Spring and summer bring beautiful, warm, and sometimes sweltering temperatures. But along with the warm weather comes a horde of flying pests. And these pests aren’t just a nuisance for people; they’re a nuisance to all sorts of creatures, and they’re even worse for your horse than they are for you! You can go inside to escape them or use insect repellent spray, but your horse is defenseless against the many bugs that like to attack horses’ faces.
Fly masks are the solution you can provide to your horse so that they’re no longer defenseless against these pesky insects. The best masks offer excellent coverage, plenty of visibility, and UV protection, but some of the masks we tested weren’t up to standard. In the following reviews, you’ll learn about 10 of the best fly masks for horses and how they compared to each other.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Derby Originals Reflective Fly Horse Mask
|WeatherBeeta Bug Eye Horse Fly Mask
|Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask
|Shires Fine Mesh Fly Mask
|TGW RIDING Horse Fly Mask
The 10 Best Fly Masks for Horses – Reviews 2024
1. Derby Originals Reflective Fly Horse Mask – Best Overall
Offering incredible coverage and protection at a reasonable price, the Derby Originals Reflective Fly Horse Mask is our top pick of all the fly masks we tested. The material used in this mask blocks 75% of harmful UV rays, keeping your horse safe from not just insects, but the sun as well. And this mask has better coverage than any mask we’ve seen. Only your horse’s nostrils and mouth are exposed. The remainder of its nose, ears, eyes, and face are completely covered.
Thankfully, the see-through mesh used in this mask offers excellent visibility, despite covering your horse’s entire face. Since it’s trimmed with fleece, it’s soft and won’t rub your horse raw. The piping around the exterior is highly reflective, allowing you to easily find your horse in the dark.
Four sizes of this fly mask are available, suitable for horses ranging from 500–1,500 pounds. However, each individual size is pretty limited in adjustability, so you’ll need to purchase the size that offers the correct fit for your horse.
2. WeatherBeeta Bug Eye Horse Fly Mask – Best Value
Dead simple and dirt-cheap, the WeatherBeeta Bug Eye Horse Fly Mask makes your horse look like a fly while protecting it from them. Thanks to its low price and high level of effectiveness, we think this just might be the best fly mask for horses for the money.
This mask is made from lightweight and breathable material that won’t make your horse hot. It offers decent coverage, protecting most of the face, including the ears. The fabric even manages to block up to 68% of harmful UV rays, which is great for such a cheaply-priced mask.
The large bug eyes on this mask do make your horse look a bit ridiculous. But in this case, it’s certainly function over form. They allow for great visibility and keep all the bugs away from your horse’s eyes. The nose is a bit exposed, though.
3. Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask – Premium Choice
We love the Cashel Crusader Horse Fly Mask, and if it weren’t so expensive, it probably would have been at the top of this list. It offers better coverage than most masks on the market, leaving only the tip of your horse’s snout exposed so it can breathe, eat, and drink unencumbered.
The nylon micro-mesh used to make this fly mask offer 70% protection against UV rays, which is impressive when you consider how much of your horse’s face is protected. This mask comes in seven sizes so you can find the perfect fit. The right fit is firm and doesn’t slip around, though the nylon is soft-coated so it also won’t cause your horse discomfort.
It might be a bit pricier than alternatives, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more, we think the value the Cashel Crusader fly mask offers is worth the extra cost.
4. Shires Fine Mesh Fly Mask
When it comes to visibility, the Shires Fine Mesh Fly Mask might be top of the pack. Your horse will have no problem seeing with this mask on. Since the mesh is far enough from the eyes, no insects will be able to land near your horse’s eyes. However, most of its lower face is still exposed because this mask offers less coverage than many other models.
There are six sizes to choose from, ranging from pony to extra full. Each mask offers excellent adjustability and security with dual Velcro enclosures. Seams are fleece padded to provide comfort for your horse and prevent rubbing. Though the mesh on this mask offers awesome visibility, it still manages to block out over 60% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Overall, it’s a great mask, and if it offered better coverage, it might have broken into our top three.
5. TGW RIDING Horse Fly Mask
We actually sort of liked the TGW RIDING horse fly mask. It gets a lot right, though it’s seriously lacking in durability, which is why it’s in the middle of the list. Slight abrasions will start to destroy the fabric of the mask quickly, and ours didn’t last very long in testing. They’re also not very adjustable, so not every horse is going to find a good fit with one of only three size options to choose from.
What this mask lacks in size selection it makes up for in color selection. You have 11 options to choose from, provided your horse is lucky enough to fit in them! If your horse does fit, the mask will stay put thanks to its elastic nature.
This mask is priced very affordably. Unlike many cheap masks, it offers protection for your horse’s ears. It also provides great UV protection, blocking over 80% of UV rays. Altogether, it’s a mask we want to love, but the durability needs improvement.
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6. Manna Pro Pro-Force Equine Fly Mask
If you’re shopping solely on price, then you might be attracted to the dirt-cheap pricing of the Manna Pro Pro-Force Equine Fly Mask. It’s got some decent traits, but if you’re shopping for a quality mask that offers your horse excellent protection, then this probably isn’t it. It doesn’t protect much of your horse’s face other than its eyes. The ears and lower face are left entirely uncovered so that any insects can bother them.
Still, this mask is fleece-lined to prevent rubbing. It’s comfortable for your horse and has Equi-Glo night reflectors built in so you can easily find your horse when it’s dark out. It offers UV protection as well, but with such limited coverage of the face, the UV protection isn’t as effective as other models offer.
7. Tough 1 Ladybug Mesh Fly Mask
This is a great fly mask for anyone with a sense of humor. It features two crossed eyes looking inward at a ladybug between them. You’ll probably laugh every time you see your horse in this mask. But as far as a protective mask goes, this one offers limited coverage, leaving the lower face and ears exposed.
On the bright side, it’s constructed almost entirely of mesh that offers great visibility for your horse. The edges are lined with fleece, so they don’t rub. Four sizes are available so you can find the right fit, and each offers decent adjustability. It’s not a bad mask by any means, we just don’t think it’s one of the best.
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8. Farnam SuperMask II Horse Fly Mask
The Farnam SuperMask II Horse Fly Mask is constructed like other dirt-cheap masks, only this one is rather pricey! We don’t think it’s a stretch to call it overpriced. It offers limited coverage. The ears are unprotected, but at least it doesn’t impede visibility. There are four sizes, so you’re likely to find one to fit your horse. Expandable double-latch enclosures allow each size to accommodate a good range of horses.
Unlike many masks of similar price, the seams on this aren’t adequately covered on the inside and they tend to rub on the horse’s face. For the price, we think many models offer superior value, which is why the Farnam Supermask II is ranked towards the bottom of our list.
9. Durvet Duramask Fly Mask
With fleece edges that offer a comfortable fit and mesh construction that offers an unobstructed view, the Durvet Duramask has some worthwhile traits. But compared to some of our favorite fly masks, it doesn’t seem to offer much. Coverage is lacking. Only the eyes are really protected. The remainder of the face is exposed, including the ears.
Many similar products are on the market; inexpensive masks that offer limited coverage. That’s fine at a low price, but the Durvet Duramask is priced too high for what it offers. You can get this level of performance from a much cheaper mask, so why should you shell out extra for the Durvet Duramask? We don’t have a good answer for that, which is why we don’t recommend this fly mask.
10. Professional’s Choice Comfort Fit Fly Mask
Once again, our biggest complaint about this mask is that it’s overpriced for what it offers. The Professional’s Choice Comfort-Fit Fly Mask is very similar to the WEATHERBEETA Bug Eye Horse Mask that earned our pick for best value. However, that mask is much cheaper. They’re essentially the same mask, offering the same fit and the same overall design, so why is this one so much pricier?
We also weren’t happy with the fit of this mask. There aren’t multiple sizes available like you can get from similar products on the market. The mask we got only fit horses up to 1,100 pounds, ruling out many of our favorite horses and breeds. It also doesn’t protect the nose and mouth like the other masks that earned our recommendations. All in all, it’s not a mask we’d recommend, and we doubt it’s truly the professional’s choice.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Fly Mask for Your Horse
It seems like picking out a fly mask for your horse should be a pretty easy endeavor. Once you search for fly masks on the internet though, you’ll realize that there are a plethora of choices, and suddenly you’re doubting yourself to make the right decision. If you’re finding yourself in a similar boat, then this buyer’s guide is meant to help solve your problem and help you figure out how to choose the right fly mask for your horse.
As you can tell, different fly mask models have different appearances, offer various levels of coverage, and come at a range of prices. But how can you tell which of these masks is good and which ones aren’t?
We’ve tested a lot of these masks with our horses, and after all that testing and comparing, we’ve come to realize that there a few traits that matter most when deciding between different fly masks. Read about the following traits, then use that information to help you compare the different fly masks you’re looking at. Once you see how they compare on these parameters, you’ll be able to decide which one is better for your horse.
Your horse will be wearing this mask for many hours, many days, and weeks in a row. Would you want to wear something uncomfortable that often? Probably not, and neither does your horse. That’s why our favorite masks feature fleece lining inside to prevent rubbing and offer comfort for your horse.
These masks provide protection from both UV rays and biting insects, but they can only protect the parts of the face that are covered. For this reason, it’s important to choose a fly mask that offers excellent coverage. Our favorites covered everything but the horse’s nostrils and mouth. Even the ears were covered.
Flying insects love to land around your horse’s eyes, many of which are very unpleasant since they bite and leave your horse itching and uncomfortable. The main point of a fly mask is to offer protection from these pesky insects. This means that they need to be kept from being able to reach the horse’s eyes. But they’ll also attack other skin, which is why the masks that offer the most coverage also offer the best insect protection.
Many of these masks feature UV protection as high as 80%, though some are much lower. While your horse is an outdoor creature that can handle a little sun, some parts of the face are susceptible to burning. The UV protection in your horse’s mask can prevent this, so long as it offers high enough protection against those harmful rays.
A mask won’t protect your horse much if it becomes blind by wearing it. This would result in your horse running into things, tripping, and likely getting injured. But the best fly masks utilize high-visibility mesh that offers protection from UV rays and insects without hindering your horse’s vision. But not all mesh is equal regarding visibility. Make sure you pick a mask that won’t impede vision.
Horses often rub against fences, barn walls, and more. Some of the masks we tested weren’t durable enough to handle this. Needless to say, they didn’t last long. Other masks we tested could hold up to this type of abuse for many months and even years. For any mask on any horse, durability is an important factor to consider if you don’t want to be purchasing replacements regularly.
We tested many fly masks on our horses while writing these reviews. When we finished, three masks stood out to us as the clear winners. You’ve already read about them, but to ensure they’re fresh on your mind, we’re going to summarize them once again.
The Derby Originals Reflective Fly Horse Mask was our top choice. It comes in four sizes to fit most horses between 500-1,500 pounds. The material it’s made from blocks 75% of harmful UV rays with complete facial coverage, including the ears.
For the most affordable option, we recommend the WeatherBeeta Stretch Bug Eye Horse Fly Mask. It’s cheaper than alternatives, though it still offers great coverage with material that blocks 68% of UV rays and allows excellent visibility and protection from insects.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more, we think the Cashel Crusader Fly Mask is the best premium pick. It comes in seven sizes for a perfect fit on any horse. Plus, it offers more coverage than almost any mask we’ve seen while blocking 70% of UV rays.
Featured Image Credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay