There’s no such thing as a “Fly Free Guarantee,” but these top rated horse fly sheets come pretty darn close.
Fly sheets have come a long way from the all-white, flimsy pieces of horse clothing they once were. They are tougher, better-designed, and more effective than ever, and if you have a sensitive-skinned horse, they are worth their weight in farrier and vet bills. A good fly sheet can cut down on sweet itch, fly welts, hives, and hoof cracks, keep your horse calmer, and even reduce summer coat bleaching.
If any of those plusses have you pricking up your ears, here is some help on selecting the best fly sheet for your needs. There are a lot of options out there, and weighing the pros and cons of belly bands, neck covers, fit, and fabric weight can nearly have you throwing your catalogs out the window in frustration.
Below are our top 5 overall fly sheets, but keep reading for 9 additional fly sheets tailored to specific issues (e.g. best fly sheet with neck cover).
We will never be able to give up our fly spray completely, but the right fly sheet really will make your horse keeping much more simple.
Top 5 Best Horse Fly Sheets
|WB ComFiTec Essential Standard Neck Fly Sheet
|Best fly sheet for the money||● Polyester mesh with 70% UV protection
● Belly wrap
● Fits a variety of horse breeds
|Rambo Fly Buster Vamoose No-Fly Zone
|Best fly sheets for sweet itch||● Maximum coverage for sensitive horses
● Added fly protection with permethrin
● Extra deep sides
|Amigo Evolution Fly Sheet
|Best fly sheet with neck cover (hood)||● Integrated neck cover
● Extra long drop
● Innovative color scheme deters insects
|Bucas Zebra Fly Sheet
|Best fly sheet for quarter horses||● Strong but lightweight mesh
● Fits QH withers
● Integrated hood
● You will never lose sight of your horse in the herd
|Cashel Quiet Ride Bug Armor||Best fly sheets for riding
|● Two-piece set
● Connects to bridle and saddle
● Provides full, lightweight coverage
Best fly sheet for the money
For anyone trying out fly sheets for the first time, it is best to work with a design that covers the most problematic areas, fits across a range of horse builds, and does not break the bank.
Weatherbeeta’s (WB) reliability is a selling point with this affordable fly sheet that includes some very nice features, like belly band protection, a durable mesh with 70% UV protection, and a fit that is quite adaptable. Shoulder gussets help your horse move freely and provide a little breathing room as far as fit goes.
Other features that provide good value: lining at wear points like the shoulder and removable leg straps.
- Belly band
- Wide range of sizes
- Affordable price tag
- No hood attachment
- Tail flap not removable – if your horse hates them, it is time to break out the scissors. Turns out, some horses would just rather have the option to swat at flies themselves – even if there is nothing to swat at. #rookiemistake
Most breathable fly sheet for horses
Depending on the summer climate in your part of the country, you may need a fly sheet just for the most hot and humid weeks. You’ll find that the fabric used in fly sheets can vary quite a bit in how tightly it is woven.
What seemed like a great idea in May could lead to a sweaty afternoon in July.
In this case, we found that the WB ComFiTech Airflow DetachNeck model was the easy-breezy winner. The jersey mesh fabric is cool and breathable.
You will lose some of the durability of heavier meshes, but it is hard to match the comfort of this sheet on days when the Heat Index is punishing.
- Comfortable jersey mesh
- Matching hood and fly mask can be purchased separately.
- Extra hook-and-loop fasteners at chest buckles
- No belly band
- Runs about a size small
Most durable fly sheet for horses
If you have gone through at least one season blanketing your horse, you might chuckle at durability claims from manufacturers, especially on a mesh fly sheet. Kensington presents this model as a tough contender — and it performs very well.
The mesh is a heavy 1000 x 2000 Denier Textilene, and happy customers report that it really does hold up to pasture shenanigans and other normal horse abuse. It has a lower body drop and is cut to allow plenty of movement, with plenty of room at the withers and shoulder.
A nice bonus is the wide variety of colors that Kensington uses – and you can extend the color scheme in their other products.
- Quality, durable Textilene mesh
- 73% UV block
- Nylon lining at chest, padded withers
- Higher price point than some other sheets reviewed
- Slightly looser fit and not as much coverage as other models
Best fly sheets for horses in hot weather
Breathability with durability is a tough combination to find in warmer weather, but this Weatherbeeta style does very well. The Airflow has great coverage, with a belly band and detachable hood.
It also has a mesh size that provides maximum airflow. The fabric is soft and the fly protection is excellent, but it does not have the same UV protection as other, heavier meshes — only 20%.
With that in mind, this is one of the coolest sheets out there for any horse in hot, humid conditions.
- Great coverage with belly band
- Detachable neck cover
- Surprisingly strong fabric
- Low UV protection
- Velcro fasteners can snag fabric
Best fly sheets for UV protection
Fly sheets can be a great way to protect your show horse’s coat from sun fading and dirt. The Aussie sheet is a great way to keep everything protected when you are turning your horse out during the day.
The cut on this style is deep and the drop will extend well down on the leg. The neck cover is permanently attached, and fits over the ears. Even the tail is largely covered on this model, letting you breathe a little easier during show season.
- Lining at mane, tail, and shoulder prevents rubbing.
- Water-resistant and anti-bacterial fabric
- Exceptional coverage
- Tail flap arrangement can be awkward to use.
- Using a fly mask may prove to be bulky, due to the over-the-ear design of the hood.
Best fly sheets for Sweet Itch
Some horses are cursed with sensitive skin, and are prone to allergies and Sweet Itch. If you have ever dealt with the aftermath of a bad case, you will be interested in anything that can cut down on the irritants — which could very well be fly bites.
There are some fly sheet designs that offer superior coverage and protection – this model is one of the best.
The cut is deep, the fabric is treated with permethrin to repel insects – even mites and midges, and it doesn’t rub sensitive skin. It is also a tough and durable blanket, lined with silky fabric to cut down on irritation at pressure points.
You will find that your horse is covered comfortably from poll to hocks in what Rambo describes as “lightweight armor.”
Just what you need in your battle against Sweet Itch!
- Durable 600D nylon fabric
- Belly guard
- Permethrin treatment lasts for up to 70 washes.
- High price point
- Chest fit can be rather narrow for some horses
Best fly sheet for Quarter Horses
A common concern for Quarter Horse owners is finding blankets that fit correctly – they can easily be too tight at the chest and withers, or sit too high or low on the neck. This Bucas model works well for anyone who owns a horse with a broader chest and bigger hip.
As a bonus, it comes in a fun zebra print that has been shown to cut down on fly bites.
We love the thought of having our own zebra grazing out in the pasture, but there are other nice features on this sheet. It has a full neck cover, belly guard, and excellent UV protection.
- Great cut for Quarter Horse types
- 80% UV protection
- Comfortable fabric
- Brow band attachment can slip
- Black can eventually fade in sun
Best fly sheets with belly band (belly guard)
Belly bands can be essential if your horse has sensitive skin and is prone to irritation on their underside – especially around the navel area. This Tuffrider sheet has a great design and a nice price point.
The belly flap size is generous, and the straps keep it close to the body — important to maintain a layer of protection against insects.
We also like that the hood is detachable on this model – many designs have only the integrated neck covering that can’t be removed. The whole cut is not as long and draping as some other fly sheets we reviewed.
It’s a durable, close-fitting sheet that still allows enough movement for a bit of equine silliness.
- Close fit
- Durable Power Mesh fabric
- Adjustable neck cover
- Could be too warm in some climates
- Limited color options
Best fly sheet with neck cover (hood)
Pulled or roached manes can cut down on protection and require extra help during fly season. A properly fitted neck cover can help keep manes looking tidy, protect against bites, and cut down on sun bleaching.
The Evolution model by Amigo accomplishes all this with a little bit of color and superior overall coverage, to boot.
The neck cover is lined, and has a very adjustable fit thanks to two additional front fastenings. It stays in place well – much like the rest of the blanket.
The fabric and color scheme are designed to repel both the sun’s rays and insects, and the overall cut has a deep drop, while covering the belly well.
- Excellent neck cover design
- Silky lining preserves coat and mane
- Pattern discourages flies
- Neck cover not detachable
- Can run narrow in the shoulders
Best fly sheet with sheath cover
Summer sores on your male horse can be devastating. Although there are some companies that have developed a separate sheath cover to help protect the area during fly season, fitting a fly sheet with this sort of coverage can be difficult.
The Shires design has a deep belly flap that extends further back on most horses, providing the sort of protection that is needed.
The fabric is soft, and the whole design keeps the blanket in place without sacrificing any coverage as the horse moves and grazes.
It is machine washable, allowing you to keep it clean while you’re treating an existing case of summer sores with topical medications. With its superior overall coverage and durability, it is also an excellent choice for any horse prone to skin sensitivities.
- Deep belly coverage reaches farther back than other sheets
- 600 denier ripstop fabric
- Deep drop and high neck coverage
- Does not come with leg straps
- Can run large
Best fly sheet with leg straps
This lightweight sheet has the classic style that many horse owners prefer – no belly band, criss-cross belly straps, and detachable elastic leg straps.
Many Kensington sheet and blanket owners continue to buy them year after year. This model comes in several colors to match your show gear, is available in up to a size 87”, and will hold up well in turnout.
It’s priced affordably, so it’s a solid contender for your equine wardrobe.
- Heavy duty hardware
- Lined withers
- Great color selection
- No hood attachments
- Less coverage than some styles
Best fly sheet with insect repellent
Fly sheets pre-treated with repellents can be a great help in many situations. This Amigo sheet is made of a soft knitted polyester fabric that is treated with permethrin.
With protection that lasts through 70 washes, it can cut down on a lot of fly spray applications.
The overall fit is a bit clingy and the coverage is generous, with a belly band, a generous leg drop, and a high neck cover. The tail flap falls low, as well. The whole sheet is machine washable and quick-drying, minimizing the time off your horse.
- Great coverage
- Detachable neck cover
- 60-70% UV protection
- Fabric can snag
- Some horses may not like the close fit
Best fly sheets for riding
In some parts of the country, enjoyable summer trail rides can be cancelled out by horse flies or other persistent pests. The right gear can really make a difference, and Cashel’s Bug Armor design has a lot of fans.
This is a two-piece set that covers the areas in front of, and behind the saddle.
The front section attaches to the poll area of your bridle and then to your saddle, covering the entire neck and shoulders.
The back section covers the hindquarters behind the saddle, with a fairly deep drop to about mid-stifle on most horses. It is lightweight, not noisy, and does not interfere with active rides.
- Good top coverage
- Deters even deer and horse flies
- Can shift while riding
- Doesn’t cover legs or belly (although an additional belly guard can be purchased separately)
Best waterproof fly sheet
Although a fly sheet cannot be 100% waterproof, this particular model does a great job of shedding water. It is constructed of a 600 denier ripstop nylon that is both water and UV-resistant.
It is a great sheet for warmer weather, and works well to keep your horse clean during turn-out with its generous overall coverage.
As a matter of fact, both rain and insects will have to work pretty hard to get to your horse, as the design includes a detachable hood, tail flap, a deep drop, and front leg arches. It’s a good turn-out choice for show days.
- Tough, water-resistant nylon
- Lined hood, shoulders, and tail flap
- True to size
- Not breathable enough for hot temperatures
- Awkward tail band placement
Horse Fly Sheet Care & Tips
- Always check your horse’s measurements against the manufacturer’s size charts. If your horse is between sizes, go down a size, not up.
- Keeping fly sheets clean doesn’t have to be an obsession, but it does help you check hardware for any problems, make any repairs to damaged fabrics, and check for any areas that are rubbing on your horse.
- Keeping sweat out of fly sheets will also help them last longer. Be sure to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for any special washing instructions.
- Remember to keep any velcro fastenings clean and free of lint and debris. A valuable addition to your grooming box is always a small wire brush – they’re terrific for cleaning velcro on all kinds of horse boots, blankets, and even your own jackets.
Flies, Be Gone!
Today’s fly sheets are more innovative (and comfy) than ever, and there are models specifically designed to combat challenges like sweet itch, fly welts, hives, hoof cracks, behavior, and summer coat bleaching.
Find the best sheet for your horse (and the best fly spray), then watch as his or her stress melts away!
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, trot on over to:
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