I have post and rail fencing but occassionally I need to make a paddock smaller. I use hot tape for this.
I never use hot tape in a foaling paddock.
I only use it once the foal is a few months old and is able to react accordingly.
I only use wide white tape for better visibility.
I keep the fence short, taught, and tidy.
Really? Is even the Horse Guard stuff a problem? I've always had 3 board wood fencing but my new place has mostly HG. I am not expecting another foal until 2014 and am wondering if I should set up a special mare/foal paddock with no electric.
That was all we had at two of the breeding farms I worked at and my own farm later. I *touch wood* never had a problem with it. It was well marked and they were never left out overnight until they were older and understood the fence/fenceline. I have even weaned with the electric fence between the fields with excellent results. My fence was 4 strands of electric, sure a wooden fence would be ideal but it wasn't an option.
airhorse, that was what I was always told too; I prefer to just have them encounter it if they become pushy or what not at the gate...usually once is all it takes...
I have nothing but electric.......electrobraid for perimeter and wide tape for interior fencing for both pasture and paddocks......I did however put up foal fencing on the inside of the electric for the paddock which was attached to their stall for about 3 months.....the foal touched the fencing on day 3 which was her first day out ....I believe she got it in the butt.......after that she was very cautious and I never had issues out on pasture.
We use electrobraid (not electric tape) regularly. I would not foal a mare out in an electric fence paddock, but as long as momma knows electric, I have no problem turning them out from day one in our electrobraid. We just weaned our (late in the year) 2012 foals behind an electrobraid paddock and it was the easiest weaning we've ever done.
Just like any kind of fencing, there will always be horror stories. No fence is ever perfectly safe. I've found, people either love or hate electric. I, personally, love Electrobraid, but know lots of people love SafeGuard too. I am more comfortable with a foal in electric than I am with them in 2x4 mesh that I see a lot of places use.
Never me because I don't have it in paddocks young foals live in but I've had two clients phone (i own the stallion) because foals had hung themselves in the electric fence. Shudder
I don't know how a foal could hang themselves in a properly tensioned Horse Guard Fence because the insulators, tensioners, and/or the tape itself would break.
I have seen pictures of injuries from the rope type fencing but not the tape. I've also know of foals being killed by running a broken board splinter into themselves. And breaking their necks running into "horse safe" mesh fencing.
The reality is that no fence is 100% safe. But a horse will develop a respect for electric fencing.
We use HorseGuard too. I don't put very young babies out on it because very young foals have no 'back up' button - when scared or hurt, the lunge forward, but within a couple of weeks, it is very safe fencing for foals. I think Kathy (Equine Repro) uses Horse Guard too? I start the young babies out on horse wire (no-climb) and wood, and once they've bumped into that enough to understand they have to bounce backwards, they move out to electric Horse Guard. Most of them get snapped once or twice and that is it, they respect fence for a lifetime!
There is no such thing as safe fencing - horses are all bent on destroying themselves, so if you think your fencing is 100% safe, it just isn't so.
Within the breeding group I know of - I've seen/heard of foals and horses breaking their necks on wood fence, getting stuck in wire fence, slicing themselves open on high tension fence, slicing through tendons on braid fencing, getting badly cast in pipe fencing, etc. Vinyl fence is useless - most horses learn quickly that they can just pop right through it.
Like a few people already noted - a horse hits the Horse Guard hard enough, the stuff just gives away - first it stretches - so if they scramble back in time, all is good, nothing to show except maybe a few scrapes. Then if they continue their forward momentum (aka pure panic mode), the tensioners give and they escape. It does mean you need exterior fencing especially along the road, but for cross fencing, it is a relatively safe option.
i also use horse guard for my horses (and soon to be foal!) but we also use regular hot wire - at a gauge that breaks if a horse were to run thru it.... this means having to fix fences periodically, but so far (knock wood) the wire has broken instead of slicing and dicing....
agree all fencing is dangerous - you just have to choose what is best for you. also agree a solid perimeter fence is mandatory.
Yes I have....my last three foals were raised from birth on electric tape fence. I have three strands with the bottom strand about 15 inches from the ground. Foals were born in the stall and turned out in the tape fence on day 3. All the foals touched the fence with their nose and turned around to run (not forward into the fence).
I never had a problem. Just my story!
When we first put the mares and foals in the Horse Guard, you can watch the mares try so hard to "tell" the babies, "DON'T TOUCH THAT". But every single one will walk right up to the fence and touch it. But I have never seen a foal go forward into electric fence. They wheel away and run to momma. Momma stomps her feet and says "I TOLD YOU NOT TO TOUCH THAT"! From that point on they are pretty darn careful.
Just last week we had enough snow to make the ground slick. The "weanling" herd was running around being silly and someone slipped into the fence. It is 3 strands of Horse Guard. The top two strands broke away from the tensioner leaving one strand 15 inches off the ground and it was loose and sagging. But all 7 weanlings were still inside their paddock, looking at the "snapping" strands on the ground and staying far far away from the fence. No thoughts on escape!
To me that is the best thing about the Horse Guard. "IF" someone gets in the fence, it "punishes" them, but without injury. And that memory really stays with them. Before the days of Horse Guard, I've know more than one horse that was seriously injured in conventional fencing and they never "learned". We had a broodmare that we got because she kept getting into the barbwire on the huge ranch she lived on. The day we got her she tried to push through the Horse Guard, got herself tangled up pretty good and got the snot shocked out of herself. It took me all of 5 minutes to fix the fence and she never again challenged a fence.
My whole farm is fenced in Horse Guard fencing. I love it. My mare/foal pasture has 4 strands and I've never had a foal escape or get injured on it. They just bounce off it if they run into it and never do it again. Usually, they touch it with their nose while their mom is standing near the fence and that is enough to deter them. They usually run backward if they touch it but if they run forward, it's not a problem - they bounce off it. I used to have wood in the past and I had 2 foals escape through that.
I have ~50 horses on my farm and I have NEVER had an injury with the Horse Guard fencing.
I have a mix of high tensile "New Zealand" fencing and Horse Guard tape. My NZ fencing is not exactly the way they recommend it -- it's supposed to be very tight. But I find that to cause more injuries to the horses. Mine has very long runs between posts and the strands are snug but not piano-wire taut.
My foaling paddock is fenced in the stuff.
As other posters have mentioned, every single foal has to touch it's nose to the fence once...and that is that. End of story.
However I had one filly born when I was having a terrible time with my fencing; their was a short in it that we just couldn't find. She learned when she was 1 week old how to slip inbetween the strands; she would go on "walk-about" outside the paddock while her mom went NUTS!!
Finally got the issue fixed and the first time she was shocked was a real eye-opener for her!! She was respectful of the fence if it was on, but she knew exactly when it was off, or the surge was low -- and she'd slip through it in a heartbeat!
Although I've had afew older horses hurt themselves by pawing at the lowest wire on a electric fence, I've never had a baby come to harm in any way from an electric fence.
Even if they run into it (which has happened once or twice), it won't tangle around them (the NZ wire won't....Horseguard -- yeah, it probably would]. But the high tensile wire will react in one of two ways: either bounce a foal right out if it hits the 3 or 4 strands and none break.... OR if they break, the wire sorts of "boings" out, rather than tangling up or around the foal.
In all the cases I've witnessed, the foal just sort of fumbles around in the strands for a second or two, then ends up on the other side. If the electricity is off, I've had them stand there quietly while I lift the wires off them.
LIke I said, I've had zero injuries in foals from this fencing...all my injuries have been with older horses and pawing or messing with the fence with their legs. I finally pulled the lowest strand from the stallion pasture and replaced that run with Horse Guard tape...
High tensile wire (electrofied or not) is one type of fencing I will NEVER use for a foal. We don't own our own farm, so sometimes we sort of have to make the best of a situation--which is how we discovered Electrobraid. Last April, the farm we were renting got sold and we were given 2 weeks to move out with 14 horses, including 2 just born foals. The place we found had high tensile, electrofied wire. It was a huge open field, so with the electric we thought it would be OK. Well it wasn't. The non-horsey owners only turned on the electric when they thought it was "needed". Our then 2 month old foal climbed between the wires and tore her hocks to pieces. If it wasn't for the newly moved in neighbor, she probably would have died in that fence that day. As it was, she still, 1 1/2 years later is not entirely healed in spite of a skin graft. So, for me, electric or not, NEVER high tensile.