Fly Sheets

A fly sheet provides a horse with a comforting barrier of protection against flies and other nuisance insects. While all fly sheets for horses are made of open weave mesh for breathability in hot, buggy conditions, some feature treated materials that also shield the horse’s hair and skin from damaging, coat-fading UV rays. Additionally, some brands are made of mesh impregnated with an insect repellent to boost the sheet’s ability to keep insects off the horse. Use of a fly sheet can make a horse’s time in turnout more enjoyable, and most importantly, it can help reduce stress, panic or pacing in horses that are especially sensitive to insects.
Fly sheets for horses are constructed in cuts and fits similar to turnout sheets and blankets, which are intended to allow horses to move freely without restriction. Shoulder gussets, stretch panels or specialized shaping can all reduce constriction of the horse’s shoulders. A fly sheet can have a standard neck opening, one with attachments to secure a matching, detachable neck cover or even have a permanently attached neck cover for maximum insect coverage at all times. Closures are also similar to those found in turnout sheets, including dual front buckle or clip closures, low cross surcingles, elasticized leg straps or a tail strap. Some fly sheets include a belly band or belly flap. The belly band replaces low cross surcingles as the closure with a wide swath of mesh for added coverage of the horse’s underside. Many fly sheets have a tail flap that keeps insects and sun off the tail, but some are cut to end at the point of the horse’s rump.

If your horse wears a turnout blanket or sheet from a brand that fits him exceptionally well, consider purchasing a fly sheet from that particular brand; the cut and fit will be similar. Otherwise, you can determine your horse’s fly sheet size by using a soft fabric tape measure with inch increment markings. Stretch the tape measure from the center of your horse’s chest (where the base of the neck meets the chest) over the point of the shoulder and straight back to the point at which you want the fly sheet to end. If you stretch the tape to the center of the tail (dock), your measurement will allow for the sheet to cover your horse’s hindquarters and tail.

Many fly sheets coordinate with fly masks and fly boots, sold separately. Fly masks keep insects out of a horse’s eyes; styles with extended noses or mesh fabric ear coverings offer the maximum coverage for the horse’s head. Fly boots, sometimes called fly wraps, are made of mesh and are typically bound in soft fleece. Placed on all four of the horse’s lower legs, these can help reduce stomping and pacing, which can be detrimental to a horse’s joints or loosen horseshoes.

Dover Saddlery is pleased to carry the most popular brands of fly sheets, including < a href="/riders-international/c/newbrand_1001_356/">Rider's International, Rambo®, Amigo®, Kensington™, WeatherBeeta® and more, in variations with and without neck covers. With so many fly sheets for horses to select from, you are sure to find the ideal choice at the perfect price point for your budget.