Monthly Archives: October 2013

Horseflies and how not to deal with them

One of the lessons I’ve learnt this week (on day four, nice start to the trip) is to think before I act.

When, having discovered a vast sweep of horseflies seemingly glued under the tail and between the legs of dear old Dourada, I cast aside all feelings of revulsion and made a dash for my rubber gloves, a bucket of water and a sponge.

Hindsight, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

If you ever find yourself tasked with the unpleasant job of easing the discomfort of an old horse with a dirty bottom by removing a writhing mass of flying insects with mandibles-like-knives from said horse’s body, take the following tips into consideration.

Consider where those hundreds of insects might land when you so kindly wash them off the horse’s dirty bottom.

Do not wear loose clothing.

Scrape your hair back; preferably into a bun more impenetrable than a ballerina’s.

Ask someone to help; even if only by being around to check you’re horsefly-free after you’ve shed all your clothes and leapt around the yard slapping yourself furiously and shouting every profanity you ever heard.

Put the dog in the house. He doesn’t need to see it.

Can’t stop scratching again while writing this, despite it being days later.
Could justifiably self-diagnose horsefly paranoia.

For anyone who has never met a horsefly, there’s a beautiful close up of their biting apparatus on this site. Click it, I dare you 🙂