Before my human claimed me from another owner, I lived the rugged life. Now I’ve become a bit more domesticated and enjoy some of the finer things in life, such as heated water and a comfortable barn.
I enjoy winter for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I live where the bugs all disappear when it gets cold. With warmer weather comes flying bugs. Thankfully, my human has all sorts of things to keep them off me. However, I haven’t decided yet if I really like the sheet thrown over my back to protect me from the bugs and sun. I have tried to play keep away with my owner when she brings the sheet, but I always give in when she feeds me a cookie as a bribe. I’m a very bribable equine. I’m the epitome of the phrase “will work for food” and my figure shows it. (See my post about being fat). I haven’t been able to figure out how to destroy my fly sheet, because there aren’t any sharp places in my barn to rip it on. My buddies aren’t any help either, as they prefer to wear the sheet rather than face their humans’ displeasure. Displeasure means fewer cookies…
My human has something for my face too. I’m always sure she is coming to blindfold me, but I am relieved to realize that when she puts it on me I am still able to see, and there are no flies crawling in my eyes.
But what should you do to keep your equine friend comfortable and “fly in the eye” free?
- To all my human friends, remember, fly masks come in all sizes to keep your equine friend comfortable and “fly in the eye” free. I have seen them on miniature horses, and there is even one to fit my buddy Jasper, the percheron. Fly masks shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. Too tight makes it uncomfortable for us and will rub the hair off our sensitive faces and behind our ears. Too tight over the eyes can cause injury to the eye. If our mask is too loose, it can also rub or will get caught on things and lost (which only gets us horses in trouble). My friend just got a new fly mask from Protective Pet Solutions. It is very adjustable for heads of all shapes and sizes. I can hardly wait for mine to arrive!
- Remove the fly mask daily to inspect our pretty faces. Most owners choose to remove the fly mask every night just like they take off their sunglasses when the sun sets. It also makes for another opportunity for a cookie when it is put back on in the morning.
- Please, take the time to clean our masks on a regular basis or as the need arises. Occasionally, I stand out in the passing rain storm and then roll in the dirt which causes mud to stick to my mask. I can’t see my way back to my stall and the dirt can get into my eyes, which would hurt. Check for pieces of hay or other things stuck in the mask that can irritate our skin, and if the fly mask has ears, please clean those too. Nothing like dirt or old hair falling in your ear to make you toss your head around all day trying to get it out!
Well, time to get back to mowing the pasture. If you have any advice on how to keep your horse comfortable during fly season, please feel free to share.