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:
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 most 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 pesky 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 horse’s face 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 best fly 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 fly 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 fly 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 fly mask you choose shouldn’t interfere with your horse’s vision.
A fly 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.
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The following are the 10 best fly masks for horses.
10 Best Fly Masks For Horses
This section presents the best fly masks for horse on the market. All of these masks excel at what they do. From Long Nose to all-mesh designs, there is something for everyone.
Bottom Line: this mesh fly mask is an ideal fit for a horse who easily gets sunburns.
The Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask is proof of how good Cashel’s masks are.
Among the things that make this fly 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 horse’s vision. This is a big deal because you want the best fly 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.
- Blocks UV Rays
- Prevents burns
- Soft and comfortable material
- three-hole design
Is it really a surprise that you are seeing Cashel Crusader a second time on this list?
Bottom Line: Cashel’s extremely comfortable horse fly mask is perfect for horses who don’t allow you to put other masks on them.
The Crusader Long Nose packs as much quality as the standard Cashel Crusader Long Nose. This means the same durable yet soft nylon see through 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. Fine mesh that provides the unobstructed vision is also responsible for protecting sensitive areas like horse’s 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.
- Extremely comfortable
- Has a patented forelock hole
- Has ears
- Ensures UV protection
Bottom Line: Professional Choice’s fly mask is the ultimate choice for horses living in the scorching heat.
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 fly mask really is.
While we are on the subject of ventilation, the area around the eyes and the ears is made entirely out of see through 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, these fly masks are pretty good buy for what they offer.
- Easy to install and remove
- Mesh material around eyes
- Superb ventilation
Bottom Line: this fly mask is a perfect pick for ultimate protection against the smallest insects and flies.
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 fly mask is well made with fine mesh. The high-visibility mesh is so fine that even the smallest of biting insects won’t be able to get in. In addition to the protection against pesky insects, the use of mesh material also allows the mask to maintain ample airflow. This is a big deal for horses who have to deal with both biting insects and heat at the same time.
Other features to appreciate include a 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 amazing horse fly masks and you should definitely give it a look.
- Blocks 70%+ UV rays
- Fleece padding to ensure a soft and comfortable fit
- Two velcros under the chin to fit the horse’s face perfectly
Bottom Line: Ultimate Comfort Meets Premium Protection: The Kensington Signature Fly Mask is the gold standard for keeping your horse fly-free, UV-protected, and comfortable all day long.
The Kensington Signature Fly Mask with Plush Fleece and Ears with Forelock is a premium fly mask designed to offer comprehensive protection for your horse. This mask is not just about keeping flies away; it’s about providing a comfortable and secure fit that your horse will be happy to wear.
Material and Construction: The mask is made from high-quality, durable fabric that is designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use. The plush fleece lining adds an extra layer of comfort, ensuring that the mask doesn’t chafe or irritate your horse’s skin. The inclusion of a forelock hole is a thoughtful feature that allows the horse’s forelock to come through, reducing irritation and providing a more natural fit.
Visibility and Comfort: One of the standout features of this mask is its design around the eye and ear areas. The mask is structured to provide ample space around the eyes and ears, ensuring that your horse’s vision and hearing are not impaired. This is particularly important for horses that are active or need to be aware of their surroundings.
Ease of Use: The mask comes with secure fasteners that make it easy to put on and take off, even for those who are new to using fly masks. The fasteners are designed to be snag-free, reducing the risk of the mask getting caught on fences or branches.
Protection: In addition to fly protection, the Kensington Signature Fly Mask offers UV radiation protection, making it ideal for sunny days. The mask covers not just the eyes but also the ears, offering comprehensive protection against flies, UV rays, and other irritants.
Drawbacks: While the mask offers a range of features, it may be on the pricier side, making it a consideration for those on a budget. Additionally, the plush fleece, while comfortable, may be too warm for extremely hot climates.
- High-quality, durable material
- Plush fleece lining for added comfort
- Forelock hole for a natural fit
- Ample space around eyes and ears for unimpaired vision and hearing
- Easy-to-use, snag-free fasteners
- Offers UV radiation protection
In summary, the Kensington Signature Fly Mask with Plush Fleece and Ears with Forelock is a high-quality, feature-rich option for those looking to provide their horse with the best in comfort and protection.
Bottom Line: Year-Round Comfort, Dual Functionality: The Kensington UViator CatchMask is your horse’s all-season shield against flies and UV rays, doubling as a convenient halter for effortless handling.
The Kensington UViator CatchMask Horse Fly Mask with Web Trim is a versatile, year-round solution for equine comfort and protection. Designed for easy on-and-off application, this mask offers a snug yet comfortable fit, making it ideal for long-term wear. Not limited to just summer use, it also minimizes harsh reflections from wet or snowy surfaces, making it a year-round essential.
One of its standout features is the UV eye protection, developed under the premise that “if you need sunglasses, your horse needs them too!” This ensures your horse stays cool and protected from harmful UV rays.
What sets this mask apart is its dual functionality as both a fly mask and a halter. The double-locking throat closure allows you to easily attach a lead rope, streamlining your turn in and turn out routines while ensuring your horse’s comfort with its soft, fleece-lined interior.
Note that the UViator CatchMask may require sizing up compared to Kensington’s regular masks due to its unique design. Always consult the size chart for the best fit.
- Easy on-and-off design for long-term comfort
- Year-round utility, effective against harsh reflections
- UV eye protection against harmful sunlight
- Dual-purpose as both a fly mask and a halter
- Soft, fleece-lined interior for added comfort
In summary, the Kensington UViator CatchMask Horse Fly Mask is a multi-purpose, year-round solution that offers comfort, convenience, and crucial UV protection for your horse.
Bottom Line: these ride horse fly masks are intended and carefully manufactured to be used on the roads.
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 horse’s 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, Cashel’s fly masks are great for the road and should only be used as such.
- Exceptionally lightweight and comfortable
- Mesh allows horses to see through
- Doesn’t irritate the skin
Bottom Line: this fleece-interior fly mask is the best fit if you are looking for an effective mask that always stays in place.
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 flying 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, Kensington’s fly masks are certainly worth your consideration.
- Blocks 73% of UV rays
- Non-heat transferring
- Stays in place
- Has forelock opening
Bottom Line: this mask is a must-have for horses who are highly sensitive to harmful UV rays.
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 flying 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 these fly masks can improve upon, like their fitting.
All in all, it is a pretty good deal if you consider the whole package.
- Exceptional protection against UV radiation
- Allows airflow
- Fleece interior ensures comfort
Bottom Line: Beyond Basic Protection: The Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose offers comprehensive comfort and coverage, shielding your horse from flies, UV rays, and more.
The final entry on this list is also the one that tries to cover every aspect… and, for the most part, it succeeds.
The Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose is a specialized fly mask designed to offer comprehensive protection for your horse, extending beyond the eyes and ears to include the sensitive nose area. This added coverage makes it an ideal choice for horses that are particularly susceptible to fly bites or sunburn on their noses.
Material and Design: Made from a durable yet soft mesh material, the mask is designed to last while providing a comfortable fit. The mesh allows for excellent visibility and airflow, ensuring that your horse can see clearly and stay cool even on hot days.
Long Nose Coverage: The standout feature of this mask is its extended nose coverage. This design not only keeps flies away from the nose but also offers added protection against harmful UV rays, making it a great option for horses with sensitive skin or those prone to sunburn.
Ease of Use: The mask is easy to put on and take off, featuring secure fasteners that ensure it stays in place without causing discomfort. The design is compatible with most bridles, making it convenient for riding as well as turnout.
Protection: In addition to fly and UV protection, the Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose is designed to minimize dust and debris contact, making it a comprehensive solution for your horse’s facial protection needs.
Drawbacks: While the long nose feature is beneficial for added protection, it may be excessive for horses that don’t require this level of coverage. Additionally, the mask may be on the pricier side compared to basic models.
- Durable mesh material for longevity and comfort
- Extended nose coverage for added protection
- Easy-to-use fasteners for a secure fit
- Compatible with most bridles
- Provides comprehensive protection against flies, UV rays, and debris
In summary, the Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask with Long Nose offers an extra layer of protection with its extended nose coverage, making it a comprehensive solution for keeping your horse comfortable and protected from flies, UV rays, and other irritants.
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.
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.
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.
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.