View Full Version : horse hair fly whisks

Feb. 25, 2008, 04:25 PM

I've been thinking of getting a horse hair wisk to help chase away the flys when I'm trail riding. Does anyone on here use one? What do you like or don't like about yours. I did a google search on them there seem to be several different styles. Some have long handles, some have short handles. and of course different makes have different lengths of horse hair. I saw a nice one in the Smartpak website, but I wasn't sure if the long handle makes it cumbersom to use/carry.

If you use one I would love to hear if your like it or don't like it.

Feb. 26, 2008, 07:24 AM
Both of the fly whisks on the Smart Pak site are standard types. I carry one in the summer because of the horrendous deer flys around here. I did make one once from an old dressage whip and a broken whisk. I had a mare at that time with an extremely long neck and needed more length to be able to reach her head and face with the whisk. Now I largely just ride fast so the flys can't land! I don't find the whisk awkward to carry, just irritating if I need to do something else with that hand like sponge or clip trails.


Feb. 26, 2008, 07:52 AM
I love mine. I have 2 and I like the one with the longer handle so I can reach the ears and the tail head. The one downside is that you have something to carry and the hair can get caught on stuff if you are riding in rough country.

Feb. 26, 2008, 09:31 AM
My horse hated it--thought it was another horses tail. :lol:

Feb. 26, 2008, 10:00 AM
Love these things and would not be without one

I guess what we use is the standard - the tail hair is about as long as the full handle

I find that if we are in a fairly clear area then I just let the whisk dangle from the handle aroound my wrist. But if we are in an area with stuff around us (bushes, brush, stuff to get caught on) I carry the whisk with my hand around the handle and the hair folded up into my hand. Its ready to use when needed but the hair is not all out there getting caught on everything.

Some of our horse have taken to it right away and others had to learn it was to their advantage. Our old Hackney horse was great with just about any device that could be thought to enhance his comfort. Not our doing, but he didnt have much of a tail and he was allergic to bug bites, so anything that gave him some protection was a blessing.

We had an antique string sheet to wear while driving that he learned to wear while riding too.
Like riding a caparisoned destrier.

Feb. 26, 2008, 10:54 AM
I added a tiny spring-snap to the handle's loop, and clip it onto a saddle dee.

Like anything, you must get your horse use to it.

Before you get on, that is.

Best is to hand graze and start by letting him sniff it, then gently sweeping him. Then start mimicking his own tail.

Start whacking away at him w/o any warning and he'll think it is a new kind of whip you're beating him with. And no, he won't like it.


I've never seen a horse that doesn't like one, if he is properly introduced to it.

Diamond Jake
Feb. 26, 2008, 02:14 PM
I use one every summer. Usually just during conditioning rides, and I keep "duh'ing" myself for not bringing it more places.

All I need to do is let Jake know I have it, then there is no issue. If I surprise him with it, then he jumps.

I have pretty loud fidgety hands, (I can just hear everyone cringe- do not worry, I have just realised it and am working on it) so it takes some work for me to hold it with my reins.

Only occasionally does it get caught in the velco covering of my half chaps when dangling from my wrist, or in the top buckles of my breastcollar.

For places with bad deerflies, I would definitely recommend it!

Feb. 27, 2008, 06:40 PM
My SO carries one, and we pass it around (I hate carrying anything). He uses the standard size (handle as long as hair) and just sticks the handle in his tall boot when riding. They really work great -- both for the flies and for getting spider webs off your face. :D

Mar. 4, 2008, 12:47 AM
I have one with the long handles as long as the hair. My horse hates flies, so she seems to love the fly whisk. I carry it like a riding crop when not in use. It comes in very handy to ward off spider webs out on the trails.

Mar. 5, 2008, 12:21 PM
I have one with the long handle and it doesn't really get in my way. I just hold it like a crop usually, or if I'm riding Western I loop the loop on it over my horn. The clip to attach it to a saddle D is a good idea. When I go to get my horse from the pasture, I usually have it stuck in my back pocket, and Sam will go directly behind me and bury his head in the horsehair as he follows me out. (:

Mar. 16, 2008, 12:34 PM
I haven't used on in years...and loved the one I did have.
Any ideas where to find one..now don't laugh...reasonably priced?

Mar. 16, 2008, 06:22 PM
I got mine from the Stagecoach West: http://www.equineusaonline.com/

I didn't see it listed on their website, but if you call them, I'm sure they can send it to you--they have great customer service. They're also at EA Ohio and Mass. Mine is a reddish bamboo handle with a leather loop at one end and the whisk itself is black horsehair. Sheds some hair, but works quite well. I think it was about $13, if I remember correctly.

Mar. 17, 2008, 10:41 AM
Running Bear has them for $20. Not as cheap as Stagecoach, but they're on the website. ;)

I keep forgetting to bring mine, so I end up breaking off a tree branch and using that instead. Only trouble is I often choose one of those springy, fibrous tree branches that won't just snap off. I've nearly pulled myself out of the saddle a couple of times grabbing one of those as we go by!

Mar. 18, 2008, 10:30 PM
Thanx! I use the tree branch myself...but sometimes have difficulty finding a place to store it....which is usually in my 1/2 chap!:winkgrin:

Mendin Fences
Mar. 18, 2008, 11:06 PM
Some friends and I found one in the clearance section at Stagecoach and we were messing around with it (putting it on this one girl's head hehe) They were pretty silly looking.

Mar. 19, 2008, 06:46 AM
Some friends and I found one in the clearance section at Stagecoach and we were messing around with it (putting it on this one girl's head hehe) They were pretty silly looking.

I spent the entire car ride home with it draped over my head deciding whether I'd look good with black hair. :lol:

Mar. 19, 2008, 11:23 AM
I was given one as a gift by my BFF from her trip to England 20 yrs ago. I LOVE it.

I dropped it in South Branch on a trail ride Labor Day 2007 :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: and assumed it was gone forever, BUT Lucy and Ray THANK YOU THANK YOU :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:for its safe return!!!

I tied a bright pink ribbon to it, which is actually what ensured its return.;) It was identify-able.

Now I may have to purchase another one b/c I am too afraid of losing this one again - my BFF passed away in 2005. I was heart sick when I lost it.

Mar. 19, 2008, 08:01 PM
...Any ideas where to find one........reasonably priced?

I make flywhisks using knitting yarn. I make a long tassle (think a little longer than graduation diploma tassle size) and attach them to the end of a long riding crop that usually costs around $5-$6. They work fine, and when they fall apart, get stepped on or lost, I just make another one.

Apr. 15, 2008, 07:03 PM
I have one and they're geat. My horse is bug phobic and freaks out at the mere mention of a bug so I needed one! I stash it in the gullet of my saddle and can whip it out on a hurry if I have to. I dont like carrying it all the time. My horse doesnt mind it, I drape it over his head and tell him how sexy he looks with long blonde hair. :lol: