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Farnam, Absorbine & Horseware Ireland All Tops in the 2018 Fly Mask Challenge
After months of testing fly masks for the 2018 Fly Mask Challenge equineseniors.com is pleased to announce that Farnam, Absorbine, and Horseware Ireland all have fly masks that earned near perfect scores.
A detailed review of the masks tested will appear on the Good-Horsekeeping Product Review Page of www.equineseniors.com in September.
Masks were scored on a point system of 1-5 (5 being the highest score) in eight categories including: Fit, Durability, Function, Safety, UV Protection, Care, Usability, and Value/Cost. They were also divided into two categories: With Ears and Without Ears. A total score of 40 was possible.
In the With Ears category Absorbine and Farnam’s masks tied with scores of 39. Horseware Ireland’s Rambo mask was a close second with a score of 37. The mask with ears by Nag Horse Ranch followed closely with a score of 35.
"Farnam makes a good basic fly mask that is affordable for most horse owners," said equineseniors.com editor Laurie Cerny. "While Absorbine’s mask is a little more expensive it has the detachable nose, which we really like. The Rambo mask offered great protection and excellent eye clearance, however, it was a little cumbersome to use and to store on halter/bridle hooks. We also didn’t care for the loop/hook Velcro fastener – from a safety standpoint. Nag Horse Ranch’s mask was a little problematic in fit (it only fit a horse with a very narrow head), however, was made out of a very high end UV fabric that was very soft and comfortable for the horse to wear."
In the Without Ears category the Milo mask by Horseware Ireland earned a perfect score of 40. Farnam’s mask followed closely with a score of 38 and the mask by Nag Horse Ranch earned a score of 36. Equivisor’s Fly Mask received 21 points.
"We loved the Milo mask. It’s a nice fit and offers a lot of room for a horse’s eyes. We also like the amber color; it’s not as hot as black and doesn’t show dirt," Cerny said. "And at $17.95 it’s very affordable"
Farnam’s mask lost one point in the Fit category as the mask fit a horse with a narrow jaw, best. The only real drawbacks to the Nag Horse Ranch mask was the price point at $47.95, the fit was also a little snug, and the light color sent was hard to keep clean even with regular washing. Otherwise the fabric and the UV protection was excellent."
Overall, Cerny said equine product manufacturers have come a long way in fly mask development as far as fit and durability.
Safety still remains an issue, however, as some of the Velcro closures on the masks tested were difficult to unfasten. Cerny added, "And if a mask has any kind of straps – even if they have quick release snaps, received a Zero in the Safety category. Horses and straps or loops are always an accident waiting to happen."
www.equineseniors.com is devoted to the care and competition of equine senior horses. Find more articles and resources on caring for the senior horse, as well as product reviews, at the website.