Batt and the Great Fly Mask Conundrum 

Houston, we have a problem.

I cannot keep a fly mask on my horse.

If someone were holding a gun to my head, a fly mask would fall off of Batt’s head.

I need help.


I bought a lot of fly masks. Mission. Fail. 

So far this year, Batt has worn several different fly masks and NOT ONE OF THEM will stay on. NOT ONE OF THEM.

He is also extra itchy this year.

We find the fly masks everywhere. In the dirt, in the water trough, in the hay. Just laying on the ground. He shakes his head and OFF GOES THE FLY MASK.

We started the season with the Roma Stretch Fly Mask. It actually stayed on. Until it didn’t. After a week, this fly mask started coming off. Now it’s a failure and doesn’t last more than an hour. If I’m lucky. Maybe I need a cob sized? I don’t know. Maybe I should wash it in boiling water? What do I have to lose?


It was all so promising and then it wasn’t. 

Next up was the Kool Coat Fly Mask. It looked huge but fit REALLY REALLY REALLY well. And fell off immediately. There was NO WAY a cob would fit on Batt’s head. But, the horse size doesn’t stay on. But, at least Batt had fun looking like a race horse?


Race horse mode!

Then we tried on the  Kelley & Company Brow Lift Fly Mask w/ Ears but the horse size was way too big. Subi is currently wearing the cob size and it fits him wonderfully. I’m going to return it and get him another cob. It’s not going to hold up well, but it’s cheap and I can see his eyes which I like.


When your head is heavy, your brother makes a good head rest…  And Subi modeling the Kelly & Co. fly mask. It really fits him nicely (cob size)

Then I put on an old Rider’s International Fly Mask. Didn’t even last long enough for me to make dinner. Granted it didn’t work when I bought it either, but… Cob size.

Next we put on an old beat up Farnam SuperMask II. These have ALWAYS stayed on but tend to rub which is why I was switching around. The damn thing came off. WTH? I found it by the hay feeder and it’s in the wash pile as Jiminy peed on it. Jerk. Anyone want a miniature? No, wait, anyone want an appendix who won’t keep on a fly sheet? I’ll keep the miniature, he’s happy in HIS fly mask…


Not the same mask or model of mask (where is that one? I have no idea…) but you get the idea. Last summer when Batty had to wear one of Subi’s fly sheets… 

This morning, after retreiving the peed on Supermask with ears, I threw on another Supermask without ears. Maybe the ears are the issue? But he’s ALWAYS had ears????? I have NO IDEA if that one is still on. I didn’t look after I fed. I didn’t want to know.

I haven’t tried a Cashel this year as they’ve never stayed on any of my horses except for Hayley. He has a Pirate mask, but that won’t stay on either. I’m one step away from turning him out with a halter over a fly mask, any fly mask, to see if that helps. Or I can try rubber cement or duct tape. Kidding. Really.


Once there was a Batthorse Pirate…

He has a Rambo Space Alien Fly Mask coming but I doubt it will stay on. I used my SmartPak store credit from when they fell apart and tried to get me to shop with them again to buy it. So, if it fails, at least I didn’t spend real money on it? And maybe it’ll work for Subi?


This fly mask fit really well… Maybe I should sew the velcro back on the throat latch? But, if I do that, it’ll probably fall off just like the rest of them. Because my luck = NONE

I also ordered some feed through stuff because I’m at my wits end. He’s miserable. Even with a fly sheet (but less miserable as he was SERIOUSLY OMG MY LIFE SUCKS MISERABLE when I took it off). So maybe they’ll help somewhat? He’s not hivey anymore either. He’s just dramatic.

Any suggestions? Any way to save my horse from bug hell? Better yet, any possible way to SAVE ME FROM FLY MASK HELL?



12 thoughts on “Batt and the Great Fly Mask Conundrum 

  1. my horse also declines to wear a fly mask. so…. he just doesn’t. idk. i would feel better if he did wear one, and i suspect he would feel better with the fly relief if he wasn’t so preoccupied with noping out of the fly mask. but. idk. i can’t make him wear one so…. shrug.

    i wish there were better ways to control the bugs…. i never know if those feed through supps work. some people swear by fly predators but sometimes that success rate depends just as much on your neighboring environment as it does your own farm. and there’s only so much toxic stuff or sticky strips we want to be spreading around everywhere too…. ugh. flies are the worst.

    • I’d say he just hates fly masks if he didn’t wear one for years and if he didn’t walk up to me and HELP me put it on him. But, he’s so itchy this year he’s just rubbing it off. The earless supermask is still on, 24 hours later. So there is that? His allergies are so bad this year. Usually Jiminy isn’t bothered and he’s a mess too. It was such a wet spring…

  2. I’ve had good success with the earless ones though then I feel bad when E has crusts in his ears from the flies. I’m less worried about flies than skin cancer with his pink nose and pink eyelids so he can suffer. LOL! The ear ones I tried at first came off but the one I have now is a Cashel something or other with 70 SPF supposedly and no ears. It has a double velcro closure at the throat and he wears it every day without losing ti. So far…

  3. We use the fly predators and like them (they seem to work best for a small operation) and Amber recently has been soooooo itchy and taking off her fly mask as well. The saving grace? She has the Schneider’s fly sheet and neck cover, and the neck cover has a STRAP to connect to the fly mask. The mask may be hanging off of one ear, but hey IT’S STILL STAYING ON haha. I couldn’t get the Schneider’s fly mask since it was too close to Amber’s eyes and bothered her, but fly masks like Cashel that have the opening for the forelock work well. I hook the strap on the neck piece to that and it stays on. I rotate her between a no-ears-and-nose fly mask and a nose-and-ears mask depending on how bad the flies are. Otherwise she itches all her masks off lol.

    • These itchy chestnuts! I love the ears but right now no ears seem to be staying on… stupid horses! Batty is living in his sheet and neck cover too. Ugh. At least we’re at 36 hours w/ a mask on. Just no ears.

  4. Ha, I feel like this was me last year. No matter what mask I put on Phoenix he was taking it off. He had previously worn the same cashel mask for years with no problems but it had died and I’d replaced it with the same mask but it didn’t quite fit the same. I kept buying different sized and different models and it was allll the same. Finally, I got a shires mask and all has been right with the world – the way the edging is done seems to really help keep the mask in place. Until recently because the Velcro is losing it’s stick so he’s just undoing it. Ordered a new one and hoping it fits the same so we can go back to leaving the mask on and not having swollen goopy eyes. Good luck!

    • It’s funny because I don’t think he’s trying to get it off. He shakes his head or rubs from itches and off it goes. Then I hold a mask and he comes flying up to me to put the thing on. My non-horse husband can put masks on him now. He lowers his head for them.

  5. I think earless is the way to go if you want it to stay on (or at least possibly stay on). I dealt with one horse that we put a piece of string through the crown piece on an earless supermask and tied the string into a braid on the mane behind the ears. Worked well, but might not be convenient.

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