Our gelding Mondo has forever been a fly- magnet. If he is in the barn- the other horses are fine. The flies will leave them alone to relentlessly go after him. Fly sprays work, but don't seem to last for long. With one exception and that would be ShooFly! from Show Off Time products. It is eco friendly, non toxic and it smells good. But it is also oil based and STICKS.
Still the flies loved Mondo. They literally have been eating the poor horse alive. He has worn a fly sheet and mask 24/7 for any relief they could bring, but it still wasn't enough. This year they seem to be twice as bad. And since the mask covered his eyes and the sheet covered his shoulders and body- they went after his muzzle, his jaw, his neck, his belly and his legs. Any time his sheet was torn and had to be repaired- the flies seemed to zoom in on him twice as strong. Wasn't long before he was sporting open sores where the flies have litterally bitten him (in clusters) until they broke the skin.
Talking to another blogger- Brown Eyed Cowgirls - about Mondo and his issue, she told me there is something out of balance in his system. Something is out of whack. There is something that is attracting the flies to him, not just that they are drawn to his eyes for moisture.
I have tried a few different things. We tried putting him on pellets and pouring Apple Cider Vinegar on them. While this has worked for other people and worked for other horses in the past- it didn't do squat for Mondo. The flies still swarmed him, still bit him and would not leave him alone. In browsing CL one day, I found an ad for a slow feeder. The person listing it also had a website and carries natural products for horses. I looked it up and sent her an email.
Maryann of Horse-N-Heart in Prescott, AZ was willing to help and offered a few tips of using the ACV and also garlic in Mondo's feed. When I told her that didn't work, she advised me of the Excel products. She had contacted them and forwarded the information on to me. It seems flies are attracted to horses with too much protein in their diet and an imbalance of the ph in their system. Mondo
Since we were heading to Paulden with Kat for a Darby (driving event) I offered to meet her up there to save the hassle, time and expense of shipping. Although we played phone tag upon arriving in Prescott, we were able to meet up as we headed home. Mondo has been on the Excel for 2 weeks now and Man has there been some changes!
Although we were only to feed him a 1/2 tsp scoop per day- we were feeding him 1 tsp scoop in the morning and evening to get a jump on things. He was switched to Bremuda blend pellets which he snarfs up without a fuss and since the Dynamite is a powder- we sprinkle it on, and wet the pellets a little to make it stick. By the end of the week it was working without a doubt.
I had been working with my WB mare and when I put her away to feed the herd- I noticed the bugs were out. Every horse in the barn was swishing their tails. All but one. Mondo stood there looking around waiting for his feed without swishing his tail at all.
For some reason hey don't go after the right side as much as his left.
But the flies do love his legs.
After the first week, we have cut him back on the Dynamite to the 1/2 tsp, once a day as directed and still wet his pellets in the morning when he gets it. He no longer wears his sheet- which he has done some damage to, and no longer wears his mask either. I pulled him out last night and got these pictures of him to show how badly the flies have been on him. Poor horse has been this way for too long.
At least now he finally has some relief. He will stay on pellets and Excel- Dynamite for a while, at least while this container of it lasts and we will see what happens. If he needs to stay on it for good- so be it. It is not at all costly considering how much good it is doing him. I am sold on it and the Excel brand certainly nailed it on this one. Hopefully I can post some after pics before long when Mondo is all healed up.