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Horse Fencing

Horse fencing buyers guide

Deciding on Horse Fencing

Proper fencing is one of the biggest concerns for ranchers and estate owners who want to keep their horses safe and secure. Keeping the horses in and the predators out is absolutely essential, and solutions can range from simple but sturdy log construction to high-tech electric fencing.

There are a number of factors to consider when planning horse fencing, including:

  • the animals to be fenced
  • the nature of the fence and the field
  • the desired use of the fence
  • the budget

The first thing to consider is the number of animals that will be in the pasture to be fenced. How many horses will determines what kind of use they will get out of the fence, and what kind of traffic gate areas will get. The ages of the horses in the pasture is also important, since mares, geldings, foals, yearlings and stallions all have different and very specific needs that must be met. The nature of the horses to be pastured also has a role to play in deciding what kind of fencing is best. High energy, young, untrained, or abusive horses have special needs that will affect their interaction with the fencing.

The next thing to take into consideration is the nature of the fence and field itself. The dimensions of the pasture and surrounding area will need to be taken into account, as well as the number of gates and security features desired. The type of terrain to be fenced is also important, since it bears directly on the kinds of fence posts that can be used, as well as the elements the fence will be subjected to.

The nature of the activity inside the fence will often determine how much space is devoted and what kind of fencing is most appropriate. Fields used for training will need more gate areas, while pasturing areas are often much larger.

Lastly, and often foremost in mind, is the budget for the project. This will have a direct bearing on the materials used, the type of fencing and the amount of safety and security features that can be added. Planning ahead and taking into consideration possible later additions will make it easy to know just what is needed for the fence, and thus how much it will cost.

Choosing the Right Type of Horse Fencing

Perhaps the most important decision of all is just what type of horse fencing is best for the project. There are a number of different types of horse fencing from which to choose:

Rail Horse Fencing
Rail horse fencing is the simplest kind of fencing that modern versions have made more safe and secure than ever, featuring rails mounted at intervals on poles. Rails can be made from any number of materials, depending on the desired use of the fence. Thick galvanized steel rails can provide several tons of strength, while PVC fences are customizable and attractive, but not as sturdy.

Rail horse fencing is the most versatile and customizable type of fencing systems, and will last for a long time. Look for rails that come pretreated with UV protection and rust-proofing, as well as manufacturers that back their products. Rail horse fencing is easy to put up, though many companies also offer installation for jobs that are too large for the do-it-yourselfer.

Wire Mesh Horse Fencing
Wire mesh horse fencing is easy to install, cost effective and requires little maintenance. It consists of tightly twisted wires are woven around high gauge steel horizontal stay cables and is secured at posts at proper intervals to make a strong, reliable fence. Wire mesh works best as a perimeter fence line, and is ideal for large areas or pasture. Tightly woven mesh keeps out predators and prevents climbing, but is specifically designed to prevent hooves and legs from getting caught and injured.


Electric Horse Fencing
Electric horse fencing can be used on its own or in combination with other types of fences to create an effective barrier. Coated, thick gauge galvanized wire is electrified by stainless steel conductors to keep the horses in and the predators out. Posts are placed at wide intervals, and 4 or 5 lines of wire make it open and easy to see the animals. Reputable companies will back their fences with a good warranty, and electric fencing is actually one of the most cost-effective types of horse fencing.

Electric horse fencing is highly visible, and easy for horses to adjust to. Though some animals learn more slowly than others, horses generally need one or two harmless lessons from the fence to teach them to stay clear of the wires. Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of the electric fencing is how safe it is for the horses-other types of fencing can trap horses' hooves and legs, and injury is far more likely if they spook and run at the fence.

Purchasing Horse Fencing
When prefabricated or as build-it-yourself kits, horse fencing is a big project that can often be very expensive. Planning ahead is essential, as is shopping around to get the best price and the best fencing for the project. Local dealers offer the benefits of specialized service and cheaper installation, while online venders are often the source of the best prices.

Always look for reputable dealers that back their horse fencing with comprehensive warrantees. Depending on the type of fencing chosen, guarantees should cover rusting, warping, corrosion and any other undue damage caused by the elements or insects. Investing more initially often means better quality horse fencing that is covered by a more comprehensive warranty. This can save money down the road, particularly in inclement or high traffic areas.

Horse fencing is one of the most integral parts of any ranch or farm. In order to keep the horses in and the predators out, it is important to plan ahead and choose carefully according to the animals' needs, the pasture to be fenced and the budget in mind. There are a number of helpful resources online, for both planning and purchasing horse fencing.

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