It may seem like an insurmountable task learning the best ways how to get rid of flies, but with Jeffers it has never been easier!
Jeffers strives to provide beneficial information to the customer (or anyone willing to learn) on a daily basis. While Fly Week features a deal of the day and fun contests, we still want to boost your knowledge of best practices for interacting with your horse when applying fly spray.
Step 1: Choosing a Spray
When choosing a spray it is important that all insects you wish to repel are included on the label. Additionally, different sprays offer different benefits. For example, the UltraShield EX (as seen in the video located above) is a weatherproof formula which contains multiple conditioners and sunscreens. Doing your research before purchasing a spray will ensure most if not all the horse’s needs are met.
While horse sprays can be used on other animals, any use of a product that is not clearly defined on the label directions should be done under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian professional.
Step 2: Prepping Your Horse
Before applying the spray, two steps need to happen: cleaning your horse and acquainting them with the sound of a spray bottle.
Sprays should be applied to clean, dry coats for best results. Thoroughly brush your horse’s coat to remove any dirt and debris. Cleaning the coat will increase longevity between applications.
Prior to application, make sure the horse becomes familiarized with the sound of the sprayer. Using water (so as not to waste product), spray a few test sprays away from the horse while keeping a hand on them at all times. Spray near the front legs first and wait for a reaction. If it is negative, back up a little and try again. Instead of yelling or scolding negative behaviors, encourage positive behaviors by supplying treats or pats as positive reinforcement.
It is important to remember, that horses are more afraid of the sound a sprayer makes than the actual spray itself. Keeping your hand on the horse while doing test sprays provides comfort to the animal. Subsequently, this practice benefits humans as you can follow the horse’s movements in case they suddenly spook and you need to move quickly to a safer space.
Step 3: Applying the Spray
Once the horse has been cleaned and familiarized with the process, target these four areas:
- The Legs
- Chest and Sides
- Face and Ears
Apply spray starting at the hooves and working upwards. Spray should be evenly misted across the horse’s coat. When working from chest to tail, begin at the chest and work backwards. Repeat on the untreated side of the horse. After the body of the horse has been treated, prepare additional supplies for coating the face and ears.
The face of a horse is just as sensitive as that of a human. Not only does spraying the horse’s face make them uncomfortable but it can also cause damage to the eyes and nostrils if applied improperly. When treating this region, apply spray liberally to a rag or sponge and apply to the face in a downwards motion that follows the grain. Never wipe upwards near the horse’s eye, work down and around. The upper eyelid serves as a barrier, preventing excess repellent from going into the eye.
Repellent should be applied to the ears from the base to the top in an ascending motion. Cupping the opposite side of the ear acts as support allowing for easier coverage. If you are uncomfortable wiping down a horse with spray, roll-ons and ointments are great alternatives.
Last but not least, the underbelly is a sensitive and heavily target area by flies and other insects. As with the face and ears, fly spray should not be sprayed and instead wiped across the area from front to back. Additionally, there are ointments such as Tail Tamer’s Belly Balm which specialize in protecting the underbelly while helping heal previous bites and wounds.
Fly sprays typically last two weeks after application. Depending on the horse’s level of activity and the strength of formula, spray may need to be applied on a more frequent basis. If you plan on taking the horse out, apply the fly spray pre-tacking your horse.
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Any further questions can be directed to our Equine Specialist, Kim Cahill. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-533-3377 and asking for Kim.