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Beat back bugs on the trail

Posted by Animal Care Team on
Beat back bugs on the trail - Absorbine

This trail riding season, don’t let biting pests ruin your fun. Here are some tips to keep your trail ride fly-free.

Warm weather is finally here! ...And so are flies and other pests, just waiting to annoy you and your horse. Did you know that flies can drink four cups of horse blood every 10 days?[1] And that’s before blood-sucking ticks and mosquitos get in on the action.

Swatting away insects while you’re trying to enjoy the scenery and the company of your riding companions is no fun, but biting pests are more than simply annoying—they can also cause itchy patches, leave nasty welts and carry transmittable diseases.

Using this simple pre- and post-ride routine will protect you and your horse so you can actually enjoy the trails.


Pre-ride defense

Biting insects consider every part of the horse fair game, but are especially attracted to sensitive areas of the body like the face, ears, chin and underbelly.

Before mounting up for your next trail ride, protect your horse by:

  1. Spraying your horse’s entire body with Ultrashield® EX before your final brushing. The fly repellency will distribute throughout the coat while brushing.
  2. Saturating a rag with UltraShield® EX then using it to apply extra protection to the face, ears, legs, and belly
  3. Spritzing fly spray into your horse’s tail. With each tail swish, your horse will help create a repellent force field.

Considerations for Ticks

Tick populations are on the rise[2] and health concern for both humans and horses. Of course, peak tick season overlaps with prime riding time—June and July, the timeframe when more than 50% of Lyme disease cases are reported[3].

Use a three-step approach to protect yourself and your horse:

  1. Prevention: Before hitting the trail, liberally apply UltraShield® EX fly spray. The weatherproof, long-lasting formula repels more than 70 insect species, including ticks, which can carry Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.
  2. Post-ride visual check: Once on a horse, ticks look for the most sensitive areas on the body, such as the tail dock, underbelly and underneath the chin. They can even embed themselves deep inside a thick mane, so it’s essential to look at these areas regularly and remove any ticks you find.

    Many times, ticks can be found on your horse’s legs and can be removed before they bite. If they have attached to your horse, using tweezers or needle nose pliers can make removal easier. For long term success, don’t toss ticks to the ground—dropping ticks into a jar of rubbing alcohol ensures permanent disposal.
  3. Peace of mind
    Gain peace of mind this season this season by applying UltraShield® EX before turnout. The ready-to-use formula lasts up to 17 days and includes sunscreen and lanolin to keep your horse’s coat insect-free and conditioned all in one step. 

Plus, with Ultrashield® EX you can protect more than your horses. The fly spray can be used as a premise spray and is approved for use on donkeys, mules and dogs.

We’ve logged the miles
This isn’t our first trail ride season! Absorbine was founded in 1892 and for more than a century, we’ve been developing products with the horse’s health and well-being in mind. Ultrashield® EX is guaranteed to offer long-lasting, effective, and safe protections against disease-transmitting bugs that swarm the trail.

Leave the bugs to us, and don’t miss out on a minute of enjoying your ride!

[1] Townsend, L. Horse flies and deer flies. University of Kentucky ENTFACT-511.


[3] Nelson CA, Saha S, Kugeler KJ, Delorey MJ, Shankar MB, Hinckley AF, et al. Incidence of clinician-diagnosed lyme disease, United States, 2005–2010. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;21:1625–31.

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