Arming your horse with one of the best fly rugs for horses 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 or fly fringe and 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 “sweet itch rugs” that are specifically designed to prevent midges getting to your horse.
How to choose the best fly rug
When choosing between the best fly rugs for horses, 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 for horses 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.
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 for the best fly rugs for horses, 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.
If you’re looking for a fly rug to use while you’re out hacking, check out our selection of the best ride-on fly rugs.
Best fly rugs for horses this summer
Equilibrium Field Relief Fly Rug
Colours: Yellow | Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft | UV protection: 80%+ | RRP: £95 | H&H Rating: 9/10, H&H Approved |
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.
We tested this fly rug and it might not be the cheapest on the market, but we thought it was definitely worth the money as it’s strong, hard-wearing and appears to be comfortable. Read our full Equilibrium Fly Rug review.
Premier Equine Combo Mesh Air Fly Rug
2023 colours: Blue, green or wine | Sizes: 5ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 70% | RRP: £98 | H&H Rating: 9/10, H&H Approved |
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.
We tested this fly rug and thought it was good quality and will serve a number of summers, which is good as it’s at the higher end of the market. It has sturdy buckles and surcingles, and offers plenty of features. We particularly liked the light and airy material, and how soft this was compared to some other fly rugs. Read our review of this Premier Equine fly rug.
In the UK? View now at ebay.co.uk
WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Airflow II Combo Neck
2023 colours: White/violet/blue or grey/blue/grey | Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 75%+ | RRP: £99.99 |
This fly rug is a step up in design and features from the ComFiTec Essential Mesh II Combo we tested. It has an elastic insert at the wither that provides additional comfort when grazing, a large belly wrap for extra protection, and a full-wrap tail flap that has a two-piece design that wraps around your horse’s quarters for maximum protection. It fastens with an Ezi-clip and touch-tape at the chest and has a traditional side gusset for freedom of movement. The shoulders, mane and tail flap are lined and the leg straps are elasticated, adjustable and removable.
Shires Tempest Original Combo Fly Rug
2023 colours: White or dandelion | Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 80% | RRP: £47.99 |
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
2023 colours: White/maroon/grey, white/blue/purple or seahorse | Sizes: 4ft – 7ft3in | UV protection: 65%+ | RRP: £69.99 | H&H Rating: 8/10 |
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.
We tested this fly rug and found it to be good quality at a reasonable price especially given the super extra features. The only thing that let it down for us was it has a particularly large neck, which was too big for our tester horse. Read H&H’s review of this WeatherBeeta fly rug.
Swish Nylon Fly Cool Rug
Colours: Grey/mulberry | Sizes: 4ft3in – 7ft6in | UV protection: Yes | RRP: £81.99 | H&H Rating: 9/10, H&H Approved |
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.
We put this fly rug to the test and found it to be good quality and really lightweight. It’s particularly suited to horses with a deep girth and a good length of neck. Read our full review of this Swish fly rug.
In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
Bucas Buzz-Off Full Neck Zebra
Colours: Zebra | Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft2in | RRP: £122 |
The zebra print is designed to help disorientate the flies and prevent them from landing on your horse. The full neck rug provides protection for the horses body and neck. The neck has an elasticated brow band that helps keep it in place while grazing, and it has an elasticated, detachable belly pad and large tail flap for extra coverage. The chest is fastened with a surcingle closure and the shoulders benefit from a silk-feel lining.
Hy StormX Original Protect Full Neck Fly Rug
Colours: White/grey/red | Sizes: 4ft6in – 7ft3in | RRP: £54.99 |
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.
Bucas Freedom Fly Sheet
2023 colours: Silver | Sizes: 3ft6in – 7ft | RRP: From £62 | H&H Rating: 7/10 |
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.
Read H&H’s review of this Bucas fly rug.
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.
Masta Vento Fly Rug
Colours: Silver | Sizes: 4ft6in – 7ft6in | RRP: £49.95 |
Made from a soft mesh fabric to enable airflow, this fly rug has touch-tape fastenings to the neck, twin surcingle chest fastenings and cross surcingles at the belly. The design now has an added neck insert, which allows for freedom of movement while grazing, by moving with your horse and helping to relieve wither pressure. It also has an anti-rub lining along the neck and shoulders.
In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
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: £69.95 |
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 £61 |
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 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.
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
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