keep the bugs away while you are riding

Battle of the bugs when you are riding – don’t get eaten!


  • There are few things worse than going through a hail storm of bugs and flies when you are riding in the summer. Luckily for modern science, some ingenious contraptions, and a bit of weather luck you can make it tolerable for everyone.

The key is to do many things, to fend off the many types of bugs and flies out there.


show horse with black fly bonnet on ears

Bug bonnet!


  • You can help your horse out a bit by just letting him have a long and free-flowing tail. Ditch the tail bags so his built-in fly swatter has maximum impact. Longer manes can also help here, as long as the mane doesn’t get tangled in your reins.


  • Of course, you are already following fly control protocols for all states of the fly life cycle, (more on that here) which helps a lot around the barn! But add a layer of fly spray before you hit the saddle and venture out. Homemade varieties, store-bought formulas, and the newer fatty acid versions are all options.


fatty acid based fly spray on horse legs

Fatty acids are used to confuse so flies and camouflage your horse!


Now do some creative dressing of your horse before you head out.


  • Fly bonnets are super to keep bugs away from ears.


  • There are fly masks specially designed for riding, they fit right over the bridle. Super thin and very effective!


  • Riding fly sheets are designed to cover your horse front to back while being ridden. Lots of designs out there, including zebra print!


  • Bust out the tassels. Attach them to your horse’s girth (if appropriate) and reins to help shoo flies away.


  • Bust out the fly whisk. These are made of horse hair attached to a wooden handle with a loop for your wrist. Carry when riding and help your horse swat away the bugs.


fly whisk

A fly whisk – easy to carry and is great for swatting away flies.

For you:


  • Dress in light colors.
  • Long sleeves are best, and also provide sun protection. Bug bites are even worse on sunburn…
  • Try and ride when the weather is not bug friendly – wind and rain are your friends!
  • Also, do some research on when the bugs are out… mosquitos are at dusk and dawn, but many flies are in midday. Of course, they take shifts.
  • Ride indoors if you can, sometimes this helps with the bugs.


horse wearing fly sheet on neck

A specially designed fly sheet (in two pieces) that attaches to your saddle for a nice bug-free ride.


How do you deal with the bug onslaught during summer riding?


go shopping button for horse products


Hey guys! These fantastic shopping links can get your horse dressed to battle bugs as you ride. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that you get my fave things, at no extra cost to you. I’m super grateful for your support.


Cashel Quiet Ride Bug Armor – 2 Piece Set – I use this when I ride to cover my horse’s neck, shoulders, and butt.

A fancy fly whisk

Thank you!