I know lots of people who leave them on 24/7 and the horses do fine. Best to remove them for a short time daily to make sure there are no eye injuries under there but the horse will do fine with them on during the night.
I've had them on my two geldings overnight before, it's not my preference but they did fine (my TWH will get sore from rubs). A mare I had did NOT do well with the mask on overnight..... as in, was standing funny in the morning, wouldn't move, held her head strange and basically freaked when the mask was pulled off, then was fine. That was with one overnight, not sure what the issue was but didn't attempt it again.
I personally am driven crazy by fly masks obscuring the vision of horses during the day. Yes I've tried the mesh ones, like screening, but they cling to eye lashes. My rambos stick out away from the eyes and lashes, but when my horses roll, well, the interstices get clogged with dirt. And then my horses just scrape them off on trees.
I don't put flymasks on my horses at night. It's too dangerous when they are out at night in summer (due to the horse who sunburns over 1/2 of his big body during the summer) so I saturate both horses with tritec daily. (It's still 100$ for 2 gallons at doctors foster and smith, and free shipping with that amt.) I don't want my horses with obscured vision at night.
Someone should invent a fly mask with clear areas over the yes, but still where the clear area stands away from the eyes.
I have used Kensington Bug-Eye masks and the Quiet Ride masks...both left on 24/7 on various horses.
I also ride my gelding with the Quiet Ride on, and at dusk he gets a bit nervous, so I will take it off if we are out late.
As far as being turned out is concerned, none of them suffered ill-effects from reduced vision...the biting flies and mosquitoes were awful where I used to live. The horses all learned quickly that the fly mask meant relief.
I haven't had a problem with the mesh Quiet Rides sticking to eyelashes, they stay off my horse's eyes with a good margin when they fit properly.
Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior
I've done both, depending on the time of year and what variety of bugs are around. Horses do fine either way, but I don't like to let them go more than 24 hours without taking the masks off to air out and let their faces breathe a little.
Most do fine with them on at night, although I've had a lot of horses injure themselves over the years wearing them 24/7. Minor things, such as scrapes, cuts, lumps, and bumps-- the kind of injuries that make you think they ran into stuff in the dark. Like people, some horses have better night vision than others.
Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO
Ours wear theirs 24/7 and don't get them off every single day, although that's the best method. We haven't had problems when they wear them overnight, we do have problems getting out there in a timely fashion to put the masks back on before the flies are out in force.
My mare wears a fly mask 24/7 - my old guy used to wear one 24/7 also for years. Never had a problem. My mare has 6-8 of them (all Cashel) and they are changed every night and every morning - the one taken off is scrubbed and hung up to dry. My mare is already wearing one during the day as she can't even stand ONE bug flying near her and bugs are out already (and I'm in NH). Bugs are horrendous at nighttime during summer - I can't imagine leaving my horse out without eye protection - she would be miserable and would end up spending the whole night inside her stall (she has access to a 4-acre grass field from her stall).
"When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered."CANTER New England
Mine do fine with them at night (and I used to be a staunch fly mask hater). I'm not going to run all over the farm, chasing horses down after dark to pull their masks, and quite a few of the will either hide in their run ins until dark (mine being one), or get silly. They do just fine.
I've turned out during the day and at night in a fly mask (Cashel with ears). I've never noticed my horse act any different. He actually seems to like wearing his mask. When he is in the barn it stays off and when he goes out they put it on.
My dad kept one on our old guy pretty much 24/7, no problems. One day I did notice that after rain, he was standing still with head held funny. Went out to check him & the small holes in the mesh were filled with water. I shook it out for him, but after that I noticed that it dried on its own after about 5 minutes & he would go back to ambling.
I used to leave mine on 24/7 but one evening I went out after dark to check on him for some reason or another and he about lost his mind. Took a long time talking to him and slowly approaching before I could get it off. For him it definitely made him hyper-vigilant in the dark.
mine wears one 24/7 and has never had any problems. I've caught him at night and didn't notice that he was spooky or anything. He gets crud at his eyes due to mild allergies so the fly mask keeps the flies from clustering around his eyes. He does roll in any mud he can find and will push his face into it to flip over so I do have to wash it if he comes in caked in mud.