Pest Protection Starts Now
The arrival of summer is here and can be a welcome relief…until the flies return. Not only do flies irritate your horse, resulting in foot stamping, tail swishing, and possible pacing, but flies can leave behind painful bites, causing infection and transmitting disease.
Fly boots are a physical barrier that prevents flies from irritating your horse’s legs. They also prevent bot flies from laying eggs and reduce the risk of painful horse fly bites, infection, and disease.
Fly Leg Protection for Horses
Preparing for summer means building up an arsenal of methods to reduce the impact insects have on our horses, especially horse flies whose bites are painful and potentially harmful. Ideally, you need a three-pronged approach consisting of:
Sprays are one of the most popular ways of controlling flies, as they can be applied to every part of the horse’s body.
Unfortunately, they’re often toxic to fish and can be harmful to the environment.
Nevertheless, when battling insect-borne diseases, most of us accept that using one of the best horse fly sprays is the most effective way to protect our equine friends.
Environmental controls are becoming increasingly popular in our war against flies, helping to reduce the number of flies in our yards, as well as how many pester our horses.
Environmental controls include fly traps, fly predators, manure management, and feed-thru fly controls that help to prevent the development of fly larvae in your horse’s manure.
Some owners also recommend feeding your horse natural fly repellents, like garlic.
Fly sheets, masks, and boots form the final line of defense by placing a physical barrier between your horse and the assaulting insect.
Fly Boots for Horses
Fly boots do more than simply stop flies from landing on your horse’s legs, causing irritation. They also keep all biting insects away, protect wounds and scratches, and reduce the risk of infection.
Pros of Using Fly Boots:
- Prevent irritation that causes your horse to stomp and pace, putting additional pressure on their joints
- Prevent flies and other insects from biting your horse, creating open wounds and risk of infection
- Protect any scratches or wounds from fly infestation and infection
- Reduce the risk of your horse contracting diseases transmitted by insects
- Extend the life of your horse’s shoes by reducing stomping that may loosen them
- Keep your horse’s legs clean before a competition
- Protect leg wraps while promoting airflow
- Fly boots with UV protection prevent sunburn on white legs
Cons of Using Fly Boots:
- Ill-fitting fly boots can cause chafing, sores, and discomfort
- Fly boots not made from breathable material may be too hot in summer
- Poor fitting fly boots may inhibit your horse’s movement
- Low quality fly boots fall down and bunch up around the pastern, restricting movement and giving flies easy access
- Fly boots tend to have a looser fit, so finding the right size is critical. Otherwise they’ll fall down, reducing their effectiveness
- As your horse will probably wear his fly boots all day, every day, durability is critical
- Most fly boots are made from breathable mesh, which allows for airflow and prevents the horses’ legs from overheating
- Mesh boots may cause rubbing and chafing in sensitive horses. Consider boots with a fleece trim, as these may be a better option
Best Fly Boots for Horses
|Category||Option||Price Point||Key Features|
|Best Shoofly Fly Boots||Shoofly Horse Leggins||$$||Breathable, durable boots that won’t sag|
|Best Professional Choice Fly Boots||Professional’s Choice Deluxe Fly Boots||$$||Longer boots provide more protection|
|Best Kensington Fly Boots||Kensington Fleece-trimmed Fly Boots||$||Provides UV protection and fleece lining to minimize rubbing|
|Best Warrior Fly Boots||Knight Warrior Fly Boots||$$$||Long-lasting fly boots with webbing trim to increase durability|
|Best Cashel Crusader Fly Boots||Cashel Crusader Leg Guards||$$$||Contoured boots promote freedom of movement|
|Best Schneiders Fly Boots||Mosquito Mesh Non-fitted Fly Boots||$$$$||Rubber binding keeps the boots in place while allowing for free airflow|
Shoofly Horse Leggins
Brand Feature: Shoofly exclusively manufactures products to control flying insects around horses. Their products are highly effective and affordable.
These loose-fitting fly boots use patented technology to eliminate sagging and improve durability. Strong Velcro fasteners keep the boots secured in place, improving wearability.
- Breathable mesh allows for good air circulation
- Reinforced to eliminate sagging and improve stability
- Felt trim helps prevent burrs from sticking to the boots and causing rubs
- Could be more durable
- Sizing tends to run small
Where to buy it: Amazon
Professional’s Choice Deluxe Fly Boots
Brand Feature: Professional’s Choice started manufacturing therapeutic equine products, but has gradually expanded its range to include a full line of equestrian products designed with your horse’s comfort in mind.
Made from breathable mesh, these fly boots come with a neoprene trim to prevent rubbing. The wide hook and loop closure keeps the boots secure and streamlines the on-and-off process.
- Easier to fit than Shoofly Leggins
- As they’re taller than other brands, they offer more protection
- Easy to put on and take off
- The stays tend to bend quite easily
- Pricier than some brands
Where to buy it: Amazon
Kensington Fleece Trimmed Fly Boots
Brand Feature: Kensington specializes in high-quality equestrian gear and protective products designed to keep your horse comfortable in any environment.
These fly boots are made from an innovative material known as Textilene, which provides durability, airflow, and UV protection. The smooth fabric also repels dirt and burrs, while the fleece lining reduces chafing and improves comfort.
· Durable and long-lasting
· Three Velcro fasteners make these boots easy to adjust and fit
· UV protection
· Fleece lining can cause sweating on hot days
· May cause rubbing
Where to buy it: Amazon
Knight Warrior Fly Boots
Brand Feature: This brand manufactures a range of products designed to protect horses against flies. Using high-quality materials, they’ve developed turn-out rugs, masks, and boots that complement their therapeutic products.
These fly boots are designed to withstand the toughest conditions and come with three inches of webbing at the bottom to increase their durability. They also come with foam cushioning that’s designed to fall away once the boot has conformed to the shape of your horse’s leg.
- Longer lasting than other brands
- Easy to fit securely
- Strong Velcro fastening prevents boots from falling down
- May not fit horses with feathers
- Shorter than some other brands
Where to buy it: Amazon
Cashel Crusader Leg Guards
Brand Feature: Best known for its fly masks, Cashel Crusader has a reputation for developing high-quality, durable products that are both affordable and easy to fit.
These fitted leg guards protect your horse against ticks and burrs, as well as flies, and are contoured to promote freedom of movement. Flexible and durable, they can be worn 24/7, whether in the stable, on pasture, or during a training session.
Padding around the fetlock area also prevents rubs and chafes.
- Suitable to wear while riding
- Contoured to prevent rubs and chafes
- Promotes freedom of movement
- Only two boots per set
- Too short to provide complete protection for taller horses
Where to buy it: Amazon
Schneider’s Mesh Non-Fitted Fly Boots
Brand Feature: Schneiders has been manufacturing horse care products since 1948 and has established itself as a trustworthy brand that prioritizes your horse’s comfort without breaking the bank.
These fly boots are made from window screen mesh that allows for optimal airflow while keeping the flies at bay and protecting your horse’s legs from damaging UV rays. The flexible stays and rubber trims prevent the boots from falling down, while giving your horse complete freedom of movement.
- Provides excellent airflow even on a hot day
- Protects your horse’s legs against flies and UV rays
- Easy to clean
- Limited colors available
- Higher price range
Where to buy it: Schneider’s
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do fly boots work for horses?
Fly boots work for most horses, reducing irritation and helping to protect their legs and hooves by minimizing stamping. Boots that constantly fall down or develop holes that insects can exploit won’t do much to protect your horse.
Q: What is the best fly leg protection for?
The best fly leg protection prevents flies from landing on or biting your horse’s legs, thereby reducing irritation and minimizing stamping that can loosen shoes and cause hoof issues and joint strain.
Q: What do fly boots for horses do?
Fly boots keep flies and other biting insects at bay, protect your horse’s legs against damaging UV rays, and reduce the risk of disease and infection.
Q: How do you measure your horse for fly boots?
To establish which size of fly boots your horse needs, first measure the length of his leg from knee to the coronet band, and then work out the width by measuring the circumference of your horse’s cannon bone. Some brands use the circumference of your horse’s hoof to determine width, so it’s worth checking their sizing instructions before ordering.
Like the best horse fly sheets, fly boots provide a physical barrier that stops flies from landing on and biting your horse. Used in conjunction with fly sprays and environmental controls, they are an effective way of reducing irritation and minimizing diseases and infections caused by painful bites and contamination.
When your horse’s legs are free of flies, not only is he more comfortable and relaxed, but he’ll also be able to graze peacefully without stamping or pacing. This helps reduce the risk of hoof damage and loose shoes and promotes general health by lessening the strain on the joints.
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
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