Gear Guide Tried & Tested

Fly Repellent

We put a range of fly repellents to the test to help you decide which one is best for your horse.

Our testers: Our testers put to test a range of fly repellents over the course of three months.

The products


 Lincoln Fly Repellent gel

Contains DEET and additional moisturising agents.

The verdict: “A long-lasting repellent that’s easy to apply.”

“This gel was easy to apply with a sponge. I liked that it wasn’t too thick, so it went on in a thin, even layer without leaving patches on my horse’s coat. It has a strong smell, but isn’t unpleasant. When he was out in the field he wasn’t as bothered by the flies and the scent lasted for most of the day.”



NAF OFF DEET Power Performance gel

Long-lasting protection against flies, horseflies and other insects.

The verdict: Most effective just after application, long-lasting scent.”



“It’s easy to apply with a sponge or cloth and went on evenly. It seemed to help keep the horseflies away while riding. I applied it twice a day, but needed to do so again before I rode, especially if my horse got hot, to ensure maximum efficiency. The smell lasted most of the day and he had fewer bites coming in from the field.”


Nettex Summer Fly cream

A DEET-based cream that contains lanolin and glycerine to help protect against adverse weather conditions.

The verdict: Thick, greasy cream that’s weatherproof and long-lasting.”



“This cream is white and slightly greasy, so I found it best to avoid getting too much in his coat, as it tended to clump together and pick up dust and dirt. However, it was easy to smooth into his skin and lasted a long time, even if it rained. It’s helped stop the majority of bites, and stopped his skin from getting dry and itchy, too.”


Leovet Power Phaser Durativ

A high concentration of active ingredients to protect against biting insects, including horseflies and ticks.

The verdict: “Very strong scent and still effective through sweat.”



“This gel smells very strong and the scent lasts a long time – even after washing my hands several times I could still smell it. It comes with a sponge, so is easy to apply and goes on evenly. It was effective even when my horse got hot out on rides and it kept the horseflies away.”



Fly Away Max Strength Fly & Midge gel

An all-natural formula with added essential oils for coat condition.

The verdict: Easy to apply with a light scent, but needed several applications.”



“It’s a good consistency, was easy to apply and rubbed into my horse’s coat without leaving a residue. The scent wasn’t too strong and fewer flies bothered my horse on hacks. He still had some bites after a day in the field, but the natural ingredients meant I didn’t mind reapplying it.”


Flints Yard Itching? 

A midge-repellent lotion with margosa extract and an aloe vera base.

The verdict:Strong-smelling but suitable for sensitive skin.”




“This lotion smells quite strong and was easy to rub into my horse’s coat. I used it on places where he usually scratches, such as along his mane, on his dock and round his face. He has sensitive skin, so I was pleased that the natural ingredients didn’t cause any reaction. I used it twice a day and he didn’t scratch as much as usual.”


Equine America Fly-Repel gel


Natural ingredients including citrepel, eucalyptus and tea tree oils.

The verdict: “Natural ingredients with a light scent, but not very long-lasting.”

“It has a nice, light scent and helped to keep flies away while out riding. It didn’t seem to last very long, so wasn’t as effective out in the field. The shape of the pot’s neck made it tricky to get the last of the product out. I found it easiest to apply it with a cloth.”

Equimins Fly Gel

Equimins Fly Repellent extra strength gel

An extra-strength clear gel containing 15% IR3535, an alternative to DEET that’s effective against flies, midges and mosquitoes.

The verdict: A strong scent and only needs to be applied sparingly.”



“It smells quite strong and the tub lasted ages as I only needed to use a little bit each time. It was difficult to apply sparingly, so I used a soft brush to spread it over my horse’s coat, which did the trick. I could still smell it on him at the end of the day and he didn’t have as many bites as usual after a day in the field.”


CDM Insect Repellent gel

Natural ingredients with a weather-resistant, clear formula. Contains margosa extract, Australian tea tree oil and d-limonene.

The verdict: “Easy to apply, but needs several applications over the course of the day.”

“The tube-style packaging made it very easy to apply small amounts, and it has quite a light scent that wasn’t unpleasant. It definitely helped to keep flies away from his face while we were out hacking, but didn’t last all day, so I needed to use several applications when he was out in the field to keep it effective.”



Barrier Super Plus fly gel

All-natural ingredients with added avocado for coat condition.
£13.50 for 500ml

“A nice scent, but needs regular application to maintain efficacy.”

“I liked the scent and it rubbed into his coat well without leaving any residue. The consistency is quite slippery and jelly-like, so I had to be careful while applying it as it’s easy to drop excess product. It helped to keep flies away while we were riding, but I had to use lots of applications to keep it effective.”


Tri-Tec 14 fly control

An effective fly stopper for the yard.

“It works immediately and lasts a long time – didn’t need to re-spray until the following day. The smell is quite strong.”


Gold Label UK Flygon long acting

Perfect for achieving gentle, even coverage.

“The spray is gentle, with a wide, light dispersion. Combined with soft smell, it was a pleasure to use. I felt like I had to use quite a lot of the spray to get a good effect.”


Equimins Extra Strength

Perfect for long-term fly protection.


Healing Tree Go’Way All Natural

If you’re looking for a gentle, natural formula.

“The adjustable spray was really useful and the roll on was useful for tricky areas on my headshy horse. The flies didn’t seem to be deterred for very long.”


Lincoln Fly Stoppa

Instant relief from flies.

“The spray disperses well to provide good coverage without leaving greasy marks on my horse’s coat. The reduction of flies was obvious as soon as the spray was applied. However, I would’ve liked the effect to last longer.”


Carr & Day & Martin Extra Strength

Especially good for horses that don’t like traditional sprays.

“The spray came out as a mist, which was quiet and clean. My horse didn’t even really notice me applying it to him. The mist meant a really nice even coverage, too.”


Absorbine Ultrashield

A stable spray to keep flies at bay.

“This spray was very effective at keeping flies away from my horse and, despite the strength of the mixture, the smell is not unpleasant. The bottle is quite large and unwieldy, but the spray works well.”


Fly Away Max Strength fly and midge gel

Perfect for small areas that are badly affected by bites.

“There was a definite reduction in the number of biting insects that seemed to attack my horse. Handling the gel was difficult and therefore it could be easily wasted. I used it mainly on my mare’s face. I would probably of used it up very quickly had it been applied all-over.”


Pro-Equine Alternative

Super for preventing itching.

“This spray seemed quite effective at reducing the amount my mare scratched, which was really great. The spray wasn’t particularly effective, it would come out the first few squirts and then stop, which made application tricky.”


Mark Todd fly repellent

An easy to use fly solution, good for nervous types.

“The bottle was a good size and the spray applicator was very effective, without any leakage. It was a quiet spray, which was very useful as my horse is nervous. It did wear off after several hours, but it doesn’t claim to last all day.”


Nettex Advanced

Perfect to keep the flies off in the field.

“I used it on a horse who lives out, and has always been bothered by flies and bites. I applied it quite generously once a day, and it seemed to last well. It wasn’t quite as effective when my horse got hot during exercise.”


Lillidale fly repellent

Quick spray and you’re away.

“It was very easy to apply and reduced the amount of flies around my horse straight away. I had to apply the spray twice a day to keep the flies away.”


Leovet Power Phaser

The flies can’t stand the smell either.

“It was easy to apply by spraying on directly and sponging around the head and ears. My horse is sensitive to fly bites and gets quite distressed – he was definitely much happier and didn’t get any fly bites. It has a very pungent smell so it’s better applied in an open space.”


NAF Off Deet Power

Particularly recommended for dark horses.

“This was super-effective and it lasted really well. The bottle has a good spray action and I loved that it didn’t leave a residue on the coat of my black horse.”


Barrier Biotech Super Plus

Perfect if you’ve got a sensitive nose!

“The smell of this spray is really pleasant and doesn’t overwhelm you. It has a good effect on the number of flies and the refill bottle is a great idea.”

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