Monday, August 15, 2011

Mosquito Invasion 2011

I love my sensitive OTTB...I HATE how his sensitivity is making him absolutely miserable right now. He's literally being eaten alive-he's lost about 50 pounds in the last couple weeks and is totally miserable. I don't know when Michigan turned into a swampland filled with millions of blood-suckers intent on going after MY dark bay Thoroughbred, but this is what we're dealing with. He has sore feet from (I'm 99 percent sure) stomping his feet all day and night. He's losing weight from constant pacing. When I bring him into the barn, he scarfs his beet pulp mash and then almost instantly falls asleep. The barn is the one place the mosquitoes aren't horrible right now, so he finally relaxes.

Time for night time stall board. I know, I know. Why didn't I put him in a stall long before now? I guess because I know he loves being out. I tried 25 percent DEET sprays. I tried a nylon sheet. I suppose I could buy a super expensive fly sheet with a neck cover and whatnot (and I still might), but what he really needs is to get AWAY from those little bastards.

There's a show (super laid back, at the barn) on Thursday. I really wanted to make our debut this week, but I've been riding so sporadically I don't know if we even should. When I do ride him, Miles is shaking his head and we are fending off bugs (see a pattern?), and he's sooooo lazy. I now realize that's most likely because he's exhausted. My poor boy.

Hopefully, the next few nights (and however many nights it takes after that) in the barn will help. Sorry, Miles. I'm trying to get it right.


  1. We have the option of stalling at night or 24/7 turnout. Right now (I'm in N Illinois) I've got mine in at night because the bugs are so bad. Is there a stall you could use temporarily at night until the bugs die down?

  2. Yep-we have 2 stalls in the main barn that aren't in use right now. I emailed the barn owner tonight. I don't see why we can't use one of them, at least for a week or two. I'll keep everyone updated. I'm just kicking myself for not doing it sooner, but I keep waiting for it to get better, and it's just...not.

  3. : P I think all of our Manitoba Mosquitos have flown south(east) to you guys! We've had next to NONE this year! Granted, the flies are nasty. Just can't win in the summer time, can we? Before we know it, it'll be freezing cold again.

    I know that fly sheets are stupid expensive and some horses always destroy them, but you might be able to find an inexpensive, used high quality one on one of the forums (like HGS). Just a thought as I have some friends that use them and swear by them. : )

    Lucky Miles to be able to move indoors : ) Hope you get to make you debut!

  4. Ohhh, don't think I'm not dreaming of moving to our lovely northern neighbor, especially after the last two hellish summers here!

  5. The only good thing about the drought is that our (usually epic) mosquito population is m.i.a. (for now). It's so hard to watch our horses suffering isn't it?!

    There is a product on the market called Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Spray that gets great reviews for effectiveness and has minimal DEET - less worrisome - it's mostly botanical. I'm planning to try it as soon as the little winged devils return around here.

    Hope poor Miles gets some relief soon and good luck at the show if tat works out for you :)

  6. Oh my gosh, the skeeters and flies have been SO BAD since the weather has shifted! I can't stand even sitting on my porch :(.

    I hope the night time stalling does the trick for Mr. Miles! :)

  7. Evil little things...we only have midges in scotland (like their baby brothers) but I still feel for your horse as even they are a pest.

  8. Ack, the bugs are SO bad. I got 4 bites on my fricken face last night while working in arena (the only safe place..grass and dirt roads are toooo buggy). I've tried everything too, sprays, sheets, etc and b/w Laz being too hot, or bitten up there is no help. He has a stall to walk into for safety with a fan too and he choices to stand out in bug masses. I hope Miles gains his weight back as I know that is always a bit of a worry for you. Oh our sensitive sweet men :)