We’re so proud of you, Nigel!

Nigel wore a fly mask for the first time (ever) on Tuesday evening and took it all in stride. He must have felt instantly better with the flies away from his eyes, and it was funny seeing him act like a goofball:

On Wednesday, Don went out and bought Nigel his very own blue fly mask. (Blue is Nigel’s color; he inherited it from Fergus.) 

Nigel wore his new fly mask for the first time yesterday morning:

He was so unaffected by it, he couldn’t be bothered to pose for pictures during breakfast.

We are so proud of you, Nigel! You’re moving forward by leaps and bounds now, sweet boy! ♥ ♥ ♥

Oh, how our little roan has grown.

Summer is coming and he has a task,

He needs to be fitted for his first fly mask.

It fit him perfectly,

He’s so proud,

Now he can say he’s one of the crowd.

 ♥ ♥ ♥

Last week, Lynette mentioned in a comment on this post that she’d like to look out through a fly mask to see what it’s like. She also asked if I’ve tried.

I don’t remember seeing fly masks on horses before moving to New Mexico. I’ll admit again that when I moved here, I was thoroughly confused about why people would put blindfolds on their horses to prevent them from seeing where they were going. After all, I figured if I couldn’t see the faces of horses who were wearing masks, they surely couldn’t see me.

That, Lynette, is why last summer, I had to look out through a fly mask to see what it’s like. After all, I had to balance the potential of blindfolding the Boyz versus protecting their eyes from biting flies before I put fly masks on them.

Turns out, fly masks aren’t blindfolds like I thought they were. Silly me.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see what it looks like to peer out through a fly mask, this might help.

Here’s me looking at Ellsworth.

And here’s Ellsworth (and Nigel) through the “lens” of a fly mask.

Because fly masks are a tightly woven netting (keeps the flies out while allowing air to flow), wearing one  is kind of  like putting on a pair of sunglasses. Not bad at all.

Here’s Abigail the goat.

And here’s what Abigail looks like looking through a fly mask.

The cottonwoods out back.

And the cottonwoods through a fly mask. You can see in this picture that the fly mask was farther away from the camera lens than in the first two pictures (the farther away the mask, the more you can distinguish the netting).

The Boyz.

And the Boyz through a fly mask.

Thank goodness they can see. ♥

Bernard has internet access. That’s the one explanation Don and I can come up with for what happened on Monday.

Only one of the boys has a fly mask on in this picture. Surely you can name the masked wonder…

And why don’t Ellsworth and Fergus have their fly masks on, you ask?

It was Monday morning. I had literally moments earlier posted Shoo fly, don’t bother me on the blog when I walked downstairs and looked out the window to see something amiss. Fergus didn’t have his fly mask on! But we had put it on that morning… Then I looked for Ellsworth. No fly mask on Ellsworth either.

That could only mean one thing. Bernard had read Aunt Linda’s comment on the post.

 carson Says:
July 5, 2010 at 11:03 am 

I remember the first time I bought a fly mask…going in the feed store and trying it on to see how much my horse would be able see once he was wearing it.

I’m very impressed that your boys are not trying to rip them off each other’s heads. (Later highlighted for emphasis.) They must realize how much better off they are with them on.

I continued my scan of the corral to find Bernard dragging one of the destroyed fly masks across the ground. Oh Bernard, you are so cut off from the computer. I mean, heavens to Betsy… Don bought the fly masks on Thursday morning. That gave the boys most of the day on Thursday, all day Friday, all day Saturday and all day Sunday to have their fly masks on without incident. Why now?

If you had been here, you would’ve heard words and phrases straight from an episode of Deadwood being muttered once we discovered the carnage. (Bernard separated the velcro from the netting on both of the destroyed masks, and we’ve since tried to sew and/or pin the velcro back on to no avail because Bernard has discovered a fun, new game called Rip the fly mask off the donkey!)

We’re back to fly spray, we have fly predators (thanks, Leah!) and new fly masks on order (they were much cheaper online than at the feed store) and are planning on trying the other remedies you’ve suggested.

Meanwhile, Bernard is grounded. No more internet access for you, buddy. It’s a good thing you’re so darn cute and we love you so.

We’re not sure why, but the flies are worse than usual here this summer.

They’re driving us all crazy. 

The boys have coped with frequent dust baths and applications of fly spray.

Poor Nigel.

The straw that finally broke the camel’s back last week was finding pus accumulating in the corners of Bernard’s eyes. I wasn’t about to stand for that, so wonderful Don ventured to the farm supply store to pick up some new accessories for the boys.

I honestly don’t think I had seen fly masks on horses before moving to New Mexico. I’ll admit it… I remember being thoroughly confused about why people would put things on their horses to prevent them from seeing where they were going. Huh, silly me.

I’ll also admit it’s a bit unnerving not being able to see their eyes, but the boys do seem so much more at ease.

The boys took to the masks, like… well… like flies on poo.

Ellsworth, are you in there? Yes, are you in there Bernard?

If the boys are happy, we’re happy.

No mask on Nigel yet though. Don’t you worry, buddy… your mask is ready when you are.