Elektra, our 3 yr. old freiberger filly and star of Diary of Starting a Young Horse, is probably wishing she’d stayed in her native Switzerland. She is SOOO sensitive to flies. The commercial fly repellents are firstly extremely expensive and NO bang for your buck – they evaporate within minutes. They are one of the least “value for money” products I can think of.
The ones that do work for a short period of time are also used up very quickly over a short period of time!
I bought Elektra a fly band – like a dog or cat flea band only bigger.
Two days ago I put it on her at lunchtime, standing in a shady place on the grooming area. It has an extremely potent smell, so I was hoping it would do the job. It also comes with a warning that it can cause allergic reactions on your horse’s skin! After I’d put it on Elektra, I led her out into the blazing mid-day sun, fully confident we could walk down to the outdoor stabling without being molested by hordes of hungry horse flies.
Not a chance. Within one horse’s length of leaving the safety of the shade, Elektra was a veritable fly-magnet for all horse flies and any other kind of fly within a 50 km radius of where she was standing.
Totally useless. However, it did not cause an allergic reaction on Elektra’s skin. (If anyone does have a success story about their fly band on their horse please send it in!)
So now I’m collecting and trying out home remedies. I’ll publish the most effective one(s) here.
A Google-savvy friend did a search for home-remedy fly repellents for me. These are the results she sent me. I’ll be trying them out one by one and reporting on their success.
Global Feeds produces a supplement called Flyfree: Powerful nutrients that flies really hate. FlyFree helps your horse cope with flies but it also helps with general skin condition, keeps the breathing clear and soothes the membranes around the nose and eye.
I will order some of this and give it a try – watch this space!
In the meantime, if anyone has any effective fly repellent remedies of their own, please, please share them with me for Elektra and any other readers whose horse might be suffering from the same raw deal!
As our horses live out all year round, if all else fails I’ll have to put fly rugs on her.
And as a footnote, an interesting article from the Horse and Hound:
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