I am in the process of converting our new property into a mini farm. Newer house on 8 acres. Property is lightly wooded and is being cleared. The one very nice feature is that the property is stone-walled throughout, in what will turn out to be very nice larger paddocks. There are even openings in the walls where it was apparent the herds of "yester-year" (sp) were moved from one field to another.
Therefore I am using the current stone wall layout for my paddocks. The the walls are not tall enough for horses so I will need a top rail, or in some areas perhaps two rails. I really really want to utilize the stone walls both for practicality and because they are stunning to look at. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be quite a feat to install wood fence posts along the wall because the ground along the stone wall is sooo rocky. It's almost like the stone walls extends below the ground level (not unusual in this area actually).
I would prefer to go with wood, and probably will in the long run, but time is a factor at this point. The horses are boarded so if I can at least get them into the first paddock before the snow flies that will save some $$. My two geldings are generally good. One very much respects electric fencing. The other will, but might test it if he were truly tempted. Of course, I don't know if he would be brave enough to scale a stone wall in addition to the electric. Both currently have run-ins with wood fenced paddocks and an electric strand across the top.
Does anyone have any suggestions, tricks, experiences with this situation and what has worked? At this point I am considering metal poles and running the widest electric tape I can find across the top hoping a wide tape will resemble wood to my two geldings. Any help is gratefully appreciated!
I am extremely jealous that you have stone walls and hope that you will post pictures ASAP!
I have had pretty good luck with electric fencing. My four year old (who was - at the time - two) jumped out a couple of times, but the big girls were all pretty happy to stay in. I would put your horses in the grassiest, most delicious paddock, and make it as fabulous as you possibly can for them. (Toys, great hay, whatever.) That, and make sure your charger has plenty of juice and is installed correctly. Clearly, you want it to give 'em a real good zap if they touch it.
Personally, I would be more inclined to go with plastic step in posts instead of metal ones. The metal ones will be hard to get out when you're ready to put up the wooden fence. And they will be harder to put in, too, if the ground really is as rocky as you think it is. And, also, every now and then you hear a horror story about a horse getting impaled on a metal fence post. Rare, of course, but it would only have to happen once to be tragic. I've also heard of horses banging up their legs on the metal posts.
You can get 5 foot tall plastic step in posts here. They're definitely more expensive than the 4 foot tall ones you get at Tractor Supply, but it's worth it, in my opinion.
Regarding the tape, I think you're right to go with the wide kind.
EDIT: Looks like that link doesn't work. Just go to www.jeffersequine.com and type in 60" tread in post in the search box. A plastic version and a metal version will come up.
This is probably WAY off base, but I've seen something like this before and it looked really neat and added height. I used to drive by and didn't see horses so no idea what it was for or used to be for... but if you really wanted to keep the stone as the fence you could always add wooden posts to the top of the stone wall... NO idea how tall the stone wall is or how wide or if it's even an option. They bolted in footers like this (except theirs were smaller and not as obvious) to the stone and added wood posts and a couple of boards http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto...-main_Full.jpg
Thank for your input! I like the idea of bolting in a 4x4 on top of the wall. On two of the four side, the stone walls are 3-4' tall and in what I would call very good shape. In the other two sides the stone walls are in need of repair. One of those four sides has somewhat of a natural barrier. The fourth side is the on the road so I am going with fence posts and all board fencing. For that side, we are moving the fence "in land" several feet.
I will take photos as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I am re-claiming this land. It is lightly wooded and hasn't had any animals on it in a while. It's a total of 8 acres including the house, there are three good sized "paddocks" that are stone walled, in various conditions. They are beautiful. The property itself is almost completely stone walled. We are trying to get the first paddock cleared, fenced and a barn built before the snow flies. Not sure if we'll make it. Thanks again for the input!
Ditto the electric tape fencing suggestion.... Some of them come in very nice colors these days, they are quick to install, economical and very secure.
If you're in a hurry, the electric tape can be used to make a "temporary" paddock inside the stone walls until you can get your regular fencing in place. We always keep enough for a full paddock on hand so we can tape off an area as needed in the big field....