Friday, April 12, 2013

Product Review: Shoo Tag

As springs comes, so do the bugs. We are careful about the fly sprays we use since some of the horses have been sensitive. Our favorites are Pryhana, Nature's Defense, Zonk it and one I love but can't afford Marigold. Sherman had an allergy to fly bites and we were always on the look out for ways to protect him. He probably started the fly sheet trend at our barn ;) The horses had fly sheets, masks and boots.
When Rosemary was close to giving birth, we only used natural sprays. After Roscoe was born she could not wear a fly sheet and was going crazy with the bugs. Peggy's farm is covered in trees which increases the amount of bugs. Around this time Peggy found a new kind of fly and mosquito prevention, Shoo Tag. She bought one package with two sets. We figured what the hell, it was worth a try. Addie and Rosemary were our guinea pigs.

The Shoo Tag is similar to a credit card, a little smaller but has a magnetic strip. The tag is braided into the mane and is activated by the bodies natural energy to create a field around the horse. Sounds crazy right? Many people have written bad reviews after seeing no results. I will say that the company says it can go on a halter. I really think for it to truly work it needs to be in constant contact with the body. If it works, the tag helps detract flies for up to four months.

The fly tag is the same size.

So, did we see a difference in Rosemary?
Oh yes. After the 36 hour activation time Rosemary and Addie would be happily eating away in the turnout while poor Roscoe fended off monster horse flies and black flies. You could see them buzz near the girls then bypass them for Roscoe. We did continue to lightly fly spray them during the time they wore the cards. The amount of fly spray used decreased significantly though.
We branched out and used them on the others horses and had the same good results. If the horse rubs a lot the card can be displaced, so you do have to keep an eye on them.
Different ways to attach the tag: string, rubber band or hair. Peggy even punched another hole to make it easier.

Shoo Tag ranges in price depending on the type you buy. I recently bought double pack (fly and mosquito tags for two horses) and one single pack for under $50 on Amazon. Most of the time the price is closer to $25+ range. Shoo Tag also has a tag for Midges, which starts at $20 for one. Peggy has bought those this year as well as the fly type. I am seriously considering it because my ponies get eaten alive by those darn bugs. When you compare the price to a gallon of fly spray, $20-$50, the price is actually reasonable.
For those who wonder about showing, I have shown the horses with the tags. I get a lot of "why do they have a credit card in their mane?" questions, but they are easily worked around for braiding.
In addition to equines, Shoo Tag also has products for dogs, cats and humans. We and Peggy have used the dog flea and tick tags with great success. Peggy's vet closely looked over Shadow and did not even find flea dander at all. She uses no top spot, only the tags. We use top spot just because we have it, but will soon try to use only the tags too. Just like the horses the tags work best if they are in constant contact with the body. Even though they advertise them hanging, I do not recommend placing them that way. It is a little hard, but we attach them to the collar so they lay flat against the body. Griffyns says they itch too much, but don't take his word for it because he thinks any collar is itchy;)

There are pluses: Saves money on fly spray, Non toxic, lasts for four months, easy to use, can be sent back to the company to be refreshed and donated to rescues or recycled.

And the minuses: Can come loose, using multiple tags for different bugs, some tags can be pricey, must have constant body contact.

Overall I think they are worth the expense. If you do a lot of showing and braiding, probably not the best thing for you, but if your horse is retired or not shown much this is a great product. I will say that we believe that the tags work best on healthy horses. A healthy horse will give off strong energy to create the field. A horse with issues may not get the same results. I really like this product for dogs.

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