View Full Version : fencing questions

Jun. 13, 2012, 12:19 PM
It's been about 10 years since I've done a fencing project, so need some advice here. I'm in the process of buying 25 acre farm that basically has NO fencing. We'll be doing the fencing in stages, so my goal is to get a couple of winter sacrifice paddocks fenced this year. A few questions . . .

1)How big and how deep do my fenceposts have to go? We are in Ontario where it's very cold in the winter and fence posts can shift due to the deep freezing of the ground. My last fencing project was done in Lower Mainland BC where it doesn't get that cold. I used 4"-5" inch diameter 8 foot treated posts, pounded 3-4 feet into the gound and they held up very well. Will I need to put my fence posts in deeper than that due to heaving with the frost? Is it the depth of the post or the thickness of the post that determines how sturdy it is?
I will probably be using 3 strands of Horse Guard electric tape for most of the cross fencing.
2)Is Horse Guard safe to use for perimeter fencing? And does it really work even if the ground is frozen or really dry?
3)Is there any difference between pounding the posts versus augering in terms of how secure the posts will be in the ground?

Jun. 13, 2012, 12:45 PM
Driving the posts in is the way to go, imo. I have talked to many people with fencing experience on that one and having done both myself, it is also much faster (with the right equipment). Exception would be on a tension fence--concrete and brace the corners.

Jun. 13, 2012, 01:02 PM
We don't pound our wood fence posts, we dig a hole (3-4 feet), then fill it in. Seems to be less heaving than when we pound posts in? Maybe because the ground around it is not packed as tightly then? T-posts we drive in for sure. No issues there.

I have Horse Guard bi-polar (no grounding), 3 strands in my sacrifice paddock. It's going on 4 years old now. I have a love/hate relationship with it.

THE BAD: Wet snow shorts it out. Rain shorts it out. If the fence is shorted out and the horses lean on it, they often fold the tape...which shorts it out. Mine has also started to get waves (maybe because it has stretched so many times?) which is causing me fits. The cut ends (where the fence begins and ends) tend to come unwoven and short out the fence. The splicers are awkward and expensive. The Horse Guard "key" insulators break constantly...I'm slowly replacing them with the cheaper snap together kind which hold up way better with my animals.

THE GOOD: If the horses attempt to run through it or do otherwise idiotic things, it stretches and is easily fixed. No injuries from it thus far either, including suckling/weanling/yearlings. (And my one mare LOVES to back her butt up to it and kick between the strands and is OFTEN ripping down entire lines.) It's really easy to install. Our soil is red clay and in the midst of summer is DRY which causes my friends' grounded fences to not work. Mine works. I can get it pretty hot too, so I am using it on perimeter fencing for my new pastures.

I haven't tried Horse Guard's "regular" tape, so cannot comment on that.

Jun. 13, 2012, 01:21 PM
I kinda don't care for an electric fence as a perimeter fence. Ours is electrobraid but we have wire too and all the same things happen with monotonous regularity - one big stick on the wire and it's shorted out, it rains, it snows, some doofus knocks over a power pole. The horses still respect the fence, hot or not, but that depends so much on the horse too.

Pounded poles are much faster, but around here they hit rock too fast and our neighbor down the hill has some leaners - and they haven't even seen use with animals yet!

I'd think that it's the diameter of the post that determines how sturdy it is in terms of post breakage. As far as leaning, I don't know.