Horse fences are fabricated with numerous purposes in mind, but its primary goal is to securely contain horses while preventing domestic animals from entering the paddock.
The truth is choosing an equine fence for your property comes down to looking at both your needs and the options available to you. One important parameter that plays a key role in choosing the right fence is the functionality of the fence as it should be able to keep the horses on the property enclosed.
The fence should provide both a physical and psychological barrier. Some horses, such as stallions, mares with foals, and young rambunctious horses might require a greater physical barrier for safety, especially pertaining to height and gaps.
Therefore, when choosing the optimal fencing for your property, take the following concerns into consideration before making a final decision.
One of the – if not the most important factors when building an equine fence is cost. Setting up a horse farm is a large investment and thus you should evaluate your budget upfront and have a set amount that you’re willing to spend to kick start the project and make upgrades later when a bigger budget is in place.
One other important factor that must also be taken into account is maintenance expenses. Refrain from purchasing fences with low purchasing cost but significant maintenance cost in both time, funds and material. Also, fences add to your property’s aesthetics and enhance its value. Let’s look at the most popular fencing options available:
1. Electric Fencing
Electric fencing is made of electric tape with wooden posts for permanent usage or plastic posts for temporary usage. Electric fences are attractive and are available in different colors, widths, and visibilities. Electric fences are easy to assemble and to move in case of area extension or area relocation. However, they can suffer damage from heavy winds.
2. Wire fences
Wire fences can be either bare wire: the single-strand wire that is easy to install and simple to maintain. Barbed wire: a single or dual strand of wire with sharp barbs spaced every 4 to 5 inches. Wire fences provide poor visibility which can cause horses to get entangled in them. Wire fences are low in costs and maintenance but are not a great fencing choice.
3. Wood fences
Traditionally, wooden fencing has been the first choice among horse owners, partly because it is the most attractive of them all. Wood is used to create a strong barrier between fields and the surrounding area. However, they are quite expensive in cost and require continued maintenance.
Vinyl fencing is cheap but does not have a long life span. Though it doesn’t require continuous maintenance, it is quite weak and may break apart very easily if hit continuously by spirited horses. When considering the replacement costs, it is actually more expensive.
5. Wire Mesh
Two types of wire mesh fences exist the no-climb which consists of steel wire knotted together and the v-mesh which consists of two wires that are twisted together to create small openings. Wire Mesh fences are strong and extremely safe and the v-mesh is regarded as the best fencing for horses.
It is important to know the size you are aiming for upfront before making other major decisions. Regardless of the type of fencing your considering you need to be sure of the height of the fence and with of the gates. Bigger horses require taller sturdier fences and miniature horses can have lower height fences.
Gates that will be used to lead horses in and out must be at least 4 to 5 feet wide. Gates that will be used to let driving equipment such as trucks, trailers, tractors, mowers, etc enter and leave the paddock must be wider to accommodate those vehicles.
Type of Horses to Contain
The first and foremost factor to consider is the type of horses your enclosure will contain. Fencing for small horses will vary greatly from fencing for mares or larger, more rambunctious horses. Either way, fencing must be substantial, safe and sturdy for the horses it encloses.
Type of Pasture or Turnout
The type of pasture you choose is equally important as the above-mentioned considerations. Will you have horses grazing on lush grass or will this be a turnout for horses to burn off energy. Depending on the time of the year, grazing horses will put more pressure on the fence if the forage is limited. Thus make sure to install fencing that is sturdy enough.
The right fencing for you depends on what you are looking for in cost, maintenance, material safety, and fence size and other factors. Remember, choosing a fencing style for your property comes down to your needs and the options available to you.
Sistine Capoy works as a content specialist in Horse Fence Direct and a pet owner.