Fly season is in full swing during the summer months. The sound of stomping hooves and swishing horse tails lets us know how annoying the flies are to our horses. If you've ever been bit by one of those flies, then you know how much it hurts. It also hurts to get swatted by your horse's tail, especially in the eye as your trying to pick out your horse's feet (or during the grooming process). So the question becomes when should you fly spray your horse?
I have seen people fly spray their horse all over before they groom and tack their horse. The question that comes to my mind is; will that make the saddle slip? To find the truth behind that question we would need to conduct an experiment with every type of fly spray available on the market, spray the horse, then tack and go ride. The results could be very interesting. I imagine some would depend on the type of fly spray and the length of the ride. Some may cause slippage right away, some may cause slippage hours into the ride, and some may not cause any slippage at all. However, It does make the horse more comfortable and quiet for the grooming and tacking process.
I personally prefer to fly spray my horse after grooming and tacking. I do not like the sticky feeling of the fly spray on my hands as I groom my horse. I can groom and tack a horse in fifteen minutes, so I am pretty fast at my job. As soon as the horse is tacked, then I fly spray him down so he's comfortable for our ride. This way I know for sure there will be no slippage due to fly spray and my saddle pads and blankets don't get caked with fly spray residue, dirt, and horse sweat.
At the end of the day it truly becomes your personal preference on whether you want to fly spray your horse before or after you groom and tack. Make up a pro and con list to help you make the right decision for you and your horse.