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Choosing the Best Horse Fly Mask

a horse wearing a netted fly mask and putting its head over a fence
Sophie McAulay/Shutterstock

Whether you are taking your horse on a trail ride or pampering it in the stable, keeping your horse comfortable and stress-free is key to a healthy life and a good riding experience. Despite your best efforts, it is almost impossible to create the perfect environment for your pet, especially when it comes to irritating insects. A horse fly mask can protect your horse from sun damage and keep flying bugs from landing on their eyes or face. With reduced irritation to your horse, you will be looking at a much happier horse as well as a smooth, stable ride. Here are some great horse fly masks that we recommend.

Purchasing a Horse Fly Mask

To protect your horse properly, keep these things in mind when looking at a fly mask:

  • Coverage: Horses with light-colored hair or sensitive skin will benefit most from fly masks that cover their ears, forehead, and nose with opaque fabric. While not every full-coverage mask will have it, it’s an extra benefit if the fabric protects from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If your horse has dark or thick fur, consider a mask that uses breathable fabric like mesh and doesn’t cover the ears.
  • Closure System: Avoid horse fly masks that rely on elastic bands or fabric to fit over the horse’s head, as the tightness can cause skin irritation and put pressure on the eyes. Masks with Velcro straps are ideal for fitting your horse’s exact proportions. Look for wide straps that feature plenty of area for the strap to cling onto during use. Two smaller straps are great for accommodating horses with large jaws.
  • Material: For the eye area, the nylon mesh material is necessary to ensure the horse can see. It also provides ventilation and is less likely to be tight over the horse’s eyes. For other areas of the face, look for a breathable and soft material that won’t cause irritation or keep in the heat. Blended fabric with cotton, linen, nylon, or polyester is great for moisture-wicking and airflow.

Top Choice: Cashel Quiet Ride Fly Mask with Ears

Light brown horse wearing a black mesh fly mask that reaches halfway down its muzzle.

Protect your horse from flies even while riding with this specially made mask that prioritizes comfort and fit. The nylon mesh material allows your horse to see clearly, allowing it to walk and run without hindrance. The mask features a wide Velcro strap that sits beneath the chin and can be customized to your horse’s build. While this mask is lightweight and breathable, it doesn’t lack protection as the ears, forehead, and part of the nose are covered with opaque fabric.

Top Choice

Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Ears, Black, Horse

Put your horse's comfort first by using this mesh mask to keep the flies away while keeping its line of sight clear.

Best for UV Protection: TGW RIDING Horse Mask Full Face Mesh

Black horse wearing a blue and black mask that covers the horse's face from its ears to its nose.

If your horse burns easily while spending a day in the sun, check out this full-coverage mask that keeps them protected. The mesh allows for ventilation and clear vision, and the air stream fabric protects the ears and nose from the sun’s rays. This mask is ergonomically designed to fit your horse’s face without restricting their eye movement or causing discomfort. The seams are padded with fleece for extra comfort and stability.

Best for UV Protection

TGW RIDING Horse Mask Full Face Mesh Mask Fine Mesh with Ears and Long Nose (Cob, Black/Turquoise)

With the help of this full-coverage mask, your horse's ears, eyes, and nose will be completely protected from damaging sun rays.

Most Comfortable: Cashel Crusader Standard Fly Mask No Ears

Grey horse wearing a grey and pink mask that reaches halfway down its muzzle and doesn't cover the ears.

For the minimalist look, this basic fly mask is ideal for avoiding bugs and keeping your horse feeling unrestricted. The mask includes a forelock hole to keep hair from catching on the horse’s eyes inside the mask. It also features open ears so that your horse can move and hear comfortably. Riders can also protect their horse’s face with breathable fabric that filters 70% of the sun’s UV rays. If you are worried about sizing, Cashel has got you covered with the 10 different options that are catered to your horse’s age and breed.

Most Comfortable

Cashel Crusader Standard Fly Mask No Ears or Nose,Gray,Horse

Your horse will love the feeling of the open air on their ears and nose while the flies are blocked from the eyes.

Best Innovative Design: Shires Fine Mesh Horse Equine Fly Mask

Dark brown horse wearing a black and white mask that features fringe ropes hanging over its nose.

Style and function assemble to create this effective fly mask that both rider and horse can enjoy. The air stream fabric and padded seams reduce irritation around the chin, forehead, and ears, while the mesh veil maintains the horse vision. The fringe not only adds some flair but helps to deter bugs as the strings shift with the horse’s movement. Riders will be able to create the perfect fit around the jaw with the use of two Velcro straps.

Best Innovative Design

Shires Fine Mesh Horse Equine Fly Mask with Ears and Nose Fringe 60% UV Protection (Pony, Teal)

The special fringe addition to this mask avoids the added heat of traditional designs and keeps flies away with the movement of the muzzle.

Camryn Lang Camryn Lang
Camryn Lang is a freelance writer and copyeditor that has produced a wide variety of content, from breaking news and memorial tributes to web content and fiction novels. While working on her bachelor's degree in English at Texas A&M University, Camryn led writers and editors at the nationally recognized university newspaper, The Battalion. During her free time, she enjoys reading thrillers and fantasy novels and eating desserts. Read Full Bio »
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