Usually by this point in the year I have written at least one post about battling the flies, if not more. This year we have had much less trouble but part of the reason for that is that the ponies spent so long away from home!
As usual the ponies are in their fly masks, although they seem to spend more time escaping from them than actually wearing them. I have four at the moment – two are fairly decent, one only has one ear and the other is almost unusable but is useful in an emergency. If I don’t have time to traipse round the field looking for lost masks I do at least have backup!
I have also been trying NAF’s citronella gel which appears to have been very effective. It is obviously more labour intensive than a spray but given how much Galahad hates the spray I am more than happy with it. For one thing, I don’t have to persuade him it is safe which is a great time saver!
One of the reasons I have been enjoying riding early in the morning is that there are usually less flies then. That’s not always the case though – Cookster and I were bombarded the other day and I had to resort to sticking some elder leaves in his browband. They seemed to work pretty well – when he shook his head one side fell out and after that there were definitely more flies on that side.
Overall we do seem to be winning the battle and it has definitely seemed less of a hassle this year. The system must be working!