Saturday, July 7, 2012

Absorbine Sport: My new favorite fly spray...

Now that Ri and I are seasoned show veterans, experienced in coping with heat and bugs,  I am happy to share with you a product that we've been using -- Ultra Shield Sport -- when we go to shows. In a few days I'll post video of Ri at our first recognized show, and you will notice that he appears to be fly free. I can tell you there were huge greenheads, gnats, and there was no breeze to blow them away.

 I've been so happy with the Absorbine fly spray product line -- the variety, the effectiveness, and frankly because their bottles withstand abuse without crapping out. Absorbine makes good stuff, and they come out with new products and product improvements all the time. I've been using their Show Sheen finishing spray -- not so much because it sprays continuously but because it is hard to over-apply in this form.

My mom says to invest money in the things you use every day -- bras, eyeglasses, underwear was  what she means, but doggone it it holds true for fly spray. Buying something cheap that doesn't work is a false economy, and when you're spending hundreds of dollars to compete, what sense is there in getting the $8 spray that is ineffective? My horse's comfort means a lot, and you want to give them a fair chance to give their best performance. That's my thinking anyway...


  1. Do they make a natural formula without all the chemicals? I am a little odd with fly sprays and really hate to coat my horse in chemicals. I', not into natural anything else, really, just fly spray. I told you I was odd :)I have found a couple nice natural products that work well, but was just wondering if this company made one too.

  2. Sounds great. I love Absorbine, too. Ultra Shield Green is my choice.

  3. I like your mom's advice! And I am always looking for effective fly repellent, whether it be spray or physical barriers, because my horse is allergic to fly bites (a bad plan). The bugs make him crazy! So thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Your mother is very wise ") I don't do a lot of showing, but those trials can be MURDER and a good, effective fly spray is a necessity! I will give this a go.

  5. Your mom is right, though my mom, who said the same things to me, bought Montgomery Ward unners, 3-pack for 99 cents, and then got irked when the elastic crapped out (one of my favorite expressions, I might add). But that's a different story--about "things our parents do to us kids." ;o)

    I agree about cheap fly spray--anything "organic" or "natural" or WATER-BASED is worthless. My current fave is Pyranha, but I've had issues with the spray tops leaking. Nothing worse than spraying the horse and a greasy "spray hand."

    Pyranha contains a coat conditioner, too, and it doesn't smell as "chemical" as something like Wipe.

    Will have to give Absorbine Sport a try. You're right about Absorbine--they've been around for over a century and I use Absorbine Jr. with water and ... vinegar, I think ... to make a body brace for the horse. I think someone used that on him when he was on the track because he always regards the smell with a "jaundiced eye." It feels good, though, and he relaxes once he realizes he's "doomed" and he's gonna get "braced" regardless ;o)

  6. I've been fairly happy with Repel-X. I buy the concentrate and mix it myself to save money. Additionally I make a homemade fly spray from a Dressage Today recipe. I find the homemade works almost as good as the Repel-X. I usually use both together for extra protection. Here's my recipe if anyone wants to use it. I've made slight modifications to the recipe based on what ingredients I'm able to buy:

    2 cups apple cider vinegar
    2 cups cold brewed tea such as chamomile or sage
    20 drops each of the following essential oils:
    Tea Tree
    1 tsp polysorbate 20 (an emulsifier to make the oils mix with the water).

    A few notes: I can get most of the essential oils from the natural section of a large grocery store otherwise at a local co-op. The polysorbate I bought at and most of the oils can be purchased there as well.
    I don't know how much difference using tea makes as opposed to plain water. Also I've only been able to find sage tea at a health food store whereas chamomile can be found anywhere. I've seen some fly spray recipes that use dish soap as the emulsifier but I personally don't care to spray soap on my horse's body.


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