Looking into buying Horseguard fencing. Which is best, the monopolar or bipolar?
I have the bipolar stuff. My husband and I installed it this past summer. Very easy to install and affordable. Because it bipolar, we haven't had any grounding issues even with the ground being frozen and dry. The tape is HOT and the horses respect it. I believe the monopolar and bipolar tape is the same price, so I can't imagine any reason why one would pick the monopolar stuff. Right now the bottom strand is buried in heavy snow drifts. I think that once the snow melts in the spring the tape will have stretched and will probably need to be retensioned.
The barn I board at has the bipolar fencing. The horses all respect it and my poor boyfriend, who bumped into the fence one evening and then managed to smack himself in the face with the dressage whip he was holding due to the way he startled when shocked can attest that it is quite hot.
I haven't been boarding at this barn long, but the barn owners are pretty happy with it in regards to its durability and longevity and have had no problems with it even in uncharacteristically damp and snowy weather this year.
The choice depends on what kind of soil you have. If you have "humid soil", you can use the regular fencing. But if you have dry soil, or soil that will freeze, you should go with the Bi-polar fencing. I live in an area where we see 6 months of snow and ice, so I use the Bi-polar fencing. It's been terrific and I wouldn't buy any other brand. My bottom line gets buried under snow for most of the winter, but you can disconnect it so it doesn't ground your fence. Last winter I didn't disconnect the line, and the fence still kept a full charge despite being buried.
I would caution against buying the solar fence charger as it's much less powerful. The plug in charger is terrific though. The other item I wouldn't buy again is the insulator with the flashing light in it. It's a terrific idea, but mine is too far from the house to see without binoculars and it cracked in two the first winter I installed it.
I would definitely suggest buying the fence tester. It saves me from having to touch the fence to make sure its working - and I can see how much charge is running through the fence.
I've had this fencing up for six years and it gets a lot of abuse from the wildlife. In the winter, the elk and deer do a number on my fencing. They have such thick coats that they don't feel the shock, and I've had full grown elk bulls lazily jump the fence and lay on the top line when they didn't make it. The fence gets stretched, but never has broken - and has never injured my horses or the wildlife that seems to like to lay on it and drag their bodies across it.
If you have any questions, you can call Horseguard. They are very nice, and have always been helpful whenever I've called with a question or problem.
I'm guessing, but could be wrong, that the draw of the original is that you may already have electric fencing up and you can splice them together?
When we installed our Horse Guard the bi-polar wasn't "invented" yet. We have sandy soil and do get snow, ice and frozen ground, but our fence stays hot just fine. BUT, we put in long, long ground rods, Mr. NoDQ had to stand on the tailgate of the pickup to get the driver on them and started into the ground. So maybe they are below the frost line? We also put 3 ground rods for each fencer.
And, yes, you can "hook" horse guard into existing electric fence if you need to.
We LOVE it!
Last edited by NoDQhere; Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM.
Reason: Thought of something else.
I have the regular old Horseguard...I think the bipolar was just coming out when I put mine in, but I had to hook in to other electric fencing, so used the original to match up. No grounding issues here in the wet NW. I have Centaur HTP for my perimeter fencing with one line of electric wire (not Horseguard) running inside to keep the horses off the fence, then have Horseguard for my cross fencing. I've been happy with the Horseguard for the most part, but did notice this year that some has degraded to the point I need to replace a line of it...not sure what happened, but the plastic has come apart, leaving just the strands of wire stretched across holes. This is after about 5 years, I think. Otherwise, it has worked well and stood up to our winds, which can be brutal. The hardware is the best, much better quality than the stuff the local farm stores sell. Always had very good service too. I want to send them some photos of my bizarre holes to see what they have to say, as I'm baffled as to a cause. I just figured it was degradation over time, but not really sure.