Cavalor FlyLess review

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • Cavalor FlyLess


    • Performance:
    • Ease of use:
    • Long lasting:
    • Value:


    • Light, refreshing scent
    • Suitable for sensitive skin
    • Easy to apply
    • Durable bottle which won't be easily broken
    • Even spray distribution and quality sprayer
    • Suitable for short hacks/schooling sessions


    • Needed reapplication to be effective
    • Did not repel all pests during the height of fly season



    Price as reviewed:

    £24.00 for 500ml

    Cavalor FlyLess

    I tested the Cavalor FlyLess fly spray at the height of summer, when flies, particularly horse flies, were at their worst. Cumbrian summers can be wet while being warm and muggy, the perfect environment for flies; even if you choose to hack out early in the morning, you can bet that a swarm of flies will have gathered around your horse by the time you return to the yard. This spray claims to give horses and riders protection against flies, horse-flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects, which would cover all the nasties which lurk in Cumbria during summer time.

    The sprayer produced a fine, evenly distributed spray

    The first thing I noticed about the Cavalor Flyless was the amount you get in a bottle. Priced at £24 for a 500ml bottle, you could guess that you’ll have enough to see you through a good amount of hacks. In addition to the 500ml measure, the high quality nozzle produces a very fine, evenly distributed spray which covers the coat perfectly, so you’re not wasting any product during application. The bottle was high-quality, robust and durable, so leaks and spillages would not be a worry. It was also easy to spray; the sprayer was sturdy, easy to use and felt unlikely to break. Some spray bottles have cheap sprayers that aren’t up to life on a working yard and can break halfway through using a bottle, which can be a nightmare. This bottle, however, would be a great one to keep and refill as it has a great spray, is durable and holds nicely in the hand.

    Cavalor FlyLess contains icaridin (20.6%), which “acts as a blanket of fragrance on the skin, disrupting the mechanism that attracts insects to humans and animals.” The manufacturers reveal that studies have shown that formulas with 20% icaridin can protect people for up to 10 hours and horses for even up to 24 hours. Icaridin does not kill insects, so there is also no risk of resistance.

    Cavalor emphasises that the spray is “pleasantly scented” which was certainly true. It had a light, refreshing, almost aloe vera-type scent (though other noses might detect a different plant smell!) The smell of some fly sprays can be seriously off putting, with the strong scent getting stuck in your nose and even causing you to cough. I’m not particularly sensitive to smells, but an overly strong solution can be an indicator of harsh chemicals.

    The robust, durable bottle has clear directions on the back

    The back of the bottle provides clear directions on how to use it correctly. It is recommended to spray the solution on the skin or coat — as it’s a gentle formula. I did this, and the spray coated my pony’s skin evenly with plenty of liquid covering each area of his body. I then used a cloth to apply some to his face, as instructed.

    The spray didn’t leave a residue on his coat and was non-sticky and non-greasy.

    Performance wise, while the Cavalor Flyless initially repelled flies, about 30 minutes into the hack — and as soon as my pony got mildly warm — flies started to gather around his head and neck, suggesting it needed to be reapplied to get the desired result. I therefore did not find it effective for as long as it was claimed. As it would need consistent reapplication, the 500ml bottle might not last as long as initially thought. Consequently, £24 for a 500ml bottle seems quite expensive.

    As it was effective for a short period of time, and did smell nice without leaving a greasy residue, I would perhaps recommend this fly spray as one to keep in the lorry or in the grooming box to take to a competition. It would be handy to spritz on before a class, and it would stand the test of time being thrown around in a grooming bag.


    A refreshingly scented spray which isn’t overly harsh on the skin, but does need consistent reapplication for the desired effect, meaning it isn’t the most effective product on the market. 

    Who tested this flyspray?

    Alex Robinson joined H&H in January 2018 as showing editor and features assistant. She graduated from University of Leeds in 2016 and has freelanced for specialist equestrian magazines, including The Native Pony Magazine and has contributed to the National Pony Society annual journal for the past few years.

    Born and raised in the Lake District, Alex has grown up on the show scene. She has qualified and competed ponies at the Royal InternationalHorse of the Year Show (HOYS) and Olympia and has extensive knowledge of current issues in the showing world and the horses, ponies and riders who compete. She has a rare insight into the sector that comes with riding amongst the best at top level. She has produced a variety of rides to the highest level and has a passion for bringing on youngsters through the ranks. She has several ponies, mainly natives of all types, on the yard and rides most days each week before work.

    At H&H Alex is responsible for the all aspects of showing coverage and is continuing to cement its place as the leading publication for both reports and current showing news. When not writing, she will be found competing her own ponies on the county show circuit.

    Find out more about how Horse & Hound tests products

    You might also like:

    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. 

    You may like...