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Which fence is safer?

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  • Which fence is safer?

    We are having to tear out all the old fencing on our property. Right now it's 30 year old 4 board. Most of it is rotten. So my question is, is 4 board safer than V-mesh wire with a sight rail? We are also considering 3 board. I'm worried about my horses sticking their heads through the board fence, especially if they try with the 4 board. Which I know they will try to do. My gelding also loves to paw the fence, but will not paw with wire. They are in wire now where we board. Any thoughts on what we should do?

  • #2
    Horses going through board fence can get very ugly and it can happen if they are spooked enough. Plus there's the upkeep. Wire would be better, IMO.

    What I use is electric tape. Inexpensive, highly visible and if they do spook through, it will break. You must have a good charger and occasionally have to tighten. Otherwise it lasts for years and is very low maintenance. Doesn't rot or need painting so time and money for other things. That's a win/win in my book.

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    • #3
      V-mesh with a top board is a very, very safe and durable and low maintenance fence. If you go with board fencing, four board is preferable.

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      • #4
        No matter what you choose, they will find a way to damage themselves on it.
        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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        • #5
          If I could have any fence, I would have V Mesh with a sight board and hot tape to keep them off of it.

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          • #6
            I would never have wire. My horse kicked at no-climb wire fencing in a fit of crazy, put his hoof through, and literally sheared half of it off. 7 months of strict stall rest, not even allowed to leave the stall except for surgery re-check appointments, while the hoof grew.

            A line of hot wire inside wood board fencing would eliminate them putting their heads through.
            If you want durable, low maintenance, and super easy to install, then check out the flex-fencing. Obviously more expensive, but in my mind, entirely worth it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
              I would never have wire. My horse kicked at no-climb wire fencing in a fit of crazy, put his hoof through, and literally sheared half of it off. 7 months of strict stall rest, not even allowed to leave the stall except for surgery re-check appointments, while the hoof grew.

              A line of hot wire inside wood board fencing would eliminate them putting their heads through.
              If you want durable, low maintenance, and super easy to install, then check out the flex-fencing. Obviously more expensive, but in my mind, entirely worth it.
              I have never seen or heard of a horse kicking thru V-mesh wire.
              V-mesh has generally been considered the gold standard for safe horse fences.
              We prefer a larger pipe on top, rather than boards and you don't have to worry about it breaking or a horse chewing on it.

              Ours was put in there in the 1950's and is still exactly as it was installed.
              It is V-mesh 10" to 12" off the ground, on 8' from pipe post to pipe post and a 2" pipe on top.

              We had stallions across each other in those pens and never had any injury.

              Now, a horse may pull a shoe on any wire, including V-mesh.

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              • #8
                Lucky you. My horse's injury was traumatic enough that I still would never use any sort of wire again. He's lucky to be alive; he could have easily hit the coffin joint, but the wire traveled in such a way that it "only" took off the hoof wall, traveling right between the laminae. Literally half the hoof gone from coronet to ground.

                As Ghazzu said, no matter what you pick they can hurt themselves on it. I just feel far safer with the flex fencing & hot tape after my ordeal.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                  Lucky you. My horse's injury was traumatic enough that I still would never use any sort of wire again. He's lucky to be alive; he could have easily hit the coffin joint, but the wire traveled in such a way that it "only" took off the hoof wall, traveling right between the laminae. Literally half the hoof gone from coronet to ground.

                  As Ghazzu said, no matter what you pick they can hurt themselves on it. I just feel far safer with the flex fencing & hot tape after my ordeal.
                  Your horse was not hurt by V-Mesh, that is engineered so a horse should not be able to kick thru it, unlike other kinds of mesh.

                  We had a mare, at that time my main cowhorse, hung a hoof in the V of a mesquite tree and rip almost half of it off.
                  You could see the bones in there and spaghetti looking ends of small tendons and ligaments in there.

                  You are right, horses can get hurt any place, but when it comes to any kind of fences, V-Mesh are still the safest to keep your horse confined with the least injuries.

                  Any kind of electric fence, a panicky horse can run thru it and get hurt on that or where it goes next once out.

                  While accidents can happen any place, some are more safe fences than others and V-Mesh has been proven over decades to be some of the safest.

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                  • #10
                    I think everyone has a horror story or has heard horror stories about all types of fencing. There isn't a fence that is 100% safe.

                    I had 3 board wood fencing for the last 6 years and it is looking horrible. So I opted to go with pipe fencing. It's certainly not the traditional, it's more of a buck fencing pipe fence. I have one solid top rail and A framed at every 8 feet. It is very secure and they can't lean on it. I was thinking about putting some Horse safe wire on it just to keep hooves from going through or sticking their heads through, but they don't really do that. They don't bother it at all.
                    Chambermaid to....
                    Lilly
                    Reggie

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                    • #11
                      No matter what type of fence you get, safety is going to be determined by upkeep.

                      Board fencing with hot tape, or some of the flex fencing is what I would pick.

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                      • #12
                        I'm a big fan of Centaur, either with electric wire in it or on insulators, to keep them from leaning on/through it.
                        As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                        • #13
                          CENTAUR fencing- best stuff on earth!!!! You can do 3 or 4 rail with Hotwire inside. I've had 3 trees fall on it and it goes right back to normal. Totally safe for horses.
                          Kristen

                          Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                          http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
                            I would never have wire. My horse kicked at no-climb wire fencing in a fit of crazy, put his hoof through, and literally sheared half of it off. 7 months of strict stall rest, not even allowed to leave the stall except for surgery re-check appointments, while the hoof grew.

                            A line of hot wire inside wood board fencing would eliminate them putting their heads through.
                            If you want durable, low maintenance, and super easy to install, then check out the flex-fencing. Obviously more expensive, but in my mind, entirely worth it.
                            ^^This 100%^^

                            I've seen horses in no-climb and other types of wire that went to the ground slide into it and really shred their pastern regions to peices. Also don't put your hot wire down too low because horses can get their legs caught in it.

                            But I'm also with Ghazzu in that no matter what fencing you do, a horse will find a way to hurt themselves.
                            Sue

                            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.

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                            • #15
                              I witnessed my horse have what could have been a horrible (field square) wire fence wreck He rolled near the fence and as he rolled over his hind foot hit the wire and he managed to snag the wire, like dental floss, under the heel of his shoe- which left him hung up on his back like a turned over turtle.

                              I had to do the split second... "do I run to the horse or do I run for a tool?" decision- I opted to go directly to him... and it was so hard to check myself and approach slowly and calmly- he wasn't thrashing and I wanted it to stay that way. I probably did a million things wrong as far as endangering myself- but I was able to yank his foot free barehanded. I don't know that there is a right way to handle that. I'm just glad I saw it happen.

                              It probably could also have happened with the V mesh fence.

                              Horses will find a way. I think electricity is a great addition to every fencing system.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                If I could have any fence, I would have V Mesh with a sight board and hot tape to keep them off of it.
                                This!!!
                                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                                • #17
                                  One of the considerations for you is whether you have a need to keep dogs, toddlers, or other small wildlife on a particular side of the fence. If so, you will need the mesh. V mesh is best, but the no-climb is pretty good too. I recommend springing for the Class 3 galvanized fence rather than the cheapest one, and I suggest 5'.

                                  If that is not a consideration, I'd suggest looking into the flex fence, as made by Centaur or Ramm. I would consider them before board fence, personally; I think they're safer and lower maintenance. Mine is black and looks great. It does require thoughtful installation of corner posts - this fence is under tension.

                                  I like the mesh fence with a top board (my "top board" is flex fence), and it is my first choice for a permanent, strong perimeter fence.

                                  The negative of the mesh fence, besides the cost of installation, is that once it's in you're not ever going through that spot again. You can't slip through the rails like you can with another fence. Thus, you may want to plan more gates.

                                  I use electric in places because it is portable and less expensive, but it is IME a high maintenance fence in my area. It's hard to keep weeds off it and we have dry summers that make conductivity an issue. I don't like being shocked, either.

                                  Two pieces of advice no matter what: make your fence 5' high or taller and buy your gates before you set your gate posts. And, make at least one gate opening very wide to accommodate trucks etc. Consider that some day you will probably want to get heavy equipment in there and that it will have to be able to get both in and out.

                                  You will probably be shocked by the cost to replace all your fencing. You might consider as a stopgap running a line or two of electric inside your existing fence, perhaps one in front of each board height if the fence is really iffy. This strategy would allow you to get to know the place a bit and it would allow you to replace the fencing in smaller bites.
                                  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

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                                  • #18
                                    I'm about to replace a strip of noclimb wire fence which, despite hot rope, has been mashed down by the importunate twice. If I had it to do over again, I would spring for the welded top pipe. As it is, I'm getting some corral panels to put along that side and abandoning the electric fence part of the system. (It's the downhill side; the uphill side is comparatively pristine.)
                                    Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                                    No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I use wire to keep things out as well as horses in. Stray dogs, stupid neighbor's aggressive dog, coyotes, etc....
                                      “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                      St. Padre Pio

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        IMVHO, any fencing needs to have some hot component to keep the horses OFF it. Fencing does not have any right to be leaned on or rubbed against. If you go with board fencing, put a strand of hot wire along the bottom rail, to keep them from wanting to stick a nose under to get the "greener" grass, and along the top rail to keep them from leaning and rubbing.

                                        Same with mesh fencing, IMHO - at least a hot strand along the sight rail to keep from rubbing/leaning.

                                        I've seen too much Centaur/Ramm fencing that's been destroyed by horses leaning and rubbing - put a hot wire on it.

                                        Or, you can use something like Horseguard electric tape. That's not the ideal fencing if you need to keep stray dogs out, you'll obviously need something a lot more solid, but it does a great job keeping horses IN, as long as you make it hot enough.
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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