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what fencing do you recommend? Vinyl or Wood.

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  • what fencing do you recommend? Vinyl or Wood.

    We are looking for fencing for paddocks. I love the look of vinyl, BUT is it practical for paddocks? the Perimeter fence is white vinyl, but it is not the "best quality" as it has shattered in a few places. (came with the farm)

    These will be all weather paddocks, on the smaller side..

    Any suggestions would be MOST helpful.. there are too many options.

  • #2
    How big of a paddock? How many horses in it? Shared fencelines? Are you willing to make it hot?
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


    • #3
      I believe someone makes a vinyl covered wood rail. I don't know what the posts are but hopefully wood also. That seems to me to be the best of both worlds. The strength of wood with the maintenance free vinyl that you like. Otherwise, you already know the vinyl cracks and I've seen it pop out very easily in some fencing done here in western NY. My own personal preference is wood but both probably need a hot wire regardless of what you put in.

      Also have you considered something like Ramm or Centaur flex fencing? Again, you'll need a hot wire.

      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


      • #4
        I abhor the vinyl fencing at my farm. The boards are constantly popping out in a few areas (just from the wind, not even with horses pushing on it), it shatters in a really dangerous way when it breaks, and it's a pain to replace broken boards. If I had the cash to do it, I'd pull it all out and replace with wood or something like the Centaur fencing.
        "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


        • #5
          Ramm or Centaur Flex rail - I have used it for years - have it and Electrobraid here on our new 70 acre farm in SC - love it!! WAAAYYYY less maintenance than rigid vinyl or wood.
          Quicksilver Farms, LLC
          "Welsh Hunter Ponies"
          Welsh Sec. B Stallions and
          Fancy Show Pony Prospects


          • #6
            Ramm or Centaur flex fence. Although when I get around to doing mine I plan on using Centaur White Lightning so it can be hot. (and match what I'm getting ready to put up) No wood or vinyl as it's expensive and high maintainance...


            • #7
              we have brush/grass fires.... PVC fencing melts to the ground... wood will char but remain standing


              • Original Poster

                Such good info.. Thanks for posting!
                Yes, I am willing to make it HOT. Paddocks will range in size from 30x60, 40x40 and 40x80. they can be square or "clipped corners" in shape. NO shared fence lines as some of the horses don't get along. All will be used as single turnout with the VERY occasional 2 horse in the 40x80 paddock.

                Keep the good thoughts coming.. I appreciate all the advice!!- Oh, and who else to purchase from- good experiences and not so good would be helpful!


                • #9
                  Another vote for the Ramm or Centaur flex rail. Very nice product to work with.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                  • #10
                    I would do hotcoat flex fence- electric vinyl covered safety wire on the bottom and a wood rail on top. http://www.systemfence.com/product/0...hite-1320-Roll

                    This stuff is tough as nails-won't cut and has some bounce/give. It lasts for years, safe for foals and it is hot.


                    • #11
                      Where are you located? My experience with vinyl is that the colder it is, the more likely it is to shatter when kicked.

                      I am really biased toward wood, if you snoop around my website, below, you'll find some pictures of the four-board fence I put in for horses and sheep. Salt-treated poplar with driven oak posts. It gives just a little when leaned on, and while they can kick and break it or pop it out occasionally (shared fence lines between geldings and mares), the animals have never taken down more than one board in a section, and even I can hammer a board back up and keep a couple extras around. Not so much with warped or shattered vinyl fencing.

                      I notice all the stuff with wire where you have tighteners and spring and things seems to end up sagging or stretching beyond usefulness unless you really keep up with maintenance.

                      I can ride my horses without a sharps container.


                      • #12
                        Not sure what type of vinyl others have but ours is super high quality white vinyl fencing with a nice hot wire run across the inside and our horses don't TOUCH IT, it doesn't move, it doesn't need to be maintained and it looks GORGEOUS!

                        We put it in 4 years ago, and it literally looks pristine and we have done ZERO upkeep on it. LOVE it

                        The NEIGHBOR has a classic 3 rail WOOD fence, painted white. And it needs CONSTANT upkeep. In fact, you can see in one of the photos below, one of his rails is off-kilter (I ended up nailing it back down to make it straight)



                        Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                        **Morgans Do It All**


                        • #13
                          Another vote for vinyl. Ours is 15 years old and as good as new. The one fence post on the property that needs to be replaced right now is the one wooden post. Literally, we have one wooden post, and it needs to be replaced!
                          I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                          • #14
                            My vote would be for electrobraide with wood posts. I absolutely love ours, no maintenance, if a tree falls on it just cut the tree off and it pops back up (though may need to be tightened a bit). It looks really nice and horses very much respect it. Not to mention it is a breeze to install. I couldn't be more pleased with ours.
                            To ride a horse is to borrow freedom.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mg View Post
                              I abhor the vinyl fencing at my farm. The boards are constantly popping out in a few areas (just from the wind, not even with horses pushing on it),
                              My dad's fence does the exact same thing. It looks beautiful, but after every gust of wind he's walking around replacing the boards. I think a couple have also cracked (just small cracks that are unnoticeable from a distance). He also didn't glue the tops on (in case he needed to pour more gravel into the posts) and those are constantly flying off as well.
                              But, it's probably close to 15 years old and still looks phenomenal.

                              I just put up Ramm flex fencing and so far I love it. And it was far easier to install than the vinyl!!


                              • #16
                                I have worked in the vinyl fence industry for 10 years and it makes me sad to read about vinyl shattering when cold, breaking easily, not standing up, etc. Vinyl should NOT do this! The problem is that over the past 10 years, manufacturers have been making it cheaper and thinner with less UV inhibitors to give the lowest price, and while consumers originally liked the lower price, it didn't do anyone any favors. Vinyl should come with a limited lifetime warranty against all cracking and splitting and should hold up to fire far better than wood. If you opt for vinyl, make sure you get professional grade materials and a lifetime warranty. You will pay a bit more, but you shouldn't need to touch it for 20-30 years after the fact.

                                Finally, regarding rails falling out, that does look terrible! There are ways around that. This page has some images that show both the rails falling out and how to avoid that. http://wambamfence.com/page/what-mak...-fence-37.html

                                Finally, I never want to give a shameless plug for my company as I prefer to be more helpful, but it might be helpful for you to know that we way over-projected quantities of a sale last year and have some extra ranch-rail vinyl fence in stock that we are offloading for a good price.


                                • #17
                                  fire fighter spraying water on melted PVC fencing after brush fire


                                  • #18
                                    IMO it comes down to esthetics verses utilitarian along with area specific costs and budget. I prefer 3 or 4 board oak. I don’t like the look of vinyl it never develops any character. In high humidity/wet areas with low sun it does and will develop a greenish tinge. Regardless of installation and type I have not seen it be maintenance free especially with more then a pet horse or two. When a rail needs replacing the color difference sticks out like a sore thumb. Just like siding. It is not that easy to install. And looks crappy when the post shift which all post will do over time.
                                    Centour or Ramm if you are going synthetic/plastic would be a far better choice IMO. But I am an esthetics person and it looks way too utilitarian for my taste. I have very little direct experience with it and would never have either on my farm. But I have driven by plenty of farms with it and I would not say it is maintenance free. But if you can live with sagging in places and color shifts to each their own.
                                    Wood is my choice. But only oak. Pine or hemlock is a PIA. And I would avoid pressure treated post if you can get Locust or oak. There is a big difference in price and the cost of installation. A quick check of material costs I found that Centaur HTP 5 inch 3 “rail” will cost around $54 per 10 foot panel with posts plus the cost of installation which is far more time consuming then wood.
                                    In my area of SE PA 3 board oak slip board with locust posts, $36.50 and very easy to install. No nailing. I have not found it to require much maintenance and considering the cost difference and the ease of replacing a broken or bad board it more then makes up for the little time I may have to invest in keeping looking good. IMO based on a life time of using board fencing with little to no injuries the superior safety factor of plastic is a non starter but makes for good advertising.
                                    The following are some pictures of a slip board oak fence.


                                    • #19
                                      There's no nails in the slip board fence, but what tooling do you use to make the slots, and how long does it take to prepare a post?
                                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                        There's no nails in the slip board fence, but what tooling do you use to make the slots, and how long does it take to prepare a post?
                                        The holes are cut out by the supplier. It comes in 3 and 4 hole. If I should need to replace a post and do not have one on hand I take a standard post mark the holes and use my chain saw and plunge cut them. I have a lot of experience with chain saws so I can make short work of it. These panels are set 10 feet wide. I ordered the boards 12’ wide. So the spacing and layout doesn’t have to be as exact as it needs to be when laying out nailed fencing using 16’ boards, 8 foot panels. Though the 16’ boards I get for paddocks that we have nailed boards come with an extra 6 inches or so which gives a little leeway with layout.
                                        Because the boards are not nailed which allows for expansion and contraction you get very little warping. If a horse runs into it and or ones that lean or scratch on them they have “give” and no nails to pop or come loose. But running a top hot wire on any board fence will keep it looking good for a long time. We have a couple of miles of oak board fence, slip board and nailed. Most of which is going on 15 years and it still looks great and has never been painted. I have never found the nailed fencing to be a maintenance hassle. Replacing boards doesn’t take that long but does require a chain saw to make it easier. Now that impact drives are reasonably priced and IMO a must have for any farm owner I use deck screws when replacing boards or popped nails.
                                        IMO a well laid out and installed board fence that follows the contour of the land is visually appealing. Even when it gets some age to it. Very bucolic which IMO is what a horse farm is all about.

                                        Turkey vulture HQ. We’ve got plenty around here also. I get a little anxious when a see them hovering over a mare’s field in the morning. Either means nothing or we had an early delivery or heart break.