The Shoofly Leggins are made from a plastic flexible mesh that has very fine holes in it. The bottoms are covered with a soft fleece, and the Leggins attach with Velcro. They include sewn-in plastic staves which run the length of the Leggin and prevent it from falling down or collapsing around the fetlock.
I found it easiest to apply the Leggins by fastening the bottom Velcro tab first and then working my way up the leg. They’re a bit different from applying boots or fly leg wraps, since the tops of the Leggins hang open by a few inches. The different feel caused Whisper (who is very sensitive) to get a little nervous the first time I put the Leggins on her back legs. However, she quickly relaxed and did not have this problem during the second time I put the Leggins on. Whisper did, however, exaggerate her walk to let me know that the Leggins felt funny, but she only did this for about a minute before relaxing and forgetting she was wearing them.
The Leggins have an interesting design, and I’m not sure what I think about how open they are at the top. The package insert states that flies will not crawl down into the Leggins, but I still wonder about flies flying down and landing on the legs, though I haven’t seen this happen.
I like that the Velcro is strong and runs all the way up the Leggin. Someone was definitely thinking when they designed this product - they kindly left an extra tab on the Velcro that sticks out and makes removing the Leggins easy. I do wish there was a bit more adjustability to the Velcro, though. The Leggins are available in mini, small, medium, and large sizes, and though the height fit Whisper’s legs I would have liked to have been able to adjust the Leggins so they were a bit tighter around her fetlock. Whisper has petite Thoroughbred legs, so any boot I put on her needs to be tall but also have a narrower adjustment.
My only suggestion, besides more adjustability with the Velcro, would be some sort of a safety release. The fact that the mesh is strong and durable leaves me a bit concerned that if a horse were to freakishly catch a back of in the Leggin of a front leg, it might not detach or tear easily. This scenario is probably highly unlikely, but we all know horses and how they make the unbelievable all too possible when it comes to injuries.
I’m impressed with the Shoofly Leggins and how well they work. Whisper was clearly more comfortable with them. Paired with a fly sheet and a fly mask, your horse could probably go out in the worst flies and still be comfortable.
To learn more about Shoofly Leggins, visit their website or Facebook page.