Does my horse need a fly sheet? If so, which is the best one?
I grew up in Colorado where the climate is dry, the temperatures are mild, and flies are not an issue, so I vaguely knew what a fly sheet was, but never had the chance to use one until I went to college in Montana. If you live in a buggy climate and your horse is prone to welts and discomfort, definitely invest in a good fly sheet. Your horse will be much more comfortable.
Choosing the right fly sheet is extremely important. An ill-fitting sheet or a low-quality one can get tangled around your horse’s legs and cause injuries. The wrong fabric can make your horse too hot and lead to heat stroke. I owned a horse blanket repair business for four years in Montana, and I had the opportunity to repair many different fly sheet brands. Some are far superior to others. These are my top three picks and one fly sheet to avoid completely.
Rambo Fly Buster Vamoose No-Fly Zone
When it comes to quality, Rambo beats all the rest. I purchased my first Rambo fly sheet in Summer 2009, and my horses still wear it. I’ve had to make a few repairs over the years, but it has held up amazingly. You can see in the pictures it needs a few minor repairs this year, but is still very functional. A few patches and it will be good to go.
Rambo’s current top-of-the-line fly sheet is the Fly Buster Vamoose No-Fly Zone, and it is just as high-quality as my version. I like this one even better because this one is made of soft, breathable mesh rather than the heavy, thick plastic mesh of previous versions.
Other features I love:
Rambo Fly Buster Vamoose No-Fly Zone fly sheet is my #1 pick. The positives far outweigh the negative. You can Buy It Here.
Kensington Platinum SureFit Fly Sheet
Kensington is a lesser-known brand but high-quality and durable. This fly sheet is manufactured in Southern California and quality checked so you can be assured that you are getting just what you ordered.
Other features I love:
Kensington goes cheap on the snaps, but otherwise this is a quality fly sheet. I am crazy about anything that comes in bright colors (bonus if you like matching accessories!). Again, the positives far outweigh this small design flaw. You can Buy It Here.
For the matching accessories, buy the fly boots here and the fly mask here.
Amigo Bug Rug Fly Sheet
Another Horseware product for the win! The Amigo line is almost as high-quality as the Rambo but without the higher price. If your horse is generally gentle on his fly sheets (no rambunctious pasture mates) then the Amigo Bug Rug Fly Sheet is a good choice, especially if you live in a hot climate. This fly sheet is breathable and protects the coat against sun damage.
Other features I love:
For a budget-friendly Horseware fly sheet, I recommend the Amigo Bug Rug Fly Sheet. You can Buy It Here.
The One to Avoid: Weatherbeeta ConFiTec Riphield Plus DetachNeck
I owned a horse blanket repair business in Montana for four years, and Weatherbeetas were by far my least favorite blankets and sheets to work on. They do not wash well, they do not take repairs well, and they do not fit wide-based horses well. I watched several Weatherbeeta winter blankets disintegrate in the washing machine, and the fly sheets are the same low-quality.
Weatherbeeta uses cheap hardware that often breaks and needs replacing. The straps are not well attached and frequently lost. This is a complete deal breaker for me. A sheet without secure straps is prone to slipping and tangling around the horse’s legs, which can lead to serious, life-threatening injuries.
This fly sheet is not as breathable as other brands, so sweat collects at the shoulder and tail. This is not an appropriate sheet for humid climates with low wind speeds. The belly band does not cover the entire belly and leaves a gap where flies can bite the sensitive area inside the horse’s back legs.
On a positive note, this fly sheet is budget-friendly and includes a neck cover.
I recommend AVOIDING the Weatherbeeta ConFiTec Ripshield Plus DetachNeck. Spend your money on a fly sheet that fits better and will last you longer.
The Best Protection
The best fly sheet for your horse is the one that fits him properly and is as durable as you need it to be. A quiet older horse alone in the pasture can use a softer fly sheet versus a rowdy youngster turned out with like-minded friends. My experience with Horseware flysheets has been overwhelmingly positive, and I highly recommend them. Kensington is a good budget-friendly option, especially if you like unique colors and do not need a neck cover.
Which are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.