If your horse is prone to sunburn, NOW is the time to ensure you have the items you need to protect him. The following infographic from thehorse.com illustrates the vulnerable areas that require protection and what to do to prevent the serious and very painful consequences of sunburn.
My horse has a white blaise and a pink nose and is therefore very susceptible to sunburn. Regular applications of Factor 50 suntan lotion weren’t adequate to protect him as he has very little hair on his nose and what there was came off. I find that a full face mask (look for one claiming sun protection) not only prevents sunburn but provides a level of protection for his eyes. How do I know that? Because I took each of the many masks I looked at out into the sunshine and peered through it towards, but not directly at, the sun. I found that the fine mesh black masks provided little or no protection for the eyes but the slightly thicker beige masks do the trick. They are so essential to my horse’s comfort and well-being that I bought four to ensure I always have the right mask for him.
You are going to say that YOUR horse won’t wear a mask. My horse wouldn’t wear a fly mask, rubbing it off against the nearest solid object. I tried a fly fringe but his favoured method of dealing with this was to put his head to the ground, tread on the fringe and yank his head up. When I returned he would be happily wearing the headband with the fringing distributed around his paddock. Surprisingly, he took to the face mask which clearly provides him with comforting protection from the sun. Because of the density of the mask I chose he no longer requires suntan lotion on his nose and remains fully protected. Occasionally I will find him with it hanging off one ear after a scratching session but he clearly has no intention of ridding himself of the protection it provides.
My horse’s face masks are absolutely essential in the summer months and he seems to agree!