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RANT--My Horse Just-Broke-The-Fence!!!!

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  • RANT--My Horse Just-Broke-The-Fence!!!!

    AGH....I have 3 mares...two of whom I tie with a lead rope when I feed so the third has time to finish without being run off (she's the old one). I feed in the pasture since our barn was removed 4th of July (compliments of mother nature--relocated quite nicely into a huge heap in the middle of the CR), so each mare has her designated spot along the fence line. Everyone lines up nicely and eats out of their bucket for 15 min or so then I unhook.
    Tonight as I am walking out I hear a "bang...snap" and see Lilly wandering around a few feet outside of her zone. I walk down...sure enough, our beautiful and not even a year old, 3 rail vinyl horse fence now has one post pulled up and moved about a foot in and the bottom rail is snapped (shattered is probably the better word).
    What the heck...why does this always happen when my husband is gone?!?!

    Mare is unhurt...actually seems completely unfazed by the whole thing. So are the others. I picked up all of the little shards I could find in the dark, tried to put the post back where it belongs (it's about 6 inches too high, but it's the best i can do) and moved the wheelbarrow in front of where the bottom rail should be.

    So...do I dare tie them again tomorrow am?
    My husband is going to kill me. He loves that fence.
    Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey

  • #2
    Welllll, in my experience, those pretty white vinyl fences are extremely fragile and, if they figure it out, won't hold a savvy horse. It's amazing to me that vinyl fencing is so danged expensive, but so abysmally inadequate for other than cosmetic purposes. It helps to have really docile or really dumb horses contained by it!


    • Original Poster

      :-) up until just an hour ago, I would have thought all three fell into both of those (although I prefer to say naive to dumb...little ears and all). Apparently the darn TB is smarter than I thought.
      Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey


      • #4
        I am glad your horse didn't break when the fence did.

        First horsemanship lesson to camp kids is learn NOT to tie a horse to anything that is not very, very stout and solid.

        Then, as a little kid, I tied my horse to a yard bench, while I ran in to use the bathroom, with dire consequences.

        So, no, don't tie a horse to a flimsy plastic fence, please.
        Have hubby plant some seriously hefty highline poles for you to tie the horses to for now, until you get a better arangement.


        • #5
          I agree with the others...that pretty fencing is more for looks than durability. We used to do the same "tie up" at feeding time, but I always used trees!!
          Temporarily - until DH can set some serious hitching posts - you might consider taking the old "one" outside the fenced area and feeding her while tied to a sturdy object...let the two bad girls work it out inside the fenced area.
          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


          • #6
            Pretty vinyl rail fencing is only as strong as the hotwire you string along it...ask me how I know.
            Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?


            • #7
              We tie with a double strand of twine attached to a snap. That way if they don't want to be tied, the twine snaps instead of the post.


              • #8
                Eek. Ditto others. That vinyl fencing is not sturdy. If you are going to tie them then you need to put up real hitching posts.


                • #9
                  It should not be too hard to replace 1 rail of vinyl fence... and lesson learned about not tying to flimsy objects
                  Why don't you try feeding all 3 with feed bags? That should solve the problem.
                  "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                  • #10
                    You might also build a small hot wire enclosure with step-in plastic rods and tape for the older mare's dinner time. Then you won't have to tie anyone.


                    • #11
                      Uggghhh that sucks! I to at one time tried tieing my "pig" to let the other eat in peace. I tied to something sturdy and it worked ok for a few weeks until "pig" mare got bored and antsy and while she has always tied (I've had her 13years) she decided this was the day she didn't want to be. Somehow even on a short lead she managed to get tangled~~thankfully I was there and able to calm her and get her untangled but I brought the slow eater out from then on until we built a seperate place to feed her.

                      I was at a boarding barn a few years back that had the very pretty white vinyl fence and several horses figured out that it wasn't that sturdy...needless to say they added some electric tape ad problem solved.

                      Hope hubby didn't get to mad!


                      • Original Poster

                        Surprisingly the hubby took it very well. He even let out a half hearted chuckle (probably thinking life will never be boring with horses).
                        The weather has been fairly nice so I've been babysitting the feeding...basically planting myself between Bossy Hog 1 and Bossy Hog 2 and the old mare. They finish, come look at me to see if I'm serious and then pin their ears at each other and switch places to see if anything is left in the others bucket. :-)
                        Hubby found some pipe fencing from god-knows-where and we now have an offical hitching post for the two girls that runs along the west side of the barn/shed in progress that I'm going to start using tonight. HOPEFULLY it's long enough that they can share the space (14') and I won't have any war wounds to tend to.

                        Chai- you'll have to explain the "step in rods" and tape.....It sounds like something the hubby would love to construct. He's all about putting the handy man skills to the test!
                        Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey


                        • #13
                          Oh dear. Glad no one was hurt!

                          Keep in mind not every post is a post that can support a literal ton of power - the horse weighs 1000 lbs, and when pulling - well, I've seen ponies pull OVER a ton of dead weight in competitions.

                          Posts that don't always hold:

                          One of the posts on a farmhouse front porch, to which a friend of mine tied her pony when she was 8 years old, while running in to use the bathroom: entire porch came down when pony pulled back and broke the post.

                          One of the support posts in a barn to which one of the cross-ties was attached, bringing down a beam and causing some serious injuries when the cross-tied horse pulled hard (third hand story from my vet).

                          So don't just tie to posts, tie to posts that are so darn strong and solid you'd have to use a backhoe to move them.

                          I agree bringing the old girl OUT for feeding might work well. In one place I boarded, when my oldest mare was on layup, she was the only one in her group that got pellets. So she got let out the gate and served a bucket of pellets. We didn't even tie her - she just ate it while the BO put the hay out for the evening, and then stood around waiting to be let back into the paddock. Heck you could stand there and hold her while she eats, then put her back in and go on with chores afterwards.