Arming your horse with one of the best fly rugs is a great first step to protecting him against irritating flies and insect bites during the summer months. Combine it with the best fly mask, fly spray or fly gel and you will provide the ultimate protection. If you’re worried about your horse getting caught in summer showers, you could always consider the best waterproof fly rugs, too. Or if your horse is prone to suffering from sweet itch, check out the best fly rugs that are specifically designed to prevent midges getting to your horse.
When choosing between the best fly rugs for your horse, in many ways you should be looking for similar qualities of any good turnout rug – including a good fit, quality material and secure fastenings. The more of your horse’s body that is covered by the rug, the more protection he will have, but to avoid overheating the fabric should be very lightweight, breathable and have some reflective and/or cooling properties. Other useful features of the best fly rugs include detachable leg straps, large tail flaps and anti-rub linings or seamless necks. You’ll notice that the fastenings under the belly of a fly rug are less likely to be designed to cross – like a traditional turnout rug – as passing straight across provides a greater coverage and protection.
Best fly rugs for the summer
Equilibrium Field Relief Fly Rug
Colours: Yellow | Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft | UV protection: 80%+ | RRP: £95 |
The yellow colouring of this Equilibrium rug has been chosen to repel flies. It offers full coverage with stretch hood over the ears and has an anti-rub lining on the neck, withers and chest. The rug also features adjustable neck straps, buckle fastenings at the chest and elasticated belly straps, plus a long tail flap with plastic-covered fillet string for easy cleaning.
Shires Tempest Original Combo Fly Rug
Colours: White | Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 80% | RRP: £46.99 |
This breathable, lightweight and airy rug provides a barrier to biting insects without preventing airflow. The rug features buckle chest fastenings, cross surcingles and an adjustable fillet strap.
WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Essential Mesh II Combo Neck
2022 colours: White/maroon/grey, bee print or white/blue/mint| Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 65%+ | RRP: £69.99 |
This rug is made from a soft but durable mesh with nylon lining at the shoulders, mane and tail. It features twin adjustable buckle front closure with touch tape, traditional side gusset for natural movement, low cross surcingles, large tail flap and adjustable removable leg straps.
Bucas Freedom Fly Sheet
2022 colours: Silver, pink or blue | Sizes: 3ft6in – 7ft | RRP: From £62 |
This lightweight mesh fly rug allows air to circulate to keep your horse cool and prevent flies from agitating them. It has a full neck, tail flap and external cross surcingles help to protect the belly. It also has a silk-feel lining along the shoulders helps to prevent any rubbing and an overlap T-bar front closure.
Hy StormX Original Zebra Rainbow Fly Rug
2022 colours: Rainbow | Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | RRP: £49.99 |
This rug is made of breathable mesh fabric that is designed to prevent overheating, while the colourful pattern will make your horse stand out from the herd. It features a neck cover that can be closed with three touch tape fastenings, adjustable buckle chest closures, cross surcingles and a fillet string. The large shoulder gussets allow free movement and the large tail flap offers added protection.
Derby House Elite Fly Stopper rug
Colours: Silver/purple | Sizes: 5–7ft | RRP: £54.99 |
This rug has a seamless design with nylon-lined crest and shoulders. It’s made from 300D inter-locking polyester mesh and features a large belly flap with touch-tape fastenings and removable, adjustable leg straps. The rug also has extra material at front and rear of belly flap that allows the rug to stretch with your horse.
Mark Todd Fly Ultra Combo Rug
Colours: Silver | Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft | RRP: £85 |
This rug is made of a tight weave mesh fabric and has three touch tape fastenings on the belly flap for additional protection. It has reinforced anti-rub shoulders, a shoulder gusset for freedom of movement and a stretch panel at the withers for extra comfort while grazing. Additional features include triple quick-release clip fastenings on the neck, adjustable and removable leg straps and gusseted tail flap.
Horseware Amigo Ameco Bug Buster
Colours: Silver/sky blue | Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft3in | UV protection: 65% | RRP: £149.95 |
Part of Horseware’s Eco collection, this fly rug is made of recycled plastic bottles (149 bottles for an average size). It is breathable and sun reflecting, with shine-enhancing shoulders, mane and tail flap. It features a detachable hood, three straight surcingles and is deep cut with an extra-long tail flap for maximum coverage.
View now at rideawaystore.com
Fouganza Fly Sheet
Colours: Beige or grey | Sizes: 115–155cm | RRP: £49.99 |
This airy mesh rug has three chest straps as well as three or four neck fastenings, depending on the size of the rug. It features belly and tail flaps in addition to a long neck cover for maximum coverage.
In the UK? View now at decathlon.co.uk
Mackey Equisential Fly Rug
Colours: Silver/navy | Sizes: 5–7ft | RRP: £65.95 |
This rug is designed with a double-buckled chest, generous shoulder gussets, detachable leg straps and double cross surcingles. It also has a large tail flap and a generous removable neck.
In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk
Ruggles UV Combo Fly Rug
Colours: Grey | Sizes: 2ft9in – 7ft6in | UV protection: Up to 90% | RRP: From £59
Made from a tough, 1000D polyester fabric, this rug has a silky mane and shoulder liner to prevent rubbing, fully integrated neck cover, belly wrap and large tail flap. It features detachable webbing leg straps and is fastened at the chest with an adjustable clip closure. The ear holes are also fleece lined for added comfort.
Snuggy Hoods Bug Body Fly Rug
Colours: Beige, haint blue or brown | Sizes: 4ft6in – 7ft3in | RRP: £144 |
This rug offers poll-to-tail coverage, which is ideal if you’d prefer not to cover your horse’s face. It is made of a lightweight, breathable and water-repellent fabric that prevents bleaching as well as offering protection from midges and other insects. It comes in two pieces for easy fitting and has a belly band and tail wrap.
In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
QHP Fly Sheet
Colours: Blossom, zigzag, grey, blue or zebra | Sizes: 3ft – 7ft5in | RRP: From £49.99 |
Available in a really wide range of sizes, this QHP fly sheet comes with a mask and features buckled chest closures, a belly flap with Velcro and three surcingles, elastic leg straps and a tail flap. It has a long, removable neck with Velcro closures and attachments.
In the UK? View now at rideawaystore.com
Swish Nylon Fly Cool Rug
Colours: White | Sizes: 4ft3in – 7ft6in | UV protection: Yes | RRP: £89.99 |
This fly rug is made from lightweight and breathable nylon, and is designed to offer sun and fly protection without overheating your horse. The large shoulder gusset allows for freedom of movement, while the large tail flap offers extra protection. It has a longer cut, detachable neck cover with nylon strip to protect the mane and double-locking Velcro straps.
In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
Premier Equine Combo Mesh Air Fly Rug
2022 colours: White, mint green, blue | Sizes: 5ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 70% | RRP: £93 |
This rug has an extra-high elasticated shoulder gusset that allows for a greater range of movement across the shoulder. The longer cut, integrated neck cover gives full coverage even when grazing and is fastened using double-locking Velcro straps. It also has an antibacterial and anti-static lining over the mane and shoulders.
In the UK? View now at ebay.co.uk
Rhinegold Sahara Fly Rug
Colours: Star print, white or zebra | Sizes: 4ft6in – 7ft3in | UV protection: Yes | RRP: £48.50 |
This soft mesh rug has a satin-lined chest and topline in addition to belly coverage with three adjustable surcingles. The side skirts allow for complete freedom of movement, and the front skirt and shoulder pleats have an elasticated binding and inserts for additional give. The neck has a double later, stretchy, waterproof material at the wither to allow comfortable movement with no bulky seam, and the tail flap is a large umbrella style for extra coverage.
In the UK? View now at ebay.co.uk
AniMac Allrounder Fly Rug Combo
Colours: White | Sizes: 5ft3in – 7ft3in | UV protection: 95% | RRP: £40 |
This rug has been designed to protect horses who struggle to keep cool in warmer weather. It has a satin lining under the neck, chest and tail flap, as well as mesh inserts for increased airflow. There are no surcingles but it does have leg straps.
In the UK? View now at ebay.co.uk
Ponyo Horsewear Fly Rug
Colours: Ocean pals, happy pineapple, pastel paradise or dinky dinos | Sizes: 3ft – 7ft3in | RRP: From £49 |
Available in a range of fun patterns, this Ponyo fly rug has a generous neck with fly mask attachment loop. It has a silky lining at the chest and neck to reduce rubbing and the mesh offers UV protection. It features a Velcro closure and double D-ring chest fastening, as well as stretchy, detachable leg straps and highly adjustable surcingles to accommodate all shapes and sizes.
Thermo Master Zebra Fly Rug Combo
Colours: Zebra | Sizes: 3ft6in – 7ft | RRP: £40.90 |
This rug features a generous neck with three sturdy Velcro fasteners, adjustable chest fastenings and cross surcingles for individual size adjustment. The generous gusset and the smooth inner lining on the shoulder and tail area ensure optimum comfort and freedom of movement.
Thermatex Atlanta Fly Sheet
Colours: White | Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | RRP: £117 |
This fly sheet is made from a white ‘sun reflecting’ micro mesh that prevents flies and midges from landing on the skin. It is generously cut for maximum coverage, has adjustable cross surcingles, wither pad and tail flap. A neck cover and face veil can be purchased separately.
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Do zebra fly rugs work?
Over the last 10 years there has been a bit of research into this question. The findings suggest that the stripes confuse the flies, which prevents them from landing. Recently rug companies have been researching the effect of other colour combinations, too.
Can I leave a fly rug on overnight?
Providing your horse’s fly rug is well fitting, leaving it on overnight shouldn’t be a problem.
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