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He's ripping everyone's fly masks off! Help!

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  • He's ripping everyone's fly masks off! Help!

    I have an over-zealous OTTB gelding that is finding it necessary to rip everyone else's fly masks off.. and not just gently remove them.. RIP THEM to shreds. Of course, I come home and HIS fly mask is of course perfectly in place.. and I've got 2 more that are destroyed. I make sure all velcro ends are trimmed, and I've even put a nice mustard/red pepper/cayenne pepper mix on the velcro area (where he always grabs them) to try to deter him, but nothings has worked. I even tried spray on chew stop but didn't work at all. One of the horses out with this naughty boy that keeps getting his mask ripped off really needs his mask on! He's super sensitive and I'm not sure what else to do.. I can't put a muzzle on the offender, if he was an easy keeper that would be agreat solution.. but alas... has anyone dealt with this before? Any suggestions? Fly spraying ears can only last for so long during the day..

  • #2
    We put breakaway halters over the fly masks and this seems to stop our mask ripper. He doesn't shred them, so this may not be extreme enough for your situation.


    • #3
      Separate him or grazing muzzle or breakaway halters over the masks. Good luck. That's about all you have in terms of options.

      Someone who gave up on fly masks vs three naughty geldings


      • #4
        Duct tape
        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


        • Original Poster

          hahaha Duct tape.. LOVE IT.. I could wrap everyone's heads up and make them look like armored-headed horses with tiny openings for the eyes.. those cool pyramids for the ears.. don't care if they can't move them they'll be protected! hahaha.. why ever did that go out of style?? I'll trying sticking some completely over the velcro areas and other 'high teeth traffic' areas. Good tip. I've got a few extra leather halters around...will have to try that too. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!


          • #6
            I too have a fly mask bandit. Unfortunately, he can't wear a grazing muzzle because he needs his calories. He removes everyone else's masks as well as his own mask, and his own halter if that's left on. He can also remove a very close fitting halter and I will find it with all buckles still in place. I don't know how he does it

            Did I mention he also makes a sport of yanking the tail flap of my other gelding's blankets? That's super fun too...


            • #7
              Get the cheapest, biggest can of hair spray you can find.

              Heavily spray the edges of the fly mask. The 2nd day you will want to reapply it. After that you can stretch out the time in between spray downs.

              Do the same thing for the edges of the tail flap.


              • #8
                One of mine not only will rip the other's fly mask off, he then proceeds to bury it. So I have to wander around looking for tell tale signs of trampled dirt, and sure enough, I find it covered with dirt.


                • #9
                  a free to eat muzzle- Dover carries, it is a wire muzzle they can eat but not bite or crib


                  • #10
                    I feel your pain! My stallion not only refused to wear cloths of any kind he insisted on taking every one elses cloths off too. No halters, fly sheets,fly masks, blankets or boots shall be worn in his paddock! At this point Ive just given up...


                    • #11
                      Palmolive or any dish soap. Wipe it on any edges that lips can grab, especially the velcro tabs. Straight up. It won't hurt the material, it will wash off, and it's pretty distasteful. Don't put any around eyes or eye areas of the mask, just edges, though.
                      Works on tail flaps too.
                      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                      • #12
                        This stuff ~

                        Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray

                        Spray on masks (or halters, leads, crossties, turnouts, flysheets, etc. etc.). Spray a small amount in offender's mouth.

                        I guarantee you will never have another problem.

                        Non-soapy, non-sticky, non-gummy.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nasalberry View Post
                          Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray

                          Spray on masks (or halters, leads, crossties, turnouts, flysheets, etc. etc.). Spray a small amount in offender's mouth.

                          I guarantee you will never have another problem.

                          Non-soapy, non-sticky, non-gummy.
                          I tried this exact thing with my dog. No luck Maybe it will work in this situation though.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PiaffePlease View Post
                            I tried this exact thing with my dog. No luck Maybe it will work in this situation though.
                            Doesn't surprise me - have you seen what dogs will eat?
                            I had a 9mo GSD tear into a box of powdered laundry detergent once time.

                            I think the trick is spraying a small amount in their mouth. They are instantly conditioned to it's taste, and do not want to taste it again. Ever again.


                            • #15
                              TooManyChickens- I don't really have any suggestions, but just wanted to add that your boy sounds like such a fun character!


                              • #16
                                Free to Eat muzzle! It has sort of metal looking bars at the bottom. They allow the naughty fellow to keep nom-noming on grass/hay/water, but he wont be able to play with anyones clothes!
                                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                • #17
                                  The reason I don't like bibs or muzzles is that the horse can't interact/groom his buds.

                                  Also, what if it isn't *your* horse who is the destructive one, but the BO's or a fellow boarder's horse?


                                  • #18
                                    I had a young horse doing that to his pasture mate. He thought it was great fun. Over and over he did it. So one day I went out, and this was the peak of fly season where flies would literally cover the horses face ears, legs, everywhere, and it was a bad fly season too. I took HIS mask off and put it on the other horse. Immediately all flies swapped horses. I took the mask off the ground and left with it. That was the last time he ever ripped off somebody's fly mask. I left his mask off for a couple days, so hopefully he would appreciate a fly mask when it was put back on. Well it worked. I went out and put a fly mask on him. No more did he rip them off anybody ever again. Guess he got the message of the importance of a fly mask.

                                    Maybe you need to unmask him, and he see the light.