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Retrofitting High Tensile/Electric fence to protect Idiot Pony from herself....

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  • Retrofitting High Tensile/Electric fence to protect Idiot Pony from herself....

    Mr Ibex and I are looking at some property that is already set up for horses with big paddocks and a small barn. My one concern is the fencing: It's a combination of high tensile and electric. It's new and appears to be well built with solid, horse safe wood posts, but my horse is an idiot and will mess with fences. I look at the current fence and see a massive vet bill. In the past the fence she respects best has either been standard board fence with electric, or even a single board on the top and wide electric tape below, although never for this large of a space.

    Obviously the latter would be less expensive but it has to go around an acre. Has anyone tried this, or will I have to include the cost of completely redoing the fence with boards as part of my estimates? Is there another option I haven't considered? Has anyone used vinyl?
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

  • #2
    My property came with hi-tensile & I have subsequently learned it's not all the same. A well-built , heavy gauge hi-tensile wire built for horses can actually be pretty safe (I can verify since my horse jumped through it, giving me a heart attack, but it gave where it was supposed to & he was fine). And of course, horses can mangle themselves on anything , the worst injuries I have seen have been from wood. My neighbor who sold me the property built the wire fence & he showed me all the breakaway points - I was still skeptical until I saw it work - nothing is perfect, & I agree that I wouldn't have it as the sole boundary in a small area, but if built properly, I wouldn't remove it.

    I did line all of my fences with Horseguard bi-polar tape, which I love. Improved visibility & with a good charger it is HOT. It was relatively inexpensive & is very low maintenance for 1 person. I used the TSC fiberglass grey posts to fill gaps between existing wood posts since HG needs narrower gaps than hi-tensile.

    This has worked really well for me - the wire is still a physical barrier but doesn't require maintenance aside from occasional tension checks, while the tape keeps my boys off the wire without costing a fortune & doesn't require ground rods (which I hate) .

    I have a young horse who is always sticking his head in things & always testing fences, so I get it. I do add a layer of electrical tape over splices & any wire ends just to be safe.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
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    • #3
      One way to keep horses off fences is to ensure that there is an effective electric material included in the fence system design and heat that stuff up so that when Old Clomper sticks their nose where it ought not to be they get a hard lesson in the reality of LIGHTNING!!!

      You can do other stuff, too. We mow very short around fence lines, both sides. If there's nothing to eat near a fence line for most horses that means there is no reason to hang out there or try and cross it. This is not a perfect solution but combined with a good hot wire and the other usual fence maintenance the risk to the horse is pretty small.

      Don't overload paddocks. Lots of injuries occur during "scraps" where one horse is run into a fence by another. Coordinate with this don't mix horses that don't get along. If you must do so then do it in a BIG field where the subordinate horse can get away from a dominate animal that doesn't "like" them.

      Fence type is one issue but there are certainly others.

      G.

      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixăo

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      • #4
        Ah. I just realized now why you would mow around the fence lines. Up to now I thought it was just a visual tidy up thing. But it's to keep the horse from leaning on the fences to get the last dandelion growing out of bounds! Of course.

        I don't expect to ever be on acreage but I am going to keep that tip in mind nevertheless.

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        • #5
          We have 3 horses and all of our fencing his poly coated high tensile - 4 strands all of which are hot. This is our 4th year with it - installed it ourselves - and we absolutely love how low maintenance it is. I have a very pesty pony who is a constant game player and even he leaves it alone.

          The reason for mowing around posts if there is electric fence is more because the electric fence will short out if the grass is touching it, but trimming away the attractive nuisance works, too

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          • #6
            Ah, yes, good point about the electric fence too!

            Comment


            • #7
              Isn't the high tensile wire electrified? We have high tensile and it is built for horses with 8 strands, 4 of which are electrified. We love it, but it needs to be kept trimmed, no weeds to get in the way or lessen the electric jolt to a pushy horse. Paddocks and fields are never overloaded with horses, they have plenty of room to get away from each other, lIke G says.

              The high tensile that horses get in trouble with is poorly constructed, over-horsed, not enough wires, fencers not working reliably. 2-3-4 strands are not enough wires, leaving wide openings to put heads thru. You also have to factor in "stupid horses" who are unwilling to learn to leave fences alone. I do not own any of those type horses! They came, did stupid fence agression, even AFTER being shown fences were hot, showed the fence lines around their turnout area. So they got sold on. They are not the kind of horse I want to own, too hard on the farm facilities and no sense of self preservation. If they willingly go into pain, don't care about their own body getting hurt, they won't take care of ME either, so I do NOT want to ride such a horse!

              We have had our high tensile wire for many years, very few injuries. And the injuries were clean, easy to heal. Any injured horse healed and went back to work after, was sound, totally usable in hard work. I find the wires easy to maintain with minimal effort. It pops a staple now and then, or deer may take some wires down now and again. Never see or find any injured or dead deer, so they do not seem to get hurt on it either.

              I like the electric part for keeping horses off it, the many visible wires serve as a physical barrier, should the electric go out. Horses don't bother it. I would put up the same fence if we needed new fences.
              ​​​​​
              Not all high tensile fencing is equal, people or builders shortcut with less wires, too many horses for the space, not having the fence HOT, are what causes injuries. I have seen running horses hit my 8 wire fence, get flung BACKWARDS, away from the wire, with no injury to the horse. Not a mark on them, and they did NOT try that again! We have raised a number of foals inside this fencing, never had an injury to any of them. It is excellent fence for horses, when built properly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ibex View Post
                Mr Ibex and I are looking at some property that is already set up for horses with big paddocks and a small barn. My one concern is the fencing: It's a combination of high tensile and electric. It's new and appears to be well built with solid, horse safe wood posts, but my horse is an idiot and will mess with fences. I look at the current fence and see a massive vet bill. In the past the fence she respects best has either been standard board fence with electric, or even a single board on the top and wide electric tape below, although never for this large of a space.

                Obviously the latter would be less expensive but it has to go around an acre. Has anyone tried this, or will I have to include the cost of completely redoing the fence with boards as part of my estimates? Is there another option I haven't considered? Has anyone used vinyl?
                I use electric tape, and it would not be hard to fence in one acre. Sounds like your horse respects electric, and pretty much nothing else. I'm not sure why you would want to go to the expense of board fence and then put electric up so the horse does not touch the board fence. Just put up electric. If the posts are 8' apart, you can put up a top board.
                "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't have any experience with high-tensile fencing but my gelding has a knack for getting wrapped up in fencing. I have three acres fenced with just electric rope ( 4 horses) and it's worked great for me for over ten years. Some people worry about having electric as the only form or fencing because it's not solid but I've never had a horse challenge the fence - even when the fencer was broken. If you have a quiet herd, it's no problem. If I lived close to highways, etc, I might go for a more solid fencing but where I am, it's safer to have a loose horse than a horse trying to blast through wood or smooth wire.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                    I use electric tape, and it would not be hard to fence in one acre. Sounds like your horse respects electric, and pretty much nothing else. I'm not sure why you would want to go to the expense of board fence and then put electric up so the horse does not touch the board fence. Just put up electric. If the posts are 8' apart, you can put up a top board.
                    I wish. She and her buddy in the next field took down electrobraid and went for a jaunt. It's like she needs something solid with a reminder to leave the solid thing alone.
                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about something like this? I mean you could always have the elect tape n then this on the top as a visual barrier?

                      I found it on here http://www.fencingsolutions.com/ Not sure if i can post a link like this, but seems like it'd help?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have had high tensile for 23 years. Large pastures, sensible horses, compatible buddies, and very hot fencer system combine for safety and success. One more thing … training. Initial turn out into pasture ALWAYS during daylight. Even walk them around the perimeter on lead line. Plus Training / tricking horse into touching wire with his nose. That first jolt usually results in fast retreat with the crack of electricity. They respect the boundary thereafter.
                        Equus makus brokus but happy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have had high tensile for 20 years with zero problems. Fence is electrified. I have had significantly more injuries with board fencing than high tensile and HorseGuard tape.

                          If you like the property but think the fencing is insufficient, then the answer is, budget to install the type of fencing you want. It that option is too expensive for you, keep looking for a property that has the fencing you want.
                          Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
                          http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The property we are on now came with it. At first the plan was to replace all of it with 3 board. However, it’s actually pretty great. I have two very accident prone horses who haven’t had a single issue (which I can’t say about wood). The horses respect it, they don’t itch on it or push on it. It gives if they run into it, and if attached properly it can be yanked out if they get a foot over it (which was my biggest concern, though it never happened). It isn’t sharp and doesn’t cut.
                            I might install it again. I probably wouldn’t use it in confined spaces though.
                            Edit: I should mention we have a strand of high vis wide electric tape running on it to, for visibility. Without it I would worry about them accidentally run into it.
                            Last edited by StormyDay; Aug. 16, 2019, 12:16 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We've had poly-coated high-tensile fence on our property for 4 years without problems. All 4 strands are electric and I have a very pesty pony who likes to amuse himself. My fear was wood. Horses get bored or playful and eat the wood thus weakening it. If a horse goes through it they could be impaled or impale another horse with the debris. I have zero regrets. As stated above, before using something like this walk each horse around the perimeter so they can get a good look at it and then turn them out for a week only in daylight so they can get very used to the new area and boundaries.

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