I’m really excited to share my experience with a new Dominion Vet Labs product. As you’re probably aware, Manitoba has two seasons: winter and fly season. A drawn-out winter and cool spring meant we were able to stave off the biting pests for a few weeks longer than normal. But that delay seems to have made the flies extra hungry, and they are out in ravenous droves. I’m always looking for new and effective ways to give my beloved Thoroughbred gelding, Mojito, some relief from flies and mosquitoes.
One of the trickiest places to keep bugs at bay is the outdoor wash rack. I’m not sure why they flock to the area – maybe they’re attracted to the smell of a horse hot and sweaty from a workout. Maybe they know that for a short period of time, the animal won’t be drenched in fly spray. Either way, they seem to swarm poor Moe when he’s tied up in the wash rack, and I’m forced to rinse him off at lightening speed so he doesn’t get eaten alive. It’s unfortunate, since he loves a leisurely and refreshing bath.
I was thrilled to receive a few bottles of DVL’s new Citronella Silken Shampoo. It’s infused with natural citronella oils that flies hate. As soon as you lather up your horse’s wet coat, the flies back right off. You can take your time and scrub out dirt and manure stains without any bug-related fussing from your horse. Moe loved it! He quit stomping and swishing his tail and was able to enjoy his bath.
Citronella Silken Shampoo has a mild scent that won’t irritate the sensitive skin around the horse’s face, legs and belly. It also produced that show-ring shine that judges love.
I dissolved a few ounces of shampoo in four litres of warm water. The shampoo produces a lot of suds, so use a big body sponge to rub the soapy mixture onto your horse’s wet coat. Make sure to really massage the shampoo into your horse’s neck, legs and flanks – the spots that flies love to torment. To wash the tail, I stand directly behind Moe and dunk his tail right into the sudsy water. Sometimes I’ll rub some undiluted shampoo directly into the dock to get rid of the dandruff that can build up on the skin. When I’m done scrubbing, I rinse my horse’s coat thoroughly and then scrape off the excess water with a sweat scraper or shedding blade.
The shampoo’s residual fragrance will help repel some of the less determined flies, but you will still need to top up your horse’s defenses with fly spray once he dies. The soft, shiny coat, however, will last for days!
Citronella Silken Shampoo is coming soon to a tack store near you.