When you love and care for your horse, it’s your job to help protect them from pesky flies and other critters. That’s where the best horse fly masks come in.
These masks keep irritating biting insects away from the sensitive areas of your horse’s nose, lips, eyes, cheeks, and ears, especially during the hot summer months. Fly masks for horses also offer UV protection, ideal for horses susceptible to sunburn and eye infections.
My Moonshine gets really stressed when the bugs start feasting on her, and a fly mask (together with a fly sheet and fly spray) has done wonders to keep her calm and prevent the bugs from taking yummy bites. But the real challenge isn’t buying a fly mask. It’s buying one that’s comfortable and stays on.
Horse fly masks come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, so use this guide to help you choose the best fly mask for your trusty steed.
Bottom Line Up Front: What Are the Best Fly Masks for Horses?
The best fly mask for your horse is durable, comfortable, breathable, stays on, and has high insect and UV protection. Your horse should also be able to see through the mask so they don’t trip, run into obstacles, and injure themselves.
|Best For||Product||Key Features|
|Best Overall Horse Fly Mask||Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Ears||
|Best Budget-Friendly Fly Mask||Roma Stretch Bug Eye Saver with Ears||
|Best Fly Mask for Riding||Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Ears||
|Best Fly Mask for Close Contact||Professional’s Choice Comfort Fit Fly Mask||
|Best UV Protection Fly Mask||EquiVizor Fly Mask with Nose and Ear Protection||
|Best Fly Mask for Breathability||Mosquito Mesh Fly Mask with Extendable Nose||
|Best Fly Mask for Durability||Kensington 90% UV Fly Mask CatchMask UViator||
|Best Zebra Design Fly Mask||Dura-mesh Zebra Fly Mask with Ears||
How to Choose the Best Fly Masks for Horses: My Selection Criteria
It feels like I’ve bought hundreds of different fly masks over the years and borrowed a few hundred more from fellow horse owners. Moonshine has a penchant for losing her fly masks, and she reminds me of a Houdini horse!
Some masks are also so poorly made that after a few uses, they look like they’ve been through the wringer – and not a pretty one. There was also the one fly mask with no airflow, and my Moonshine sweated her little butt off.
Those are big no-nos, but I’ve finally found the best horse fly masks you should try. I used these selection criteria to make sure I don’t set a foot wrong in the fly mask department again:
- I chose fly masks to suit all budgets.
- The variety of fly masks will suit the Houdinis, the sensitive souls, the pink-skinned horses, and the hardy steeds.
- I also ensured the fly masks come in different materials, sizes, and colors so you can find what suits your horse’s needs best.
- The fly masks are available online at various e-commerce stores and your local tack shop.
The 8 Best Fly Masks for Horses
Here are the best fly masks for horses:
Shires Flyguard Fine Mesh Fly Mask with Ears
The Flyguard Fine Mesh Fly Mask with Ears from Shires is the best overall fly mask. The fine mesh ensures even the smallest of flies and midges can’t get through to terrorize your horse. There’s fleece padding along the seams for a comfortable fit.
|Available Sizes||Cob, small pony, XS pony, full, pony, and Xfull|
|Colors||Black/gray and black/teal|
|Fabric||Vinyl/PVC fine mesh|
- 70% UV protection to prevent horses from getting sunburned and their facial hair from bleaching
- Double Velcro straps behind the jawbone and bungee (elastic band) under the poll help keep the fly mask in place
- The 3D contour fit with anti-rubbing technology ensures it’s comfortable as it keeps the mask away from their eyes
- Can be used in the stable and during turnout
- Affordable at $28 to $35
- No opening for your horse’s forelock
- It’s more likely your horse will rip the ears on the fly mask than the mask itself
What I Like About It
I adore the black/teal fly mask, which looks adorable on Moonshine. The ergonomically shaped ears fit well, and the contoured design is a godsend to keep the fly mask from irritating my steed’s eyes. I don’t even mind hand washing the mask to keep it clean.
Roma Stretch Bug Eye Saver with Ears
My best budget-friendly fly mask is the Roma Stretch Bug Eye Saver with Ears, which costs under $25. It’s one of the best breathable masks for horses, whether you live in hot and humid environments or the desert. You won’t find a sweaty horse during turnout.
|Available Sizes||Cob, full, horse, and pony|
|Colors||Purple/black, black/black, hunter/black, and navy/black|
|Fabric||Stretch Lycra and mesh|
- Works for Houdinis, sensitive souls that suffer from mask rub and irritations, the hardy horses, and the sensitive pink-skinned horses
- Great visibility as you can see your horse’s eyes through the mesh
- No rub marks, even if you leave the mask on 24/7
- Good protection against the wind, flies, gnats, and other bugs
- 68% UV protection
- Loop at the poll so you can secure the mask to a halter or lead
- I like that the mask doesn’t have any straps to fasten, but I’ve also struggled to pull the strong stretch fabric over my horse’s face (and being on the short side doesn’t help)
- No gap for the forelock
What I Like About It
Moonshine kept the fly mask on but destroyed the ears. So now I have to cut the mesh ear pieces off (which is a waste). And while I needed a step stool to get it on more easily, my horse was happy with the mask, which makes me happy.
Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Ears
The Cashel Quiet Ride Horse Fly Mask with Ears is an Amazon best seller with many reviews and a high star rating. It’s no surprise when you read what the fly mask offers.
Choose the fly mask with or without a long nose and ears to find the best option for your horse. The mesh ensures bugs can’t get in, keeping your equine bestie bite-free.
|Available Sizes||Various sizes, from yearling and weanling to foal, Arabian, or warmblood, depending if you choose a horse or mule-type mask|
|Colors||13 colors, such as black, black tribal, azure, blue, gold, and gray|
|Fabric||Breathable nylon mesh|
- Made from a light enough material to fit over or under a bridle if you want to ride or use a halter to work your horse at liberty – though, not all horses enjoy being ridden with a fly mask
- Fine mesh doesn’t obstruct the horse’s visibility
- Ideal for a four-hooved Houdini fly mask remover as it stays on, thanks to the double Velcro
- The sizes seem to run big, so take care when ordering
- Made for riding and not turnout, but you can use it for paddock time in a pinch
What I Like About It
I like the plain black one, which looks more breathable and offers Moonshine greater visibility. My horse doesn’t like to wear it when riding, but she keeps it on during turnout and hasn’t tried to remove or destroy it – a win for me (and my wallet!).
Professional’s Choice Comfort Fit Fly Mask
The Professional’s Choice Comfort Fit Fly Mask is the close-contact fly mask category winner. It hugs your horse’s face with its close-fitting design (fitting like a glove), while the mesh “bug-eye” feature ensures the fly mask doesn’t rub and irritate your horse’s eyes.
|Available Sizes||Horse, cob, oversized, pony, pony small, and XL warmblood|
|Colors||Blue, cheetah, daisy, gray, horseshoe, Pacific blue, Pc horse, purple, Santiago, Steerhead, sunflower, Taos, and teal|
|Fabric||Lycra and fine mesh|
- Flies and other bugs can’t crawl in under the fly mask, thanks to the close-contact Lycra material
- Your horse’s eyes and ears are protected with the fine mesh
- Forelock opening; ideal for horses with a thick forelock
- The edges of the fly masks are binded so they won’t fray
- Cute prints so your horse looks stylish while being protected from the sun and bugs
- Mesh can rip easily
What I Like About It
Moonshine looks like a masked superhero when she wears this fly mask. It’s easy to wash, and air dries quickly, too.
While I wouldn’t recommend using this fly mask for a horse who’s rough on their masks, it’s perfect for a Miss Goody Two Shoes.
EquiVizor Fly Mask with Nose and Ear Protection
The EquiVizor Fly Mask with Nose and Ear Protection is ideal if you have a horse who easily sunburns, is photosensitive, and takes off their fly mask faster than you can blink. The tagline for the fly mask is “With the EquiVizor, your horse ‘Houdini’ has met their match.”
It also comes in four styles:
- UV horse fly mask (like a standard fly mask)
- UV horse fly mask with nose protection
- UV horse fly mask with ear protection
- UV horse fly mask with nose and ear protection
|Available Sizes||Mini, cob, pony, full, and x-large|
- Can use it in the stable, during turnout, and when you go riding
- The triple-darted vizor ensures the mask stays away from your horse’s eyes
- High 95% UV protection to prevent cancer and sunburn
- You can be sure the fly mask fits perfectly thanks to the quick-release safety breakaway clips
- I wish the nose piece covered the sides of my horse’s nose to protect those areas, too
- The non-padded straps can rub your horse
What I Like About It
I ordered a few extra quick-release clips when I bought the fly mask in case Moonshine gets herself caught on something and needs to break free from the fly mask. I love the high UV protection and variety of EquiVizor designs to give your horse the sun, wind, and bug protection they need.
It also cleans easily. I can hose or hand wash it and then let it air dry.
Mosquito Mesh Fly Mask with Extendable Nose
The Mosquito Mesh Fly Mask with Extendable Nose is made from a durable extra fine mesh, ensuring no bugs can get through the fly mask. It’s also highly breathable, making it an ideal option in a hot climate.
|Available Sizes||Cob and full size|
|Colors||White and light blue|
|Fabric||350D nylon mesh|
- 60% UV protection
- The extendable nose is tapered to follow the shape of your horse’s muzzle, offering better sun and bug protection
- The nose piece is removable, making the fly mask more customizable
- Great durability and breathability
- Also protects the ears with the soft mesh
- Fleece lining on the nose and behind the ears for a comfy fit
- Secure fit with the two hook and loop closures, one throatlatch and the other under the chin/cheek
- A bit pricier than other fly masks on my list but is worth it
- Only one color option
What I Like About It
I like the fleece-covered pieces because my sensitive Moonshine is comfortable wearing the fly mask and keeping it on. While the fly mask is available in more colors, the icy blue suits all horses. It may get dirty quickly, but wash in cold water and air dry.
Kensington 90% UV Fly Mask CatchMask UViator
The fly mask is like “sunglasses” but for horses.
|Available Sizes||Medium (cob/Arab), large (average), and x-large (oversized)|
|Colors||Deluxe black, desert sand, Kentucky blue, lavender mint, imperial jade, Atlantis|
|Fabric||1000 x 2000D Textlilne|
- 90% UV protection
- Offers high visibility and breathability with 78% air permeability and visibility rating
- Streamline fit so you can use the fly mask with a bridle when needed
- Highly durable as it’s made to withstand fire, mildew, fading, soiling, and daily wear and tear
- The soft fleece inner liner ensures all-day comfort as it prevents rubbing
- Great for a Houdini horse since the chin strap is adjustable for a secure fit
- Size seems to run smaller than other Kensington fly masks
What I Like About It
I love the colors and enjoy matching my tack with everything Kensington offers. A standout about this fly mask is that it can double as a halter. Snap a lead rope through the double-locking CatchMask throat fastener, and viola!
If you need more protection, Kensington has you covered with this 90% UV Fly Mask CatchMask UViator with soft mesh ears, a removable nose, and a forelock opening.
Dura-Mesh Zebra Fly Mask with Ears
A zebra pattern is an excellent fly deterrent because it confuses them. So it makes sense to buy a black and white patterned fly mask.
The best zebra print fly mask is the Dura-mesh Zebra Fly Mask with Ears. It’s ideal for all-day wear as your horse won’t be bothered by pesky bugs, and they’ll rub less to keep the fly mask on.
|Available Sizes||Cob, small/medium pony, medium/large pony, and full size|
|Colors||Zebra pattern (black and white stripes)|
|Fabric||1000D poly vinyl Dura-Mesh|
- 70% UV protection
- Great airflow and durability
- Comfy to wear with the fleece-covered elastic binding around the crown and nose
- You can easily attach a neck cover with the available slot at the horse’s poll
- Best for medium-to-large insect protection (horse flies, deer flies, and greenheads) but not small bugs
- Doesn’t protect your horse’s nose
What I Like About It
I love the pattern and how it naturally helps protect my horse. The breathability of the fly mask is great since Moonshine wasn’t sweaty after a hot turnout day.
Answer: Fly masks work because they protect your horse’s face, nose, and ears from dirt, wind, the sun, and bugs. They also keep your horse’s eyes safe when they have moon blindness or uveitis.
Answer: A fly mask should never fit too tightly or loosely. A loose fly mask means your horse can easily remove it, and you’d need to find the mask or buy a new one. Ensure the fly mask fits snuggly but that you can fit two fingers between the jaw and throat and the mask.
Answer: You don’t need to leave the fly mask on the horse during nighttime as it’s safer for your horse not to have anything that obstructs their view. Put a fly mask on when your horse is stabled during the day or for turnout.
Final Thoughts About Horse Fly Masks
Give your equine bestie the best care and protection with the best horse fly mask. While I can’t 100% guarantee that your horse won’t get bitten by bugs, a fly mask that fits well will tell most insects to find other “juicier pastures.”
Before I kit her out in her favorite fly mask and fly sheet, I use fly spray on Moonshine. Then I know she can comfortably play with her friends and graze and do things horses love and enjoy – while staying bug-free.
Looking for a great fly spray to keep the flies at bay? Check out this guide on the best fly sprays.