At the barn where I board my mare most fencing is electric, one strand chest high on most horses. Horses are out 9:00 to 5:30 most days ( unless really rainy). Some boarders like their horses to have blankets for those realy ugly days, but there have been issues with these horses going loose as they no longer feel the electric fence.
I have not started putting a blanket on my mare but I am seriously thing about it as she has in her paddock a lovely patch of clay that she uses with enthousiasm as a spa.... with a nice thick winter coat you can image the fun I have brushing this off her every other night. And as she is a Tb brushing specially before riding is not perticularly something she enjoys specially around the the flank belly area.
As my mare is more of the type to stick around her pals and is very respectfull of rules I do not expect she would realy think about leaving the premisses but I do not necessarily want to chance it.
So the question is do you have any tricks ? What do you do do you with horses that do not respect the fence ounce they have a blancket?
I am thinking of folding the blancket up in the chest/shoulder area and sowing it in?
Any kinds of blanckets better at conducting the zap ?
I know not all do, but mine does not, but then again to be able to put a saddle pad on her back the amount of scrubbing, hard brushing, soft brushing, and again and again I have to do, it would drive any horse a bit nuts. The best would be a good shower but weather is too cold for that.
Mine goes right thru the electric fence once she has her blanket on too. I haven't found a cure yet, I'm hoping someone else will be able to give some ideas. Just wanted to let you know that your horse is not the only one who does this! I'm lucky in that the electric is just to fence off a mud lot for them in the winter, so even when she does go thru it, I don't have to worry about them getting out of the main field, but they sure can tear things up!
I have had one boarded horse figure out that his blanket protects him from being zapped. he is no longer here as i was tired of fixing the fence he would tear down in fun! Fortunately most horses seem to touch with their noses first, or have a good memory of being zapped and so don't want to touch it ever again.
Overall though, I ensure it is not an issue by having real fence as well as the electric. Without grass on the otherside to tempt them, not feeling the fence isn't really an issue. If my barn only had electric, I would likely add another higher strand to ensure they touched nose first, and discourage full neck blankets on horses that tended to challenge the fence.
My electric fence is sufficiently beefy that it functions pretty well power on or off. Three strands Electrobraid on t-posts. They've been in it for coming up on winter three, blanketed for days on end, and never had a problem.
Now the tape - pony just found out that he can chest the tape and knock it down, so that means that he can't go out in the day use rotating areas until we 1) make darn sure it has a knock down charge, which we don't always, and 2) secure it so he has to work to get through it, which sort of defeats the lightweight moveable aspects of the fence.
Sounds like the fence needs to be higher. If they can stick their head over it, then they think they can go over it. If the fence is eye level for them they won't be as tempted to bother it. Anyway to extend the fencing up? Is it plain hotwire? Or is it rope or tape? I found they respect the white rope/tape better then plain wire. I have rope on the top strand and wire on the bottom strands.
Mine always have hay outside so that usually keeps them busy. I had a few horses that belonged to someone else at my house, and once they learned they could go thru it with a blanket on they kept going thru it. They would just run out to that same spot and blast thru it blanket or not. I had to ground them to the small wood fenced paddock, and eventually just told the owner she had to move her horses because it was too much hassle.
I only ever had a problem when a new electric fence was strung separating a pasture into 2. Horse wearing blanket walked right through. Re-strung it, and walked horse up to it. He went to inspect the new fence and got zapped on his nose. Never bothered it after that.
Point being, if your horse respects the electric fence, it's probably not because she goes and zaps herself with it every day or two to remind herself that it's not fun to touch. Shouldn't make a difference whether she's wearing a blanket. She either respects the fence or doesn't.
If she somehow manages to figure out that she doesn't get zapped with the blanket on, I don't think there's anything you can do to change that other than stringing additional tape above and below chest height...or going sans blanket.
This is a common problem here. The most often used solution is to use a piece of electric fence tape about a foot long looped onto the front cover strap so that it contacts the chest on one side and hangs down on the outside of the cover on the other. The current is then transferred to the skin if the horse leans on the fence.