Last Updated on March 30, 2023
It’s almost that time of year when we horse people need to start thinking about fly protection! Lots of horses wear fly sheets and fly masks, but have you ever seen horses turned out in fly boots for horses?
Not all horse owners opt to use fly boots, but they can be beneficial in some circumstances! In this article, I’m going to be reviewing some of the most popular fly boots on the market today. All of these fly boots can be easily purchased on Amazon!
They include Kensington Products Fleece Lined Fly Boots, Shires Airflow Turnout Sock, Shoo Fly Leggins for Horses, Cashel Crusader Fly Boots for Horses, TuffRider Mesh Wrap, Horseware Ireland Amigo Flyboots, Weatherbeeta Insect Shield Mesh Wrap, and Professional’s Choice Fly Boots.
Why Use Fly Boots for Horses?
Like I said, not all horse owners choose to use fly boots. So, what is the reasoning for the ones who do? Every situation is different, but fly boots are typically either used with horses that are uber-sensitive or “buggy,” or in environments that host an abnormally large amount of flies.
For example, my horse is extremely “buggy.” This simply means that he reacts to bugs more dramatically than other horses do. He is easily aggravated by having flies around his face and ears, and he is known for aggressively stomping at flies.
One year, he stomped at flies so hard that he popped a splint, and was lame for over a month. Ever since then, he has been turned out in fly boots, so that he doesn’t stomp as much.
Additionally, fly boots can be helpful for horses that live in areas that attract a large number of flies. This could be an area that stays damp for long periods throughout the year or a barn near a body of water.
When my horse was injured from stomping at flies too hard, I had him boarded at a barn that was near a river. The river attracted more flies to the barn than I have seen at any other barn I’ve boarded at. Because of that, almost all the horses at the barn got turned out in extensive fly protection.
At my current barn, I don’t need to use fly boots. My horse hasn’t been stomping quite as hard during the summers, because there aren’t as many flies. But each situation, and each horse, is different! And, fly boots can solve some serious turnout issues in the right circumstances.
8 Best Fly Boots For Horses
Kensington is known for making high-quality fly-protection products. They make fly sheets, fly masks, and other fly-related products.
Their Fleece Trimmed Fly Boots come in many colors and are made with a technology that helps them stay up on a horse’s legs, rather than sliding down throughout the day. The fleece lining also prevents the horse from getting rubs from wearing the boots.
The only con to these boots is that they are sold in pairs, and they are relatively expensive. Many types of fly boots are sold in sets of four, one for each of the horse’s legs. The Kensington Fleece Trimmed Fly Boots are sold in pairs, so you would need to purchase two sets to cover all four legs.
The Kensington Fleece Lined Fly Boots run by pairs + shipping and handling, so think double price + shipping and handling for all four of a horse’s legs to be protected.
|-Many Colors||-Sold in Pairs|
Another brand well known in the equestrian community is Shires. Shires are most popular for its high-quality turnout blankets and sheets. But, they also make fly-protection products.
One of these is the Shires Airflow Turnout Socks. This product is relatively similar to the Kensington Fleece Lined Fly Boot. It is a mesh boot with technology and support to help it stand up on a horse’s leg.
It is also lined with padding at the top to prevent a horse’s legs from getting rubs from wearing the boots. However, the Shires Airflow Turnout Socks are sold in sets of four, so you only need to buy one set to protect all four of your horse’s legs.
|– Lined with padding|
|-Sold in sets of four|
Another available fly boot set is the Shoo Fly Leggins. This product is another mesh boot sold in a set of four. The Shoo Fly Leggins also have a padded top to protect a horse from getting rubs on his legs.
However, these boots do not have very much support to prevent them from falling down the horse’s legs. When this happens, think of wearing knee socks that have slid down. The boots fail to do their job because they’re not covering the full length of the horse’s legs.
|-Padded Tops||-No enforcement to help stand|
|-Set of four|
Cashel Crusader also makes a fly boot similar to the Kensington Mesh Fly Protection. These boots have both support to help them stand up and lining at the top to prevent rubs.
The most unique feature of the Cashel Crusader Fly Leg Guards is the variety of sizes the boots come in. They have sizes for small horses, large horses, mini horses, foals, and even specific breeds or “types” of horses.
The Cashel Crusader Fly Leg Guards are sold in sets of four + shipping and handling each.
|-Set of four||-Relatively expensive|
|-A large variety of sizes|
TuffRider is another well known equestrian brand! Their products range from saddle pads to tall boots, and everything in between. The TuffRider Mesh Wrap is a mesh fly boot that can easily fit into your budget.
Running only $20 for a set of four boots, TuffRider Mesh Wraps include padding technology that will prevent your horse from getting rubs.
However, there isn’t much to prevent these fly boots from falling throughout your horse’s time wearing them. So, if that is something that you’re concerned about, these may not be the boots for you.
|-Cheaper price||-No enforcements to help stand|
|-Set of four|
Another big name in the horse blanketing world is Horseware Ireland. In fact, Horseware Ireland is known for making outerwear for both horses and people! Their Horse Fly Boots are a great extension of their brand.
The Horseware Ireland Amigo Fly Boots have both padding to prevent leg rubs and structure to keep them standing up throughout the day. They are sold as a set of four for a very reasonable price +shipping and handling.
|-Set of four||-Relatively pricey|
Speaking of big names in the horse blanketing world, next we have Weatherbeeta! Almost everyone at my barn dresses their horses in Weatherbeeta blankets, including me. Their quality and customer service are unparalleled!
The Weatherbeeta Insect Shield Fly Mesh boots are a great and affordable product. They have padding at the tops (and bottoms) to prevent your horse from getting rubs, also have an inner structure that will help the boots stay upright on a horse’s legs while he is wearing them.
Like TuffRider, Professional’s Choice makes all different types of equestrian products. I personally use their bell boots, splint boots, and saddle pads. And, I wouldn’t hesitate to use their fly boots!
The Professional’s Choice Horse Fly Boots come in sets of four. They have both the padding to prevent rubs and structure to prevent them from slipping down.
A unique feature of this product is that Professional’s Choice has different dimensions and fits for the front two boots and the back two boots, in order to better fit the different shapes of a horse’s front and back legs.
They are also machine washable and reasonably priced + shipping and handling for the set of four.
|-Set of Four||-Relatively Expensive|
It’s clear that there’s no shortage of fly boots for horses on the market today! But, as you have seen, different boots have different characteristics and different price points. It’s up to you to set priorities for your horse and his fly protection and make your decision based on those.
Fly boots can help prevent your horse from injuring himself trying to stomp flies off his legs. I know from personal experience that these types of injuries are not fun for you, or your horse, especially if they can be prevented.
If your horse is super-sensitive to flies, or if you live in an area where there are lots of flies and/or flies out for long periods, fly boots might be a worthwhile investment. You can always consult a professional, like your trainer or barn manager before deciding if fly boots will be a good choice for you and your horse.
I hope this article helped you learn about the different options of fly boots for horses available today. If so, please share this article, and share with us what fly boots you like to use!
Do fly boots for horses work?
Summing up the research: Yes, they do work. In fact, they are more effective in preventing insect's bites than many horse owners realize. They offer real benefits for their animals, and they're easy and economical to use. Horse owners who don't use them often may not recognize how important they are until their animals start to suffer from insect and environmental damage.
How do I protect my horses legs from flies?
There are a number of ways you can help protect your horses from insect's bites. The best way to do this is by using proper fly control measures on your farm. Keeping the area around your barns clean and free of manure and other organic matter will reduce the number of insects attracted to your barnyard.
If your horse is stabled, put up fly nets over the windows. This will keep the insects out, and it will prevent them from flying into the stalls where your horse is. You can also put fly paper on the outside walls of the building.
Fly wraps and fly collars can help a lot when horses are kept outdoors. Fly wraps are designed to cover horse's legs and in this way keep insects at bay and reduce stomping. Fly collars are designed to guard horse's head and neck. They are also covered in horse fly repellent, which makes them even more efficient.
How tight should fly boots be?
They should fit snugly but not tight enough to cause discomfort. If they are too loose, they can easily slip off. A good guidance to follow is that you should be able to fit two fingers in between the fly boot and your horse's leg once the boot is attached. You may also need to adjust them repeatedly according to the horse's size as they tend to change their shape over time.
How do you clean horse fly boots?
You should not put them in a washing machine. This will remove the protective coating, and they will not be effective anymore. Instead, you should hand wash them with soap and water, or you can use a commercial cleaner designed for the type of material the boots are made from. Make sure you rinse them well after cleaning.
In any case, you should avoid using harsh chemicals, which can damage the material. You can use an environmentally-safe product like Simple Green or a proprietary product made especially for cleaning fly gear.
How do you put fly boots on a horse?
Take time to find a brand and a model of fly boots that fit your horse well. This really shouldn't be a problem as there are plenty of options on the market. Once you have chosen the right boots for your horse, you will need to put them on him. Start putting the boot on by placing it on the horse's lower leg and then wrapping it around the leg and secure it with boot's straps. It should reach up to the horse's knee but not over it as this would interfere with horse's movements. The boot should be fitted snugly, so that it doesn't slip off the leg, but it shouldn't be too tight. If the boot is too tight, it may cause discomfort or even pain.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.