I make a mix of 1/2 a bottle of pure citronella oil and 1/2 a jar of aloe vera cream and put that on the wounds. The citronella keeps the flies away and the aloe vera conditions and heals the skin. I am also finding Melaluca gel works wonders on any kind of bug bites as well. Takes the sting out and healing starts immediately.
my TB gets bitten two. i have tried many fly sprays but none of them really seem to work
We use listerine we've been trying fly spray and most are not so effective but the listerine seems to work, we also spray in the barns it also smells good :) I know i hat to ride inside its more fun outside but it may work hope it helps you out.
I use Absorbine Ultra Shield, and seems to work the best against most flies and mosquitoes. Also see if you can get some of the Trap N Toss fly traps, they work GREAT, best fly trap ever...and put some around the barns and areas you have the most problems.

There are also things that look like salt licks that horses love, and prevents the flies from reproducing from the feces.

Also, any standing water with mosquito fish added helps with the mosquito problem, and Koi fish eat flying insects.

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