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Let's Learn: All About Fly Spray

It's officially summer! And you know what that means - Yes, longer days and warmer weather... but with that we also have flies! All the flies! Yuck!!!



I don't know about you, but the flies drive me absolutely nuts! Any my horse? Even more nuts!


So what do we do? Let's discuss!


Fly Spray


This may seem like a "duh" item on the list but with so many options on the feed store shelf or on the Amazon shopping list, it's easy to get overwhelmed!


What to look for...


All fly sprays have a "base" substance and it's usually an oil or water. What does that mean?



Oil-Based Sprays


Oil-based fly sprays are usually made with ingredients that come from oil called petroleum distillates.


Examples of oil-based sprays include Pyranha (yellow bottle), Bronco Gold, among others.


Benefits of oil-based sprays can include:

  • Long Lasting. The repellant ingredients will not evaporate as quickly with an oil foundation.

  • Coat Conditioning. The oil foundation can act as a coat conditioner and make the horse's coat appear more shiny.


Problems potentially caused by oil-based sprays can include:  

  • Skin Irritation. They may make your horse’s coat shiny when applied, but can potentially cause skin irritations on sensitive horses.  

  • Residue. Some products can leave a sticky and/or smelly residue behind  


Water-Based Sprays


Made with water as the base ingredient.


Examples include most of the UltraShield line and nearly all of the "natural" sprays.


Benefits of water-based sprays can include:

  • Easier on Sensitive Skin. Water-based products tend to have less risk of irritating the skin of sensitive horses.

  • Residue. Water-based products tend to attract far less dust and dirt and leave less residue than their oil-based counterparts.


Problems potentially caused by water-based products:

  • Effectiveness. Water-based products tend to break down easier with sun, sweat, rain, etc. and not last as long on the horse's body, making more frequent reapplication necessary.

  • Skin Irritation. While much less likely with a water-based solution, skin irritation can still happen with our sensitive horses.


As with most things, you must read the label!


Many water-based or "natural" sprays may still contain oils as "coat conditioning" products or "long lasting technology."



All of this being said, I'm not here to bash one brand or type of spray. I'm actually a big fan of the oil-based sprays I listed above. Those two are actually my "go-to" sprays for my personal horses. But only because I've found they work really well for MY horses.


Trial and error is key. Learn all you can about how the products are formulated and then try different products to see what works best with your horse and his body chemistry.


Alright... I'm dying to know!


What is your favorite fly spray?


What else do you do for fly prevention around the barn?


Tell me in the comments!

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