I have a confession to make. There is one thing I have never successfully desensitized May to, and it is fly spray. No matter how often we repeat the exercise, the simple act of spraying STUFF on her body causes her to snort, back up, and stare at me with wide eyed fear. That’s right. Fear. From May. Because of fly spray.

Eventually, I do get her to stand still, but the whites of her eyes will continue to show, and she will still shake with fear. It’s been 3 years, and I still feel like I am torturing her. I have tried natural fly spray, strong fly spray I only need to use a little of, and even home made fly spray. It didn’t matter. She thought it was all going to kill her.

Absorbine.JPGI, however, have been a die hard Absorbine Ultrashield Ex (the black bottle) user for YEARS. Seriously, I once sent the husband into a Dover to just buy that. When they didn’t have the black version in the 32 ounce bottles, he guilted them into giving him a discount on the full gallon… because “that’s really the one she likes.” Unfortunately, that stuff is miserable to use. It smells awful, and too much of it can cause irritations for both me and May.

SO when I realized that this woman in my barn had a line of plant derived horse care goods. I was kind of intrigued. When she mentioned that she also sold fly repellent WIPES, I was all over it. Serious grabby hands.

Now the product description reads as such:

Our unique blend of lemongrass, essential oils and natural surfactants repel Flies, Gnats, Mosquitoes and other Annoying Flying Insects for up to 8 Hours.

What does this mean in real life? It means it smells great, doesn’t irritate my skin or May’s skin, and lasts several hours. It even means that I can wipe them easily on her ears, an area that I could never get near with traditional fly spray.

I bought this product in the beginning of June, so have been using it for about a month. I have found that 2 wipes work best for May’s whole body. At $25 per container of 90 wipes, this works out to about $0.55 per use, so it probably is more expensive than a traditional fly spray.

So would I use this if May wasn’t so opposed to regular fly spray? Yes, but only for ears and such. I would probably also buy their regular fly spray at $25 for 32 ounces.

Other items I am coveting from them? They are coming out with a purple shampoo AND they have a fungicide that I seriously think might come in handy if we have another wet fall. Check out their full line for yourself here:ย https://www.wholehorseequine.com/ย 

What about you? Make any switches in your core group of products this summer?


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  1. And they actually work? I hate using chemicals but the natural stuff doesn’t seem to do much.

    1. Emily

      I have noticed a definite improvement in the before/afters. Without it, we are ATTACKED by green flies and regular flies. When I use it, we can do trot sets in a grassy field without being bothered. The barn farrier uses the spray version too.

  2. roamingridersite

    I have tried so many natural sprays over the years with no luck. DO you use this only to ride? I tend to spray my horses when I put them out every 2-3 days but at 8 hours I’m thinking maybe great for rides only. Do you still use the spray on non riding days?

    1. Emily

      I’m really never at the barn for non riding days, as my horse is on full care board. I will say that the horses at my barn typically go out from 7PM – 9AM (or so), so what I spray on in the evening for my ride (or after my ride) lasts until the sun goes down and bugs die down. I have never found a fly spray that lasts more than a few hours (even the ones that claim to work for 10+ days), so I am more concerned with what works for the hours I need it to.

  3. HunkyHanoverian

    Ohhh fun! I love hearing about new product lines! Rio doesn’t love fly spray, but definitely not as an extreme reaction as may. I would feel bad too. Glad to hear the wipes are working well for you, what a good solution!

    1. Emily

      Her reaction is really over the top. Like most of the time she’ll stand because she knows shes supposed to. But, if I can alleviate that stress with a product I like, why not do it?

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