Model: Bucas Buzz Off zebra fly sheet.
Maker: Bucas Ltd.
Why buy: The zebra pattern protects against biting insects. University studies proved stripes naturally repel flies.
Cool features: Lightweight, fine mesh with high-tensile strength is suitable for turnout in spring and summer. Bellyband protects the sensitive stomach area, tail flap gives rear protection, and a high neck protects horse’s neck. Matching fly mask sold separately.
More info: (888) 486-5528; toklat.com.
Model: Natural-look catch mask.
Maker: Kensington Protective Products.
Why buy: This combination fly mask/catch halter has a double-locking lead-rope fastener that turns fly mask into catch halter.
Cool features: Crafted with proven Textilene fabric in natural colors that blend with horse’s coat color. The camouflaging keeps other horses from biting or pulling on it. Waxwear binding for comfort and durability, and soft mesh ear covers.
More info: (877) 469-1240; kensingtonproducts.com.
Model: Fly sheet.
Maker: Professional’s Choice.
Why buy: Polyester rip-stop makes this is a durable fly sheet. The strong, breathable, UV-protective nylon mesh resists stains and wrinkles.
Cool features: The open-front design ensures a perfect fit. The West Coast-style surcingle and leg straps keep it securely in place. Nylon chest lining prevents hair rubout, and fleece at withers protects the mane. Matching Professional’s Choice fly masks, neck cover, and fly boots available.
More info: (800) 331-9421; profchoice.com.
Model: Bugbeeta detach-a-neck mesh sheet.
Why buy: This soft, durable mesh sheet offers protection from biting insects. The super-fine-gauge polyester mesh keeps out even the smallest pests.
Cool features: Detachable neck cover, belly wrap, and large tail flap offer full protection. Web leg straps and halter loops keep the sheet in place. A shoulder gusset allows freedom of movement; nylon lining on the neck cover and at the tail protects from rubbing.
More info: Visit weatherbeeta.com.
Price: $129.99, or available in standard neck style for $119.99.
Investigate these protective products for your sensitive-skinned horse.
Fly sheets. Should be made of materials that stand up to turnout time, have fine enough mesh to keep biting bugs out, and offer UV protection to prevent sunburn and coat bleaching. Must fit well through the shoulders, chest, and withers. High necks, belly coverage, and tail flaps are a bonus.
Fly masks. Mesh should keep the smallest bugs out and protect against sun exposure. Fit around the ears, throat, and jaw should be snug. Ear covers and extended nose protection are a bonus.
Fly boots. Can keep a sensitive horse from stomping and kicking. Hook-and-loop fasteners help keep them in place. Fly boots can pick up stickers and debris, so be aware of your horse’s environment when using them.
Fly sprays and sunscreens. Apply directly to your horse’s skin and coat. Learn about ingredients to see what’s safe; and always check if your horse’s skin reacts badly to any product.