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Help! Houdini Pony - I'm at wit's end

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  • Help! Houdini Pony - I'm at wit's end

    Here's a little background. I have a small BYB (about 2 acres) and I have Lusitano gelding and a Welsh/Shetland pony. My turnout area is approximately 200’ x 150’ and is divided into 3 areas. The front area is about 150’x50 and is 3 rail wood fence with 5’ high wire mesh fence along the inside, this paddock is connected to the other 2 paddocks by a shared fence line and there are gates into the other 2 paddocks which are each 100’x 150’. The 2 bigger paddocks are 5 strands of Horseguard electric fence.

    My problem is my pony will not respect any of the fences. On the wood fence he pushes out the top rail then jumps out. He will even jump into the bigger paddocks and then go between the strands. He has a thick mane and forelock and I think it insulates him enough so that he is mostly out before he gets shocked, then he just continues out.

    I have tried 2 different fence charges, both types of Horseguard fence and he still gets out. I am considering getting electric dog fence and running that around the perimeter and putting a collar on him so he can’t get close to the fence. I am at wit’s end and I have spent a ton of money and time both of which I don’t really have. Any solutions? Suggestions?? I don’t know what else to try.

    Thanks in advance for any help!!

    Strana1
    In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.

  • #2
    I have a small horse that does that. I recently bought a new Parmak charger. I braided his mane then hosed him down so he was soaking wet. I tried to coax him to the fence so he would get zapped and hopefully build a little respect. That bugger KNEW he was set up, he stood about 2 inches from touching and just looked at me with big sad eyes.

    He will still reach under the fence on his mane side as it insulates him, but he no longer pushes on it.

    Can you put a strand of hot wire (the real wire) to the inside of your fence just at chest level so he can't reach over, then possibly one about 6 inches off the ground so if he tries to go under the tender part of his nose will get zapped?

    I'd rather them get a charge out of life then get loose and possibly be hit by a car.

    Good luck with him!

    Comment


    • #3
      So, are you saying he jumps 5' by pushing off the sight board? 'Cause telling me the paddock is X big isn't really relevant, it is the height of the fence and the heights the hotwires are strung as well as the distance between the posts.

      I'll tell you what we did many years ago with several ponies. These ponies had been staked out most of the time but eventually staking them out on random folks' property didn't work out so well, and a smallish, like 1/3 acre paddock was built, using plain wire. The standard at that time and place was barbed so we thought we were doing pretty well. We had four strands of wire that went up to four feet, so about 12" apart, with posts about 12' apart, and that was waaay too much room for a crafty pony to start wiggling through. There was no power to the site for electric and no such thing as solar power in those days, what we wound up doing was adding posts in some spots and wiring the horizontal wires together with a vertical wire in others. The ponies had to have a minimum amount of room to get through, and if the wires were fixed together at about four foot intervals they couldn't move far enough apart.
      In essence we made a very large mesh fence, with a mesh size of 3' x 12", and the escapes became far less frequent.

      Now as far as the jumping out part, are you sure you don't want to sell him? He sounds as though he has a bright future!
      No, really, at that point I'd reverse the sight board so it can't be pushed off from his side and/or add a hot tape extension to the top of the fence, say 6" to start, and make sure your fence is good and hot - a really good electric fence hurts.

      Good Luck, cause with ponies, you'll need it.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
        So, are you saying he jumps 5' by pushing off the sight board? 'Cause telling me the paddock is X big isn't really relevant, it is the height of the fence and the heights the hotwires are strung as well as the distance between the posts.
        No, really, at that point I'd reverse the sight board so it can't be pushed off from his side and/or add a hot tape extension to the top of the fence, say 6" to start, and make sure your fence is good and hot - a really good electric fence hurts.

        Good Luck, cause with ponies, you'll need it.
        Sorry! The wood fence is 5' high as is the electric fence and the wire mesh fence.

        Here is a pic of the electric fence & the darling pony. Note: these are a few years old and the sag routinly gets tighten - this is just to show the spacing.

        Thanks,

        Strana1


        http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i1...o/DSC04240.jpg

        http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i1...o/Uranio-1.jpg
        In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the pix.
          Well, based on my experience that fence is just a screaming invite for a pony that size to walk through. Even without as much sag as I see in the pix. He's walking over tape two from the ground with virtual impunity and I can see in my minds eye that mane keeping tape three from the ground from zapping him much, with the amount of free play in the fence and the fact that it is tape and not painful apart from the electric he has tons of room.

          I am not familiar with the whole Horseguard system but I don't think the posts or the tape lend themselves to modifications. If you can shift tapes two and three such that you can add two more tapes in that space it'll take away some of his free space - you need to get the spacing down to 6" and the free play down to zero - that thing needs to be drum tight so he can't squeeze through. I don't know how much current a tape carries as opposed to a wire or the cost difference, you could possibly add two wires and use verticals, as long as your charger can take it.

          Wood fences here have vertical overboards that create sort of a pseudo post and rail. I think it costs more to start with but keeps the horizontal board ends in better condition longer, and it'll be tougher to knock down. I can't see the mesh, I was expecting horse mesh but I guess not, so I can't tell how tall it is.

          Thinking about it your biggest problem is that he is a pony and don't forget somebody's sig line - pony is a four letter word. Hope you get some better ideas than mine on how to keep him inside and safe.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible

          Comment


          • #6
            "I am at wit’s end and I have spent a ton of money and time both of which I don’t really have. Any solutions? Suggestions?? I don’t know what else to try."

            send him to me, I loves me some bad bad ponies. He and me would get along fine.

            just kidding....sorta. I do love me some ponies and some bad ones at that, but you probably already love this one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ponies are EEEVIL!

              Comment


              • #8
                Welcome to the world of ponies

                I had 2 out last week - they jumped out over a post and rail fence with a top wire - which someone forgot to switch on.... duhhh and into our garden and ate all the vegetables and then one got into the greenhouse and ate the tomato plants! Susan is not amused!!!!

                You need to get your fencing tight and check to find where it's shorting out.

                Get a circuit tester to check the current all the way through and clip on the bottom, middle and top lines

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by threedogpack View Post

                  send him to me, I loves me some bad bad ponies. He and me would get along fine.

                  just kidding....sorta. I do love me some ponies and some bad ones at that, but you probably already love this one.
                  Except for being an escape artist he is great pony, he really takes care of my daughter.

                  I like the idea of braiding his mane, maybe that will help. I didn't do that over the summer because the horse & deer flies are just awful, but now it is cooler and he will have to tough it out!

                  I also like the idea of the no-climb wire with the electric rope on top, I will have to save my pennies though to replace everything, maybe my tax refund?

                  Keep the ideas coming! and Thanks!
                  In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well since there's not much I like better than evil little wise-arse ponies AND Lusitanos...my advice would be send both to me to solve your problem.
                    You jump in the saddle,
                    Hold onto the bridle!
                    Jump in the line!
                    ...Belefonte

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well I have been hearing great things about the electric netting fence keeping sheep and goats in where they belong. Also used for chickens, as predator protection, keeping them outside the chicken grazing areas.

                      So just offering this as an idea, to put inside your other fence as prevention from pony pushing thru the tape fence. Does appear to come in various heights, since sheep fence is kind of short at 35".

                      http://www.premier1supplies.com/c/fe...ctric_netting/

                      Other places sell the netting, so a search will show various sellers and pricing.

                      You want the fence to ALWAYS be hot enough to curl his tail hairs!! Each time he gets out he is encouraged to try it again for the reward. They sell a blinking light that signals when fence is hot, so you can just look at the light and see if on or off. Not cheap, but available at places like TSC.

                      http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/...g=true&cFlag=1

                      I found it at their site by looking under "fence light". Probably available in other places too, just never checked any for it.

                      Good luck with the escaper. Hope you have good perimeter fence with a driveway gate to limit his escape area. An escape artist is one thing I could not put up with, too dangerous in our location. He might have to spend his whole time outside on a leg tie-out, instead of loose in a paddock.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How big is your fence charger? Some only produce a tingle. The farm we just purchased came with a 30 mile weed eater charger, and I will promise you now, that even when hooked to the 6 miles of fencing we have, no pony would ever challange it!! I have a mini who finally stays in his paddock to prove it!! *evil grin*
                        -Jessica

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                          Well since there's not much I like better than evil little wise-arse ponies AND Lusitanos...my advice would be send both to me to solve your problem.
                          NO NO NO! You musn't take my pony. YOU take the Lusitano, I get the pony, k?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It sounds to me like your fence is not sufficiently charged. Your ground may be bad, your fence may be shorting out somewhere, etc. Get a fence tester and check the fence. You may need to add an additional ground.

                            I've got Horseguard tape fence. Many other farms in this area have it too. It keeps our escape artist draft cross safe and off the fence.

                            My dressage trainer had a clever yearling that kept getting out thru the tape fence. This problem was solved by getting a stronger fence charger.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just give up and keep him in a closed building.

                              I have one of those, same colour and all, and I say he is certified as a fence satefy technician.
                              www.EquusMagnificus.ca
                              Breeding & Sales
                              Facebook | YouTube

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by AppJumpr08 View Post
                                How big is your fence charger? Some only produce a tingle. The farm we just purchased came with a 30 mile weed eater charger, and I will promise you now, that even when hooked to the 6 miles of fencing we have, no pony would ever challange it!! I have a mini who finally stays in his paddock to prove it!! *evil grin*
                                Agreed. I have a 30 mile charger on far less than 6 miles just for that reason. It's a temporary perimeter fence and I need to know that they respect it. We initially bought a 3 mile charger and it was like a cute little massage if you touched it, especially if you have it charge multiple strands.

                                Do the math and see how long your fence really is, when you add all 5 strands up. Your fence may be way below the strength you need for all that tape.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The conductivity of the ground, the actual soil, can make or break the effectiveness of an electric fence. If the ground is dry/frozen/something that isn't very conductive it doesn't matter how much juice your charger has, it can't work right. It's not the electricity moving through the actual fence that provides the shock, it's the horse completing the electrical circuit between the positive of the fence line and the negative of the ground. If there's no current in the ground due to the lack of conductivity in the soil the horse isn't completing a circuit and will feel nothing. This is why birds can sit on electric lines. They're sitting on the line, not touching anything else, so they're not completing a circuit.

                                  The Horseguard page on how electric fence works
                                  Pam's Pony Place

                                  Pam's Pony Ponderings

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I can so relate to the problem of containing cute houdini ponies without spending a fortune.

                                    No-climb + hotwire works for us.

                                    We originally had just 4-ft no-climb and many escapes...one time I watched my 38" gelding hop over it from a standstill. When they weren't escaping, they were pushing out at the bottom to graze (they're in a dry lot).

                                    We added a hotwire top and bottom and solved both problems.

                                    We also have electric tape fencing with step-in stakes for pony lawn mowing. From personal experience, I can say that getting zapped by the hotwire is MUCH more memorable than the tape. The hotwire is a lightning bolt, while the tape is like taking socks out of the dryer.

                                    Funny thing is, our geldings and stallion firmly believe in the power of all the hot fencing, whereas our mare laughs at the tape. Fortunately, we're far from even a quiet road, and her only reason to escape is to come in the house to find me...
                                    They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                                    Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have an escape artist behind 3 strands of horseguard tape. After many, many, many, did I say many? escapes, here's what *finally* worked for us: We have sandy, rocky soil. After a lot of trial and error we determined that the grounding of our fence was the problem. So, instead of using the soil as the actual ground, we hooked our middle strand of tape directly up to the ground rods (that are buried 4 feet). Strands 1 and 3 are in one full circuit together. So now when horsie leans her chest against strands 1 and 2 or mushes her head up and into strands 2 and 3, she gets a nice ZAP!

                                      Now, the only time she escapes is if I feed breakfast before I have my a.m. coffee and forget to lock her dutch door...

                                      disclaimer: My houdini is not a tiny pony, but I wonder if you made your 4th (second to lowest) strand your "ground" if it would work.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        AppJumper, I might just need to send someone for a visit to learn some manners...

                                        OMG though--y'all just clarified something for me... my escapee has HAIR. It's my midlife-crisis-Barbie-dreamhorse... the Blue-eyed-blonde. Doesn't matter how much charge I put on... she breaks the damn horseguard the second her belly is full and she's bored. (which is never *quite* 8 hrs... sleep or work... )

                                        She actually has rubbed a big ugly spot in the middle, and I was just today thinking that roaching is going to be the only way for it to come back in thickly and evenly... now is the time before winter....

                                        I wonder if roaching will help?

                                        My houdini has also bent or bowed just about ever pipe panel I have on the property. She doesn't get out of them, but pushes them and pushes them and pushes them... Big gaps between the horizontal pipes where she puts her head through, and now all the panels have a curve to them where she's pushed.

                                        The *plan* is to put mesh over them. I just haven't had the time and finances at the same time (had the TIME when I was jobless, but obviously not the $$$ ) to do that.

                                        I don't know what I"m going to do though for the winter. Grrrr.
                                        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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