Horses Suffering Sweet Itch...Is There A Market in The U.S. for This?
For those who have horses with severe allergies and sweet itch. As we know, the "fly sheets" sold in the U.S. really don't address the issue of sweet itch. I am considering becoming a rep for this sheet. They are a bit pricey..about $280, which includes shipping (may be a bit less...working on converting the euro to dollar!) but considering what we spend on useless fly sprays, medicines, etc, plus the aggravation and the poor miserable horse, it would be worth it! Is there a market in the U.S. for such a rug? I think so, but only because I have a horse that suffers from sweet itch! http://www.solva-icelandics.co.uk/
In my opinion, this blanket is no better and actually considerably worse than the full coverage mesh sheets available for cheaper.
I used this exact blanket on a mare that suffered terribly from sweet itch, and the culicoides (sp?) flies could still get in around the sides. It is extremely hot and she sweated heavily in the summer, even in a cool stall.
After one season it was quite ripped up and stretched out and the flies could infiltrate even easier, despite me trying to "tighten it up", getting it repaired, etc.
I will never buy another one. Overpriced and useless.
I haven't tried the sheet you're thinking about repping, so I can't say anything about it. But I had a gelding with terrible sweet itch (he'd go completely raw from under his tail to his chest and he'd rub out mane and tail). I put him in an Amigo Bug Buster and was able to leave him alone (i.e. no fly spray, no slathering on the creams all over his belly, etc.) and he spent his last summer with me looking like a normal horse....he had a mane, he had a tail, and he even had hair on his stomach.
So I would say that there *are* some sheets that help. The Amigo Bugbuster and the Rambo version of the same thing off of the top of my head.
I can't see spending $280 on a sheet when I can get the others cheaper. But then maybe there are worse sufferers of sweet itch than my boy? Hard to imagine, but certainly not impossible!
Under a rock, up in the hills of Sage, So. Calif, southeast of Hemet & north east of Temecula
I doubt that it could hold up for any horse not in a stall. I know mine need the textilene material & that takes a beating, but any thing else is destroyed quickly. I've also heard that the Boett sheets designed for sweet itch are way too hot for most of the US so I suspect this would be also.
I tried the Amigo Bug Buster a couple of summers ago & found that the horse wearing it had as many bugs of all kinds sitting on the thing as the horses not wearing anything or other sheets. You are lucky.
There is no such thing as "bad" horsemanship or "good" horsemanship. There is simply Horsemanship or the absence thereof.
I've also heard that the Boett sheets designed for sweet itch are way too hot for most of the US so I suspect this would be also.
Correction to my earlier post- I had the Boett sheet, not this Solva one. I had forgotten the actual brand until I read your post. BUT, they look almost identical- and I still won't buy another one of either brand.
(To be honest, having a horse who suffers badly from sweet itch is MISERABLE for everyone- the horse, of course, but the caretaker too. A horse husbandry nightmare...to the point that if a horse I was evaluating for purchase was afflicted, I'd probably pass, even if it was perfect in almost every other respect).
I have the Boett blanket for my Shetland mare who suffers terribly with sweet itch. I love it, and it seems very similar to the blanket you posted. Heat does not seem to affect her, she is cooler under the blanket than her pasture mate. According to the website, it has a "parasol" effect, and shades the horse. It does seem to breathe and dries very quickly.
I just ordered my second Boett as my mare has grown a bit, and will use the old one as back up. It is the ONLY thing that has worked for this mare.
LOL. I came here for advice, and it's yes/no to the Boett and the Bugbuster. I don't know what to do.
Have to read more about the sheet you are thinking of distributing, but it gets really hot here, and I'd want some guarantee about how well it works and lasts before I'd shell out $280.
If I still have my old one, I am willing to give it to you for the cost of shipping (with the understanding it was used for several seasons, is in rough shape, and has been repaired several times!).
I went and dug through all my horse stuff here in CA and could not find it, but there is a pretty good chance it is stored at my farm in PA (which would make sense, because the mare it was for did not move to CA with me 5 years ago). I will be at that farm in about a month's time, and if I can find it, do you want it?
I would have PM'd this to Bacchus, but in case s/he does not want it, I will give it to anyone else that does want to give it a whirl. Sweet itch is NOT fun. I tried hundreds of things, so although the Boett did not work for my horse, it may work for someone elses and I'm happy to donate to the cause.
With healthy skin, much of this goes away. Sweet itch tends to vanish with the only truly all-in-one shampoo for horses. Here are thoughts on how you can treat and even avert skin problems. The paradigm is economical, easy and best: http://www.luckybraids.com/troubleshooting.pdf
Top Turnout, you have linked to (what I presume is) your website or your facebook page in every single one of your posts, and it certainly seems like you're just here to pimp your products. Advertising is not permitted. Reported.
My horse started getting this when I moved him to KY from OR (he was in his teens), so I don't think it's a skin problem that can be fixed with a shampoo. I think it has something to do with the flies/grass/weather here.
We bought a Boett from overseas and let me tell you, it was a God send. It was a last resort after trying many creams, steroid treatments, shampoos, oils, etc. My barn manager always worried pony was going to overheat in it because he was so covered and the material didn't seem breathable. However, they know what they're doing, he was always cool underneath! He was fully clipped too. I don't have to use it anymore, as his bug problems have decreased greatly over the past 2 summers. If I ever encounter another equine with sweet itch problems, this will definitely be my go to. It offers WAY more protection than just your average fly sheet and if bugs were getting in the sides as someone mentioned- you had the wrong size.
Did the OP ever decide to carry a sweet-itch sheet? I am trying to figure out a good option before next summer gets here (not that summer ever /truly/ leaves down here, lol). That has been my main fear for the Boett, DeMeulenkamp, or Snuggy Bug Body is that they would get too hot. I am in south Florida, my horse is boarded, and while he is in a stall during the day with a fan, they get turned out around 3-4pm and his turnout doesn't have a shelter or anything (there are trees and stuff outside the field and there is a little shade later in the day). He has been wearing a Textiline fly sheet this past summer, but one he managed to destroy the tail flap from rubbing, and neither of the ones that I had covered the belly or between the front legs.
Froglander, we warmbloods bought the rambo sweet itch hoodies, complete with masks, last year. We warmbloods do not have sweet itch, and we're sprayed daily all spring and summer and fall for flies, but we do recommend the rambo hoodies. You can purchase them from tack shops in the UK.
It's a bid too hot here in the southland for hoodies and fly sheets in the summer. But they are great for spring and fall here. We also had the bucas sun shower sheets, but again, the summers are too hot for them also. With global warming, the southland is becoming too hot and humid for most horse clothing most of the year.
But the rambo sweet itch hoodies, well they are so great. If we still had spring and fall, we could wear them a lot longer than we do now.
Last edited by WildandWickedWarmbloods; Dec. 29, 2012 at 04:39 PM.
My guy has been able to wear his Kensington fly sheet all summer as far as I could tell, although I wouldn't see him until after work so I'm not positive if he got too hot earlier in the day or not Just trying to figure out my best option before summer returns.