Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse?

17 Mar

Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse?“Hi Stacy! I have a overo paint with a really white face and last summer he got burnt pretty bad. Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse? I put a fly mask but that only covers half his face. What would you recommend?”-Amy S.

He is very cute and I can see how that nose could be at risk. Years ago I had a horse in training that had a history of burning his nose. The vet recommend sunblock. I can’t remember what brand we used because the owner brought some with him. They basically said that if it was safe for kids it was safe for horses.
I bet there are many other people out there who have horses who have faced this same challenge. If you have ever dealt with this before please leave a comment telling us how you prevented burns. Have you used sunblock on your horse? What type?
Is there anything else you would recommend?

Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Life, Members Question


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86 responses to “Do you know if sunblock is ok to put on a horse?

  1. Ruth

    March 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I used zinc n caster oil nappy cream mixed 50/50 with sudacrem worked well

  2. Amber Foresh

    March 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I just used the equate sunblock in situations where a fly mask isnt ideal and used a fly mask that extends to the bottom of the nose in other situations 🙂 I have used both as well and my mares nose never burned this last summer.

    • Amber Foresh

      March 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      The baby equate sunblock haha

      • Jodie

        March 17, 2015 at 9:44 pm

        Yes, I’ve used Waterbabies too. 🙂

  3. erin

    March 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I use the highest spf sunblock i can find. I found the spray stuff works best…spray enough on your hands and rub on face. I have a paint mare with a bald face amd she doesnt like her face being messed with i general and o found the spray works the best.. I also put a fly mask with ears and a long nose on her. Cashel makes a great fly mask. Very durable.

  4. Delcher

    March 17, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    i have never used it myself but I know a few people who have used and love “My pony sunblock”. I just don’t have a horse that needs sunblock right now but if I did I would try it!

  5. asw223

    March 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I really like using the stick sunblock. Available in many brands, it rolls on super easy like a glue stick. No drippy mess for you or your horse.

  6. Brittney

    March 17, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    You could also get a fly mask with a nose cover that’s uv protected. That helped my horse.

  7. Sophie

    March 17, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    My horse has the same problem (few spot appaloosa). Several years ago, the previous owner bought a mask and imported it from the US to Europe. This mask covers her entire head. I only use sun screen when I go riding when it’s sunny. The mask is for when she’s in the paddocks/meadows. It works fine for her. This is the mask similar to hers:

  8. Erin Najuch

    March 17, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    I have a chestnut overo paint gelding as well. He has a bald face and pinky nose. I use baby sunblock and it works really well.

  9. Mary

    March 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I use sunblock made for babies on my pink noses. I also found fly masks from Kensington with UV protection and an extra long nose piece that extends to the very tip. 🙂

  10. sophieweiland

    March 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    My horse has the same problem. She’s a few spot appaloosa. Basically she’s wearing a mask similar to this one ( when she’s in the paddock/outdoors. While riding I use regular sun screen. Works fine for her. I only know the mask has been imported from the US. I got it with the horse from the previous owners.

  11. Gail Harmon

    March 17, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Yes, I had a paint with white on his face. I used sunblock and it helped him not to burn, but his hair came out! Then we had more skin to protect, and yes the hair regrew. I would not recommend sunblock.

  12. cowgirl4jesus97

    March 17, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    My friend’s horse has a white nose and got very burnt several summers ago, creating a nasty scabby area. Human sunblock has helped tremendously.

  13. Sheryl Hulena

    March 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I now use vetpro. It is in a powder form with a sponge, and this stays on very well compared to the cream sunblock for horses and dogs. Easy to apply, and seems to stick.

  14. Marnie Richmond

    March 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    My beautiful man is the same, in Australia we can get fly masks made with high uv protection that comes down over the nose. If you can’t find you can always sew a piece of shaped fabric (trashed cotton rugs are perfect because they are soft) to the band across the nose so it covers the nose and cheeks. Just short enough so it doesn’t get wet in the water trough. Xxx

  15. Alli Farkas

    March 17, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    We have a bald-faced paint in our barn and basically do the same as Erin. The Cashel “long nose” fly mask covers almost the entire face, and a blob (we don’t spray) of any sun block rubbed in on the muzzle takes care of everything else perfectly.

  16. Kelly Smith

    March 17, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Water Babies sunblock. I apply every other day with great results & no ill effects.

  17. Debbie McFadden

    March 17, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Yes! I have used sunblock on my mare’s white nose. I use Waterbabies sunblock. I figured if it was safe for babies it would be safe for her!

  18. Diana Lancaster

    March 17, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    My paint mare gets sunburned on her withers. I use sunblock but also keep her in the barn during the heat of the day.

  19. karen

    March 17, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    i have a paint mare all white with 2 blue eyes and all pink skin except three brown spots one over her ears, one on chest, one on her belly. i use diaper cream in the summer. we live in arizona and she wont stay under her shade

  20. oasisranch

    March 17, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I have a cremello quarter horse, I use the long nose cashel fly masks with geat success. As long as he leaves it on! 🙂

  21. Angela Dudley (@Wowedout)

    March 17, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Sunblock on the pink noses or switch to overnight turnout and stay in the barn during the day.

  22. Darcie Humphries Gibbons

    March 17, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I use a cream kid safe sunblock on my two paints. Every other day or so seems to work fine. I have also found that the less “sunscreenish” it smells the less they seem to object, so I think I used a kids sport type.

  23. Conniedlc

    March 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I have a Gunner with the bald face, I use one whole tube of Sun block 50 water resistant for kids and mix it with 500 grams of vaseline. I mix it very weel until it’s nice and smooth and apply it to the nose. The vaseline makes it more resistant and lasts longer than the sunblcok alone. I got great results.

  24. Mia

    March 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Amy, I have a pally and her nose is very white. I use a cream called Filta Bac. If is a type of sunscreen for horses. I would recommend using a zinc based cream as it is alot thicker and stays on better. You could also use normal zinc or nappy rash cream works really well I alsp use a product called Sudocream. Hope that helps a little bit.

    Cheers Mia

  25. Sharon Hill

    March 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    For many many years I used to used people sunblock, the highest spf I could find. It took me years to realize it wasn’t doing any good and he seemed just as scorched as when I didn’t use it. I came to the conclusion, after reading an article cautioning about using people sunblock, my horse was allergic to it. No wonder he hated having it put on. I switched to zinc oxide which he has no problem with me putting on his nose and around his eye.

  26. Emma Keffer

    March 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    We discovered that instead of using sunblock which is thin and only lasts a couple of hours, Desitin or diaper cream works much better! The Diaper cream is thick and protects the skin from burning, as well as softens the already blistered skin! Even when the horse is on dewy grass the cream stays on and protects. 🙂

  27. katie

    March 17, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I have a lovely paint mare with a white face and neck! The easiest thing to do is buy a fly mask with a long part to cover the nose. Or make one at home and sew it on – hers is made out of a pillowcase. I have used sunblock on her but have not found it very effective. You can use desatin, the diaper cream. It is what my mom used when she was young, in the days before sunscreen. You glob it on pretty thick and it will protect the skin. My mare also wears a fly sheet and neck cover to protect her body from the sun.

  28. Karen

    March 17, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I use waterproof sunblock for kids and it seems to work and hasn’t ever caused any issues.

  29. Dr.H

    March 17, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Diaper rash cream is generally 40% zinc oxide. With a thick application my Appy mare’s pink nose stays burn-free up to two weeks. The cream soothes an existing burn and acts as sunblock.

  30. Bonnie

    March 17, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    My mare has same prob. Got full fly mask..covers almost entire nose. And use Avon’s sunblock. No reactions. Worked great!

  31. Kellie Tugrul

    March 17, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Hi I use My Pony Sunblock it is a powder and you dab it on with a sponge. It lasts a couple of days and is great for dogs too.

  32. Kobea Reynolds

    March 17, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I use My Pony Sunblock on my girl. She used to severely burn before we started to use it, but now she doesn’t. She has a white nose and two blue eyes with white around them, so she was continually getting burnt. We started using this and we noticed a dramatic change. You only have to put it on once a day and it last all day. It is also a great show touch up for white faced horses. Covers up all the pink on her face and looks natural.

    • Woz

      March 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      That’s the one – best stuff!!

  33. Valerie

    March 17, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I do use sunblock on my mare and I use coppertone for kids

  34. Gail

    March 17, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I use a fly mask with a long flap that covers her nose and zinc (diaper rash cream), it does not rub off like sunscreen.

  35. Hannah Grant

    March 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I have a horse with a very similar white pattern on her face and I use the highest spf in baby safe sunscreen i can find. They also do make full face masks that go to the end of the nose that i also use when I wont be home to reapply the sunscreen

  36. Sheri

    March 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    They make a Sun block for horses. I have an overo paint and I use a full face fly mask with the sun block for horses. Works pretty good. It also protects his blue eye.

  37. lauren

    March 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Yep, high spf kiddo stuff for us, starting about now as the sun at 9100 ft is brutal and the reflection off the melting snow makes it worse. Our team of pink nosed Clyds are miserable otherwise. The don’t exactly cooperate for putting it on but they are a bit over dramatic about most things…the get used to the routine by the time it starts snowing again in the fall

  38. Kaitlin Guglielmo

    March 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I use water proof sunblock for babies. I’ve been using it for over nine years on my paints nose. It really helps his nose from getting burned in the summer.

  39. Caitie

    March 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I have also heard that you can use yogurt. We did that for a couple of our Appies

  40. Kim

    March 17, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    (diaper cream) Xinc Oxide is what we used on our gelding. He had a reaction to human sunscreen. The higher level of zinc the better. Desitine brand has the highest the we could find at 45% zinc compared to most others have 15%. Desitine had great staying power as the gelding rubs his face on everything! Good luck 🙂

  41. Woz

    March 17, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I have a few spot Appy and he did not react well to zinc sunblock products on his face. However My Pony Sunblock is a powder and you can use a powder puff (remember those??) and that is awesome even staying on in the rain so that is what I recommend!!!! It probably has zinc in it but in a different form – I’ll go down the shed and check the ingredients. 🙂

  42. Woz

    March 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    My Pony Sun Block™ Natural Sun block For All Types of Pets and Animals.

    Horses, Dogs, Cats, Cows & Pigs — Good for all types of white-haired, pink unpigmented skin!

    Uses pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and is fragrance and chemical free!

    Safe for all animals, it is made with all natural non-irritating minerals, which have a natural affinity to the skin.

    Daily application of minerals gives instant chemical free protection that will last all day!

  43. Jodie

    March 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve used Waterbabies sunblock on my horses nose. Never had a problem with a sunburn after that.

  44. Robin

    March 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Our paint mare has the same issue. We’ve been using a gray fly mask that stretches down to her nose. 3 years and counting, with no sun burning issues whatsoever. I have heard that for some people, the horse tears through fly masks frequently, but our girl has never had that issue. Granted, she’s the sort of horse that doesn’t get mud on her blanket either. But with no blisters, we have no reason to complain!

  45. Jennifer Woodruff

    March 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I was always taught that sunblock is OK to use on horses so long as it is PABA free. Also, remember to reapply regularly.

  46. Joan

    March 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I have a white Walkimg Horse. I use sun block(spray) and I keep a fly mask and blanket on her. I like the finer material that covers better. Neck, ears and muzzle are all covered along with her butt. All sensitive areas. I keep a fly mask on her all winter also to protect her eyes.

  47. Natalie

    March 17, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    We have always used a 30+SPF baby sunblock!

  48. Leslye Wuerfel

    March 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Avon has a product, Skin So Soft that works wonders — for people & animals. It has the added advantage of also having a bug repellent. and no, I do not sell Avon.

  49. Andrea

    March 17, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    My paint mare also gets burnt really bad on her nose. I use equate baby on her this past summer and she didn’t burn once ☺

  50. Marnie

    March 17, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I have a red dun paint who not only gets a sunburnt nose but his body also gets sunburnt on his white patches. I use zinc ! He is a rescue and also had very bad mud fever when I got him – zinc also! They use it in hospitals – great stuff

  51. Tina

    March 17, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Baby diaper rash has zinc oxide and it sticks when they try to rub it off.

  52. Heather

    March 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Walmart brand maximum strength zinc oxide….cheaper than Desatin and exactly the same thing.

  53. Claire Smith

    March 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Zinc oxide powder works a charm! You put about one teaspoon into their food each day and it prevents burning, also saves you putting sunblock on twice a day and because its in their system in stays in there for a few days so if you are away you don’t have to worry about your horse getting burnt 🙂

  54. Nikki Schleppe

    March 18, 2015 at 12:02 am

    My mom has a few that need sunblock, zinc based ones are the best. We use the one I get from melaleuca. Even zinc cream from the drugstore will help.

  55. Kitty

    March 18, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I’ve used My Pony sunblock. It’s very safe and effective.

  56. Myojung Yang

    March 18, 2015 at 12:45 am

    Sunblock is fine for horses; we use it for the sensitive ones all the time at the ranch where i work, and we pretty much lather it on. If your horse has a bad burn, aloe is great for soothing him while he recovers.

  57. Jennifer Arnold

    March 18, 2015 at 3:10 am

    I use Equate brand waterproof 50 spf on my horses’ pink noses and on heel bulbs for white socks to prevent blistering. Every two or three days they get a glob rubbed in, keeps the burn away and so far I haven’t seen any negative reactions.

  58. Charlesanna

    March 18, 2015 at 5:49 am

    No-Ad PABA free lotion, available at Wal-mart, and zinc oxide is good too.

  59. Rosie

    March 18, 2015 at 5:53 am

    white zinc cream is really good for noses, it is waterproof and good for healing

  60. Liseanne Roy

    March 18, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I use baby sunblock for sensitive skin. My horse hates the smell and feel of it, but it gets the job done. Just a little tricky to get on.

    I have also found that fly masks that cover the whole nose are way better than sunblock. Especially if you don’t see your horse every day, or if it rains etc.

    Here is an example, but there are a few companies out there that make them. A light colour is always better than a dark one, because light colour don’t attract sun light.

  61. Karen Alija

    March 18, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Filter bac – best thing ever for my ” gunner ” paint with bald face 😉

  62. tcorms

    March 18, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Hi all! I have the same issue with my overo paint. I used to put sunblock on him every day multiple times a day (reapplying is key if they are out all day). Now, I have an long nosed fly mask that is actually a little longer than his face, and it works amazingly well, and I don’t have to put chemicals on him every day. Look for the masks on, for example. Good luck. 🙂

  63. Darcy

    March 18, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Desitin, helps heal any current burn and zinc oxide helps prevent new burn!

  64. Donna Fitzgerald

    March 18, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I have a chestnut gelding with a wide blaze that goes down his nose, causing him to get sunburned there. I use the children’s Coppertone Cream with a high sunblock, around 50, I think. He doesn’t like the smell of it, as he’s a big baby, but it works…no more sunburn!

    • Donna Fitzgerald

      March 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

      I also have a flymask with a nose piece that helps a lot, protects against flies and sunburn!

  65. Lori White

    March 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I have used numerous brands of water proof sun block on my paint for years without any issues.

  66. Tina

    March 18, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I have an overo paint with the same issue. For years, I put sunblock on his face multiple times a day. He was NOT a fan of it, but he tolerated my intrusions! Haha. Now, however, I have found a full face fly mask with a long nose that protects him from sunburns. No more sunblock unless I’m out riding or something! I got it for around $20 on I highly recommend it – so much easier on all of us 🙂

  67. Virginia Rasmussen

    March 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

    My mare, Sugar who passed away at the end of January, was a cremello paint. When I got her, her face was pretty much bald from sunburn. I used an spf 50 on her daily. The hair and whiskers grew back after about a month and with keeping the sunblock on her and her flymask, she never burned again.

  68. Joe Law

    March 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I use 30SPF all the time on my few spot Appaloosa.

  69. sojourner16

    March 18, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Zinc oxide is good too- it’s the stuff that is in baby rash ointment. I have used both- just straight sink oxide and just plain old sunblock for kids.

  70. Susan Hite

    March 18, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I use a full face Cashel fly mask. It goes down and cover my horses nose.

  71. sojourner16

    March 18, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I have used zinc oxide- it’s the stuff that’s in baby diaper rash cream. As well as kids sunscreen. Both do the job and are safe for the “ponies”

  72. CJM

    March 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Used Coppertone kids sunblock, but also used an old T-Shirt to tie a triangle shaped hankie to the nose of her halter. Cut the long side of the triangle in strips like the fleece tied blankets people do and tied the strips to the nose of the halter. Cotton was cool and soft on what was an already chapped nose, and she could graze around it. It healed well and she only ran into that for a couple summers as a youngster.

  73. Leilani

    March 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Check with the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Every year they rate the sunblocks. Just because it’s for children, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for them or the environment.

  74. hawaiihorses

    March 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Check with the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Every year they rate sun protective products. Many children’s products aren’t safe for adults, must less children. I would err on the side of less toxicity especially with my horses.

  75. Sandy

    March 18, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    A full face fly mask works and does double duty!

  76. marti

    March 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Please look up My Pony Sunblock. Its Amazing and it makes the white areas white and wont collect dirt!!! LOVE LOVE this stuff. It lasts several days well worth the price.

  77. Emilee

    March 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve got two paints, ones a tobiano and the other is an overo. My overo gal burns really bad in the summer, so now she has a new summer time solution. Sunscreen that safe for kids and a fly mask that has the nose piece as well. Also, if you can do night turn out that’s the best thing to do 🙂

  78. Darlene

    March 18, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    We bought some of this at an expo one year and love it.
    Our horses like it better than trying to smear cream on them, no odor and stays on well.

  79. Heather

    March 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Sun & Bug – 2 problems – 1 solution! 🙂

  80. mychon

    March 18, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I find that zinc oxide works way better than sun block. It’s not greasy and dosent attract dirt, lasts longer and blocks better. I did have a horse react to a cheap brand of sun block but she was fine with the zinc.

  81. Andrea

    March 19, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I use My Pony Sun Block on my Drum Horse.. Good for all types of white-haired, pink unpigmented skin!

    Uses pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and is fragrance and chemical free!

    Safe for all animals, it is made with all natural non-irritating minerals, which have a natural affinity to the skin.

    Daily application of minerals gives instant chemical free protection that will last all day!

  82. bobbiejo81

    March 20, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    My daughters Medicine Hat gelding always burnt really bad(he passed this December) but I would cover his muzzle and above his eyes(be careful not to get too close of course) .. I used the pink bottle of Waterbabies Waterproof formula.. I think it was SPF 50 or 80.. But I would also take a thick eyeliner in black and I would give him the football players non glare strips with that.. My vet told me that it would help reflect the sun in a way so that his eyelids didn’t burn since I couldn’t get the sunscreen that close and he hated a flymask.. You can also use aloe if he does get burnt.. I have aloe plants and would break a stem off but you can buy the gel in almost any store


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