The gnats this year at my place are INSANE. NOTHING seems to help and my one TB mare is going crazy. She has literally spent the last week non stop moving, either walking or trotting with some cantering. Even at dinner she eats for about 30 seconds, kicking, shaking etc, then trots around the field and comes back and eats more.
The other horses are certainly bothered, but none to the extent she is. She's wearing her "All bugs must die" outfit, and I've been slathering swat under her chin and throat, and on her belly...but its not helping. She always loses a bit of hair this time of year under her chin and at her girth area from the gnats, but this year its quite a bit worse. The gnats period are worse...we've had a fairly mild spring that hasn't jumped right into summer like normal, along with an excessive amount of rain, which I think is why they are so bad.
She's a very sensitive mare period, hates flies, being brushed etc, but this year is crazy...
I don't have the ability to keep fans going in the stalls, and I'm not sure if it would be any better anyway. She's getting to the point now where she is completely exhausted, starting to trip and you can just tell by the way she's moving that she's tired....She's in a large field with no trees, grass is mowed so not super tall etc.
Is there anything that will work??? My fly spray hasn't been doing squat (repel x mixed with vinegar), is there another one that works better? I've used equispot on her before with good results, but it doesn't seem to be helping her.
Mare, she's just turned 6 this year...and I'm starting to wonder about sweet itch? She's not got welts or scabs, just losing the hair right at her throat and right where the girth goes (and my new saddle is arriving this week so she's not been ridden since Feb/March so its not that).
Agree that you'll get more of a response in the Horse Care section.
But I'll add my two cents.
Try one of the flyspray impregnated fly sheets (Amigo Bugbuster or the Rambo version.....there may be others by now?). I had a horse who got terrible midline dermatitis from the gnats around here and it was a lifesaver for him.
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
Which rug are you using? the way the present one has ridden up, it's not doing much good ... have you looked into the Boetts?
(I know they are $$$ but if it actually works ...)
Do some reading on the UK forums about the alternate brands.
ETA is it possible to move her to another farm where you could try her in a stable with fans etc while you sort out options?
You might also try a product such as this - it's definitely better protection than vinegar & less irritating to the skin (also a lot more $$, I must admit ).
Make sure you're also treating the itching, FP swears by this stuff - it's the only reason he still has a mane & tail & hair )
G-natural, used to be calleud gnat away. I think Smartpak carries it. Smells like ponds cold cream but always seemed to work for me when the gnats were insane. That or the Pyrhanna spray, but be careful if your mare has sensitive skin because some horses can have a reaction to it.
\"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain
This won't help in the field.. but in the stall, maybe.
I found by accident while on vacation that if you leave a glass of white wine out that gnats will flock to it and immerse themselves. Perhaps a few open bowls of white wine around the barn (making sure dogs and cats who have a taste for the grape cannot get to it) would help in that confined space.
ETA Use the cheap stuff.. Carlo Rossi make a jug wine..
Can't you put her in a stall for at least part of the day to give her some relief? Gnats are horrible, but I keep masks with ears and fly sheets with neck covers on all of our and they are fine. But they also get to come into a stall.