Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Q for You.

Nope, not dead, just not much to write about and I was out of town for several days.

Junior got four days off while I was gone but he was turned out regularly if not daily and seemed fine. It's very humid so he was sweaty around the neck and needed a good brushing but didn't look like he'd even knew I was gone. He rode fine and considering he had 4 days off I was satisfied. Other than having to do several laps of an extended trot before he felt like he was ready to jog there was no real change from before I left. Ideally I would have had KAT do at least one ride in there, but it didn't work out this time and it's nice to know he can handle that time off. Much better than in the winter when he was cooped up and cranky about it.

Here's my question for you all, it's about fly spray. I've used several different kinds of store-bought fly repellent. The only brand I remember buying myself was Bronco. We'd use it before riding if the horses were being bothered during tacking, and as preventative measures at shows, even if we didn't see a fly. In 2006 I used only a homemade fly spray of 3 equal parts water, Avon Skin-so-Soft, and vinegar. Because I'm an internet nerd, I've been doing some reading. I've seen similar recipes on horse forums and lots of people mention SSS as a repellent. We used it all the time when I was growing up. In addition to the many claims of repellent qualities, I also found some more scientific-looking information. Most of this information included really low scores for SSS as a mosquito repellent, including ONLY 10 MINUTES. According to SNOPES, Avon responded to the overwhelming purchases of SSS as a bug repellent that they ADDED Picardin to the SSS in a new line called Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus. I have used this on myself and it works well for light bug populations but for that really nasty awful part of a Minnesota summer in the woods where the Skeeters will pick you up and carry you away I chose harder hitting OFF. Anyway, here is another article in which Avon defends their Bug Guard
after the New England Journal of Medicine claimed it only lasted for 10 minutes.

So I am wondering if it is really effective or not. It certainly smells good and makes his coat soft. But I also wonder if it does anything for ticks. The pastures have no trees, bushes, or other wooded areas so the exposure is a little less, but I did find one tick on him (on his cheek) the day I gave him a bath so of course they're out there.

What do you use? Store bought? Home made? Do you worry about the chemicals? Think I'm crazy?


  1. I don't think any of them, chemical or natural, really work very well! I also find the SSS smells really nasty to me - some people seem to like it! Although I go natural on many things, I mostly just use Bronco, and also Mosquito Halt - which is extremely nasty poisonous stuff but is the only thing I've found that works for mosquitos, which are a real plague for us.

  2. That is a tough question - I think that most bug sprays don't work that well - unless you get the super duper chemical stuff (there is one that we can buy here called "konk", but the amount of chemicals kinda scares me)

    I don't know if the SSS works or not... I use Bronco too and it seems to help a bit, but I don't know how long it lasts. I had a barn owner that fed her horses some sort of garlic supplement and used apple cider vinegar in some combination with water and claimed that it helped, but who knows?

    I tried using one spray with citronella in it and the smell of that made me gag - so much so that I couldn't even use it to see if it worked! (I'm a bit of a baby with scents :-)

  3. I tried using homemade fly sprays a couple summers ago using different mixtures - I never used SSS by itself....I didn't think that it worked very well or lasted very long. I personally think that buying the concentrate and mixing it myself so I can mix it a little stronger than RTU sprays works the best. I think too that if you apply it very liberally several days in a row then you can start spacing days out a little and have it still be effective. Kind of like a supplement loading dose.