Everything You Need To Know About Fly Boots for Horses

As the weather gets warmer all equestrians know that flies and other insects will begin to feast on our large furry friends. In the Spring we begin to see black flies, horse flies, mosquitoes, bot flies, and many other unwelcome insects. Horse owners use fly sheets and fly masks to protect their horses from bugs while they are outside. However, these items still leave a major area unprotected—the legs. One item that is not as well-known, but incredibly useful are fly boots. But, what are fly boots? Read on to learn more about fly boots and how they can help protect your horse from bugs.

Non-Fitted Fly Boots

What Are Fly Boots?

Fly Boots are lightweight boots, usually made out of a mesh material, that protect horses' legs from flies, burrs, and other hazards in the pasture.

Here are some tips to help you find the best fly boots for your horse:

  1. Check the Material
  2. Since fly boots are more for protection and less for support, they are usually made of a soft flexible material. Fly boots are worn to protect horses during the summer months so it’s important that the boots are very breathable. One of the most popular materials used for fly boots is mesh since it’s sturdy, but is also lightweight, breathable, and flexible. Plastic or fabric mesh is common and some boots also come with fleece lining on the top and bottom of the boot to make them more comfortable. Some boots also come with UV protection.

  3. Consider Durability
  4. Another crucial consideration is the durability of the fly boot. The best fly boots for horses are made of lightweight fabric mesh, while the thicker plastic mesh is better for horses who might try to rip them off.

  5. Sizing
  6. It is important to fit fly boots correctly to your horse’s legs. This is especially important because your horse will wear these boots for many hours while they are outside. Fly boots that don’t fit could cause discomfort, sores, or rub marks. To determine what size to order, make sure you measure your horse's legs correctly and follow the size guidelines for the product you are considering.

  7. Fitted or Non-Fitted Options
  8. There are a few different styles available when you are buying fly boots. The main difference between the different styles is the tightness of the fit. The fitted fly boots are tighter to the horse's leg and harder for the horse to get off. For horses who like to rip their boots off, the fitted styles are best. Non-fitted fly boots are looser and have better airflow than the alternative.

Do Fly Boots Help Your Horse? What Are The Benefits Of Fly Boots?

Fly boots are great for keeping pesky bugs off of your horse's legs, but they also have many other uses. There are many benefits to owning fly boots for your horse, like the following:

  • Helping Your Horse's Shoes Last Longer
  • Horses frequently stomp their hooves to knock flies off of their legs. Horses that consistently stomp can loosen their shoes. Using fly boots can help make your horse's shoes last longer. Since the flies land on the fly boot and not the horse's leg they will not feel tickling on their legs, which stops the stomping. Limiting the amount your horse stomps is also good for their tendons and joints since continuous pounding can increase the likelihood of leg injury.

  • Prevent and Aid in Healing Leg Injuries
  • Not only can fly boots help prevent leg injuries, but they can also aid in healing leg injuries as well. Flies are more drawn to open wounds, which can cause inflection. Fly boots are a great way to cover a leg injury while it heals to protect it from flies, dirt, hay, and burrs while a horse is turned out.

  • Breathability and UV Protection
  • Unlike other boots, fly boots are very breathable since they are mainly used during the hot months. They are designed to increase airflow so the horses' legs will stay cool. Some fly boots also come with extra UV protection for horses who are especially sensitive to the sun.

  • Keeping Your Horse’s Legs Clean Before a Show
  • Fly boots can also be used to keep your horse's legs clean before a show in the summer when it is too hot to use other kinds of boots. The boots will keep their legs clean without causing them to sweat.

  • Protecting Your Horse’s Wraps
  • Some horse owners use fly boots to cover wraps and prevent their horses from ripping them off. The mesh material is breathable and protects the wraps while also promoting airflow.

Fitted Fly Boots

How Do You Put Fly Boots On Your Horse?

To properly put a fly boot on your horse, follow these steps:

  1. Wrap the boot around your horse's leg snuggly. The boot should fall just under the knee and the bottom should stop about 1-.5 inches to the ground. The straps should be on the outside of the leg and aimed so they can be adjusted to point towards the back of the horse.
  2. Adjust the straps evenly and pull them from the front to the back of the leg. Apply even pressure onto each strap.
  3. Once the fly boot is on make sure you can fit 2 fingers in between the top of the boot and the leg. The boot should be snug and secure but not too tight as this can cause discomfort.

How Do You Clean Fly Boots?

Fly boots are generally pretty low maintenance but some horses like to roll in the mud or they might sweat on especially hot days. If your fly boots are made of a stronger mesh material spraying them down with a hose will suffice. If you have caked mud on a thinner mesh material, washing them in a bucket of soap and water works just fine. Make sure you use unscented soap to prevent any irritation on your horse's skin. Also, make sure to air dry your fly boots as putting them in the dryer could damage them.