I'm measuring out a new paddock, and going through the Horseguard supplies I already have. It's not quite 100' square, and I have a 1640' roll of bipolar, so I could do four 'rails'.
Their brochure only shows spacing for two or three rails.
I know I can't deal with two, I'd never leave the horse out there unless i were watching him the entire time.
I'm known to be paranoid about fencing. I once put up a 5' tall 4-board fence to contain... an Ancient Appaloosa who had no desire to leave. But, I could leave for work and not worry.
True to my nature, the current fenced pasture is done in 5' non-climb with a top board, making it 5' 3" in total. This time it's containing a big, stoic gelding. I have no doubt that if something really scared or hurt him, he'd run through just about any fence. Thus I have the biggest, safest fence I could come up with.
I'm thinking that for my peace of mind, I should buy the extra hardware and do a 4-rail Horseguard paddock.
Would anyone like to weigh in saying three rails is *plenty* and four is just overkill and no one does it? Or... I'll be in good company with four?
I have just 3 rails for my HG cross fencing and it has been plenty for my group of horses, which has included a mini mule, 2 year old warmbloods (no brains at that age), on up to older warmbloods. Size ranged from 9 hands to 17. I'm not sure of the exact measurements on my three rails as I'm in the house now, but I think the lowest is around 24 inches, the top maybe 4.5', and middle in between. I also have one electric twine across the top as I found the big long necked dummy neded that to keep from stealing fly masks. So that makes it 5' or so...but only there on the smaller paddocks by the barn where they want to play. Out on pasture, the 3 rails is fine and never challenged.
I just put up HG, 3 strands, it's plenty. Online it says not to go lower than 22" from the ground, except for foals and ponies, and then 16". If you have enough for 4 strands, then do 16", 32", 48 and 64, or something like that. Then you are at 5'3" .
BUT 4 strands is overkill unless you have stallions! But if you need 4 strands to feel comfortable, have at it.
I do love my HG fencing, it works great and my OTTB runs around like a lunatic!
I suppose the only downside to doing 4 strands instead of 3, besides cost (and sounds like you already have most of what you need), would be whether the low strand would be more likely to get weeds/grass on it, shorting things out. With my 3 strands, we still have to weed eat along the fence line to keep the weeds off it...grass, my boys would eat, but daisies, not so much!
My thinking on this is that if the horse is going to respect four strands of tape, they will probably respect three. Likewise if they are in a total freak-out mode and going to ram through the fence they will go through four the same way they would go through three. Or they go through the gate (I've seen horses take down a gate--bad). So I personally decided to do three, make it HOT, and put the posts 11-12 feet apart. But that is just me and my thought process typed out. Asthetically I like four, btw, but budget trumped that for me.
However, I am still going to be worried (the far side of my property is a state highway) and therefore I am doing a field fence perimeter and gates on both driveways.
We have miles of Horse Guard, 2, 3, and 4 strand, depending on the paddock/pasture. Honestly, I think it is the "hot" that they respect and number of strands has little to do with it. The stallions will NOT reach over it even to tease. Having said that, I do like the look of 4 strands, but that means more weed wacking
I have my three young warmbloods contained behind 3 rails of horse-guard. I keep it HOT and they definitely do respect it. The only problem I am having now is that they have figured out how to chew the wood posts in between the rails of horse guard. I agree with those who said that you don't want your horse guard too close to the ground as you wil have to be very vigilant about weed wacking in the summer.
Would anyone like to weigh in saying three rails is *plenty* and four is just overkill and no one does it? Or... I'll be in good company with four?[/QUOTE]
As with all horse questions....it depends.
For your sake if you are going to worry all day put up as many strands as you think are needed.
For most horses even one strand will do, once they know it's 'hot'. I have 10 acres with two Horse Guard strands, several paddocks also with two strands and one paddock with three due to a mini who will challenge any fence.
My theory is that if they are willing to blast through two strands more isn't going to stop them and more strands may just get them tangled up. Over the years the biggest problems I've seen with fences of any kind are those where a horse gets a leg in between strands, the closer the strands the tighter the hold.
At times we've had up to 20 horses, introducing new ones often and the two strands was enough, no serious fence injuries and this was a span of 15 years. Previous to Horse Guard cuts and repairs to horses and fence were common.