The best fly masks are an essential tool in the fight against irritating flying insects. When combined with fly rugs, fly sprays or deterrent gels, they can really reduce the chance of your horse being irritated or bitten. Not only do fly masks keep the flies off your horse’s eyes, preventing irritation, but they can also help to block UV rays and, when combined with a good sun cream for horses, can go a long way to protecting your horse from sunburn.
Fly masks come in a range of designs with various different coverage combinations to suit different horses and cater for different needs. Some fly masks will have ear and nose covers as standard, while others will have either nose or ears, and some have neither and just cover the eye area. Some masks have detachable noses, and others sell nose attachments separately.
Whatever design works best for your horse, it’s important the mask fits well – to keep the insects out and ensure a comfortable fit – and is secure, especially if your horse is known to be escape artist. Materials and designs that prevent rubbing and keep the mesh away from the eyes are best as your horse’s head is sensitive.
Here are some of the best fly masks on the market…
Absorbine UltraShield fly mask with ears
Colours: Black/turquoise or navy/turquoise | Sizes: Cob, horse or warmblood | UV protection: 80% | RRP: From £31.10 |
This fly mask is designed to stay put with two-way controlled stretch fabric around the head, extended fabric behind the ears, and a strong double-locking wide Velcro closure. The mesh has structured eye darts and blocks 80% UV rays, while the rolled inner seams prevent rubs and irritation. The main material is moisture wicking, breathable and resistant to stains. This mask is also available with various other ear and nose combinations.
Equilibrium Field Relief Midi with ears
Colours: Black or grey | Sizes: S–XL (XXS and XS available without ears) | UV protection: 70+% | RRP: £28.50 |
This mask is designed to maximise comfort while providing effective fly and sun protection. It’s made with two types of mesh – the more rigid mesh over the face gives it structure, while the softer, stretchy mesh that goes around the face allows for a close fit to stop insects getting inside. With more than 70% UV protection, the mesh also provides a barrier against the sun’s rays. The mask is adjustable under the cheeks and at the poll, padded at the nose and brow and has shaped ears for comfort. Also available without ears, and attachable nose cover is available separately.
Eskadron fly mask
Colours: Grey | Sizes: M–XL | RRP: £27.95 |
Made with soft, stretchy and breathable fabric, this mask is described as comfortable while absorbing very little heat. The black netting provides extra shade and does not have a blending effect on the horse’s eyes as is the case with light coloured netting.
View at horze.co.uk
Farnam SuperMask II
Sizes: Foal, yearling/pony, Arab/small horse, horse or XL horse | UV protection: Yes | RRP: From £19 |
Described as designed to fit, last and stay on, this fly mask fastens twice under the jaw, which is harder for field-mates to reach and undo. for double security. The plush trim keeps flies out, while providing maximum comfort without rubbing. Available with or without ears.
View at lesliesutcliffe.com
Hy Equestrian Armoured Protect full mask with ears and nose
Colours: Black/grey | Sizes: Small pony, pony, cob, full or extra-full | UV protection: Yes | RRP: £28.99 |
This fly mask offers full coverage, but is also available without ears or without a nose. It is made from lightweight mesh material with bamboo lining and features strong darts that offer good clearance off the eyes. It has a faux fur panel on the brow and soft fleece edging to prevent rubbing. The doubled-sided touch-tape fastenings hold it secure, while the mesh panels provide protection from UV rays, which is great for horses who are more susceptible to sunburn.
View at viovet.co.uk
Mark Todd padded full face fly mask
Colours: Black | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £17.99 |
Providing full face and ear coverage, this fly mask features soft fleece binding and generous padding across all pressure points to ensure comfort.
Rhinegold fly mask with ears and nose
Colours: Black | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £16.50 |
This mask has a firm structure and double darts to ensure the mesh sits away from the eyes and face. It features soft fleece binding and a wide touch-tape closure under the jaw. The long nose design offers protection from direct sunlight, while there is also a forelock hole at the poll.
Ruggles pull-on Lycra fly mask
Colours: Aqua, bright pink, burgundy, navy, pale grey | Sizes: XS–XL | RRP: £12.90 |
Made from a soft four-way stretch Lycra, this mask has a close and comfortable fit. It’s pull-on in design, which eliminates the risk of straps coming undone and reduces the risk of rubbing. It has soft mesh ears and soft mesh over the eyes, and the slim design means it can be worn under a bridle. Also available in Shetland, miniature, donkey and heavy horse variations.
Shires Sun Shade fly mask
Colours: White | Sizes: Small pony, pony, cob, full or extra-full | UV protection: 90% | RRP: £29.99 |
Offering the highest level of UV protection, this mask is ideal for sun-sensitive horses. This fly mask provides the head, cheeks and nose area with 90% UV protection and a sunshield to shade the eyes. The ripstop eye mesh blocks 60% UV while ensuring a good level of visibility. It features fleece trims to ensuring a close, comfortable fit.
Swish fly mask
Colours: Grey | Sizes: S–L | UV protection: Yes | RRP: £19.99 |
This mask is described as tough, comfortable and breathable. It’s made of a knitted polyester with soft nylon protection around ears. The mask is also UV reflective, has anti-rub bindings and is machine washable.
WeatherBeeta ComFiTec fine mesh mask with ears and nose
Colours: Black/turquoise or navy/turquoise | Sizes: Mini, small pony, pony, cob, full or warmblood | UV protection: 60+% | RRP: £21.99 |
This mask is made with fine mesh that allows for full vision with double darts for a good fit. It has adjustable double touch-tape tabs, soft fleece binding for additional comfort and a stretch fleece poll for comfort and protection. Also available without ears.
Whitaker Salvador Deluxe fly mask
Colours: White/blue | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | UV protection: Yes | RRP: £20 |
This mask has fine-gauge mesh across the face and nose, which blocks even the tiniest insects while still offering maximum visibility. The denser mesh around the poll and ears offer protection from UV rays. All the seams and edges are lined with a soft fleece and the chin strap has an elasticated section to keep the mask secure yet comfortable.
View at johnwhitaker.com
WoofWear UV fly mask with ears
Colours: Black/turquoise | Sizes: XXS–XL | UV protection: 60% | RRP: £24.99 |
Made from soft and stretchy 3D fabric to eliminate rubbing and combined with fine UV mesh for good visibility, this mask offers an overall average of up to 60% UV protection. It also has a ‘friendly forelock’ feature that allows the mask to be worn with the forelock in or out. This mask is also available without ears and an attachable nose protector is sold separately.
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