Anti-fly rugs


New Member
Dec 5, 1999
Alresford, England
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I've just received the new Robinsons catalogue (how to spend an imaginary thousand pounds from the comfort of your armchair in ten easy pages), and spotted the Rambo and Weatherbeeta anti-fly mesh rugs. Has anyone tried these with any success?

I'm curious as to how effective they are, and whether they could trap flies/mozzies under them, as they are obviously open round the sheath/udder area. (I have an image of a wasp getting under there and causing mayhem when it can't find its way out again).

Also, how robust are they? They look quite tough, but would they withstand a lot of silliness between playing horses?

Thank you!

(If this is a topic I've missed, perhaps someone would direct me to the original thread - ta :)
we haven't had much luck with them at our yard, we've had horses shred them and flies get caught under them and much havoc ensuing! so we don't bother any more. but i have heard people who swear they're the best thing since sliced bread.
I've got a Weatherbeeta combo flysheet and a Masta version with detachable hood. I prefer the Weatherbeeta for fit, better cover underneath and it's also much less fiddly to put on. Wearing well so far, even with Tavia who is the perennial rug-wrecker. I still put a good fly repellent on the more exposed areas and I havn't had any problems with insects getting trapped underneath. I've seen a big reduction in the number of bites with them.
I have the Masta which Rhi has worn from March of this year and it will not come off until November due to her suffering Sweet Itch. It was doing rather well until she got herself caught on the post in the field .:rolleyes: ripped off teh neck cover. It looks like she will need one for next year. All in all though she has not suffered a great deal this year with the sweet itch and I would deffinately invest in another. Like Lesley I also use fly spray all over

I don't have one of these for my horse, but a new horse at the yard got one about 3 weeks ago. Since then it has been shredded!

I have never got one as I too am worried about what would happen if a wasp or whatever got under the rug - I have th same thoughts about fly masks especially as you seem to see more flies on the inside of them than the outside!

I use a Weatherbeeta one on Charlie and a Mark Todd one on Zak. Both have been very robust indeed as our boys are very playful and love to roll about. However, our Paddocks are electrified so no problems with getting caught on post etc.

Some flies do get under both, but not many, it depends on the routine. If you just put the rug on and left the horse for a few days without taking it off to check, then I would image there would be a number of flies underneath.

However, the fly season is nearly over and we are well into the Midge season, and they work very well with these little devils, not getting underneath at all, as they hover over the backs and necks as opposed to flying underneath the horse.

I would however, be more cautious about using a mesh rug where they may be turned out with a number of other horses that may change quite a lot as you do seem to get at Livery Yards, we are lucky to have our boys with us, so there are never any changes.

The item that I will not ever be without is a Rambo Fly mask for their eyes and ears, they are fantastic and we are at the end of the 2nd season with these and only a coupl of stiches coming undone, that were made before we moved the horses to be with us.

There is no 100% cure for the flies expect in a closed stable!! Not very nice and not to be recommended. There are very good fly repellents on the market, but you need to apply at least 3 times a day to be effective, so not practical for all.

If your horse is not really being bothered, i.e not showing any signed of bites, then I would suggest just apply repellent when you can and invest in a good fly mask for the face.
I've tried a Rambo Flybuster and Aerborn fly rug and didn't particularly like either of them. The material was stiff and didn't really mould to my horse and dozens of flies got caught underneath them, along the spine, and it was obvious my mare had rolled like crazy to try and get rid of them.

This year I bought Derby House Saddlerys own brand fly rug. It fits much better than any of the other rugs I've seen and the few times my mare wore it this year (we haven't had a huge problem with flies this year) there was only a couple of flies under it, rather than 30-40 as with the other brands. She seemed pretty happy in it too and it stood up well to the other horses (she's in a herd of approx 20 mares and geldings).

I didn't get on with the Rambo flymask, my mare killed it in a few weeks. She's worn a normal fieldsafe flyfringe or an Aerborn flymask without ears this year and both look like new.
i have a masta one which I've had for a few months. its not the best fit in the world, however it has kept her coat black instead of sun bleached and has seriously reduced the number of bites she was getting. SHe is boistrous and its still in one piece. flies do get under it, but as she lies down a lot I usually find they are squished by the the time I get to them!
Nothing holds up to the Boett Blanket. It's about £125 I think, and can be bought from

Flies cannot get under it, it keeps them cool and lasts roughly 2 years. The fit is brilliant too.

The only experience I have had with other brands is the Rambo Flybuster and the horse that was on destroyed it in a matter of weeks.

Flymasks - I like Supermasks and they now make them with earpieces too. Dips has just about destroyed hers after 4 years and at £20 I thought it was excellent value for money. The fit is great and the flies don't get under them too.
I use Buccus fly bonnets for both girls, coming into the fourth year now and beginning to show signs of wear,but still effective. Use Thermatex fly sheet mainly at shows with instantaneous relief. will try one on the old lady in the field and see how it works as she's very bothered by midges at the mo'. Hopefully the filly won't take it off her! L