Do you see a swarm of flies bugging your horse all the time? Well, it’s about time you invest in a fly mask for horses.
You might love the summers, but your horse doesn’t. In warmer months, insects come flooding out of their hideouts. They attack any and everything in their path. This attack happens to include horses, among other animals. In such a situation, horse fly masks would be a godsend for you and your horse.
Now, there are several ways to get rid of flies. Some of them are:
- Fly masks
- Fly sheets
- Insect sprays
But out of all of these options, fly masks are the most efficient and the simplest solution.
Still confused as to what fly masks are and why they are needed? Allow me to explain.
What Are Fly Masks?
Fly masks are just like regular masks, but with a few exceptions. They are mostly made from soft materials like mesh and nylon and serve to protect a horse’s eyes, ears, and muzzle from flies.
But why are they important?
Well, flies and other insects can get into sensitive areas like the eyes and ears of your horse. This can lead to lots of problems down the line.
But that’s not all. Fly masks also protect them against sunburns. During summer months, when sunlight is particularly harsh, your horse’s sensitive areas can get sunburnt. Sunburns are common on the face of a horse as it can be quite sensitive. However, fly masks that cover the whole face protect it against the sun.
How to Choose the Right Fly Masks for Horses?
Choosing the right mask isn’t easy. In fact, there are lots of factors that you’ll need to consider. While compiling our list of the best fly masks for horses, we kept in mind all of the factors in this list.
This needs to be a priority. Don’t sacrifice on comfort or your horse won’t wear that mask again.
As a first step, look for a comfortable fit. Ideally, the mask should fit without having to use too much force. The next things you need to consider are the materials and stitching. Make sure the material is soft and there is ample space between the mask and the eyes. Fleece padding around the seems is a good thing to have.
Next up, you should really consider what parts of a horse’s face do you want to protect. Face? Nose? Ears? All of them? Answering these questions is crucial because not all masks cover all these areas.
For beginners, make sure that the mask you choose covers the eyes. Ear-protection is optional but should be preferred over no ear-protection. The same goes for the nose. Choose what works for you and your horse.
If you want to remember one thing, remember this:
The mask you choose shouldn’t interfere with your horse’s vision.
A mask that does that is a bad idea no matter what the reason. When a horse can’t see, he will get himself injured and nobody wants that. So, ensure your horse’s field of vision is not compromised.
With that done, it is time to move on to the main course.
The following are the 10 best fly masks for horses.
10 Best Fly Masks For Horses
This section presents the best horse fly masks on the market. All of these masks excel at what they do. From Long Nose to all-mesh designs, there is something for everyone.
The Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask is proof of how good Cashel’s masks are.
Among the things that make this mask stand out in the competition is its exceptional build quality. The mask is a combination of mesh and nylon. The benefits of using mesh include the added softness and an unimpeded field of vision. This is a big deal because you want a mask that protects the horse’s eyes without blinding him. The mask also offers satisfactory UV protection.
Other features of this mask include a patented three-hole design that the company claims stays put no matter the situation, protection against forelocks, so they won’t hurt the eyes and a nose cover.
The only complaint I have with this mask is that the size runs a bit larger than advertised.
Is it really a surprise that you are seeing Cashel Crusader a second time on this list?
The Crusader Long Nose packs as much quality as the standard Cashel Crusader Long Nose. This means the same durable yet soft nylon mesh fabric. It blocks UV rays, protects against sunburn and remains light and soft while doing so.
In addition to the fabric, the mask also provides an unobstructed field of vision. The mesh that provides the unobstructed vision is also responsible for protecting sensitive areas like the ears and the eyes.
The Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask shares a lot with the standard version and that includes the Long Nose’s drawbacks as well. The sizing is not what it seems and seems bigger than advertised, so keep this in mind.
If you are someone who is skeptical of full face masks, this one is for you. The Professional’s Choice Comfort-Fit Fly Mask covers part of the face and still manages to protect the sensitive spots quite effectively.
The actual build quality of the Comfort Fit Fly Mask is second to none. It is made from a blend of Lycra. Lycra fabric gives this mask its lightweight nature and also remains soft while doing so. Not only will your horse appreciate the soft nature but it will also appreciate how ventilated this mask really is.
While we are on the subject of ventilation, the area around the eyes and the ears is made entirely out of mesh. Not only does it provide improved airflow, which is a blessing in blistering heat, but also unimpeded vision. This is where, in my opinion, the Comfort-Fit one-ups the Cashel Crusader.
Aside from all the good things, there’s one thing that I don’t like about this mask. And it’s that the sizing is out of whack. If you are thinking of ordering a particular size, do your research first.
In the end, it is a pretty good buy for what it offers.
Shires Fine Mesh Fly Mask is similar in design to Professional’s Choice Comfort Fit. This means it carries the same large, mesh-covered areas for the eyes and the same no-protection for the nose policy.
Talking about the fabric, the mask is well made with fine mesh. The mesh is so fine that even the smallest of insects won’t be able to get in. In addition to the protection against the insects, the use of mesh also allows the mask to maintain ample airflow. This is a big deal for horses who have to deal with both insects and heat at the same time.
Other features to appreciate include cover for ears and velcro straps that easily get undone whenever the mask gets caught onto something.
Aside from these awesome features, the Shires Fine Mesh Horse Fly Mask has a few cons as well. For one, the fleece padding seems to make the mask a bit hot during the summer months.
All in all, Shires has crafted an amazing product and you should definitely give it a look.
Next up is the DakPets Horse Fly Masks and it is a sort of middle ground between durability and convenience.
This mask is made with a combination of Polyester and Lycra. This combo gives the mask durability and the necessary elasticity to conform to your horse’s face. The fabric is soft and is quite breathable. What’s more, there are no hooks or fasteners that can get caught in fences.
When it comes to protecting sensitive parts on a horse’s face, DakPets has fitted its mask with a spacious mesh-lined area to protect the eyes. This not only allows for a clear field of vision but also keeps the mask cool in hotter days. Plus, the ears are covered with the same material.
In addition to all these amazing features, there are a couple of things that can be improved in this fly mask for horses. Firstly, since it has no fasteners, some people are skeptical as to whether it would stay on. So keep that in mind. Secondly, if you are a first-timer, you will need some patience when putting this mask on. However, with time you’ll learn to do it without any hassle.
Kensington Natural Look Horse Fly Mask is a unique product. Although it functions as a fly mask, it also serves as a catch mask.
Firstly, it works pretty well as a fly mask. The woven mesh fabric looks really good and blends in with the natural color of your horse. The fabric also lets plenty of air to pass through and at the same time blocks harmful UV rays. Covering both the ears and the eyes, the fly mask serves its purpose well.
More often than not, when you want to control your horse, you need to first remove the fly mask, put on a catch mask and attach a rope. This becomes quite a chore if your horse is a rowdy one. Kensington’s fly mask has a latch assembly built-in. As a result, you simply walk up to your horse, attach a lead rope and you are good to go.
Something Kensington could improve with their next mask is the position and the style of Velcro used. The Velcro used in this mask is quite thick and can bother horses.
All in all, Kensington has a winner on their hands and you should check it out.
Once again, Cashel makes an appearance on this list… this time around with a mask that promises to be your go-to whenever your horse needs something for the road.
Cashel Quiet Ride is essentially a Cashel Standard but with a slight change of materials. Essentially, if you take the Cashel Standard and replace everything with nylon mesh, you’ll have with you the Cashel Quiet Ride. The result is a mask that is both lighter and cooler than the Standard version. It can go directly on the bridle and doesn’t impede the vision of your horse.
Other features about this mask include easy on and off, plenty of room for the eyes, and cover for the ears.
A word of caution: this mask is only for use over a bridle. It is not intended as a standalone mask. You can try using it every day but due to the all-mesh build, it will wear out pretty easily.
In the end, it is a great mask for the road and should only be used as such.
The 8th spot on this list of best fly masks for horses goes to Kensington Fly Mask with Fleece Trim. The name may be a mouthful, but it’s a quality product, nonetheless.
First up, the mask is made from woven mesh fabric. What does this mean for your horse? A durable, see-through fabric that not only lets the air pass through but can also stand the test of time.
In addition to the see-through nature, the mask also blocks UV rays as well as keeps those annoying insects out.
As is the case with every mask, there are a few compromises. There is no cover for the ears and the straps are a bit too short.
Long story short, this mask is certainly worth your consideration.
This is perhaps the most effective mask against harmful UV rays. The company claims its UViator blocks 90% of the UV rays. And I have absolutely no reason to doubt their claims.
The mask itself is made from a material that Kensington calls Textilene. Textilene allows the mask to remain fairly light while also providing the necessary protection against insects and the weather. Couple all of this with a secure, comfortable fit and you can see why some people swear by this mask.
However, there are still some things that this mask can improve upon, like the fitting of this mask.
All in all, it is a pretty good deal if you consider the whole package.
The final entry on this list is also the one that tries to cover every aspect… and, for the most part, it succeeds.
The BETAZOOER Fly Mask has an all-mesh built. As you have already seen in previous entries, all-mesh builds offer several advantages, the biggest of which are:
- Improved ventilation
- Unimpeded field of view
- No insects can get in
In addition to this, the mask also offers protection from UV rays and covers the whole face including the nose.
Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of the BETAZOOER Fly Mask is that it’s a little cramped. There isn’t a whole lot room for the eyes.
Overall, it is a really good product and certainly deserves a look from your side.
A word of advice before I leave you alone:
Carefully read the reviews and pay close attention to the sizes. You don’t want to mess that up.
This concludes this list of 10 best fly masks for horses. No matter your need, one of these masks can surely help you out.
Frequently Asked Questions
I know, I know you still have plenty of questions and, frankly, you should. The following questions are an attempt to alleviate some of your concerns.
Should a horse wear a fly mask at night?
No, your horse doesn’t need to wear a fly mask at night because the sun is down, heat is low, and the insects are fewer.
However, If it is advised by your vet, then you should let your horse wear a fly mask at night. However, if it’s up to you, then take a look at the situation at hand. If flies are bothering your horse in the night, then use the mask. Otherwise, there is no need for a fly mask at night.
Do flies bother horses?
Yes, flies do bother horses! Flies are notorious for clinging on to sensitive, moisture-rich areas like the eyes and the nose. This really bothers horses.
You can spot whether your horse is bothered by it or not by paying attention to its body language. Head twisting and ferocious tail wiggling are clear signs of a horse that’s being bothered by flies.
How do you clean a horse fly mask?
To clean a horse fly mask, take a bucket of water, pour some liquid soap in and dip the mask in it. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any dirt. You may have to scrub the dirt around the fleece or padding in the fly mask. Even the 10 best fly masks for horses I mentioned above get dirty and need attention once in a while.