The rising temperatures and longer days of spring and summer signal fly mask season at Stonestreet. Fly masks may look like blindfolds, but mares can see through them, you might think of it as similar to looking through a screen door!
These mesh masks serve an important role in protecting mares from the painful bites and annoyances flies can cause as well as the diseases those flies may carry. Many forms and styles exist, and some provide ear protection for horses who particularly sensitive about their ears.
In addition to protecting their delicate eyes from flies, other pests and debris, these masks also reduce rubbing in mares with an eye injury.
In addition to being one of the tools we use to keep our mares comfortable during fly season, these masks provide UV protection, acting like broodmare sunglasses during the long, dog days of summer. Mares who might be prone to sunburn on their noses, such as those with long, wide blazes, might even get a mask with a longer nose section to protect that delicate skin!
We use masks with velcro fasteners so the mask will pull off if hung on a fence or tree, and the mesh in the eye area is pleated to ensure it does not sit too closely on the eye area, which could cause injury.
Fly masks serve several protective functions, but attention to proper fit and maintenance of the masks are important to prevent injury. At Stonestreet, we remove the fly masks when mares are brought inside each day and clean them to ensure dust and debris do not collect on the mesh and to make sure the mask has not created rubs on their delicate skin.