I really should have called this post “How the non-crafty girl on a budget customizes a perfectly good fly mask to fit the oddest shaped horse head in the world” but they don’t give you that much room.
So, a little background. For those of you who don’t know Sunny, she is a 22 year old Paint mare with a head that is almost as wide as it is long. Seriously.
In the summertime Sunny and her stablemate, Filou, have their stall doors open to the pasture so they can go in and out as they please. Inside is the coolness, the fly-free zone, and the ability to share a stall if they like (they’re very good friends).
Outside is the grass, the fresh air, the sunshine and, unfortunately, horse flies the size of small birds. So, a fly mask is imperative. And of course Sunny, being a paint, has this nice white face with a lovely pink muzzle which burns, peels and blisters the moment she steps out into the sun.
Enter the Rambo Fly Mask Plus, with covered ears, and a lovely little flap coming down over the face & muzzle to protect delicate pink noses from the damaging rays of the sun. Perfect, right? Well, almost.
Sunny’s head is short, but very wide. Her jaw is massive. So, length-wise, she’s a cob. Width-wise, she’s a horse. Meaning, fly mask-wise, nothing fits her. Hence the need for some… modifications. Now, I’m not overly crafty, but I have learned in life that necessity is the mother of invention, so I set to work trying to figure out how to make this fly mask fit.
Here’s what I used:
Plain old heavy thread, and this weird curved needle… I’m sure anyone who sews would know what it’s really for, but I found it great for being able to push through the heavy fabric on the fly mask.
Here’s what I did:
On the mask, there’s a solid, rigid ridge that runs across the whole width of the mask. This is what keeps the mask out away from the horse’s eyes. Because the mask is too long for Sunny, this ridge was sitting almost in her line of vision. By pressing the mesh above the ridge down along the ridge itself and stitching it there to secure it, this brought the ridge up above Sunny’s eyes so the mask didn’t interfere with her sight.
Then, by doing the same with the mesh below the ridge, I was able to shorten the lower part of the mask so that the muzzle flap didn’t drag on the ground while she was grazing.
The whole job took me about forty-five minutes. For anyone who knew what they were doing, I’d say this is probably a ten minute job. Nonetheless, Sunny now has a lovely Rambo fly mask that fits, and I have an oddly curved needle looking for its next job.