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Lots of fence questions

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  • Lots of fence questions

    I feel like I have a ton of questions lately, so thanks to all those who have helped out. With the possible purchase of my first farm looming, i'm feeling overwhelmed with all the choices to make. Fence does happen to be the most pressing one though, as none of the properties i've seen have any sort of fence.

    First of all, height. Most of the websites i'm reading recommend that the lowest horse fence be 5'. Thinking of all the barns i've boarded at, i'm struggling to think that 5' is the most common. I'm really short, and fences are never at eye level for me. Most seem to be about chest height. Is 4' more common in practice, or should you really go with 5'?

    My top choice would be a mesh fence, as I would like to have some small critters. However, i'm looking through the Ramm catalog I just got and I have no idea what the difference is in the different types of mesh? Is 2x4, v-mesh, diamond mesh, whatever mesh any stronger than the others? Any advantage to one over another? Being on the shoestring budget i'm on, is there somewhere less expensive to buy mesh fence?

    If I can't afford mesh (or all pastures mesh), i'll go with some form of electric. But again, looking through the electric, i'm stumped. My first thought would be that you'd want a fence with a high breaking strength, so that the littlest thing doesn't pop all your fence down. But on the other hand, if a horse got caught in it, wouldn't you want it to break, rather than slice your horse's leg off? Speaking of slicing legs off, but is the best wire/tape for keeping lacerations to a hopeful minimum? I would think that something like the smooth Hotcote would not be too abrasive or cutting, and that a tape would be wide enough not to cut. Do the rope types give bad burns?

    On to posts...Some of the properties i've seen have been partially wooded. In looking into the costs of having some cleared (also great if anyone wants to chime in on...) I found a forum where people were talking about having their cut down trees turned into lumber on site to use for their house, fence, whatever. Has anyone had that done, and was it more cost effective than buying posts? I recently saw an ad in my area for an on site sawmill for $65 an hour. I guess you would just paint the posts afterwards since they wouldn't be pressure treated?

    Choices, choices...maybe i'll just put up some barbed wire and call it a day?

  • #2
    I don't know much about Ramm, or mesh but have heard they are nice fences. As far as height, we just put several paddocks in and the height is around 5'. Here is a pic:


    As you can see, it's wood with a single wire on top of the fence to keep horses from "kissing." We can also add electric to line any of the fencing as needed. Our other paddock, which is huge, is all split rail wood fencing with a separation divider made of electric tape to make it into two paddocks.

    There are so many options! You have to think about whether your horse will chew, $$$, orientation of the land (mesh would NEVER have worked on our paddocks because we live on a giant hill!), if you have small animals you want to keep out (dogs, etc. - although at my parent's house we had all split rail and we just trained our dogs to know they were NOT to enter the paddocks).

    Best of luck!!!


    • #3
      I started using poly rope in my electric fencing this summer (NOT Electrobraid). I LOVE IT. It doesn't stretch like tape fencing, and the wires in it seem to deliver a better zap than the ones in tape. It's also easier to see than the thin fencing materials, and doesn't snap easily.

      I will say, if you are going to go with electric, don't cut costs when it comes to the charger. Don't go with the smallest charger you can get away with. If the charge in the fence makes their hearts skip a beat, they won't mess with it. We've got a 30 mile charger on about 5 miles of fencing (to be expanded), and I'm telling you, they DO NOT touch the fence if they can help it!! It's a bit more money up front, but so worth it in the headaches it saves!


      • #4
        If you want to go the solar route for charger, I highly recommend Gallagher (http://www.gallagherusa.com/).

        We got one for our new fence, and while it was pricey, I did quite a bit of research and they are far and away above most competitors.


        • #5
          www.horseguardfence.com We have had great luck with Horse Guard Fencing. One of the best things about this fencing is that it can be put on smaller posts. The posts in the photo below are 3" tops. This makes a HUGE difference in the cost of the whole fence. The posts can be set up to 16' apart, also contributing to saving. Our pastures/paddocks are 3 strand and the stallion paddocks are 4 strand.

          It has held up well for us and we've not had a single injury since we started using it. Like any electric fence it needs a good fencer and good ground rods to work properly.

          BUT..... all electric tape is NOT the same. Stick with Horse Guard.
          Attached Files
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          • #6
            I would be concerned about using any wooden post that isn't commercially treated against rot. I'm not sure that anything a private person could do would be as effective as commercial treatment.

            We have several times stumbled across great deals on wood posts. The last one came from the wrong size post being delivered to the seller. Just keep your eyes peeled, and try not to be in a hurry.

            I'd love to have a mesh fence, but it would be much more expensive than what we have (2" polytape ... which we love. We bought top of the line polytape. It did stretch some the first month. But after two months of constant checking we've had no further problems with it stretching)

            Whatever you get don't skimp on the quality. You can find great deals on products if you shop around, just don't settle for inferior quality.

            Your research will find you the right fence for your needs. You'll end up with the perfect fence for your needs!
            The other female in my husband's life has four legs


            • #7
              I love our coated wire. We have 2 hot and 2 not. Our vet practice recommended it as effective with low injury risk (I can also tell you it will stop a tractor sliding down hill ) To keep foals in and dogs out, one the one field we added flexi vinyl to reduce the opening space

              I have not been happy with the tape fencing we are using as we try to finish the field with the CW. DH also threatened divorce if I even suggested we do another field of no-climb (unless I won the lottery and paid someone else to install )
              Epona Farm
              Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

              Join us on Facebook


              • #8
                I have the "multi use C" fence on this page.


                It's awesome and doesn't interfere with the electicity from the fencer.

                I put up the insulators on the posts, top and bottom and then just stretched the mesh and put it over the insulators to keep in in place. Then I ran the electric wire on the inside over the mesh. It works great and with the electric wire on the top and bottom the horses don't go near it. The mesh keeps the dogs out and the ponies in. Before I added the mesh, the ponies would time the fence pulse and go between the wires.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by llsc View Post
                  I have the "multi use C" fence on this page.


                  It's awesome and doesn't interfere with the electicity from the fencer.

                  I put up the insulators on the posts, top and bottom and then just stretched the mesh and put it over the insulators to keep in in place. Then I ran the electric wire on the inside over the mesh. It works great and with the electric wire on the top and bottom the horses don't go near it. The mesh keeps the dogs out and the ponies in. Before I added the mesh, the ponies would time the fence pulse and go between the wires.
                  Really? We use the "e" all the time in the garden. How far apart are your posts?
                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                  Incredible Invisible


                  • #10
                    we have the "c" type surrounding our gardens to keep the deer and rabbits out. With a top string of electric tape, it has also kept the horses out of the gardens. I never thought about using it as actual horse fencing for the rest of the property, but I am thinking now...to keep our dogs in...

                    It does tear reasonably easy so If a horse should somehow get tangled, I don't think they'd be injured.
                    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                    • #11
                      Most horse fencing is 48 inches or 4 1/2 feet. Some folks go higher.

                      If you go with a mesh fencing, it's a good idea to have a top rail of some sort such as wood or flexible rail. Besides more visability, it prevents the horses from stretching out the top. This type of fencing also works best on flat land--gets trickier to install on uneven terrain.

                      The 2x4 with knotted corners and a good grade of wire or the diamond v-mesh are the best for horses. Red Brand and Braekert are the two best brands. Check out your local farm supply stores for pricing. It comes in different roll lengths and heights. Avoid the 4x4 mesh as feet can get caught. We have used the 2x4 to separate the yard from the horses.

                      I've heard nothing but good things about HorseGuard tape. Have seen many installations of tape that flap and blow in the wind. The polyrope electric we've heard good and bad which includes some horrific injuries.

                      We've used Centaur's coated wire on two different places covering 15 years with no injuries. Haven't used their electric version because we haven't
                      needed it. Sturdy stuff--trees have fallen on it, etc. with no breakage.
                      Both can also be put on T-posts, with or without covers, but corners and gate posts need to be wood and braced properly.

                      Amen to don't skip on the charger!!!!!!! And don't forget to keep weeds and
                      tree branches off the electric fence.

                      I think folks on here have said it costs about $4,000 an acre to clear wooded land so don't know who cost effective that would be as a source for fence posts. And it takes more than painting them to preserve them, especially the
                      underground part. If you go with wood, do not go with landscape timbers.
                      Not enough preservatives and they warp with time. Again, shop around for

                      Regardless of what you choose, some expenses remain the same. Be it barbed wire or top of the line rail, you gotta have posts. Wood posts and
                      t-posts aren't that far apart in price but ease of installation is. There are a lot of variables so factor in your horses (personalities), your purpose for them
                      (pleasure or breed), wildlife or wandering dogs in your area, etc. And think about resale--one of my criteria when horse property shopping has been fencing. If what's up is substandard, then I'm factoring what it costs into replacing it when making an offer.


                      • #12
                        Since we wanted a secure place for our very active bird dogs to run, and a very tight budget, we installed 2x4 welded mesh under two strands of Horseguard tape.

                        Considerations for the mesh: welded wire has SHARP edges where you cut it and is less durable in general. We had to go with welded because of budget, but woven is much safer. A top and bottom wire/tape is important for both keeping them from bending the mesh and for visibility. Mesh is hard to see. The v-mesh would be good if you think you will ever have a foal around. The v keeps tiny hooves out better than the 2x4 squares.

                        Electric: The Horseguard tape is amazing stuff. Good visibility, and stretches when a horse gets into it. The width (2") and stiffness makes it much safer than the usual tape because they won't get tangled in it. At least order the catalog, which has some comparison photos of fence types.

                        Posts: Don't skimp on perimeter posts, no matter what. Good treated wood posts let you apply more tension to whatever fence type you choose. It's the foundation of the whole system. Also worth paying someone to pound them with a fence pounder vs. digging, as the ground stays tighter around the posts. I have the tape strung on t-posts (with caps!) for cross fencing. Again, not perfect, but works on a budget.

                        You didn't say where you are located, but another poster mentioned that 16' spacing worked for them. We left some posts on our property at 16' spacing and really wish we had changed it to 12'. Our area has high winds and heavy snow, and the tape will sag a bit in the areas of 16'. It's easy to tighten or just remove the snow, but shorter spans are better.

                        Good luck!


                        • #13

                          Sorry to hijack, but I have seen a few negative comments on this thread about electrobraid. We are thinking about changing out our wire fencing for electrobraid. What are the issues with this type of fencing? I liked it because it seems very visible, has some flexion, cost-effective, and I didn't think it would harm the horses vs. a wire could cut into them if they were caught in it. But, before we purchase, I would like to know the disadvantages, if any.


                          • #14
                            Careful with welded wire panels.
                            A breeder built his horse pens out of that, with pipe on top and pipe post and welded to that, but he kept having horses injured on that, I don't know why, unless when horses hit it some welds were coming lose and leaving loose ends for a horse to get punctured on.

                            He told me he had to replace all of it and used V mesh wire and since then, he didn't have not one more injured horse.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lamma70 View Post
                              Sorry to hijack, but I have seen a few negative comments on this thread about electrobraid. We are thinking about changing out our wire fencing for electrobraid. What are the issues with this type of fencing? I liked it because it seems very visible, has some flexion, cost-effective, and I didn't think it would harm the horses vs. a wire could cut into them if they were caught in it. But, before we purchase, I would like to know the disadvantages, if any.
                              I have a friend who used this stuff. Had a horse get into it and it literally degloved a leg and was euthanized. It was horrible.
                              "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."