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Horse fly jacket

Fly Rugs for Horses: What You Need to Know

Taking care of your horse is an essential part of horse riding. It’s not just a sport that you can participate in and leave, but you need to always be thinking about the health and wellbeing of your horse.

That’s why horse grooming is so important and should be done on a regular basis. Another way to take care of your horse is to protect them from insect bites with a fly rug.

The best fly rug for your horse is one that will protect them throughout the summer months when there are flies and insects out. Here we’ll cover what a fly rug for your horse is, the different types, and where you can buy one.

What is a Fly Rug?

Fly rugs, also called fly sheets or fly masks, are a protective fabric covering that keep your horse protected from biting insects. It is large enough to fit over the body and neck of your horse, just leaving the legs exposed.

Keeping out pesky insects is the most common benefit to a fly rug, but they also offer UV protection from the sun. A fly rug can help protect your horse from harmful rays and decrease coat bleaching on dark horses.

There are also other types of horse rugs with purposes other than keeping out insects. Here are some examples:

  • Cooler rugs to prevent chills on sweating horses whilst cooling down after exercise.
  • Stable rugs to keep your horse warm in the stable.
  • Sweet itch rugs that are designed to protect horses from midges.
  • Turnout rugs to keep your horse clean and dry.

Think of a fly rug like covering up with a hat, sunscreen, or bug repellent—humans protect their skin from the environment, and so horses need to as well!

Different Types of Horse Fly Rugs

When considering what type of horse fly rug to by, it’s important to understand that there are different styles meant for different purposes. You want to consider what your horse needs most and then purchase a fly rug that does the job.

Here are some features to look out for with different types of fly rugs:

  • Fabric: Most fly rugs are made of lightweight mesh. This makes them more breathable while still keeping out the insects. However, some may be made from other materials that are less breathable but have other benefits (i.e., warmth). Canvas is another common option that provides both sun and insect protection.
  • Flexibility: Some fly rugs have a detachable neck section while others have a fixed neck. The detachable neck allows you to use just the body section of the fly rug and is more versatile. Consider what will be most suitable and convenient for you and your horse.
  • Durability: As your horse will be wearing the rug whilst moving, make sure that it is high-quality, durable material.
  • Fit: Choose a fly rug that is not too restrictive or tight, as you don’t want your horse to be unable to move properly while wearing it.

If your purpose is to simply protect your horse from flies and insect bites in the summer, a mesh fly rug is likely your best bet. If you are looking for UV protection or other features, you may consider something different like a sweet itch rug or a rug combination system that includes multiple types together.

Where to Buy a Fly Rug

There are many options for buying a fly rug in the UK. The Horse and Hound has a list of the best protective fly rugs you can purchase in the UK, and it’s a good starting point if you are just beginning your research.

Some online places to purchase fly rugs include:

We also believe in getting word-of-mouth recommendations, so don’t be afraid to ask your horse-riding instructor for some recommendations! They’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction, especially if you are a beginner horse rider.

Fly rugs are an important way to keep your horse safe and itch-free over the summer months. Just as we want to avoid pesky insect bites, so does your horse. A fly rug is an essential tool for horse riders in the UK during the summer months.

And just like we want to be protected from insects, we also want to be protected from the elements! If you are looking for a new horse-riding coat, we’d love for you to check out our Equicoat. It’s designed by riders for riders and will hold up in any kind of weather condition the UK throws at you. Take care of your horse and get a fly rug. Take care of yourself and get a good horse riding coat.

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