Equilibrium Field Relief Midi With Ears
- Good fit
- Comes with familiarisation instructions
- Lightweight material
- Offers 70+% UV protection
- The mask had a hole in it on fifth day of use
- Ears escape sometimes
Price as reviewed:
Equilibrium fly mask
The Equilibrium fly mask came in a handy clear packet with a zip that can be used for storage. I tested the version with ears, but it’s also available without ears if you prefer.
I liked the fact it included a page of instructions for fitting the mask, including familiarising the horse with it as I can understand that a horse who had not worn a mask before might be frightened by one suddenly being put on.
Our horse, Alfie, has worn a similar mask to this for many years so we were able to pop it on easily without lengthy familiarisation.
The mask is made of black gauze, with orange trim (there is also a grey option with yellow trim available). There is a hole for the horse’s forelock. It fastens at the back of the throat with a hook and loop strap and the part that goes over the poll is also an openable strap, which isn’t a feature of any other fly masks we’ve tried. As Alfie isn’t worried about having a mask put on, opening this is unnecessary and we left it shut after the first time, but it does open up options for a horse who is more nervous.
The mask feels lightweight and fitted well when we tried it on. There are thick strips of padding across the forehead and nose, which should make the mask comfortable and also serve to hold the mask well away from the horse’s eyes. Alfie, a 15.1hh Connemara, tried a medium size.
Alfie seemed comfortable wearing it and carried on as normal in his field, including lying down.
We found two downsides within a week of starting to use it. The first was that Alfie got one of his ears out of it twice.
The second downside was that on the fifth day of use, we noticed a hole had developed on the cheek.
This fly mask does, however, have 70+% UV protection, which is certainly a positive and about average of the brands that declare their rating.
Initial thoughts: I liked this mask at first glance and when using it – and it seemed like Alfie did too. It will be interesting to see if the hole is a one-off or not and how well it holds up to repeated use.
Who tested this fly mask?
Pippa Roome is Horse & Hound’s magazine editor and eventing editor. She has worked for the brand since 2003. Pippa shares a Connemara, Alfie, with her mother and takes part in grassroots eventing, while Alfie also does dressage with her mother. Alfie lives out full-time, with access to a stable which he can go in or not as he chooses.
What is a first look review?
These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts.
Find out more about how Horse & Hound tests products
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.