Here’s What Hanging Laundry Looks Like At The Backyard Horse Blog

For readers who may wonder what you are looking at, those are fly masks for horses. I put the fly masks through my washer periodically and then hang them out to dry. The masks provide eye protection from Summer bugs (and sometimes guard their ears and nose too depending upon the mask design).

I also use the masks to combat seasonal allergies for my horse, Shiloh. His allergy symptoms result in weepy, itchy, puffy eyes. Sometimes he rubs his eyes so much that he will lose hair on his face. And one year I had to schedule an emergency vet call after his rubbing resulted in an eye so painful that he wouldn’t open his eyelids.

For whatever reason, his symptoms have been especially noticeable this year. So in 2022, wearing a mask that provides good visibility 24/7 (so he can wear it at night in the dark) is part of my multi-prong treatment strategy. The others are cleaning his eyes and face thoroughly every day, giving him Cetirizine (generic Zyrtec per our veterinarian’s guidance) and adding flax seed to his daily diet.

On the subject of flax, there is some limited scientific evidence that adding flax to the diet can help horses with all kinds of allergy issues, including skin and respiratory, due to the seed’s anti-inflammatory properties. For more information, click on these article links from The Horse- Your Guide To Equine Healthcare website:

I try to keep my fly masks quite clean and end up changing them out often. I have a large collection at this point. A dirty fly mask might still keep bugs off their face. But it seems to me that a clean mask helps more with the allergies than one with caked-on mud and dirt (maybe because the allergens stick to the soil on the mask?).

In any case, I seem to be doing a lot of horse laundry this Summer to keep Mr. Shiloh’s eyes as clean and itch-free as possible.

3 thoughts on “Here’s What Hanging Laundry Looks Like At The Backyard Horse Blog

  1. Barbie has eye (and nose issues) in summer with allergies. I too keep a fly mask on her and this is a reminder i need to wash hers again. HOWEVER my big beef is in spite of buying the tiniest masks around they are still huge on her and hang down her nose. Ridiculous. How they can make yearling, foal, horse, draft masks but not make mini masks that fit. Anyhoo her goobers are better but I wonder about Zyrtec for her too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I worked at a therapeutic riding center, I had trouble finding well-made halters that fit the program’s minis well. That was a long time ago, but sounds like tack fitting issues with minis continue. I am sorry to hear your Barbie has Summer allergy symptoms like my Shiloh. Itching drives me crazy, and I hate to watch any horse struggle with that issue. The combo of fly mask, generic Zyrtec and flax seed does seem to help Shiloh, but it still doesn’t completely reduce the itching to absolute zero, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

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