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Shoo fly boots – or fly boots – are a must-have accessory, in my opinion. They’ll protect your horses from insects and other irritations, so you’ll know they will be comfortable and safe as they graze. However, I can tell you from experience that not all brands are made equal regarding fly boots. It’s frustrating, but sometimes finding the best gear for your horse can take a little (or rather, a lot) of trial and error.
I have great recommendations for some of the best shoo fly boots that exist, so you should be able to find something that suits your horse (and your budget) perfectly.
The Bottom Line Up Front
If I had to pick one, I’d go for the Harrison Howard Loose-Fitting Horse Fly Boots. They’re protective, they fit nicely, and they’re super comfortable for horses. If your horse has sensitive skin or sores/abrasions, these are the ones to go for.
However, if you’re on a tighter budget, check out the TrustBreech Breathable Horse Leggings. They’re bright, so if your horse loses one, you should be able to find it. Plus, they’re breathable and comfortable, and they’re super affordable.
Best Shoo Fly Boots at a Glance
- Harrison Howard Loose-Fitting Horse Fly Boots – comfortable, fleece-lined fly boots, perfect for horses with sore legs
- Cashel Crusader Leg Guard Fly Boots– durable, hard-wearing fly boots available in a range of colors and sizes
- HR Farm Horse Leggings Loose Fitting Fly Boots – comfortable, flexible fly boots for larger horses
- Mackey Bee Mine Fly Boots – pretty, super-durable fly boots for larger horses
- TrustBreech Breathable Horse Leggings – affordable, breathable fly boots available in a wide range of colors
- Kensington Protective Horse Fly Boots– soft, comfortable, beautiful fly boots, ideal for harsher weather conditions
What to Look for in Shoo Fly Boots
So, what should you look for in shoo fly boots? Let’s take a look!
Technically, Shoo Fly boots refer to a particular brand name, but you can get fly boots that perform similarly without the Shoo Fly label.
Some brands produce more expensive fly boots, which may last longer. These also tend to look very beautiful, with some interesting patterns and designs.
The most important thing, however, is protection. Shoo fly leggings are designed to keep flies away from your horses’ legs, which is beneficial as it’s less annoying for your horse. It will also prevent them from stomping in irritation, which will, in turn, reduce leg fatigue.
They may also have UV protection, which is great if you live in warmer climates, as horses can graze for hours at a time without you having to worry about sun damage. Just one of the many things you need to think about when it comes to horse ownership!
Fly leggings should come in several sizes to find the right one to fit your horse, no matter what their breed or size.
The fastenings on your chosen fly boots are important to consider, given that horses’ legs can vary wildly in size! These fastenings will provide a close, snug fit without restricting movement. Look for fly boots that fit with no gaps for pesky insects to sneak in.
Fly boots come in various colors, making them a fun accessory to buy! I particularly like the bright-colored options; I’ve had a horse that has lost fly boots before, and trying to find them in a paddock can be a real pain.
You may also find fly boots with some cute patterns, too. Generally, the nicer-looking fly boots are more expensive, but they’re usually pretty durable, so they’re worth the investment.
Durability is a key factor. Your horse may be outside in all weathers and may need to be washed several times. You don’t want to buy fly boots only to have them fall apart at the seams (literally).
Look for shoo fly boots made from strong, breathable mesh, ideally coated in PVC, in order to increase durability.
Top 6 Shoo Fly Boots
Now, let’s take a look at six of the nicest fly boots you can get for your horse. I’ve selected a range of fly boots at different price points, so there should be something on this list that suits your budget.
Harrison Howard Loose-Fitting Horse Fly Boots
The Harrison Howard Loose-Fitting Horse Fly Boots are a good option for several reasons: they’re soft, comfortable, and breathable. They are available in four colors and three sizes (pony, cob, and full).
These fly boots are made from PVC and can protect your horse from UV rays and other nuisances like horseflies. It’s fleece trimmed, which will keep your horse comfortable in colder temperatures but still breathable enough not to be irritating.
I like that these fly leggings have the fleece trim – it’s easy for horses’ skin to become irritated if fly boots slip around as they move, but these are super soft, so there won’t be a problem. This could be a good solution if your horse has sores or abrasions on their legs.
They also have built-in nylon that prevents slipping and strong gripping fasteners. So they should stay in the right place all day.
Despite the fleece lining, these are very easy to care for. The downside may be the price: at just under $35 for four, they are slightly more expensive than others on this list. If you live in a colder area or your horse has sensitive skin, I think it’s worth the price.
- Sturdy construction
- Strong fastenings
- Comfortable, soft fleece lining for sore legs
- A little more expensive than some of the others on this list
Cashel Crusader Leg Guard Fly Boots
The Cashel Crusader Leg Guard Fly Boots are designed for your horses’ lower legs to protect them against bugs and bites. They’re super soft and comfortable, but they’re still strong and secure. They come in several sizes: horse, small pony, large pony, Arabian, draft, mini pony, and warmblood.
I like these because they’re durable: they’re tough enough to protect your horse, and the material is designed not to collect burr and grass seed, which makes cleaning up way easier. They’re also adaptable, but I will say that they run large: if you have a very petite pony, there’s a chance that you may not be able to wrap it in a way that eliminates all gaps.
These come in four colors (blue, grey, orange, and pink), and they’ll stay put even if your horse is super active. They should last a few seasons without needing to be replaced, and they’re easy to care for.
The downside to these fly boots is the cost: at around $30 for two, these are one of the more expensive options on this list. Still, the durability may make it worth the extra upfront cost.
- Easy to care for
- Tough and durable
- Comes in several sizes and colors
- More expensive than some of the others on this list
- Runs large, so many not be suitable for smaller horses
HR Farm Horse Leggings Loose Fitting Fly Boots
The HR Farm Horse Leggings Loose Fitting Fly Boots are a soft, comfy option to keep your horses happy and free from irritation. Available in yellow, orange, pink, and white, these particular leggings are ideal for larger horses.
These are designed to be super easy. The fastenings are easy to attach, and you can put them in a washing machine to clean them. They’re designed to stay put using their tight-gripping fixation points, but they should feel comfortable for your horse even as they run.
I’d recommend these fly boots if you live in warmer climates: the fine nylon allows air to flow through, so your horse will stay cool, but it will keep insects and other irritations away from their skin.
The downside is that the sizing may not be suitable for smaller horses, and if you try to use them on a small horse, you may find there are big gaps, which means insects will be able to sneak in, so you may want to keep looking for a smaller pair.
- Easy to wash
- Good for warmer climates
- Flexible and comfortable
- Fastenings are easy to attach
- Not suitable for smaller horses
Mackey Bee Mine Fly Boots
The Mackey Bee Mine Fly Boots are perfect if you prefer something that looks a little less utilitarian. Featuring a pretty bee pattern, these come in one size and work best for larger horses.
They’re made from heavy-duty, PVC-coated mesh, which allows your horses’ legs to breathe while also protecting them and keeping them safe from insect bites. They’re durable fly boots and should last for a good few seasons before needing to be replaced. They can withstand a lot of rain and mud (which is always a useful bonus in my experience).
I also like that these boots have 73% UV protection, as well as the fleece lining. These should feel incredibly comfortable to wear. They work well for horses living in colder climates: they’re snug while still being breathable.
The downside to these boots is the price. At $36 for two, these are an investment, as you’ll have to buy at least four (or maybe more if you want spares). They should last for a while, but if you’re trying to keep costs down, these may not be the fly boots for you.
- Beautiful bee pattern on the outside
- Heavy-duty, durable PVC-coated mesh
- Good UV protection
- Snug and breathable
- More expensive than some of the others on this list
- They may not work for smaller horses
TrustBreech Breathable Horse Leggings
The TrustBreech Breathable Horse Leggings are a good option if you’re on a tight budget. They come in several bright colors so that you won’t lose them! Best for larger horses, these are very good for the price.
They’re made from PVC, and they’re breathable and ventilated, so your horse won’t even realize they’re wearing them. They will keep out insect bites and defend your horse from being irritated by long grass. They’re very easy to attach using velcro straps, too.
The low price point does come with a cost, however. These are not as durable as some of the others on this list. While they’re easy to care for, they may not last more than a few seasons before needing to be replaced.
Plus, if you have a particularly active horse, you may find that you lose one from time to time (although the price point makes this a slightly easier prospect to deal with).
I’d say if you have more than one horse or you’re on a tighter budget, these are definitely an attractive prospect, and they do work well at keeping insects away.
- Easy to attach
- Breathable, ventilated mesh
- Keeps insects away
- Available in a range of bright colors
- Could get lost if you have a very active horse
- They may not last as long as some of the others on this list
Kensington Protective Horse Fly Boots
The Kensington Protective Horse Fly Boots are beautiful and protective, ideal for horses in colder climates. Available in several sizes, you should be able to find something that fits your horse.
A big draw of these particular fly boots is the design. They’re available in a wide range of colors and patterns (I particularly like the Imperial Jade design, which is green plaid with purple trimming and looks beautiful).
These are strong, durable fly boots. They’re designed to stay in place with the hook-and-loop fastener belts, and they have 73% UV protection. They can resist soiling and staining, and they’re perfect for more extreme weather conditions. These are the ones to go for if your horse will be standing out in the rain a lot!
They also come with a quality guarantee, undergoing tear tests and heat exposure tests, so they should last for many seasons to come. You can trust that these fly boots are of a high quality, which is excellent.
The downside is the pricing. These are on the more expensive side, but they’re a good investment, given how durable they are.
- Beautiful to look at
- Durable and comfortable
- Ideal for more extreme weather conditions
- They come with a quality guarantee
- They are more expensive than some of the others on this list
Answer: Fly boots (along with fly sheets) are beneficial for several reasons:
• They can protect your horse from annoying flies, which, in turn, prevents them from getting leg fatigue from stomping and fidgeting
• They’re good at blocking out mud/dirt, which is particularly important if your horse has wounds or sores
• They may help to prevent sun damage if they have UV protection
• They can help to keep your horses warm in colder weather
Answer: Depending on the particular boots, they should be very easy to care for. You may be able to put them in a washing machine on a gentle cycle (on low heat); this will take care of the worst of the dirt, and they can be air-dried for the best results.
If the instructions say not to put them on a machine wash, I’d say the best way is to just scrub them with warm, soapy water and leave them to dry in the sun: this is the best way to remove stains.
Answer: Yes, they can. If your horse has sores or wounds, fly boots may help to protect them while still allowing your horse’s skin to breathe and repair.
However, it’s a good idea to keep your vet in the loop (as you would whenever they are unwell) if your horse has a wound and ask for their opinion if you’re unsure.
My Final Thoughts
I really like the Harrison Howard Loose-Fitting Horse Fly Boots. They look nice, and they’re comfortable. The fleece lining is perfect for colder weather, but they’re still breathable. Plus, they’d work really well if your horse has sores or abrasions.
They are an investment in comparison to some of the others on this list, but I think they’re worth it for the comfort they provide.
Having said that, I’d also recommend the TrustBreech Breathable Horse Leggings. They’re affordable, comfortable, and breathable. They’ll protect your horse from flies and other irritations, and they come in a wide range of bright colors, so it’s difficult to lose them even in a large paddock.