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Another fly mask question

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    Another fly mask question

    Saw a thread from earlier asking about which ones stay away from eyes best and didn't want to hijack that one.

    My pink skinned gelding is GREAT at slipping out of the cashel long nose fly masks. He's got a partially bald face (right side of face is a true bald, left side not so much, muzzle all white) and he sunburns very quickly. I use mug balm sunscreen when I can, but he hates it with a passion and will actually start running from me and refusing to come in to eat in the mornings. I've got 1 more week until day time stalling is an option (currently must be turned out as much as possible per vet rec). He's a 15.1hh Morgan with a finer head and the horse sized cashel is a touch large and long for him. The Arab size is a tick short (not a huge deal) and fits better around his head. He still gets the arab sized one off fairly quickly. It does not matter if I pull his forelock through or not, it's still off in a matter of minutes once he's turned out. What mask will do better? I'd love to not have to bring him in all summer long, but I can't have him burning all the time and can't keep chasing him with sunscreen and expect that to not become a larger issue like being head shy. He's a big, puppy dog style puddle of sensitivity and needs his extra sun protection.

    He's pictured below.

    Click image for larger version

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    I can't speak from experience since my horse has a moose-head, but I just wanted to say that your boy is ADORABLE. Maybe a long-nose version in a different brand would work? My guy kept slipping of the farnam ones, but goes in a cashel nicely. These look really cute and have a removable nose cover.


      The Rambo one comes with a nose flap you can leave on if you please. Also, at our barn, we use zinc oxide diaper cream as sunscreen on white noses. Gloves, big swipe with a bunch of cream gooped on, mint to say thank you and the horses go outside. Might stick a bit better than the sunscreen?


        The Rambo one is super!! I have had it a week and I realize I never wipe his eyes anymore, and he doesn't rub his eyes so the mask stays cleaner. It sort of looks like an astronaut's helmet. I took the nose piece off, but due to a now-healed nose injury, I realize the normal mask length is longer and would have covered his boo-boo without a nose piece -- should got this earlier. I don't think the nose piece is long enough to completely cover a long white face (see Shire for that, their nosepiece is too long and flips up), but it doesn't look as annoying either. It doesn't have a forelock hole, you can pull through the ear, or let it be since the bigger shape doesn't smash the forelock against his face.

        And given that he plays flymask removal with the stall buddies on either side, I was worried the more bulbous shape would be easy pickings for his neighbors. Not at all. His is own and their's are off, so I know they were playing.

        Pricey, but I am ordering a second one.


          What about the ones that are designed like a slinky type for their face? Its that soft stretchy material and then the mesh over the eyes. You could always cut away ear covers or cut a little slit into the mask near the poll and baling twine or last resort since they are tie it to a breakaway halter. I would personally use the smaller zip ties so he can break them easily if he does get stuck on anything.

          I saw your other post about his issues and needing more turnout and was going to pm you these suggestions anyways lol.


            Also second the desitin type ointment for the nose. Stays great and prevents dewy grass from irritating them further.


              Love the Rambo mask... it stays on and stays away from the eyes.
              Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
              Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
              "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


                I've put a breakaway halter on over a horse that kept getting his fly mask off while I was treating for eye issues.

                I also just tried with my 3-year old on 24/7 turnout braiding a chunk of his mane around the crownpiece of the fly mask. He has a very small forelock, so I pulled some of his mane through the forelock hole and braided it back to the rest of his mane. It's worked for 24 hours so far.


                  Original Poster

                  Looks like I need to look in to the Rambo, thanks everyone!

                  As for cream on nose, it's a no go. He will not let me put anything on him and last thing I need is him becoming headshy about this. He's the puppy dog type and absolutely never wants to stop touching you (work in progress there...) and breaking out any sort of cream or balm or lotion for his face has him running for the hills. I think the mug balm sticks fine and I don't mind putting it on him, I feed him twice a day anyway. However, I'm not ok with how he reacts to any sort of stuff on his face and I'd rather find a solution that doesn't involve wrestling my horse.

                  The slinky types won't work, I have never seen one with a long nose (which is a must) and he will shred it in minutes. 100% will die. Shredded to pieces, chunks of it scattered in the pasture. He's not nice to his clothes, wants to be a naked boy. I try to keep him in a fly sheet because I like nice things and for my animals to have nice things. I'm lucky if they make it 24 hours without a hole or tear, his current record is an obliterated chest (gone well beyond repair) on a brand new fly sheet in under 6 hours, That was his 3rd in a month and the last one he gets this year...

                  I will try the halter under again, but last year I tried and a few things happened. Halter over mask made sores on his baby butt sensitive skin, he can't even wear a soft rope halter for 10 minutes without getting rubs, must be padded leather in the summer. Winter he can do stiff rope halters and everything in between though. Mr I-wanna-be-naked slipped the HALTER while it was UNDER the mask and run through at the poll. I've got a lightweight breakaway leather halter I'll try putting under his mask again and see if he's more ok with that this year. Maybe persistence is key?

                  As for braiding mane in, his hair breaks really easily as is and I don't know if it would hold. I can't even leave it braided on a regular basis for more than a couple of days without him shedding handfulls of it out. It makes me want to cry. It just nopes right off his neck and comes back to his little pube fro thing he's got going. Honestly if there weren't a handful of people out there that would murder me for roaching his mane I'd do that because it frustrates me so much and it's ridiculously uneven... He's also got a wider bridle path too so I can't take from his actual mane, it's too far away.


                    This is a neat trick to teaching them to accept being slathered in cream or fly spray on the face: Left hand has multiple chunks of sliced carrot bit, right hand grabs a bunch of whatever to be spread, as horsie is happily gobbling down carrot pcs. your right hand is spreading whatever you need to spread. When the right hand is devoid of goop or spray, load up right and left again.
                    It's simple and works.

                    Wonder if you could SEW something like curtain trim fringe on bottom of flymask- it would hang down over nostrils and mouth to protect from sun. But he could still eat.
                    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                        Would he like fringe instead of a nose cover? The shires mask is really pretty nice, and it's not even too much $$, so even if he hates it, you're not out a lot.



                          Another vote for Rambo. This is the only mask that my mare will keep on (as long as the bottom velcro is tightened appropriately) and stays way off her eyes. It's very sturdy as well. It comes with a nose part, if needed.

                          She had a Shires with fringe for a while but the fringe made her crazy lol and she'd take it off all the time.

                          MTA this mask looks like a Rambo knock-off, good price. I don't know how well it's made, though.
                          Last edited by sophie; Jul. 30, 2020, 05:45 PM.
                          Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


                            Original Poster

                            Will the fringe offer enough sun protection? I always assumed it was for flies not sunlight.

                            Tried the halter under today, he slipped it between 9am and 4pm while I was at work. I'll try halter over tomorrow (he doesn't wear it overnight) and see if it lasts AND doesn't cause rubs.


                              Originally posted by Dani View Post
                              Will the fringe offer enough sun protection? I always assumed it was for flies not sunlight.
                              A little? More than nothing, probably less than mesh. But if he'll leave it on, that would be a win, right?


                                I use Neutrogen Kids Sensitive Skin SPF 50 sunscreen on my horse’s snoot- he tolerates it a lot more than any other brand of sunscreen (for animals or people) and will now actually push his nose into my hand when its time to apply it. Might be worth trying! Because it’s for kids with sensitive skin it’s fragrance free and doesn’t sting. And this is a horse that I have to bribe with snacks to clean his face with a damp rag. (I’ve given up on flymasks- not only does he take them off but then he plays with them and tears them apart.)


                                  Original Poster

                                  Alright. Halter over mask worked all day yesterday, I was very excited and put it back on him the same way this Morning. It was off in less than 3 hours. Guess I'll be ordering the Rambo.