1) Fairly economical (centaur 4" is nice, but too pricey)
2) Safe for foals
3) Easy to repair
4) Provides a decent barrier should a horse try to run through it. I'd rather the horse get stopped by the fence then run out onto a semi-main road.
Horseguard- fits all catagories but has a relatively low break strength. I don't know if I can risk one going through it.
Wood...with or without mesh? What kind of mesh, no climb, triangle, other?
Wood...with a strand of hotwire?
Combo of Horseguard and wood? Or a combo of horse guard and the ramm rubbery stuff (cheaper then centaur but still pricey).
What do you have, what would you get, and why....
I'm drawn to the mesh with a wood board over the top for visibility, but could easily be convinced otherwise...
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
When I lost every inch of fencing on my farm in the Ice Storm of '98 I did a TON of research. The deciding factor for me was the fencing that the vet uses who raises 6-8 orphans a year after they are neonatal ICU patients with her.
She uses Horse Guard. 3 & 4 strands. That's what I do too. Perimeter where there is natural 'borders' (ditches, woods etc.) I use two.
It *does* break, but only when it has to. The insulators usually give first. And if they hit it that hard--that's when I *want* it to break.
It's highly visible for foals, and if you introduce it to them (hot) in the first few days, they are extremely respectful of it for the rest of their lives.
The only caveat for me is the first few times out, it's *helpful* (but not critical) to have someone help with the foal--that whole gate/door thing they do. I live alone though, so I don't have that. The fence is NOT on the first time I am putting them out. I turn it on after they are inside the pasture.
YMMV, but the orphan-vet was the tie breaker for me.
I agree with PP...if they hit the Horseguard that hard, I want it to break also. Generally they bounce off of it and you just have to tighten it up a bit. Any other fence except maybe the diamond wire mesh or flexible rail fencing will cause injury if they run into it hard to get tangled/under it. With four strands of Horseguard here, I've had no foal injuries (except on what little board fencing is left) related to fences and have not had one slip through it. I don't like it in smaller paddocks though where the mares are dry lotted because if a mare foals out there, the baby could get into the fence before it is steady enough to walk well...or could fall through it. So...that is my only worry with it...very young foals. The older ones leave it alone.
I watched a 4 day old filly learn how it "bites" this a.m. I think she grabbed it with her mouth !! and leaped back and spent the next couple of minutes working her mouth. Now she's not going near it.
If I had to have a completely foal proof fence that is totally safe, I'd use the Diamond Wire mesh...but I unfortunately can't afford it!
DDB- did you do the pricing? We haven't yet and I take it mesh is a lot more?
Also, this is what I struggle with...better to get hung up in wood fence, or safely break through the fence and get hit by a car. If cr*p happens I'd rather it stay on our property and nobody else be at risk. So that is my one and only hold up with it, although I certainly haven't ruled it out.
Ditto to all that PP and DDB said. Yes, a horse will bounce off if they hit all strands. Each strand is about 600psi breaking strength - low enough that getting tangled in one strand is not very likely to cause major damage (I've had the tape break before the leg and even before the skin was anything but "burned"), but high enough that multiple strands can easily contain all but the biggest or hardest hitting horses. Insulators due tend to give first, and this gives extra wiggle room for safety, IME and IMO.
DDB, that is TOO funny about the filly testing, er, tasting the fence! LMAO!
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I have mesh with a top board of Ramm flex fence. I don't have foals. It's a great fence, but it's not cheap. I don't think it would've been cheaper with a wood top board. I'm glad I have it, because it's totally solid and I have no worries about a horse getting out. This is my core sacrifice area, where the grass is always greener outside.
I have several of the Horseguard temporary fencing kits for grazing areas, and it's a good product, but definitely not as secure. If you're worried about the Horseguard breaking, what about double fencing the area, so that there's one fence along the road and one fence marking the pasture? Also, adding more strands is very affordable, so you could conceivably go with something like 6 strands instead of the standard 4. The major expense for Horseguard is in the posts, so it wouldn't add a lot of cost.
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We have one field that is no climb mesh with Ramm fence flexi vinyl top rail and we have a field that is the coated wire with a bottom strand of flexi vinyl to give it high visability as well as prevent roll outs. I called several of the vets in the area and while several voiced a preference for the mesh fencing, all of them felt that was a safe option for foals. It made it more economical than all felxi-vinyl or mesh - you can see it in the backround of the attached pic http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y27...leySierra2.jpg
I have a small foaling paddock with has no-climb v-mesh wire fencing all the way to the ground with a 5.25" white Centaur rail on top for visibility. It also has electric on the top side of the white rail. It is called Hot Rail. I have a special shut-off for turning the electric off in just that paddock. It's pretty high up and would be hard for a foal to reach the electric portion of that fence anyway. The other fences are white Centaur white lightning poly coated (2 strands) alternated with 2 strands of poly-coated non-electric with a 5.25" white Hot Rail on top for optimum visibility. I've seen full grown horses (and foals) bounce off the Centaur poly coated wire fence (no wide rails either) while running full speed. Obviously the foaling paddock was more expensive with the wire mesh but it is a pretty small paddock and I didn't want to run the risk of a mare foaling out in the day when I had my back turned and the foal ending up under the fence. This is also my where I keep broodmares when I need to take them off of the pasture where we have a wee bit of fescue. The rest of the fence is expensive but not as expensive as wood and in my opinion, well worth it. I looked at the hot tape varieties and just felt better about the poly coated wire keeping my horses and foals inside and thus out of the road. I am a worry wart though.
You can see what the fencing looks like if you check out this link. See the photo titled "Kryptic and favorite racing partner, Serendipity" at the very bottom of the page. http://www.altamontsporthorses.com/id83.html It's safe and I think it looks pretty darn good. I receive a lot of compliments on it.
I had a large tree fall on my fence and it didn't break the top rail or even the insulator, just smooshed the rail a bit until we were able to pull the tree off and fix it. It's back to normal with only a slight wrinkle in that little spot. The horses didn't get out either. What a relief that was!
You don't necessarily have to do it all at once. I get a few paddocks done at a time (starting with the foaling paddock) and then save up for the next round. They're coming in about 2 weeks, in fact, to fence another pasture this way.
I've got stallions behind this stuff too but they their fences are a little taller with an extra strand of poly coated wire. No problems. Love it!
We priced the mesh at TSC and Ramm and WOW, a lot more expensive then anything else. We have at least decided to do a combination but we haven't decided how, something similar to what you have done.
I was thinking a hot wire at the top, then maybe a thick strand of flex fence for visibility and then rotate coated wire/hot wire or electric tape.
Again, Horseguard was a bit more than Ramm for the same thing (at least it looked like the same thing) HG was $47.50 for 320' and Ramm has a higher break strenght tape for 41$/330' or something that seems almost identical to HG for 59.95$ for 660' which is quite a bit cheaper.
I liked the idea behind the finish line vs coated wire b/c it does not contain wire, has a high break strength but yet is designed to stretch/bounce/break if they get caught up in it. I've not heard any personal opinions on it though, and testimonials on their site don't count.
It is a bit confusing none-the-less so I'd love for any help/advice I could get with fencing.
On the Ramm vs Horseguard...I've never compared the two brands but several years ago I sent for samples of all kinds of tape fencing. It was beyond belief how much stronger and heavier the Horseguard was than Safe Fence and a couple other brands. I would ask for samples from both manufacturers and compare. I did not even bother to do that when we fenced in our current farm. I stuck with the product I was confident in.
Yes, the wire mesh is expensive and that is one reason why the foaling paddock is small...about 1/3 of an acre. The other reason is that I can put another horse or two in there to clean all the grass out in short order so that the broodmares won't have access to any fescue.
I have a paddock of no climb with rough cut oak on top, and a strand of hotwire around the top perimeter.
My next area to fence will be no climb, but with either the ramm or centaur on top. The wood has warped and twisted as it aged, and I just don't care for the appearance.
I also am using the horseguard for mares and foals, as the fencing project isnt going up as fast as I'd like. I do like the horseguard, and would agree that it does teach respect pretty quick to the babies. It is easy fence to put up and adjust, and far better quality than many of the other tapes.
We had split rail and slip board at our last farm. NEVER AGAIN. At this farm - all of the existing split board was replaced and all new fencing is Diamond Mesh with a top board. Posts are 8' on center. We've found it may be a little bit more money up front and more work putting in - but the maintenance is very low, the horses can't chew it, the foals bounce off of it and can't roll under it, also lose dogs (unless they are very small) can't easily get under it. We've also found the deer rarely jump it to get it in. At our last farm the dear would squeeze through the boards and break them all the time.
We were always worried at the last farm that the pony foals would squeeze through the bottom two boards or rails. They certainly stuck their heads through to graze.
The diamond mesh is also a little bit higher. We double fence all of our fields and plant trees in the lanes between them - so the horses don't bother each other over the fencing and the trees aren't chewed or rubbed but do provide shade.
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I have Horseguard at my property, and had 3 yearling stud-colts in it, and never once did they get out! Once they either rolled or got a hoof through the bottom strand, and all that happened is that it pulled loose, the insulators popped off, and the horse jumped away with not even a scratch.
The durability of the Horseguard is better than any other hot-tape that I have encountered. It pulls tight and stays tight. We have re-tightened our fencing 1 time in 2 years.
If you have a busy road, I would put 3 or 4 strands of Horseguard, with the bottom strand about 18" from the ground for foals. If you use t-posts, get the caps. Another option we were looking at for the areas where the fence is along the road, is the no-climb wire mesh, with 2 strands of Horseguard for visability and anti-pushing/testing factors. The problem with that is you need your posts much closer together than the 16' that you can do with just Horseguard alone.
My now 3 year old stallion is still in a Horseguard fenced pasture with the highest strand 5 1/2 feet, 3 strands total, and he NEVER tests it. Granted we have a fence charger that will charge 600 acres!! (we only have 6) He's been zapped a few times and will not touch it on purpose any more. And I have a mare 20 feet from his pasture!
We have some Horseguard and have for years. No problem with foals and believe me, if you have the right charger (STRONG) and it hits hard, they are not going to dream of running through it!! We have never had one get through, horse or foal, and never any injury either. GREAT STUFF!
I also use stronger fence chargers (solar powered in case of power loss) so that the message is delivered quite clearly - Don't screw with the fence!! I also have two chargers, one for the broodmare/foal side of the farm and one for the stallion's side of the farm so that if one becomes grounded out for some reason there are still functioning hot fences where it counts.
I love my horseguard fence, but I am way off a road. I also have a relatively cheap (considerably less than standard no-climb) hurricane wire fence set on pounded in posts, and as it is only 4 feet high, topped by one strand of horseguard. I would not use this on the bottom of a slope as I would worry about horses skidding and getting a foot under it and scraping themselves. But it is sturdy with some spring but not too much, and doesn't need care.