A great idea but please trim the long stray hairs on our faces so they don’t curl back around and poke us in the eyes. Keep them free of caked on mud and dirt and make sure there is no hay poking through them that can also poke us in the eyes. Take them off every day and make sure nothing is rubbing and that we don’t have any wounds underneath. The eye darts are there for a reason and that reason is so the mask is far enough off of our faces so the fabric does not abraid our eyes - please choose a mask that fits each of us correctly - oh we wouldn't mind a color that matches our coats. Fly-free is wonderful but as mother always says…”a few flies is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”
Another great idea but please make sure you prepare us to be sprayed. We horses hate surprises. If we’ve been sprayed before we’re usually okay with it but go slow anyway and don’t spray our faces – you can tell us to close our eyes but come on – we’re horses and don’t usually get that part. And once you spray us in the face it is doubtful you’ll get close enough to do it again ‘cause come on – we’re horses – and we’re stronger and taller than you. The chemicals in fly spray are toxic to the environment so it would be better to use sprays that contain more natural ingredients - the sprays really don't last so use them only when absolutely necessary.
These are crazy little wasps that like to eat the larvae of flies and they are definitely a mare's best friend - okay, okay the boys benefit too. Several companies offer these hungry little buggers on a schedule that is appropriate for where you live and we horses hate, hate, hate flies so click one of the links below - come on before its too late!!! It's very easy - they come in the mail on a pre-set schedule and you sprinkle them around the farm concentrating on where manure collects. They really work!
Some of us like these and some don’t. Please go slow until we’re sure. Also a little dirt never hurt but a lot of soap does – it makes our skin dry and itchy and leaves a film that makes it hard for our skin to breathe. After a ride on a hot day a quick rinse with cool water feels great and does a good job getting the sweat off. Save the soap for special occasions and remember these words – rinse, rinse, rinse.
Riding in the heat
We horses do okay when it is hot but if it is hot and humid working hard gets tough. Our huge lungs have a hard time exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide when the air is thick and if it so humid that we no longer sweat things really get uncomfortable and dangerous. On days that are hot and humid the better choice would be to leave us by the fans and for you to go shopping for some new treats. Yes…watch the carrot swing…back and forth…back and forth…you are getting sleepy…you will buy the vanilla flax treats…on the count of three you will wake up, get your wallet and go to the feed store…one, two, three.
Turning us out in the heat
We can go out if it’s hot but if it’s hot and humid we would prefer to be in – either in the barn with a fan or in a shed with either a fan or a breeze. The biting bugs can get really hungry and worked up, especially in the afternoon, and when they get like that they drive us – well buggy. We might start running to get away from them and since it is hot can suffer from heat exhaustion or worse. We can go out at night as long as the mosquitoes aren’t too bad. If the little bloodsuckers are out in droves then again we would prefer to be in. We know this is a lot to ask but appreciate all you can do – after all it isn’t everyday and since bugs carry a lot of diseases keeping us safe from them can save you some money in vet bills – and we all know how much you humans hate big vet bills.
Our comfort level is about the same as yours. If you’re hot, out of breath, getting eaten alive by bugs and have hair and hay poking your eyes it makes for a pretty lousy day. So if those nasty things are happening to you slow down, put us in the barn, turn on the fans and again…watch the swinging carrot…back and forth…back and forth…you are getting sleepy…come on the treats won’t buy themselves.