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.
Last edited by trail-rider; Feb. 25, 2008 at 04:27 PM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
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.
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. (:
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.
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!
...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.
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.