Poor Nick, the heartbreak of fly mask failure. Can't decide if he looks more like a Unicorn from some twisted underground world or a weird species of Rhinoceros.
FMF( fly mask failure) is somewhat common to the pastures of of the Southern Cascade-Siskiyou Mountains, usually affecting younger horses, who feel the overwhelming need to tear the masks off their paddock mates or use a tree or another horses body to rub their own mask off.
It's easily identified as previously masked horses will appear with either one ear out, both ears out or no mask at all.
When the loss of one or more ear protection (but not full face mask removal) occurs the victim will approach, head low with a sheepish posture, for readjustment.
In the case of a missing mask, the paddock must scoured* to find the errant face and ear protection and reapplied as many times as necessary during the day. The victim does not display any remorse when the mask is lost, but it can be embarrassing for a victim with a partial failure.
Said victim will try to convince you it has been an Immaculate Removal. Don't be fooled, there are no reported incidents of fly masks in good working order just falling off.
The means of removal is usually easily discovered. Rips around the nose area and of the Velcro fasteners mean removal has been by a pasture "buddy". Pine pitch means a tree was involved. In either event the usefulness of the mask may be compromised. A fly mask is a terrible thing to waste.
* Missing Fly masks are usually found in any depression, often in one deep enough to not see with a horizon scanning. Other common places for the fly mask to be discovered are: under a pile of poop, hidden in brushy areas, stuck to a tree, either above or below eye level, in a water tank and in one reported incident, velcroed to a buddies tail. Depending on condition and circumstances of discovery, the fly mask may be immediately reapplied, sewn and/or washed and reapplied or in the case of pine pitch, disposed of and another procured at fair market value.