While I don’t mind covering my horse’s flesh in chemicals to keep them from spending hours on end stomping and shaking and being irritated, I do like a good natural alternative when possible.
My go to since my days in WI, circa 2010, has been Belly Balm. I love that stuff. Aloe based and greasy as all get out, it was perfect to rub on ears, noses, chins and legs. It stayed through rain and sweat like nothing I’ve seen before and smelled amazing. If you like citronella. I stumbled on it when Pete reacted to the bugs in WI with massive welts all over his stomach and it not only kept the bugs off, but healed those welts and sores over night. I loved that stuff. Can I repeat that again?
So you can imagine my immense disappointment when I went to the local tack shop to pick up a new jar to find the shelf void of Belly Balm. The owner told me that Professional Choice bought the mom and pop company that made it and discontinued the product. Thank you Professional Choice. I hate you now.
I wandered the shop hoping to find an equivalent. She is into natural products so I figured she’d have something. I’ve tried the non chemical sprays but they don’t touch the SC bugs at all. Might as well spray water on the horses.
Tack shop lady pointed me to Clac which she ordered to try in its place. It’s an all natural cream meant to rub on in place of sprays and the jar is a bit silly stating that it is helpful to avoid the spooky spray noise. Sorry company but I’m not sponging fly deterrent all over my horse. I don’t have 10 hours. Still, if it could be used on sensitive areas that I don’t want to spray it, it was worth a shot.
I’ve used it in place of my beloved Belly Balm and it seems to work about the same at keeping the flies off. I actually really like the sponge application as it keeps my hands from getting gross and it also spreads a lot nicer, covering more surface area with less product.
All three horses got it rubbed around ears, under eyes, along the chin and I put a stripe down the center of their back from wither to tail and barely made a dent in the jar. It should last a good long while.
It smells great, is easy to apply and kept the bugs away just as well as my old faithful. I applied it Sunday late afternoon and it then decided to pour in the evening. By Monday night, through two rains and a long sweaty day outside, I could still see and smell it around their ears and along their back where I put it on the heaviest.
I’m not completely appeased from the loss of my trusty green goo, but early results are promising. For now I’m happy to have any alternative available and the horses are happy to not be bothered with flies where I can’t safely spray harmful chemicals. The Big Orange Butthead still needs a leg protection solution though since I don’t really want to rub this all over his legs. The other two are in Shoo Fly Leggings which I’m a big fan of, but he wears bell boots up front and eh…I’m not sure I like the idea of using both together. I’ll figure something out soon as the bugs are back in town and he ditches shoes too easily without the added stomping.