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Riding or even just going to the paddock is virtually impossible from spring to autumn without protecting your horse or pony against the pesky insects. The head areas of your horse or pony - nostrils, ears and especially eyes - are very sensitive and should be protected with a fly mask or a fly fringe.
The type of insect protection you choose depends on your taste, your horse and the circumstances. For some horses, fly fringes, which can usually be attached to the headcollar with Velcro or straps, are completely sufficient. Some horses can't wear a full fly mask at all, while others will not tolerate a fringe. In the wide range of fly protection from Horze you will definitely find what you are looking for, regardless of your horse's preference.
Fly masks offer more extensive protection than fly fringes, they usually have an integrated ear bonnet and reach just to the nostrils, they are made of fine-meshed netting with fabric inserts and are therefore almost impossible for insects to penetrate. The fly fringes hang rather loosely on the face. Their movement scares the attacking insects away from the horse's nose and eyes, but they offer no protection for the ears.
Both fly fringes and fly bonnets are available in a variety of styles and colours to match your headcollar, horse rugs or horse boots. In addition, you can find fly sheets in a wide range of sizes and shapes in the Horze range, so there is always something suitable for your horse or pony.
The horse's eyes, ears and nose are popular targets for insects. This is not only annoying for the animal, it can also lead to inflammation of the eyes. Fly masks protect these sensitive parts of the horse's body, as long as your animal tolerates them. Your horse may feel very comfortable with one type of mask but not another. Therefore, there is no one absolute best mask. You have to try them out and see which works best for your horse.
Fortunately, there is such a wide range of fly masks available that you will most likely be able to find a suitable solution for most horses. There is a wide choice of styles and materials on offer. All fly masks consist of a thin, close-meshed fabric that keeps the insects out but does not obstruct the horse's vision. Some styles also include a nose guard. In addition, individual masks vary in the way they are attached, which can make a difference as to whether your horse will tolerate it.
Since fly masks are often worn for many hours at a time, chafing can become a real problem. However, manufacturers have recognised this and are now doing a lot to prevent chafing. Today, fly masks are usually made of a very durable and tear-resistant, but also very light fabric. This reduces the risk of chafing.
Some styles are lined with fleece or have other padding in the areas that come into contact with the horse's skin. Some styles feature a strap that keeps the mesh of the mask away from the eyes and thus prevents irritation.