Kristen’s trio takes on the SmartPak Classic Fly Mask.
As the old-school farm staff are wont to remind me, the trio of horses I’m now managing on the family cattle farm have lived happily without a lot of interference in the pasture for years before I came along, and while I’m sure that’s true, I’m also happy to make a few improvements in their life where I see fit. After a recent hot, dry spell sent the flies out in droves, I finally ruled that it was time for the horses to wear some fly masks, no matter how many years they had survived without them in the past before I moved in.
Any masks that the geldings would be wearing had to be tough: their pasture includes a wooded section, where they like to stand in the shade and hang out on hot summer days and potentially snag mesh fly masks on low-hanging limbs. Secure Velcro was also a must-have, as I didn’t know how if or how quickly they would realize that a fly mask could also be an endless source of entertainment in tearing it off of each other’s faces. I opted to try the SmartPak Classic Fly Mask, which boasted durable PVC mesh, fleece lining at the edges, extra-wide Velcro closures and of course, mesh ears.
My previous experiences at other farms usually saw the horses walking to the pasture gate the end of the day with a fly mask swinging from their halter noseband, or an ear flap missing, or a big hole over one eye, or even better, no mask at all. These SmartPak masks, right out of the box, are quite different: the PVC mesh is light and quite translucent for the horse, but rugged and stiff enough to stand up on its own without collapsing into the horse’s eyes. I love the fleece lining to prevent the horses from getting rubs, and the wide Velcro tab is a force to be reckoned with (so far, there have been no unplanned removals.)
Before choosing my size (the SmartPak mask comes in Horse or Cob) I browsed the reviews: some reviewers stated that the mask was too big for their horses, but a majority stated that they seemed to run on the small side. My average-sized Quarter horses are in that mysterious middle size, where some brands’ “Horse” is miles too big while other brands are just right. I opted for the Horse size and was pleased to find that all of the masks fit, with room to go on a smaller animal: the masks do seem to run a little small. (Big-headed warmbloods and drafts might need to try something else.)
The SmartPak Classic Fly Mask, to make a good deal even better, is currently on sale for $17.96. If your horse has either destroyed his summer mask, or like mine, is only just now needing a little extra defense from the bugs, this is a great value! As with all of SmartPak’s products, free shipping and the 100% Happiness Guarantee are included — though I don’t expect you’ll need either.
Go SmartPak, and go riding!