simply can’t tolerate bugs, then a
natural formula might not be as
effective as you need.
WATER OR OIL-BASED
If you opt for a fly spray containing insecticides, the next decision
is water- or oil-based. There are
pros and cons to each.
Oil-based sprays are more
impervious to sweat and rain,
and have the added advantage
of giving some shine to the coat.
However, that oil also attracts
and holds dust and dirt, and some
horses are more sensitive to oil-based products.
Water-based sprays can be less
likely to cause skin irritation and
don’t attract dust. Many manufacturers add ingredients such as
aloe and lanolin to help water-based products be less susceptible
to sweat and rain, resulting in
There’s a reason some fly sprays
cost more than others, with higher
prices typically reflecting higher
percentages of active ingredients, as well as additional ingredients that bolster the spray’s performance.
Higher percentages of active ingredients translate to
stronger, longer-lasting effectiveness. So while that inexpensive
bottle seems like a bargain, in reality, it might not be providing
the protection you want.
Be sure to read the instructions, as many manufacturers recommend you brush
the hair up and spray against the hair. Following these directions can help
increase the effectiveness or longevity of the spray.
Make sure your horse is clean and dry before spraying. Use enough product to
dampen, but there’s no need to soak the horse. Plus, over-application can lead to
skin irritation. Be sure to get the chest, underside and legs, but never spray around
the ears, eyes and muzzle. Instead, use a towel to apply spray to sensitive areas.
Fly ointments are another option for on-horse protection. Typically, these are
applied to sensitive or hard-to-reach areas.
Gnats in particular often choose a place to “chew” on a horse, such as inside
the ears, on the chest, or along the horse’s underline. Slathering ointment on
these areas provides an extra layer of protection from the nasty little creatures.
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