No Mas to my old routine!
This summer, I’ve decided to stop my zealous and expensive efforts to keep flies off the horses.
- At 20 to 25 bucks a bottle, fly spray is expensive. Read what readers pick for Best Fly Spray.
- Not convinced any really work.
- Plus, I’m increasingly concerned about chemical exposure, for me, the horses, and the barn’s nesting birds.
- Not sure they’re all that effective either.
- I started the season with a feed-through strategy, buying a big bucket of Bug Check for a hundred bucks. I gave it with Hay Stretcher every night. The horses ate it alright. But I’m hesitant to pony up for a refill.
I have only unscientific observations to support my decisions:
I watched them grow increasingly exasperated by the flies when the weather became hotter and calmer. They’d graze for a bit, tails swishing, heads shaking. Then they’d come into the barn.
I took a mental note of how much time they were grazing versus seeking refuge and how much tail swishing and head shaking they were doing.
I bought a bottle of Endure, which like most fly sprays, has pyrethrins as the main repellant and supposedly stays effective for more than a week. I sprayed them thoroughly.
I watched for a change in barn time, tail swishing, and head shaking.
No notable change.
Like so many horse products, fly-related items prey on our need to feel we’re doing the best we can for our horses.
One can’t help feel sorry for them when the bugs are fierce. But how much are they really suffering?
- Are they losing weight?
- Is their skin ravaged?
- Are they running wildly off cliffs or, at the very least, into fences?
- Are flies so distracting that outings are more swatting sessions than actual trail rides?
But stay tuned.