View Full Version : Ramm Coated Wire vs. HorseGuard BiPolar

Aug. 11, 2011, 01:20 PM
I'm in the process of installing two new pastures and would love to get feedback from anyone familiar with these two products. I live just above the snowline in Northern California, at about 2300'. It's dry in the summer and we usually get a half dozen snow storms throughout the winter. Not much wind, just breezy sometimes.

Aug. 11, 2011, 01:56 PM
I have the Ramm 5/16 coated wire.

It's pretty much indestructible. Tough stuff, can take a serious beating no problem. Safe. (as any fence can be) And the upkeep is etremely minimal. Plus it looks really nice. :D

Mine has gone through trees falling on it (it stretches a bit, doesn't break) and after the tree was removed (2 weeks later, we had 4' of snow on the ground and I wasn't slogging out through that) it bounced right back. Only required about 2 turns on the tensioners to have it back in shape. Took all of 3 minutes.

My late mare was a fence tester...she'd never jump anything if it was avoidable so if she decided she wanted to go walkabout or was in a pissy mood, she'd run at a fence and break through it. She got a hair across her arse one day and took off hell bent for smashing through the fence. All 1600+ lbs of her hit that fence...horse and fence bowed out a bit...fence snapped back and tossed pissed off mare onto her arse. Inside the paddock where she belonged. :lol: (she was not amused) Fence and horse were fine. She had a couple light welts on her chest where she hit the coated wire but those were gone by the next day.

Mine is almost 8 years old now...looks like brand new. Works like brand new. My fence maintenance takes about 15 minutes once or twice a year to walk around and tension it back up. I'm in CT...we have every weather there is from ice storms to feet of snow to nasty hot humid weather. Can get windy as heck...the wind doesn't bother the coated wire. It's not like tape or flat fencing...nothing to catch the wind and loosen the fence.

One caveat though: with coated wire or any tension fence, those really require some substantial fence posts. Especially in the corners, end posts and gate posts. The posts have to withstand the tension/pull of the wire. Little skinny posts that aren't sunk deep may eventually get pulled off center by the fence. Brace all corners, end posts and gate posts.

I really can't recommend the Ramm coated wire enough. (Centaur coated wire is very similar too and everyone I know with that brand also loves it) And it's not expensive.

I don't have any experience with the Horseguard BiPolar.

Aug. 11, 2011, 02:56 PM
Thanks MistyBlue! That's a very strong endorsement! I was thinking of using big round braced posts on all the corners and t-posts in between (Ramm said this is acceptable). Do you have any thoughts on that?

I could alternate a few more round posts into the t-posts than just on the corners. We don't want to make the pastures too permanent, because we're just moving onto the property and might want to move things around once we get more settled.

I'll also go take a look at Centaur.

Aug. 11, 2011, 06:39 PM
I'd also like to say that Christy at Ramm has been A+ with her customer service. Way better than other companies that I've been getting bids from.

Aug. 11, 2011, 06:48 PM
I have the Centaur coated wire (mine is white lightning which is electric, but I've only made one line hot).

I couldn't be happier with this fencing! This spring one of my corner insulators broke leaving my fence separating two pastures a little loose. Well, the new pony backed up to the fence and I guess kicked out when another horse came up to sniff her. She somehow managed to get the fence figure 8-ed around both back legs. Being a 3 year old pony she didn't exactly stand still (didn't panic, but tried to free herself). We set her free and then I checked her over, sure that she must have done some damage. Other than rubbing the hair a little, there was absolutely no way to tell anything happened. Almost any other fencing and it would surely have ended in disaster. It isn't a situation that's likely to repeat itself, but I am so grateful that I spent the extra few dollars on that fencing, it honestly saved my pony's life.

As far as the t-posts and wood posts are concerned, it will depend on your horses. If the fence isn't electric will your horses lean on the fence? Mine always think the grass is greener on the other side. If they lean they will bend the t-posts and you'll be better off putting some wood posts in the line. I have lines with only t-posts between the corner braces that are just fine because the horses typically stay away from those fences.

Aug. 11, 2011, 07:25 PM
KristiKGC - what a nightmare! And what a good pony! It sounds like this fencing is the way to go. At the moment I'm planning 3hot and 2not, so that the hot will be on the top and the bottom to avoid the leaning and so that they won't eat underneath it.

How was your installation? It sounds like it's a bit complicated, but doable. Did you do it yourself or hire someone?

Thanks for all this great input!

Aug. 11, 2011, 07:51 PM
We did all of the installation ourselves. It really wasn't difficult at all, once we got a dolly to spin it off of! Do not try to install yourself without it! The fencing kept twisting and was miserable until we were able to spin it off of the spool.

Aug. 11, 2011, 09:40 PM
We did all of the installation ourselves. It really wasn't difficult at all, once we got a dolly to spin it off of! Do not try to install yourself without it! The fencing kept twisting and was miserable until we were able to spin it off of the spool.

You are right! The spinning jenny or cyclone is key! My installers also swear by lag corners on the wood corners and insulated termination kits to end it. With those things, installation is a breeze. I have been selling Centaur for years and years so I am a little biased, but I have heard good things about the bi-polar Horse Guard too. They won't sell to dealers, just direct so I have never gotten into pricing so I don't know if it is the same as coated wire.There were a lot of parts and pieces in the setup, but I have never heard any complaints about it.
You can set your coated wire the same way too, one hot, one ground one hot, etc. so the animal is the ground, but thats more complicated. It's a cattle thing.

Aug. 12, 2011, 12:17 AM
Oh yes, a spinning jenny is mucho necessito! :yes:

That coated wire does NOT like to unroll. Imagine trying to straighten out a giant slinky toy so you can thread it through some staples...that slinky hates unrolling and when you least expect it, it rolls back up. And sometimes takes you with it. :lol:

My top rail is the flex fence...that also didn't like unrolling but it behaved a bit better than the coated wire did, LOL!

It's not hard to install at all. My husband and I screwed it up, but then we could screw up anything. :cool: Seriously, we can. :winkgrin:

But if the people putting it up are semi-handy and can read and follow directions and aren't the type to overanalyze the job making it 10x harder than it has to be...it's pretty darned straightforward and simple. :yes:

Also have to give praise for Ramm's customer service. That company is in my top 5 list for fantastic customer service. Back when we bought ours, the CS person for our region was Veronica. She was awesome.

And they gave us a phone # to use if we had questions over the weekend. Which we did, because we're idiots. We called on a Sunday and the person talked us through the problem step by step for a couple of *hours.*

Aug. 12, 2011, 10:13 AM
Thank you so much for all the great installation tips and input in general!! I've always had wood fences so this is unfamiliar territory. You guys have really set my mind at ease.

MistyBlue you may not be the only couple who can over analyze ;) - I'm sure that weekend phone number is going to see some usage!

Thank you again!!!

Aug. 12, 2011, 01:43 PM
Here's what mine looks like finished, it's a nice looking fence. :)



The place is a little torn up looking, this was the day it was finished.

Aug. 12, 2011, 02:14 PM
Looks very clean and professional MistyBlue! I'm getting so excited to see mine up! I'll have to post pictures when it's done!

Aug. 12, 2011, 02:48 PM
Definitely post photos! :yes: Just about everyone on here loves to see photos of farm/barn improvements. :D

It's like better homes and gardens for horse people. Better Barns and Paddocks! :cool:

Have fun picking a fence and putting it up!