Horse Fly Masks: Different Types for Every Horse

With so many different lycra fly masks in Australia and mesh equine fly masks on the market, it can be hard to work out which fly mask is best for your horse! Each offers a slightly different fit and level of protection.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Cheap fly masks often use inferior materials and make compromises on fit and comfort to your horse. That’s why the team at Active Equine have taken the guess work out of finding the right fly mask for your horse and put together a range of top quality solutions to fit almost every horse!

Here is a list of horse fly mask types and recommendations from the Team as to the best style for your horse.

1. Horse Fly Masks without Ears

The Premier Equine Buster Horse Fly Mask is a great option for horses that just need a standard face covering. They offer 70% UV reflection the top level comfort features you expect from Premier Equine. It’s all in the details.

The ears are left uncovered, with anti-rub edges providing soft padding around the ears. This style is great for horses that hate having their ears touched. Many horses in the southern parts of Australia are very comfortable in fly masks without ears as there are generally less very small flies.

What we like about this horse fly mask is that it fits amazingly well, has anti-rub protection on all edges and is the best everyday fly mask for the majority of horses.

2. Horse Fly Masks with Ears

Some horses are susceptible to irritation from midge bites. This is particularly common in horses in in Queensland and northern New South Wales. For these horses, a fly mask with ears can make a huge difference. 

Both the Premier Equine Buster Horse Fly Mask + and Buster Horse Fly Mask Xtra have ear coverings that are ergonomic and provide excellent protection from small bugs.

The Premier Equine Comfort Tech Lycra Horse Fly Mask is also great option as is offers a different fit around the face by virtue of its Lycra construction. Additionally, a lycra fly mask with ears is made from soft mesh that also has a great structure to stand up and away from the ears providing great protection and air flow.

3. Horse Fly Masks with Nose 

Horses with pink noses can be quite sensitive to the sun. Sunburnt noses can be quite painful and should be avoided wherever possible. 

Quite often horses with pink noses are protected using sunscreen or zinc creams. While this is a method that works, it needs to be applied regularly and can be quite messy. When your horse rubs on something (often you!) the zinc cream gets rubbed off too.

To provide more consistent protection, some fly masks are make with nose pieces. These are great as, depending on the material, can provide full protection from UV rays.

The team at Active Equine recommend the Premier Equine Buster Horse Fly Mask Xtra as it includes all the great Premier Equine comfort features and the nose piece is made from a soft but durable mesh.

Horse Fly masks with noses made from mesh are often more comfortable for horses as they do not hold water or dirt like nose pieces made from canvas or other more plus materials.

For example, when horses drink, the mesh nose piece does not hold water when the nose is lowered into a water trough and therefore allows the horse to drink normally and without a wet piece of fabric covering their nostrils for the next little while.

4. Lycra Horse Fly Masks

Lycra horse fly masks, or bug eye fly masks are very popular with horses that are very sensitive to bugs. 

Non-Lycra fly masks need to be fitted with two-three finger spaces to allow the horse move his jaw freely. While this still works well, it can allow the odd fly to get in under the fly mask. Lycra fly masks fit snugly against the horses skin and therefore do not allow any bugs in under the mask. For super sensitive horses this is a great outcome.

The Premier Equine Comfort Tech Lycra Horse Fly Mask is recommended by our Team for horses that require a high degree of protection.

How to Fit a Fly Mask Correctly on your Horse

  1. Check the Fly Mask is undamaged and in perfect condition before putting on your horse. If it is old or worn, rough edges can cause rubbing or other issues for your horse. If in doubt, repair or replace it.
  2. Press eye darts out (especially at ends) so the mesh is shaped away from the face.
  3. If the fly mask is fitted with ears, ensure ears are pushed out to eliminate pressure on sensitive parts of the ear.
  4. Fit the Fly Mask onto your horse, ensuring you are happy with how it fits and attach both straps under the jaw. It should cover the face well, without being baggy. There should be no pressure on the eyes. Do not over-tighten straps. There should be a two/three finger space under straps.
  5. Check your horse often to make sure the fly mask has not accidentally shifted. Horses can roll or scratch their heads which causes the fly mask to move. Regular paddock checks will ensure you are able to recognise and fix any issues quickly.

The horse fly mask & mesh fly mask range at Active Equine covers the full size range from Pony, Cob, Full to Xtra Full / Warmblood. Premier Equine fly masks come in sizes ranging from Small to Extra Large.

The suggested sizes for Premier Equine Fly Masks are:

Small        13.2hh - 14.2hh

Medium    15.2hh

Large         16.2hh

XL        17.2hh