Summer skin complaints are a huge issue for lots of horses and ponies during the hot summer months, and as our equine friends get older seasonal coat loss can be also a concern. Sweet Itch as it is better known effects 5% of the UK horse population and is caused by biting insects, dust mites and pollen. These poor equines also suffer with their skin being hot, providing them another excuse to rub and scratch.
We have found by clipping the horse that suffers with Sweet Itch, not only keeps the horse cooler, but it prevents the midgey getting into and under the coat to bite the skin. A fly sheet and hood is applied and then we use Power Phaser fly Spray over the body and Power Phaser Gel in the difficult to reach areas, such as the tail and between the back legs.
If you read text books they all say by mid February you should stop clipping to allow the summer coat to come through. If however your horse does not lose coat or suffers with a skin complaint, is it not better for the animal to be more comfortable?
Sweet Itch Management
Minimise the midges. Use fly repellent to help reduce the amount of flies and midges your horse has to deal with.
Use barrier techniques. Try fly rugs, hoods or stabling during the day.
Paddock choice. Field your horse on top of a hill, as the wind will keep the midges away. Do not keep your horse near watercourses.