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The Safest Horse Fencing

Anyone who owns, boards, or trains horses can tell you that horse fencing is an absolute necessity. If your paddock is unfenced, your horses will surely find a way to wander off — or worse, a dangerous animal might find their way into your stables.
Fencing is important because it helps keep your horses safe from the outside world. However, it’s also crucial to ensure that your neighing animal friends are safe inside the fence. This is why a lot of horse owners spend hours or even days agonizing over the type of horse fencing that is the safest for their animals.
Horse Inside a Fence

So, what do you think is the safest horse fencing? Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to this question because every fence type has pros and cons. And the fencing you use will depend on several factors, from your budget to your horses’ temperaments. The final choice is up to you — but here’s the information you need to know to determine the safest horse fence for your land.

Horse Inside a Fence

Smooth Wire Fences

As the name suggests, smooth wire fencing is made from smooth wire that typically runs horizontally around your horses’ paddock. This type of fence can come in various metals, but aluminum and steel are the most common.
Using smooth wire fencing can be beneficial for your horses’ enclosure. Even better is that it is incredibly inexpensive, so it is an excellent choice for those who are on a budget. This type of fence is also very easy to install, which is great if you don’t want to spend a whole weekend putting up a new fence.
On the contrary, smooth wire fencing has a major drawback: horses, and sometimes people, can’t see it. So, they may not notice when they reach the fence line, resulting in a collision with the wires. If a horse — or a child — runs at that fence full speed, getting a few nasty cuts is inevitable.

Woven Wire Fences

Like smooth wire, woven wire fencing uses steel to create an enclosure for your horses. However, while smooth wire fencing comprises single lines of horizontal wire stretched across your fence posts, woven fencing creates a mesh-like pattern that covers your fenced area from top to bottom, offering more excellent protection from escape and predators.
The mesh pattern is designed with a tight, knotted weave so that horses cannot stick their hooves through the fence. Plus, it will flex on impact, so the fence will spring back when pushed rather than break. This means you’re less likely to find a horse with a cut leg or hide after an escape attempt.
On the other hand, woven wire fencing also has a drawback, which is the fact that horses have a hard time seeing it! Putting a single board on top of the fence to make it more visible is recommended. This also prevents horses from necking down the wire. This fence will keep your horses safe and secure for years with routine maintenance.

Electric Fences

Electric fencing uses conductive wire to dispense a high-voltage electrical current along the length of your fence. This wire will give anyone, including humans, horses, or other animals, a significant “jolt” when they touch it — though it is important to note that veterinarians agree that the jolt from an electric fence is not enough to do any real harm.
Electric fences also work as both a physical and a psychological deterrent for your horses. Trust us, after one jolt, your horse will lose its interest in leaning on, chewing on, or being anywhere that’s too close to your fence line. This can be particularly great for horses who like to try and escape from their paddocks.
On the other side, while electric fences are great as a psychological deterrent, their physical ability leaves something to be desired. It’s hard to see, and if one of your horses does try to run through your electric wire fencing, he or she probably won’t need much strength to knock it down. Electric fencing needs constant tightening and careful maintenance, along with a consistent power supply.

Wood Fences

When you think of a horse stable, riding arena, or paddock, you can probably imagine a specific image in your mind. It could be wooden stables off to one side, a large wooden post and rail fence, and a grassy field. This is the quintessential “horse fencing” look, and it’s persisted over the years for one main reason — it’s beautiful.
Wooden fencing looks great and is easy to see, which is very advantageous for horses. Wooden fences also tend to last a very long time. These are all excellent reasons to install a wooden fence on your property, but it is also crucial to consider the potential drawbacks of this fencing type.
Firstly, it could be expensive to buy and install wooden. Secondly, any wood structure that’s left outside will suffer damage from exposure to the elements eventually; your wood fence will need regular upkeep, which also adds to your overall cost. Finally, wooden fences are far from being “horseproof.” A spooked horse that runs full-speed into a wooden fence is not likely to stay enclosed — but it is likely to leave you with some expensive repairs and a hefty vet’s bill!

Pipe Fences

Pipe fencing comprises recycled steel or aluminum, resulting in an industrial, modern alternative to the wooden rail and post. This fencing is very strong and long-lasting. Since this fencing is made of metal, it’s even less likely to be damaged by the elements compared to wood fences. It’s also highly visible, which is great for preventing collisions.
However, pipe fencing also has similar drawbacks to wood fences. First, the material is expensive to transport and install, even if you live in a location with plenty of available pipes. Often, you will also need to hire and pay a professional to cut and install the pipes properly. Finally, pipe steel fences have virtually no “give” — which can lead to serious problems if your horse collides with your fence.
Keep in mind that both post and rail wood and pipe style fences are designed with horizontal cross members that leave plenty of room at the bottom for foals to escape or, even worse, predators to enter the pasture.

Other Considerations

As you search for suitable horse fencing for your property, it’s essential to consider all the factors that might help shape your decision. Here are the questions you could ask yourself:
  • How much area do you plan to enclose?
  • How many gates will you need?
  • Do you want to use wood posts, metal t-posts, or both?
  • Do the soil conditions in your paddock make one fence type more effective than the others?
  • Do you have horses who like to make a break for it?
The answers to these questions and any others you think of will help you identify the horse fencing types that best suit your unique needs. With a little extra research and careful consideration, you’ll be able to find the fencing that keeps all your beautiful horses safe.

Author Bio

Dain Rakestraw is Red Brand’s Director of Marketing and Client Services. Red Brand is a line of premium agricultural fencing products known as the most recognized brand of agrarian fencing in the United States. Learn more about him by visiting Red Brand’s website.

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