Stripping away their fly sheets late in the day brings a nearly audible sigh of relief from both horses. Bathed in sweat, Callie, a dark bay, is nearly black. Her pretty face is a mass of bloody spots, peeling skin and scabs from rubbing her itchy, sunburned face against the closest stationary object.. Quite often it is me that she uses a rubbing post. Being selectively head shy, she won't allow me to spread a soothing salve or sunscreen on her tortured face. I feel sorry for her, but beyond putting a fly mask on her, which she gladly accepts, I can do very little to make her feel comfortable.
Stormy drops to her knees and rolls back and forth, back and forth, using her head as both lever and fulcrum to scrub away the days sweat and fly spray. Snorting and jumping to her feet, we are sometimes treated to an exhibition of farting, running and a horse in the throes of joy that only a good kick in the air can bring,
The air is alive with insects of every kind it seems,dragonflies, paper wasps and low flying, meat eating deer flies, While fewer in number than the rest, the deer flies are large and determined to have a meal of flesh and blood. Even a direct hit sometimes only disorients them. Falling to the ground after a solid cuffing, a deer fly, tough as a cob, takes only a moment to regroup and fly away. Only the most nimble and determined of us can bring a just end to the misery a deer fly can inflict.