More is Better in Farnam SuperMask Redesign
In the category of annoying insects, flies win hands down. They may be small in size, but they can turn a thousand-pound horse into a tail-swishing, head-tossing, hoof-stomping basket case.
Which is where you come in.
Every horse owner knows fly season can be aggravating, at the least, and downright dangerous when you consider the germs spread by these flying pests.
To be effective, you'll need to confront pests on multiple levels, including:
- careful manure management
- fly sprays and/or spot-ons for the horses themselves
- physical barrier protection (fly masks, sheets, etc.)
- premise sprays and/or traps to reduce fly population around the barn
- feed-through fly control to break the fly life cycle
When it comes to horse fly masks, Farnam has been the market leader in the field for decades...and with good reason. First released about 30 years ago, SuperMask horse fly mask quickly gained a faithful following among horse owners. It was durable, well-made, stayed on the horse, and most of all, it was effective without obstructing vision.
Horse owners found SuperMask horse fly mask kept flies and other pesky insects away from their horses' eyes. Then they realized it also protected against dust, dirt and debris. That made it perfect for sensitive horses and those recovering from an eye injury. They also liked the option of having a mask with soft, mesh ears for additional protection.
Since horses can be playful when turned out together, Farnam developed a unique horse-proof Double-Latch Closure, giving SuperMask horse fly mask twice the "stay-on power" of other masks.
SuperMask horse fly mask came in Classic and those who wanted more options in mesh and trim color/pattern, could choose Shimmer Weave style.
So, with all those advantages behind a proven product, what prompted Farnam to redesign their incredibly popular SuperMask horse fly mask?
Four words: More. Coverage. Better. Fit.
"Our new SuperMask is longer on the nose and covers up to 20 percent more of the horse's face," explains Jeanne Parker, an engineer and seamstress who worked as manager of manufacturing technology for Farnam and now serves as a consultant.
Four words: More. Coverage. Better. Fit.
When the redesign process started in the winter of 2015, Parker created multiple prototypes, tweaking and perfecting the design to improve fit and coverage, which included trying them on numerous horses. Because Farnam offers five different sizes of SuperMask to fit all sizes of horses, each size had to go through this meticulous redesign process.
The new and improved SuperMask horse fly mask hit the shelves just in time for the start of 2017.
"The overall fit is now better for the horse. The new and improved SuperMask fits better around the ears; it fits closer to the head with less gap around the ear area," says Parker. "People with Arabs will especially appreciate the redesign, because those finer heads have been harder to fit with many masks.
"We added an elastic band to the horse-proof closure, which allows for more customized fitting," she notes. "Now there's also a place for you to personalize the mask and write your horse's name on the tag, so there's no mix-up if you're in a barn with multiple horses."
Another improvement included tucking under and sewing the trim edges so there's no unfinished edge. Parker says this helps reduce the "fuzz factor."
Some equine supply stores still have the original styles of SuperMask horse fly mask in stock, but as those sell out, they'll be replaced with the redesigned masks.
Summer is just around the corner. Now's the time to replace last season's mask, so look for the new and improved SuperMask horse fly mask wherever you buy equine supplies.
Supermask and Shimmer Weave are trademarks of Farnam Companies, Inc.
SuperMask tip #1: Get the right size. Farnam offers five different sizes of SuperMask horse fly mask so there's a size to fit virtually every horse. Check the fit the first time you use the mask to be sure you have the right size. It should be snug, but not tight. You should be able to slide two fingers' width around the edge of the mask and your horse's face. If the mask is too small, the mesh will be too close to your horse's eyes, which can be irritating and uncomfortable. The mesh should stand out from the eyes, never touching any part of the eye or eyelashes.
SuperMask tip #2: Keep it clean! Hot weather means more sweat and dirt, a combination that can leave your fly mask quickly looking a little worse for wear. A clean mask is important for your horse's comfort and it's easy to do. No washing machine needed! Add a small squirt of horse shampoo to a bucket of water and dunk the mask in. Swish around well to remove grime and sweat. Then rinse thoroughly with until water runs clear. A hose is fine for rinsing. Shake off excess water and hang to air dry. (Skip the dryer.) Once the mask is dry, you can brush any remaining hair or debris off the hook-and-latch closure with a stiff brush.
It’s a buggy world out there, and your horse often pays the price. Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, many pests that were only memories during the winter are coming out in full force. Your horse’s comfort — not to mention his health — may face increased risk from a number of insects unless you intervene... Certain ticks carry dangerous bacteria that can spread Lyme disease. Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus and Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, also known as “sleeping sickness.” Horse flies can spread the viral disease known as Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) when they bite an infected horse and then bite a healthy horse.