This article is part of our Fight the Flies Awareness Campaign brought to you by UltraShield.
When the weather warms, and the sun shines bright, the flies come out to play. Before every ride you go through a process of grooming, tacking, and ensuring that your horse is ready. If fly spray is part of that routine, it’s important to use it properly to get the most benefit and keep your horse comfortable.
Do Your Research
Understand the type of fly spray you are using. You will most likely need to do a trial-and-error process to find a fly spray that works not just for your horse, but for your climate and location. Do your research about what type of flies are in your area, and which ingredients work to repel them. Make sure you’re using fly spray effectively, by choosing one that suits your needs.
[Struggling to understand the label? Read here.]
Clean Him Up
Use fly spray after you have your horse cleaned up and groomed. If you spray him down first, then groom him, you’ll be brushing off your previously applied spray.
In the same vein, don’t spray where the saddle will sit, then tack him up. Groom and tack your horse, then use fly spray. Spraying his back and then placing a saddle on it might cause irritation.
Avoid Sensitive Areas
Avoid spraying your horse in the face. Instead, spray the product onto a clean cloth, and gently wipe his ears and around his face to provide protection without irritating his eyes. Avoid his nose, and do not apply to above his eyes, as the liquid might run or migrate into his eye, causing irritation. You can also opt to use a roll-on fly repellent for his ears and face.
For your fly spray to be effective, you need to apply it liberally. This does not mean coating your horse with fly spray until he is dripping wet. However, spraying lightly onto his front legs won’t protect his back legs. Spray his coat evenly after tacking him up and read the manufacturer’s instructions for frequency and amount.
Read the Label
Each fly spray might have different manufacturer instructions. Although it might seem like a no-brainer, read through the instructions for specificities. Some brands might advise using a certain amount, spraying in a specific direction of hair growth, or using protective gear.
The label might suggest that you give the bottle a good shake before using, or it might advise against it. It is also imperative to understand how often to use that specific fly spray. Some pour-on formulas are not meant to be used every day, whereas some formulas are safe for daily use. Check the label for specific instructions about application, frequency, and amount to use.
Depending on what type of activity you are doing, you might want to switch up your fly spray to suit that level of work. If you are looking at putting in a long, hard day’s work, you might opt for UltraShield Blue which provides sweat resistance. Whereas UltraShield Red is great for turnout, as it is formulated for all-weather repellency.