Horse fencing options are as varied as horse breeds. From the traditional wood rail fences, electric hot wire to the high tech plastic fences, all types of farm fences have their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll take a look at a variety of fences from a horse owner’s perspective to help you gain a clearer understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each type of fencing available to you.
Wood Rail Fencing
Wooden rail fence is a traditional variety of horse fence. It’s attractive and relatively inexpensive. The downside is that it requires maintenance/upkeep to keep it looking good. If you opt to paint it, it’ll require regular painting and/or touching up to keep it looking as good as the day it was installed. Horses have been known to break boards and run through a wood fence if spooked. The nails from the board can also become a hazard if they come loose and a horse accidentally steps on it. In an effort to address some of these drawbacks, many horse owners use a strand of hot wire on the top rail to discourage the horse from either chewing or pushing on the wood.
If you’re looking for a fast way to improve the look of your farm, few fences have the crispness of vinyl. It can add visual appeal and increase property value. A huge reason for its popularity is that maintenance of vinyl fence is almost non-existent. There’s no painting required and horses aren’t as likely to chew it. In spite of these positives, there are still some negatives. The first, and most obvious, negative is that it requires a significant upfront investment. However, there’s a bigger negative you need to be aware of if you’re considering using vinyl fence as the sole means of containing your horse(s). It’s not uncommon for horses to test out fencing by pushing on the rails. The problem with using vinyl fence as horse fencing is that the rails can pop out if your horses push on them, allowing them to get loose. Much like with wood rail fencing, if you have vinyl fence with horses, run a strand of hot wire on the inside of the top rail to discourage your horses from pushing or leaning on the boards to decrease the chances of the boards popping out.
Wire Mesh or Woven Fencing
There are many types of wire mesh fence you can use to fence your farm. It’s relatively inexpensive and probably the most forgiving fence if a horse runs into it. The one thing that you need to be careful with as far as wire mesh fence is concerned is the size of the mesh openings. Make sure the mesh size you use is small enough to keep hooves out – including small foal hooves if you raise horses. Wire mesh isn’t as visible as some types of fence, so many horse owners use flagging tape or a wood top rail to improve visibility. If you live in an area where vines are prevalent, wire mesh can turn into a headache rather quickly, as vines love to grow on the mesh and can be difficult to remove once they’re established.
Many farms and ranches use a variety of horse fence types depending on where the fence is and its intended purpose. If you’re thinking of installing new horse fencing, please take a moment to contact one of our fencing professionals who would be more than pleased to assist you with the decision-making process. We’ll offer you some practical horse sense guidance on fence layout and type(s) that can save you vet trips and make your life easier. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today!