I've actually decided to go with the Centaur coated wire and "white lightning". Popular opinion on here though steered me away from white. I've also seen pics of the white coated fences and they all constantly look green and mildewy/dirty. Plus, it's proven that horses see brown better I read somewhere. By that logic I went with the black hoping it applies still. There's no upkeep that way. I would definitely throw in a few strands of the electrified coated wire as well. Any fence is better if they stay off it! We're doing a 4" "Spur" site board on the top with 3 white lightning and 3 PolyPlus below. I did a lot of research and that seemed to be the best solution for us and fairly reasonably priced as well.
We like the coated wire. Use four strands with top and second from bottom hot.
Interesting that horses see brown better. It seemed that the white stood out from the green grass for visibility. The black we saw on one farm seemed to fade right into the scenery
We liked that option a lot and then someone said that if a horse got caught up in it, the fence would not give. Good point, but then it seems that any fence is dangerous if a horse is going to run/roll or play too close. I did think, though that if a horse got caught in the coated wire, that a leg would slide out easier than on most anything else. Then again, it also seems that if a horse is determined to get caught in something, its not going to be pretty no matter what.
I guess there is no fence that is 100% safe -- we want something that is as safe as possible, easy to maintain (as fences go) and will keep the horses in. The diamond mesh is touted by some around here as the "safest" but the upkeep on that -- oh my! Weed eaters will be going all summer. Plus, it seems to me that if you have to put a gap at the bottom in order to mow/weed whack, you run the risk of a horse getting its leg caught... because they do that, don't they? Run right up and see a dangerous spot and stick themselves right in it...
It seems sometimes that horses are here to show you your flaws... and the flaws in your fencing... your stalls.... your waterers... your feeding program... etc.
I've seen horses do awful things to themselves on almost every type of fence.
I think it is easier to spend more money on perimeter fencing.
Then you can use the electric tape of whatever width you like.
Horses DO know when there is electric and stay away from it. We have a GOOD charger WITH LIGHTNING FUSE, don't forget that, as the surge will kill the fuse and not FRY the charger. We bought a SHEEP charger with LONG distance (sold by the mileage they cover) as one line is 1000', so x 3(hot) is 3000' for one side of one field. The mistake I think people make is not putting in enough HOT wire, and our level parts are 36 feet between posts with SPACER posts only attached to the wires every 12 feet so there is a barrier all around it and they are also creosoted so look black.
For paddocks 80 x 100 or larger- We have used graduated BOX wire WITH TOP being 4" vinyl fence with 3 strands of HT molded but moveable in it ( top, middle and bottom) but it is not used for our stallions, who DO need electric at the top.
We originally used and still have HT fencing with 6 wires, 3 hot. 2, 3 & 6(top) are hot. 52" high, 6 " off the ground to start.
2 & 3 are for DOGS & coyotes. The top wire is for horses to not lean on it.
We LIKE HT if it is a perimeter fence. Ours was professionally done, and by that I mean they did excellent work in doing all corners, braces for change of terrain, and used creosoted posts, which can only be gotten, as far as I know, from fence professionals. It is 23 years old, and still doing great. Only a few posts have been broken (and still hang there attached to the wire) over the years by horses slamming into it which are easy to replace on HT fencing. Trees have fallen on it and it still bounces back after the tree is cut up.
We have had HORSES crash and get boomeranged back in the field, and not been hurt and ONE 2 year old tried to jump it (52" high) and got hind feet in between top and next wire where he hung upside down until freed. That was a rare thing though, as other horses have cleared it. The deer can leap through it or over it. The horses respect it, as it is always hot.
We have tried ALL sorts of fencing and actually DO recommend keeping the (ANY) fence 4" or more off the ground as with horses WITH shoes DO get close when trying to eat blades of grass and stick one foot out and have had a horse get a wire under the heel of a shoe and get stuck. We were thrilled this horse did not panic and cut the wire to free him. If you use a good weed killer in the spring you won't have to mow along the bottom of the fence.
We have seen places with all sorts of fencing and think we all like or dislike one or the other as experiences differ. MOST Vets will not recommend HT for SMALL areas.
Our fields are big with trees at the borders, so make a natural boundary, and the HT is good there as there is no pressure. SMALLER areas have been done in box wire or OAK boards 1 1/2 " x 6" x 8', as they will not eat it, and we have Amish sawmills to get it at a reasonable price.
I can also hook you up here in MID PA to one and they WILL ship, as they are hurting for business in this economy. If anyone you know has a flatbed or a stock trailer, come get it yourself. You will save money. You can use treated posts(round is ok, too) or get locust or walnut posts from the Amish.
Price it out and see what works for you, but spend more on the perimeter then subdivide with electric, which can be moved as you need it.