I do have a pink ribbon Cashel with pink ears, and both horses hated it and tore it off. I have had other Cashel masks, and they didn't rip them off. However, with the Super Mask II with ears they both leave it on. Any rips, I use dental floss and a needle to repair. I keep them clean by rinsing them out inside in the sink, hang to dry or put back on the horse to dry.
Fly masks are subjective. I will never get one with out the ears. That is a must have. Make sure the ears are well brushed out before putting the mask on. Next ones I will get will have the extended nose. I have no white nosed horses, but it does keep the flies off the muzzle.
I need to get them on now since gnats are out and bothering the ears. Still cold out. Dang gnats.
I love the Kensingtons--I always get the the ear ones now, since my horse is super sensitive, and I do have one with the extended nose for when the flies are really bad. The Kensingtons last much longer than the cheaper models I've had.
I also like the Schneider's fly masks. They're very durable and reasonably-priced. Just make sure you buy one now, because in the summer they are often backordered for MONTHS!
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One is the cashel crusader. With or without the extended nose piece (which catches on briars and gets cut off by me.)
The other is the rambo. I like the "new" version, which is held away from the eyes because one of my horses has large protruding eyes and long lashes. The "old" version is much like the cashel.
Both the cashel and the rambo stay out away from the eye lashes and the eyes, which is essential for my horses. I've spent a lot of time and money finding the right masks for my horses. And have given away a lot of the other types that did not work out well. There are some Cothers who can attest to the durability of both the rambo and cashel masks, as once mine shred the ears or sides after 2 or 3 yrs, I give the old usable masks away and buy new ones. Always get the ears.
The Rambo Plus has so far been the most durable for me. I've had one go through two summers and will soon be starting on the third. It looks worn at this point, but it's not ripped anywhere. I've decided the trick with fly masks is that the netting must have some sort of edge on it or it rips easier. The Supermasks don't have anything down the throatlatch part and that's where they always rip.
I love the Cashels. All of mine are 5+ years old, a little worn but no holes. Wear very well.
I find that in the AM what really helps before I put them on is spraying the ears of the fly mask with human-grade (deet free, obvs) mosquito/fly spray. Then I would spray my guy, spray a little horsie flyspray on a soft brush and brush the inside of his ears - and then don the mask.
Rarely had a problem with those tiny gnats in his ears. Those guys are vicious, but I beat their system!
Which masks are sized correctly? The Cashel's so called Arab size is way too big for my Arab; when comparing the measurements on the box, it seems the next size down has the same measurements where I need them smaller.
And is my horse the only one who can't keep on a fly mask with ears? I bought the Supermask with ears once and it was off more than on. Without ears, it stays on. Now I just use the earless ones and use Repel X lotion inside and on his ears.
I definitely cared for a few horses who absolutely could not keep masks on with ears. Sucked for them, since most seem to care about the flies in their ears than around their eyes! I had one mare I cared for that was SUCH an escape artist when it came to her mask, that I went to great lengths to keep it on. Turned her out in her halter (all leather and she went out alone), fit snugly, and ran the crown up through the top of her mask. USUALLY, that worked, but there were mornings it would be all rolled up, hanging on her mask (I went to such great lengths because she was notoriously hard to catch and there were some days I would just give up-owner approved. I wanted her to have her mask for some protection if she chose to not come in!).
I have several Cashels that I just bought last year. I also like the Absorbine ones. They hold up really well. Ihave about 4 that are at least 3 years old. I tend to have at least 2 masks for each horse so I can exchange and wash.
My gelding used to be in a herd of approx 10 horses and they played hard and were always ripping each other's fly masks off, tearing blankets, etc. The only mask that lasted (and is still good strong into its 3rd summer) is the Rambo. Kensington didn't fit so can't speak to those, but I went through multiple cashels per summer. The Rambo is heavier than others but never gives my guy rubs and he's in it 24/7 for much of the summer.
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I'm honestly still trying to search for one for my guy that will fit is long ears and his small face (Yes I am sure he is a horse, ). Anything we've tried so far either doesn't fit his ears OR it immediately slides off when he rolls (he's a vigarous roller) We're giving absorbine a try this year but if that doesn't work I'm about ready to buy a "no ears" mask and MAKE my own ears for him...
While I always had luck with the Cashels when I had Arabs (used the "horse" size because the Arab size would touch their eyes or lashes if adjusted tight enough), they don't fit my TBs very well for the same reason.
The "new" Rambos are worth the price. Lots of protection and they stay far away from the eyes and lashes. They do run VERY large though. Even the cob size is almost too large for my 16H TBs.