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"lifespan" of electric fence tape and a question about tpost covers

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  • "lifespan" of electric fence tape and a question about tpost covers

    I currently use smooth wire fencing and I want to change it out for something safer, prettier and easier to maintain, either tape or electrobraid-style.

    How many years could I expect to get out of tape or braid? Does one last longer than the other? I am leaning towards tape because it looks nicer to deal with but I could be persuaded to do braid instead.

    also I would like to do those tpost covers (not caps, but the ones that fit over the whole post) have you had good or bad experiences with those? Should I do wood posts instead? (I have tposts already but they only have caps right now)

  • #2
    Frankly I've never had good luck with electrobraid. I found it very frustrating to deal with but.. I also liked the look.

    So what I did, was run plain old nylon rope as my fencing *5 strands) then used 2 strands of hotwire. Looks the same, much cheaper and I really like how it looks. Which is what had me using electrobraid in the first place.
    We use wood posts, I have a chewer, so I put o ring over all my posts, so I have black posts and white fencing, it looks pretty smart and I do get comments on how nice it looks.
    Originally posted by ExJumper
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


    • #3
      We have Electrobraid and it has I think a 25 year guarantee (could be 20, don't remember). I'd guess that most of the higher end stuff like Horseguard would have the same life expectancy. We chose the Eb for a couple of reasons - it was easily available at the local TSC, we have a windy hilltop and the Eb is not affected by wind, it was easy to put up and is advertised as being able to be hung on trees which is perfect for our partly wooded lot. Our previous owner had some kind of tape in a couple of locations and it sagged, twisted and waved in the wind and when the other neighbors cows got out they didn't even slow down to check if it had a charge (it didn't)
      I had to laugh at the nylon rope fence-our horses have opted to stay "unstung" so we used uncharged rope or tape for non-critical locations, like keeping the horses away from some young trees, and I even though the pony has tried the fence in the past he isn't brave enough to come right out and lean on anything that looks like it.

      We only use the caps on the tposts, the squishy rubber kind, so I can't help you there. IMHO, I like the look of a wooden post even unpainted. We have t-posts because they will work in our shallow soil over rock, but as they age they get bent, they rust and look bad.

      What's the cost of a t-post plus cover vs wooden post in your area and how do the covers affect the hot wire insulators - do you need to buy something special or more expensive?
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • #4
        We have horseguard in our paddocks and three rail wood in the pasture. I really like the horseguard! We've had our horseguard for about 5 years now and it is holding up well. We originally had wood posts with the horseguard on the shared fencelines and one of the beavers/then 3 yr olds did a number on the posts. My husband is the practical one and wanted t posts, I like pretty and wanted wood posts, so when we repaired it, we alternated wood/t-posts. This past year we had a boarder with another young beaver and she again demolished the wood posts on the shared line. So, we're putting in all t-posts on the shared fencelines where the horses congregate and visit. I'd like the t-post covers too, but they are pretty expensive. Does anyone know where I can buy brown ones other than from horseguard?


        • #5
          I have the off-brand braided rope from Farm and Fleet for one long line in a paddock, used to have two paddocks with it but Big Poppa got optimistic thinking I'd never have a horse at home (or preferably at all! ) and took the second one out. I've been really pleased with it! We did t-posts with caps and three strands and it was fairly easy to install (except for pounding the posts, ugh!) and if it gets a little saggy it's easy to tighten too. If I ever get a second job locked down I'm going to redo my paddocks and I think I'll be doing all but the front line (aesthetics) in braided rope and posts.

          Side question: Would it be a good idea to do the bottom strand in plain nylon so as not to short out if we get busy and don't get the weeds/grass right away or is it important to keep the bottom one hot to prevent a head being poked under in search of 'greener grass'? Been pondering this...
          It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


          • #6
            Originally posted by ArabDiva View Post
            I currently use smooth wire fencing and I want to change it out for something safer, prettier and easier to maintain, either tape or electrobraid-style.

            How many years could I expect to get out of tape or braid? Does one last longer than the other? I am leaning towards tape because it looks nicer to deal with but I could be persuaded to do braid instead.

            also I would like to do those tpost covers (not caps, but the ones that fit over the whole post) have you had good or bad experiences with those? Should I do wood posts instead? (I have tposts already but they only have caps right now)

            Do NOT use tape, it does not hold up for me.



            • #7
              Not long IME. It wears out quick and doesn't resist well to horse abuse.

              Absolutely NO tape if you are in area that gets wind... at all.

              IME, electric fencing, to be done RIGHT, ended up being as expensive or more than using high tensible fencing, which is permanent and more resistant.

              I just add two rows of the cheapest electric fence to keep them from leaning on it, but even if they do, it holds up very well.
              Breeding & Sales
              Facebook | YouTube


              • #8
                I have hotwire tape around my arena that is currently about 7 years old and looks fine and still works. As for not using in a windy area -um, it went through a direct hit from Hurricane Ike a few years ago and wasn't even twisted - just washed really clean! LOL! Now, I do have it on wooden posts 8 feet apart. It does sag occasionally and you have to tighten - I think the HorseGuard people give it 12 years lifespan. but I have been pleased with it, and it's so cheap, I would not mind replacing it every 12 years.
                Donerail Farm


                • #9
                  You don't say where you are and fence material lifespan is area dependant.

                  Here in East TN you can get 3-7 years out of most fencing types that are plastic-based (rope, tape, etc). That's because the sunlight degrades the plastic over time.

                  We are also a wet climate and mold and/or mildew can form on fencing segments out of the direct sunlight.

                  Fencing material also streatches and shrinks with temperature. This can, over time, cause the small, metal wires in the material to break, reducing the effectiveness of the fence.

                  The better quality the material the longer it will last. I'd be skeptical about a 25 year lifespan claim without seeing some evidence to back it up.

                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                  • #10
                    I have 5 acres all topped with tape. I would not use it again. The tiny wires in the tape break over time and you have a fence that is not very effective. Wind is also hard on the tape. The tape also gets mildewed.

                    I have been replacing sections with electrobraid, and like it so far.

                    As for t-post caps, the best seem to be the sleeve kinds. We had a cross fence capped with the mushroom kinds that hold the fencing, and a horse ran hard into the fence. The force of him hitting the tape popped the t-post caps off a section, and very sadly he was impaled in the chest and had to be put down.

                    If you use t posts, I suggest using the long ones so that once they are pounded in, the tops are 5-6' high. Ours were 4' high, huge mistake. If you use mushroom caps and string fence through them, epoxy each cap to the tpost so that it doesn't come off easily.


                    • #11
                      I've used the Horseguard tape with t-post caps (not covers) for 2.5 years and been delighted with it. When I was shopping fencing I did like the appearance of the post covers, but ultimately decided for me they weren't worth the cost. YMMV. An occasional pasture incident has required replacement of a few caps but the horses stay where they belong and the tape stays intact. Whether to use t-posts or wood depends on where you are. It is very rocky here and while setting t-posts wasn't a walk in the park, placing wood posts would have been at least 10x more difficult. If you decide on t-posts get the best you can afford. The cheapest ones are brittle and snap off fairly easily.
                      Proud adopter of Win
                      Days End Farm Horse Rescue
                      Protection for Horses - Education for People


                      • #12
                        We have some Horseguard tape with t post caps. Love it, easy to re-stretch if need be. If you install it correctly I think you will really like it. Ours is 6 years old. Good luck.
                        Quality Hunter Ponies


                        • #13
                          NOT all electric tapes are made the same!

                          Yes, there are very uv-sensitive tapes that don't last long at all.

                          My HG is right at 7 years old and looks like it did when I put it up. Most of it is in the searing sun all day long. Most of that is exposed to any and all wind we get which, at the top of a hill with no real windbreaks, can be a lot. If we were in windier/more often windy conditions, I would have set my fence posts closer together. As it is, they are about 15' apart and this works very well.

                          The stuff that's in the shade all the time has some mildew on it which I need to get off, but ANYthing in that condition would be the same.
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #14
                            My Horseguard is about 10 years old. The tape has held up well; the insulators and plastic straps that attach them to the t-posts, not so much. I've replaced some of the straps with bundle straps from Lowe's, using more of them per insulator. I also find that some type of animal likes to chew on the insulators on the bottom strand, go figure. I also have an occasional bottom or middle strand torn off the t-post; I suspect coyotes or bears on that. Some of the tape is engulfed in moss/lichen growth, but it still does it's job (this is not in a publicly visible area).

                            Overall, I've been very happy with the HG. Did a front paddock with 4 strands of it, and it looks very nice--I actually don't even have a charger on that paddock, but the grass is good and there's little motive to challenge that fence. They're never out in that paddock unless I'm home anyway.
                            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                            Spay and neuter. Please.


                            • #15
                              Yep, I've had deer take down some strands, even bent a tensioner

                              But it's sooooo much cheaper and easier to replace/repair that than board fencing!
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                              • #16
                                Someone on another board suggested buying plumbing pvc with enough diameter to go over a t-post and capping it off because it would be cheaper than purchasing sleeves. Of course the "posts" would be a bit thinner, but I bet the look would still be nice. Has anyone tried this? Pros/cons?
                                Rhode Islands are red;
                                North Hollands are blue.
                                Sorry my thoroughbreds
                                Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


                                • #17
                                  You know, I think I have seen a version of that, and it was really not that bad looking!
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                  • #18
                                    Horseguard tape is not the same as other "off brand" tapes! i have used both and the offbrand does not hold up and wind really wreaks havoc with it. BUT the Horseguard holds up to sunlight, wind etc. We have horseguard that is 3 yr old and we are in a VERY WINDY area. If properly installed and tightened it does not flutter at all and does not loosen much, about once a year just retighten it. I know a famr that has had horseguard fencing for about 15 years and it still looks great.


                                    • #19
                                      We are going on 8 years with Horse Guard and it is holding up well. Horse Guard is NOT anything like the other tapes. It is much heavier duty and is a "looser" weave so the wind blows through it resulting in much less wind resistance. We have both wood and capped t posts.

                                      I doubt we will ever use anything but Horse Guard for fencing. It is easy to put up, easy to fix and economical. But most importantly is that we have had NO fence injuries since we started using it. The horses respect it. In fact the stallions won't even reach over it to tease.

                                      It is great stuff!
                                      Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                                      • #20
                                        We got the sleeves and hated them. They're really wobbly and wiggle around. Ugh.

                                        Our fence is about 6 years old and we are getting rid of it.

                                        I was doing research on wire (because we are doing wood fence with coated wire) I found this, and thought it might be kind of cool.