Monday, September 20, 2010

George and Alan, fashion trendsetters


Post-processing: 1. Lightened shadows on Alan's face using shadow/highlights adjustment panel; 2. PW's Boost action at 39%

I'll admit – the first time I saw George and Alan walking down the runway in their latest fashions, I was taken aback.


But in this case, fashion equals function, and they're both proud to be modeling the latest in field-safe fly fringes.


Unlike traditional fly masks made of the fabric equivalent of a window screen, these fly fringes allow me to see my boys' beautiful eyes, and they seem to be very effective at keeping the flies away. Maybe it's the movement of the fringe that makes them work or maybe the flies are laughing so hard that they can't land. Whatever.


I can turn the boys out in the pasture wearing these, reasonably confident that they're not going to hurt themselves. They are free-standing, unlike other fringes which must be attached to a halter or bridle.


I was surprised that neither Alan nor George made a fuss when I put their fringes on. They obviously know a good thing when they see through it. If somebody tried to attach a bowl of spaghetti to my head, I think I'd be running the other way.


I learned about these fly fringes from the Donkey Sanctuary in the United Kingdom. They had a campaign this summer to raise money to buy fringes for all 500 of their elderly donkeys. That is not a typo. Overall, they have 2,087 donkeys, mules and ponies in their care. This picture shows Annie Brown, their general farm manager, with some of the elderly herd. I think I want Annie's job.

Anyway, the Donkey Sanctuary found a source for the field-safe fringes in the U.K., and that's where I ordered three for my boys (yes, Hank got one, too, although the flies aren't bugging him enough yet to wear it). The company is called Barnstormers, and here is the link to the page with the fringes. (For three fringes plus shipping from the U.K., I paid $26.62.)

But back to the Donkey Sanctuary... I am simply in awe of what they do and how they do it. They've been around for 40 years and work worldwide to improve conditions for donkeys and mules. They are everything an animal rescue should be...a million times over. Here is their facebook page and here is their website if you'd like to learn more about them.

34 comments:

  1. I have to admit that I did get a giggle or two when I first saw the pictures (sorry guys), but then thought "What an absolutely cool idea!" I'm curious though .. are the boys tempted to eat/chew on that 'spaghetti' hanging on each others faces? What does Hank think of this, or is he wearing the 3rd one? Someone sure came up with a neat idea, and I love all the colors.

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  2. It's like playing peek-a-boo all day long! Very stylish indeed!

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  3. very stylish, um I think ;-)
    silly question from this city slicker....are the fringes to aid the guys to keep those pesky fly's and bugs of of them?
    signed
    Theresa in Alberta

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  4. Those things make a lot of sense!
    Y'have to figure that equines wouldn't mind "mane" growing down into their eyes (and maybe that's part of a mane's purpose). Maybe George and Alan feel like Big Horses with Long Manes now.

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  5. Cool! I was wondering what Alan would think... if he's okay with it, I'm thinking Nigel will be okay with it. :)

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  6. I think they look pretty groovy! I love your site and enjoy visiting every day! :)

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  7. What a fantastic idea! My herd of three horses are constantly battling flies in the eyes, and these pasture safe fly fringes would be perfect for them!

    I think George and Alan might be on to a new fashion trend!~

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  8. Nancy in NC9/20/10, 7:02 AM

    Hooray! Fly relief! And so cool. The boys will help sell the heck out of those.... doesn't distract (*snort, cough, snort*) from their good looks at all!

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  9. Pat, so far, so good - George and Alan haven't bitten off any of the other's strings, but it may be just a matter of time. Hank has tried his on but doesn't need to wear it yet. He hates regular fly masks but seems just fine with this kind.

    Theresa, the fringes are meant to keep the flies out of their eyes. George has very sensitive eyes, and without some sort of mask, tears roll down his face all day, leaving a trail of sore spots.

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  10. Very fashionable. I may have to look into these for the herd for next year. Dusty would think she was in a dance revue and swing those tassels all day. Your guys look happy and fly free. Thanks for the info.

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  11. So groovy. The latest and hottest in donkey fashion.

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  12. It's a great idea, but I am just sure Harry and Gunny, being typical young boys, would have those off in no time and they'd become expensive donkey toys. On another note, I LOVE when we see the tarantulas on the move because it's a sign that the weather is about to change. They move uphill here in the Fall to avoid being flooded, then back in the Spring. Such cool creatures.

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  13. They look a little like bangs, or maybe dreds bangs. Seems like a much less bothersome method than the fly mask. I felt sorry for George wearing that. Wynona will want something too.

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  14. Oh my. They're definitely going to turn a few heads with those things on. It seems like a good idea, and as long as it works to keep the flies away, I'm all for it. They're probably not as hot as the other flymasks either.

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  15. I think I have seen it all now! This is one of those inventions that I wish I had thought of first....what a neat idea!

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  16. I've never seen those! The burro brothers are cool and seem to adapt to anything. However, I see a pulling contest sometime in the future....... Still wondering how horse Hank will accept this. I'm thinking horses gradually get used to their forelocks getting into their eyes.

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  17. OH I love the colors on your boys! I too have have a couple of sets of those for my horse. Although it doesn't keep the bugs from getting in her ears it does a great job for her eyes.
    We use ours for trail rides. I have a "white" one for my horse and the cords are made out of rope. Since it's a dirty white now, it matches my dirty white horse perfectly and it almost looks like she has really long dreadlock mane--very fashionable indeed!! I just love watching it swing when she walks along bobbing her head.

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  18. Joan in the Aridzone9/20/10, 11:23 AM

    I had one made of leather for my horse years ago. A tip: When the strings pull off or wear out, replace them with pieces of hay twine (one of 1000 uses)looped and tied over the headstall.

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  19. I've always wondered if they work - can you let us know in a week or so? I will definitely make the switch, the other kind seem really hot.

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  20. Love these! Journey and Roman will be getting one for sure!

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  21. I love it! This venture into UK purchasing turned out better than I could have hoped! It's so hard to tell from the photos on the website just how they'd look on our "bigger" donkeys - but, my goodness, George and Alan look smashingly handsome with these on and the colors are much more vibrant than I expected!!
    Fun, fun, fun pictures!
    (Are you or have you been spritzing with fly spray, too?)

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  22. These are wonderful. I am so glad I stumbled on your blog today. I have five geldings and I love them to pieces. I would love to give them some relief and this sounds great. You don't think the fringes aggravate them at all? Surely it would be less than fly bites. Wonderful. Thank you so much. I am your newest blog follower on google. Glad to find another donkey lover. This sanctuary will be getting my donation at Christmas!

    Amy at Verde Farm WV

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  23. I considered these for my horses, I hat the screen ones and we get a lot of face flies here. I think I could easily make them, thanks for the close up photos.

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  24. Just too, too cute! Am so glad they work for the boys. Now if I could just find something for our little goaties..know these certainly would not work. They would have them for lunch!

    Blessings!
    CottonLady

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  25. They look ssimilar to ones draft horses used to use when working, but I havent seen anyone with them recently, or in such cool colors! I amy have to get ones for my ponies, but I wish they were a little longer to cover the nose from nose flies.

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  26. Danni, I do use fly spray on their bodies when the flies hatch out in force. For some reason, they leave Alan alone and prefer to land on George.

    Verde Farm, the fringes are very soft - they don't seem cause any aggravation at all.

    Shirley, these could very easily be made at home, and I will probably go that route myself once they destroy and or/lose this first batch.

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  27. The boys are definitely setting a new fashion trend! I would love to know how that elastic works out as time goes by.

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  28. I LOVE it!! However, I still think you should go with those Aussie hats with the corks hanging off the end of strings :)

    And btw.....I wish you had had your camera handy for the tarantua sightings. I spent about 5 minutes in my car staring at the beauty of a "writer" spider that had made its home in the bushes at an office building.....

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  29. They look like the donkeys we saw pulling tourist carts in Spain! Very snazzy :)

    Photograph #3 is brilliant :)

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  30. Wow...neato! Our fly season is pretty much over here because it's raining BUCKETS but I saved the link for next year. I only hope our minis and Pistol Pete can pick up the burrito brothers' fashion statement, in New Mexico!

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  31. My fly fringes came in the mail today. Paco, Belle, and Casey have the burro brothers to thank for next year's fly protection in WI. Thank you, you fashion trend setters! (Just keepin' up with you, Carson!)

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