Defender Fly Mask with Ears - Plaid Reviews

Defender Fly Mask with Ears - Plaid

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They May Look Funny.... But, They Work!

Apr 23, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Keeps flying insects away from horses face, durable and well constructed.

Cons:Cannot be used while riding.

The Bottom Line: The fly masks provide protection and are easy to use, well worth the small investment.


This is one of the most useful equine accessories on the market today for keeping flies from your horse’s eyes and ears. This product has rid my life of the daily regime of applying chemicals around the faces of my horses, a task that neither of us enjoyed. A secondary advantage to this product is the ease in which I can now catch my husband’s gelding when he is out in the pasture, a task only he enjoyed!

Construction: The mask is made of a heavy weight high-grade poly weave that fits to the horses face and is raised over the eyes with sewn darts. The mask is lightweight and the mesh provides good visibility. The ear covers are a thinner, lighter weight poly mesh that allows for natural ear movement while keeping the small gnats at bay. The mask is secured under the horses jaw with two heavy duty, industrial strength Velcro strap. I have never had a horse remove the fly mask; however, the Velcro would allow the mask to come off if the horse were caught on something in the pasture.

Durability: These fly masks stand up to a lot of abuse, weathering and age. The high-grade poly weave withstands mildew, soiling, fading, and wear and tear. I have a couple masks that have gone through 5 seasons without fail. I replaced them because new color choices became available. One horse, that is characteristically hard on anything found in nature or store bought, manages to get a hole in the ears by the end of the season, without fail.

Cleaning: The masks are machine washable and come out of the machine remarkably clean. I usually machine wash the masks at the end of fly season. A simple dousing with a hose and hanging to dry will suffice for normal cleaning.

Comfort: Our horses enjoy wearing the fly masks, so I believe they are comfortable. If any of our horses are bothered by flies and see the fly mask heading their way, they bow their heads, with no halter necessary, so that it can be affixed. One mare is especially sensitive when it comes to her ears. She does not like them touched or cleaned. She does not mind the ear attachment and grins and bears it, so to speak, until the mask is secured. Another mare is white and is particularly prone to sunburn when out in the pasture, and this mask blocks the UV rays and keeps her sensitive eye area sunburn-free.

Size: The sizing of the masks troubles me. Our horses range in size from 14.2 to 15.3 and have Appy, Arab, Quarter, and Thoroughbred heads. All of our horses comfortably wear a size medium. Maybe they have small heads, but if you are torn between medium and large, get a medium first. You can always exchange it if it is too small.

Colors: The plaid patterns look great on the horses. The black plaid is super snazzy and my favorite of the three choices. The teal is not really a bright colored teal, thankfully, and looks great on the darker horses.

Effectiveness: The masks keep flies and gnats away from all the areas it covers. I often check to make sure a fly has not gotten under the mask and have yet to find one.

The mask is a great alternative to spraying or applying chemicals around your horse’s sensitive face. Masks are available now that extend down the nose as well. I have ridden with separate ear masks, but I would not recommend riding with a fly mask. The horse is able to see but there is visual obstruction, so don’t throw out your roll-on fly repellent just yet. This product is great for stable and pasture use.


Recommend this product? Yes

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