Having endured, and actually continuing to endure, muddy fields this spring, perhaps it is of no surprise that the usual midges that come with the warmer weather seem to have been on steroids! From having very few about, we suddenly have swarms of horrible biting midges attacking the ponies.

Black horse

In the seven years I have owned Diva, she has never been particularly bothered by midges, and although I put a fly mask on her to stop them getting around her eyes, I have never had one for her with ear protection. Her ears are small and the insides are covered with thick, fluffy hair, so midges have never bothered her before.

Before I really noticed many midges, I let Diva stay out overnight. When I brought her in the following morning, I affectionately stroked one of her ears as I was putting the headcollar on and I couldn’t believe my eyes. My hand came away full of midges and, on closer inspection, I could see they had chewed at her poor ears enough to make weeping sores! Cue beating myself up for being a bad mum but, as I mentioned above, this has never happened before.

Horse in field

I brought her in and gently rubbed in some pure Aloe Vera gel from Forever Living, which I find really useful to soothe any minor wounds and grazes. I checked her “undercarriage” and, sure enough, the little sods had been nibbling there too!

I left her in the stable away from the little horrors and, when it was my work lunchtime, I dashed to a local tack shop and bought Leovet Power Phaser fly repellent in both gel and spray. That night I kept Diva in and ordered a Shires XS Pony fly mask with ears. When I could cover her ears up, I turned her back out during the day, liberally doused with repellent.

Horse eating

Thankfully, the sore patches in her ears and down below soon healed and now she is well protected from the horrible little things. I am tending to still bring her in for the night at the moment, as the midges are at their worst at dawn and dusk. Strangely, they are still present on colder, damp days too, where I would normally associate them with warm weather.

My bank balance is a little lighter, but my lovely pony is now protected from the midges!

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