Gear Guide Tried & Tested

Health and Nutrition

The products

Lincoln-Fly-Repellent
RRP
£10.99

 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
RRP
£15.99

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.”

Net-tex-summer-fly-cream
RRP
£9.15

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
RRP
£14.99

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-Midge-gel
RRP
£12.90

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-
RRP
£15.95

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-Repellent-Gel
RRP
£13.49

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
RRP
£8.50

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.”

Carr&Day&Martin-Insect-repellent
RRP
£9.40

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.”

 

RRP
£13.50

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.”

aniwell-active-manuka-honey-cream
RRP
£12.10

Aniwell Active Manuka honey cream

A topical cream for minor cuts, bites, grazes, skin irritations and inflamed areas of skin.
Sizes: 50g, 100g or 500g

“I used this cream to treat several midge bites that had caused my horse to rub his face, leaving sores and irritated skin. The consistency of the product was fantastic – almost like petroleum jelly. It smoothed on easily, then stayed where it was needed. It didn’t wash off, even in the rain. It really seemed to help soothe the bites, as he didn’t keep scratching them, and they have healed well and quite quickly, too. I really liked that it’s a natural product, so I didn’t mind using it every day while it was needed. It’s definitely a useful addition to my first-aid kit.”

RRP
£24.95

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.”

RRP
£6.65

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.”

RRP
£14.29

Equimins Extra Strength

Perfect for long-term fly protection.

RRP
£9.99

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.”

RRP
£9.70

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.”

RRP
£16.75

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.”

RRP
£19.13

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.”

RRP
£11.99

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.”

RRP
£9.95

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.”

RRP
£15.99

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.”

RRP
£7.75

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.”

RRP
£8.99

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.”

RRP
£17.95

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.”

RRP
£16.99

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.”

RRP
£15.10

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.”

RRP
£3.78

Gold Label solid hoof oil

Contains 10% cod liver oil for extra hoof health.

“Easy to apply to the hoof, not messy like liquid hoof oils, but dirt can easily get into the tub if the brush isn’t clean. My mare’s hooves have never looked better since using this product. It’s a great product at an excellent price.”

RRP
£11.95

NAF Profeet hoof moist

Formulated to sustain the moisture content of the hoof and allow natural fluctuation of moisture levels.

Tel: 0800 373106 www.naf-equine.eu

“Stays on well and dries quickly, it helps protect the hoof from splitting and cracking. It also lasts a while so it’s good value for money. It’s easy to apply and great value for money, it really helps feet stay healthy. I would like a label on the top of the pot so its easier to identify in a grooming kit. It’s very messy to apply.”

RRP
£5.38

Nettex traditional hoof oil

A non-spirit oil that will nourish and protect, while allowing hooves to breathe and still function at their best.

Tel: 01634 257150 www.nettexequine.com

“The built-in brush stops me getting too messy. It has great coverage, care and looks fab. A brilliant product. However it can spill easily.”

RRP
£10.99

Equine America Fungatrol hoof dressing

Conditions the hoof and contains ingredients to repel thrush, improve condition and moisturise.

Tel: 01403 255809 www.equine-america.co.uk

“Excellent product, easy to work with and a really good product. It is quite expensive, it would be good if you could buy a larger tub.”

RRP
£8.99

Equimins hoof conditioning grease

A rich, nourishing formulation to protect hooves from the elements.

Tel: 01548 531770 www.equimins.com

“An excellent, well-balanced product that is very good at stopping the hoof cracking. It is excellent with no downsides at all. Can go hard in cold weather, which makes it difficult to use.”

RRP
£9.5

Silverfeet hoof balm

Made from a unique blend of natural ingredients and silver ions designed to keep hooves in great condition.

Tel: 01609 760246 www.silverfeet.com

“Smells nice and does what it says it will, my horse’s feet are healthier now than with any other oils I’ve tried. I make sure I don’t get it on his white socks so it doesn’t stain. It is very effective and does what it says on the tin.”

RRP
£7.9

Lincoln Classic green hoof grease

Contains laurel oil to nourish dry, brittle hooves and provide added protection in all weathers.

Tel: 01522 529206 www.lincoln-equestrian.com

“Easy to use and easy to paint on, it helps to prevent infections and cracking and is good value for money. It isn’t easy to get off.”

RRP
£11.7

Absorbine Hooflex

Contains nine therapeutic ingredients to maintain the pliability of the hoof.

“It smells lovely and has been good in dry and wet weather, I think it’s excellent for my horse’s hooves and because it’s natural, it gives hooves a nice shine!”

RRP
£26

Kevin Bacon’s original hoof dressing

Made with a gentle acting chemical formula, it’s formulated to improve the molecular structure of the hoof.

Tel: 01373 827649 www.kevinbacons.com

“Great for starting or maintaining a barefoot horse, it works, is easy to apply and lasts a long time and you only need to use it sparingly so it lasts a long time. The shape of the bottle makes it easy to knock over.”

RRP
£8.74

Effol hoof ointment

Ensures healthy hoof growth and has a disinfecting effect.

“Keeps hooves strong and gives them a nice colour. Stays on for quite a long time and it’s pretty water-resistant and stays on feet very well and aids hoof growth.”

RRP
£10.5

Absorbine SuperShine

Gives hooves a magnificent mirror – like finish and dries in less than 60 seconds.

“Makes feet super-black, perfect for shows. Stays on, keeps hooves clean, dries quickly. It is long-lasting and gives a great shine in the show ring. However, it can be hard to remove, and the black can stain your hands.”

RRP
£5.95

NAF hoof oil

Designed to give the hoof a naturally polished look.

Tel: 0800 373106 www.naf-equine.eu

“It comes in a good container so it doesn’t spill, it lasts a long time and makes my pony’s feet look amazing. Giving healthy–looking hooves for a few days after application, provided there isn’t too much mud! It provides a good, polished look and enhances the natural appearance of the hoof.”

RRP
£16.5

Carr & Day & Martin Cornucrescine daily hoof dressing

A nourishing, cornucrescine-based product for daily use. Comes with an integral brush for easy application.

Tel: 0845 5004040 www.carrdaymartin.co.uk

“Keeps my horse’s feet looking good, works to strengthen hooves and I’ve also used it on healed wounds to prevent white hair growing, it really works!”

RRP
£5.95

Maxavita Pernamax Equine Patches

These are soothing and cooling gel patches that can be left on for 24 hours and maintain soothing for up to 72 hours. They combine a patented lipid extract from green-lipped mussel with menthol and two differing molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. These active ingredients are absorbed through the skin, and have a unique cooling and soothing action that relieves stiff, sore and swollen joints.

“I found the patches really useful and much more convenient than cold hosing. They were especially good after intense exercise, so I’d imagine they would be really handy to use after cross-country. The fact that they last for 24 hours is great and they helped with swelling after being left overnight. Buy if you want a long-lasting patch for your first-aid kit. While they aren’t terribly expensive, they are single use – and cold hosing, while more time consuming, costs less!”

RRP
£6.4

Barrier Animal Healthcare Revitalising Wash

This is a light, soothing, low-lathering, no-rinse body wash that refreshes and removes heavy perspiration. It cools without chilling the horse and is ideal for use after exercise.

Tel: (0)1953 456363 www.barrier-biotech.com/

“This is a really good way to cool your horse off after a long ride or a competition. It’s easy to use, as you do not need to rinse it off afterwards, and it leaves your horses smelling fresh and minty. Buy if you want a good-value cooling wash for your horse.”

RRP
£55

Harpley Equestrian Cool leg wraps

These are ideal to be used in the stable or when away from home after any competition, event or hunting. Apply for 20 minutes, every two hours, to hot and tired legs or where cool treatment is needed. They are easy to fasten with comfortable, elasticated Velcro straps. The gel is soft and comforting, and will mould to the leg, offering cold, compression, support, and help to reduce heat and swelling. For extra-cold treatment, they can be soaked in ice water or in the fridge. Where heat treatment is required, they can be soaked in warm water and applied in the same way.

Tel: 0115 9611537 www.harpleyequestrian.co.uk/

“I found these cold boots to be really versatile. I’ve used them for everyday leg cooling after my horse has done a harder workout and also at competitions as ice boots after cross-country. They extend from knee to foot on my 17hh event horse. I like the compression you get from them when fully soaked, and they stay colder for longer than other boots of this type I’ve used before. An easy-to-use cooling boot. They’re made from quite a thin fabric so they’re a little flimsy and a bit fiddly to fit.”

RRP
£169.95

Ice-Force Pressure boots

These boots are designed to combine the benefits of cold therapy and compression, comprising a wrap-around inflatable boot and gel packs with an integrated hand pump that is used to adjust and control the level of pressure applied. A convenient option for horses suffering from strains, sprains and inflammation in the lower leg, they can even be used when away at shows and events.

“The ice pack fits nicely into the back of the boots and overall they’re easy to fit. The ice pack stays pliable so it moulds around the horse’s lower leg, helping it be that little bit more comfortable for the horse to wear. It stays cold for at least 20 minutes and you can increase the pressure of the boot if needed with the pump. Buy if you want a combined ice and compression boot for your horse’s lower legs. They are quite heavy in comparison to other boots on the market and you do need to freeze the ice packs for at least two hours.”

RRP
£11.5

Mark Todd Icy Leg Gel Spray

This alcohol-free product is designed to instantly cool and soothe soreness, stiffness, strains and sprains. It contains thymol, menthol and peppermint, which help reduce heat in the legs, ease muscle soreness and soothe painful or sore shins, while a blend of herbal oils helps disperse bruising, and soothes scrapes and knocks. Unlike alcohol based products, it will not dry the skin or damage hair and there is no need to bandage, which can often be messy and time consuming.

Tel: 01303 872277 www.wefi.co.uk/?page=mark_todd

“It comes in a spray bottle, so it’s easy to apply and evenly distribute, and doesn’t leave the legs feeling sticky. There’s no need to bandage or get your hands sticky as with a gel. It’s also alcohol-free, so didn’t irritate my horse’s legs. Buy if you want an easy-to-apply cooling product.”

RRP
£22

New Equine Wear Gelcels

These wraps feature gel crystals in breathable felt, and are held in place with two hook-and loop-style fastenings. They’re ideal for sports injuries, after exercise, first aid and more – and can be frozen or microwaved for more extreme temperatures, too. They can be reused up to 500 times.

Tel: (0)1842-752020 www.newequinewear.co.uk/

“It’s a no-mess product that works very well. There’s no need to bandage over the wraps as they come fitted with straps that hold them on the leg. They’re great for anyone who isn’t confident in their bandaging technique, and can be used again and again. It is a no-mess cooling product that you don’t have to secure with a bandage. I found I got the best out of the wraps when I stuck them in the freezer, so they are more for use at home rather than on the lorry.”

RRP
£185

Horseware Ice-Vibe boots

These are rechargeable vibrating boots that boost circulation in horses’ legs. They combine the effects of cooling and massage therapy that help to treat strains and ligament and tendon damage. The boots can be used with or without cold packs to reduce swelling and stimulate blood flow. Using the boots before exercise can help reduce the risk of injury, as increasing blood flow to the tendons and ligaments makes them more elastic. Everyday wear and tear on joints can be managed with daily use of the boots, and rehabilitation through injury can be achieved more quickly. Each pair comes with cold packs, batteries and a charger. Available in sizes full and extra-full, in tendon boots, and hock and knee boots.

Tel: (353) 42 9389000 www.horseware.com/ice-vibe/

“They fit the lower leg well and don’t slip at all once put into place. I love how the vibrating pack has four compartments to sit in, depending on where you feel your horse needs it most. The ice pack itself works best if frozen for a few hours before use and stays cold on the leg for at least 15 minutes – this is fine for this type of boot, because the vibrating settings only last 10-15 minutes. The ice pack also fits the leg well and as long as the boot is done up correctly, the ice pack will not slip. These boots are made to last and you can use them in many different ways, making them good value for money, as they can be used to warm the leg up or cool the leg down. Buy if you want something more advanced to care for or to rehabilitate any injuries to the tendons and ligaments in your horse’s lower leg. They are a larger initial investment, but the boots are beautifully made and I feel they would last a long time.”

RRP
£29.99

Equine America Green Ice gel

This soothing, cooling, easy-to-apply gel for tired limbs comes in a new, improved formulation, fortified with arnica and witch hazel.

Tel: 01403 255809 www.equine-america.co.uk/

“I love this product because it contains arnica and witch hazel to help soothe bruises as well as cool tired legs. It really worked, washed off easily and didn’t leave the legs feeling sticky. You can use this product with or without bandages and it comes in a large tub that can be kept in the back of a lorry or in a tack room. Buy if you want a great-value cooling gel with natural ingredients.”

RRP
£24.99

Equi-NicE bandage and coolant

This product uses rapid evaporation to create a cooling effect, providing instant cooling compression and support. The pack contains two bandages and a 500ml bottle of coolant to recharge them, giving many hours of cooling without the need for refrigeration or mixing. The bandages provide cooling support.

Tel: 07778 274 265 www.equiplus.co.uk/

“I like that this cooling bandage is reusable and comes in a handy, easy-to-use packet. The instructions are very easy to follow and the bandage is easy to apply to the horse’s legs. The cooling effect lasts for about an hour and can be reapplied as needed. The instantaneous cooling effect makes the bandages handy to use, whenever you need them. Buy if you want a reusable, bandage-type cooling product. They’re alcohol-based and dried out my horse’s legs, causing a bit of skin irritation.”

RRP
£18.95

NAF Ice Cool

This is a 24-hour cooling clay containing a blend of natural clays, together with witch hazel and arnica, both well-known for their naturally astringent qualities. Their cooling actions work together with the tightening effects of the natural clays to soothe any soreness, tighten the tendons and help eliminate any inflammation. It readily rinses away under a cold-water hose.

Tel: 0800 373 106 www.naf-equine.eu/uk

“It smells nice and because it’s made from 100% natural ingredients, doesn’t cause skin irritation. The thick clay is easy to apply, it washes off easily with water and seems to make a difference to puffy legs post-competition. Buy if you want a 100% natural clay that is easy to wash off. It is a little messy to apply.”

RRP
£2.5

Robinson Healthcare Kool Pak

This is ideal for emergency and routine use, as it requires no refrigeration – simply press the pack to activate. It’s suitable for providing fast, cooling support for tendon injuries, inflammation, knocks, strains, bruises and swellings. It’s also ideal for use after competing, particularly on hard ground. It provides instant relief to the leg area and is suitable for all horses. It can be applied directly to the skin and if necessary, held in place by a bandage. It remains effective for up to one hour.

Tel: 01909 735000 www.robinsonhealthcare.com

I love the fact that there is no need for freezing or messy gel products that are not easy to wash off the horse’s legs. I found that this product really worked and not only is it great for horses, but you could use it for humans too. So if somebody was to need a quick ice pack, this is a very handy thing to have. Buy if you want a handy, fast-acting cool pack for your first aid kit. I do think they are value for money because they really do work, but you can only use them once.”

RRP
£6.95

Equimins Leg Gel

This leg gel can be used after training or competition to help cool and refresh the legs. It contains camphor, menthol and allantoin, and can be used undiluted from the tub and then covered with paper before being bandaged over. Or it can be used as a wash– just dilute three to four tablespoons of leg gel into one litre of water and apply to the legs with a sponge.

Tel: 01548 531770 www.equimins-online.com/

“I like that it has multiple uses – it can be used as a gel for a more concentrated effect or diluted to make a cooling wash that leaves the legs feeling clean and refreshed. I used it with and without bandages, and it doesn’t leave the legs feeling sticky. Buy if you want a multi – purpose cooling product that can be used as a wash or a concentrated gel. However, it does have a strong scent.”

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