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Hotcote fencing safety

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  • Hotcote fencing safety

    In light of tonight's near death experience (mine AND my horses), I am officially off Horseguard, or any tape from now on.

    I need more breaking strength. How safe is the coated electric wire? Will it slice through tendons or does the coating truly prevent those type of injuries? If you were to put a rail on top, how many lines of coated wire would you use under it? I need to replace my fences ASAP. Want to stay with something electric, but it needs to be more secure than the tape was.
    Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

  • #2
    Honestly, anything with more breaking strength is going to injure...

    The tape is SUPPOSED to break... or the insulators. Or both. That's what prevents injury. The juice keeps 'em in, but if they go through, it SHOULD give...
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
      Honestly, anything with more breaking strength is going to injure...

      The tape is SUPPOSED to break... or the insulators. Or both. That's what prevents injury. The juice keeps 'em in, but if they go through, it SHOULD give...
      Yes, that's definitely the design, but I wholeheartedly believe that this tape should not be used as a perimeter fence. I would rather my horses be killed on a fence retraining them then get out and cause an accident and cause a person or people. I don't WANT a fence to break easy enough to allow that.

      OP, we are personally using a 4.25" top rail with 6 strands of hotcote below. I want a fence that has some sort of actual physical barrier should the electricity not work for some reason. I have not heard of horses being injured on the hotcote, but alas... as usual horses can injure themselves on nothing at all. Sure, injuries can happen on any fence, but I've come to believe that the hotcote and the flexrails are one of the safest designs. There is some cheaper coated wire that is much thinner than the thicker Ramm/Centaur stuff and I would not use that. The thinner the fence the more of a cheese slicer effect

      ETA: OMG! I just saw your post on offcourse when I went off to hunt about what happened to you! How awful. I'm so glad you guys are ok. Yes, a solid fence is definitely in order for you! I did notice another poster mention it, but with the hotcote you don't have to electrify all of them. I got all Hotcote because it was the same cost as the plain coated wire, but I might not hook up a couple of the strands to save on electricity. I AM keeping the bottom one hot though for dogs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
        The tape is SUPPOSED to break... or the insulators. Or both. That's what prevents injury.
        I also wanted to point out that many people feel this way... but again... keep in mind that this is not always true in the grand scheme of things. This fencing definitely would not have prevented injury to 4 horses galloping around in the dark of night and crashing into an suv like OP's horses. There are MANY kinds of injuries and I would rather contain them to the pastures.

        Comment


        • #5
          I use and love Horseguard tape, but it is for cross fencing only -- my perimeter fencing is 3-rail Centaur HTP. Now that I have seen some installations using one top rail of the wider HTP at the top and then the coated wire below that (as dmalbone describes), I kind of wish I had considered that for our place as I think it would have been a good choice and quite likely a little cheaper. We did board at a place that used the Hotcote for paddock fencing -- I think he had 5 strands of it and I believe that just 2 or 3 of them were hot. I would have liked it better if the bottom strand had been hot to keep the horse-chasing-dog out! I thought it was much safer than the electric rope that lots of places use (and I hate -- I have rope burns/scars on 3 of my horses from previous places and that stuff). In the time that I was at that barn, don't recall a horse ever getting hurt on the hotcote, and whenever we had a new or young horse come in, they went in the paddocks fenced with the hotcote as they were considered the most secure (some other paddocks were in the evil electric rope stuff). I also felt the hotcote looked good too.

          Comment


          • #6
            My guys have been on the non-electric coated wire by Centaur (they do have
            their version of Hotcote) for about 15 years with no injuries. Came home once and found my big OTTB missing both of his front leg fly bands. Found them along the fence line with the ground stirred up on both sides of the fence--WTH? Our dealer had recommended six strands which was overkill and the horses lost some shoes on it (we took most of the bottom strands down).

            Anyway, I raced up the hill to check his legs and not a mark on them, no hair rubbed off. The particular set of fly bands he was wearing had the snaps from
            H... on them requiring needlenose pliers to get them on and off. If course, the big guy wouldn't fess up to what had happened.

            We had a sixty foot pine tree fall on the fence and nothing broke--sagged but after the tree was cut off, each strand came back into place and just required
            a little tightening.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have four strands of coated high tensile. It's not the hotcote, but it's the same diameter.

              At one point we had a hot tape fence to keep the horses out of the barnyard. We decided to replace it with coated high tensile. In doing so, the fence was down for a few days and the horses could once again come into the barnyard and make merry. My TWH didn't realize we'd replaced the fence with the black, coated, high tensile. We were finishing it up when he galloped full blast into it, from barnyard back to pasture... just not realizing those fence posts now had fence on them again. It was frightening as hell to watch, as he was literally blasting past us, full gallop, not 10 feet away from us when he hit it...when BOING it stretched and held him and he boinged backwards. He popped some fence staples(the strands were on the other side of the posts) but he was totally unmarked. Bruised, sure- but he was fine.

              I love the stuff. If I could do it over I'd have done the hot cote, as I do have to back up the coated HT with electric, or they'll paw it and lean on it. Turkeys. You could get by with four strands, making the top and middle hot cote, then the other two, just plain coated high tensile. I LOVE my fence.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by katarine View Post
                I have four strands of coated high tensile. It's not the hotcote, but it's the same diameter.

                At one point we had a hot tape fence to keep the horses out of the barnyard. We decided to replace it with coated high tensile. In doing so, the fence was down for a few days and the horses could once again come into the barnyard and make merry. My TWH didn't realize we'd replaced the fence with the black, coated, high tensile. We were finishing it up when he galloped full blast into it, from barnyard back to pasture... just not realizing those fence posts now had fence on them again. It was frightening as hell to watch, as he was literally blasting past us, full gallop, not 10 feet away from us when he hit it...when BOING it stretched and held him and he boinged backwards. He popped some fence staples(the strands were on the other side of the posts) but he was totally unmarked. Bruised, sure- but he was fine.

                I love the stuff. If I could do it over I'd have done the hot cote, as I do have to back up the coated HT with electric, or they'll paw it and lean on it. Turkeys. You could get by with four strands, making the top and middle hot cote, then the other two, just plain coated high tensile. I LOVE my fence.
                I'm sure it was frightening at the time, but I am dead serious that I would seriously pay money to see a video of that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I need more breaking strength. How safe is the coated electric wire? Will it slice through tendons or does the coating truly prevent those type of injuries?
                  My WB once galloped into it and got his right foot through the 2nd line. (fence was not electrified at that time). He was pretty tangled up in it and was pulling back heavily. I rushed over to unstuck his front leg, but another mega-panic pull and he got himself loose.
                  I feared the worse, convinced he had sliced the back of his pastern.
                  When I got to him to my relief only the hair was rubbed off, but other then that, nothing, no blood, no cut, just the hair rubbed off.
                  He did this once more a few months later, but then not at full force, just put his foot through it trying to graze the other side & got his foot stuck again (bottom line), same story took off the hair but no other mark and no injury.

                  As for the fenceline after he galloped in it and pulled out, the line just stretched with him, took out a few black fence insulators, but did not break.

                  3 years ago I also had a friends TB gallop into it at full speed. Hit the fence in the chest and got bounced backward. The horse had ribbled burnmarks on his chest, some hairloss, but again no blood or cut.

                  So far I've been happy with it.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for sharing your experiences! VERY happy to hear about horses bouncing off it and tangles not ending in blood loss.

                    I wheeled the perimeter today and have priced out a ton of options. I was going to go with a top flex rail and 4 lines under, but if I recycle the tape as the top rail for visibility and use 4 lines under, I can replace all the fields instead of just one. The overall break strength would be 6200'.
                    Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
                      I'm sure it was frightening at the time, but I am dead serious that I would seriously pay money to see a video of that.

                      ok add to that he's black, the posts are black, the wire is black, he's got that WTF is going on here look??? and done....once he was thoroughly bounced, he reconsidered, rolled his eyes at us, and shot through the gate he'd previously deigned. Dork.


                      Look, Maggie, just go through the gate. That fence will bite you!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
                        My WB once galloped into it and got his right foot through the 2nd line. (fence was not electrified at that time). He was pretty tangled up in it and was pulling back heavily. I rushed over to unstuck his front leg, but another mega-panic pull and he got himself loose.
                        I feared the worse, convinced he had sliced the back of his pastern.
                        When I got to him to my relief only the hair was rubbed off, but other then that, nothing, no blood, no cut, just the hair rubbed off.
                        Yes, but how long was he struggling before you found him and got him loose? If this had happened overnight, would you have been so lucky?

                        I'm not anti-electric fencing at all, so long as it's HOT and there is perimeter fencing for the property that is stronger... however, I have seen a horse (thankfully not mine) de-glove his leg after being tangled in hotcote fencing overnight.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Phaxxton View Post
                          I'm not anti-electric fencing at all, so long as it's HOT and there is perimeter fencing for the property that is stronger... however, I have seen a horse (thankfully not mine) de-glove his leg after being tangled in hotcote fencing overnight.
                          Do you know if it was tensioned tight enough? Just curious.
                          DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                            Do you know if it was tensioned tight enough? Just curious.
                            That's an excellent point. I can't be 100% sure, as it wasn't my farm. I'd been there many times, though, and the fencing seemed to be installed properly (definitely no sagging or other really obvious faults). That's about all I can attest to, though. The wire did break, but only in one place.

                            Strange, freak accident for sure... but I fully understand that horses can and will find ways to hurt themselves even in the "safest" of environements.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Phaxxton
                              Yes, but how long was he struggling before you found him and got him loose? If this had happened overnight, would you have been so lucky?
                              I know he has done it more often when I'm not there.
                              Only reason I know, when I take his bell boots off after turnout I can see the missing hair, only one way this could have happened.....
                              And I've had to go in search of his bell boot on occasions too, only to find it hanging on the bottom strand of the fence.
                              He loves to eat the grass on the other side. Electrifying sorts this problem as he will not try to do so. He knows very well when the fence is on & when it's off.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                Do you know if it was tensioned tight enough? Just curious.
                                Any type of wire fence, coated or not, can become very dangerous if loose. If a post gets broken for instance, the fence will become loose and if a horse gets into it at that point, it is a trainwreck.

                                We just had a freak accident here the other day. I had salvaged some Horse Guard tape that went through our flood. We had been cleaning it up and rolling it onto spools for re-use. Apparently a short piece of it got missed and then blown into one of the pastures. As only a horse could do, one of the two-year olds got this 10-15 foot piece of tape "tied" around his rear fetlock . Of course he bolted when he saw the monster on his leg and came tearing across the pasture. And of course we have ice everywhere resulting in him sliding right through the fence. The post broke and he "jumped" through the 3 strands of Horse Guard which fortunately just slipped off his legs. At this point he got stopped (we saw what was happening) and stood staring at the monster and looking at us walking towards him, telling him to "whoa, fella, we'll save you". We took the monster off of him and looked him over. Not a mark on him.

                                Because horses are so good at having the freak accident, I don't think we can keep them 100% safe regardless of what we fence them in with. But I shudder to think what would have happened if it was a wire fence he slid through.

                                What are the odds of this kind of thing happening?? Really, I would much rather win the lottery

                                Incidentally the rest of the youngsters stayed on the proper side of the fence, even though the fence was essentially on the ground.
                                Patty
                                www.rivervalefarm.com
                                Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't know what color the hotcote/equicote (equikote -?spelling) of other users out here is, but mine is brown and I have to say I think the visibility isn't all that great however.
                                  I love my fencing but when we had the TB visiting, I truly think he just did not see the fenceline, hence galloped into it. I've since put a single line of white tape around it, to increase visibility.

                                  This is something I'm not so happy about with my fencing. I may even consider taking one strand out & replace it with a strand hi-viz yellow electric rope or so.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Eeek DQ, that sounds like a scary thing to watch! And Phaxxton, the whole degloving thing is exactly what I'm scared of.

                                    I have done major shopping around, got some great advice from people here and have spoken to a few fence dealers. Of course they said they'd never had an accident reported with the hotcote. The company I'm ordering from also said they'd never heard of horses breaking through Horseguard before and had heard nothing but good things about it. It has been mostly wonderful, but I won't sleep well till it's gone.

                                    Here's what I've decided on:
                                    Top strand of 1" Hotsite (2000lb breakstrength), 1 strand of White Lightning (same product as Hotcote according to the reps), 2 strands of PolyPlus, and I will recycle one strand of my Horseguard as a fifth bottom strand. Top, middle and bottom will be electrified.

                                    I'm hoping the wider top and bottom strands will be good for visibility, plus I thought that in case any of the idjits do paw at it or anything silly, it'll likely be at the bottom strand which will be the Horseguard and should break. I will eventually replace the middle strand with 1" Hotsite as well but in order to replace ALL the fields right away, I have to go with the coated wire. Overall fence breakstrength will be around 7200lbs.

                                    My posts are capped Tposts. I'm ordering these to cover them and add even more visibility. My 5.25" flex fenced field is black, but I'm going with white for the thinner fencing. Should look like the pic in the second post here except with a wider top and bottom strand.

                                    So.... any last words of advice? My order is in the shopping cart at the checkout phase. Just freaking out slightly and hoping I'm doing the right thing.
                                    Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I managed a farm for 6 years that had the Centaur polymer-coated high tensile wire. I helped install most of it, and it was pretty easy.

                                      It is a fairly safe fence; as with anything, horses WILL find a way to injure themselves. But only ONCE did we have a horse get loose, and she was so determined to leave her field and follow her buddy she would have gone through a brick wall (and seriously injured herself). With the HTP fencing, she had a scrape on her hindleg and that was it.

                                      Had several instances of horses bouncing off it with nary a mark. Had several horses paw it (feeding time) and get a small abrasion on the pastern, but nothing major. The ones that stuck a whole leg through might rip out some staples 2 or 3 posts down, but neither horse nor fence were overly damaged.

                                      The worst instance happened when the middle strands were just a little bit loose. I don't know what he was doing, but a quiet gelding in individual turnout managed to get a hindleg through the 3rd/4th strands, back through the lower 2nd/3rd strand, with the 3rd strand caught under his shoe. I don't know how long he was hung up-- possibly 30 minutes or an hour. He was incredibly patient when I found him; had possibly struggled a little, but not too much. I cut those three strands of wire to get him free, but I had to remove the shoe to get the wire off (yikes!). He was wearing boots, and his hind shins were spared; his hock skin was shredded, and the whole leg was very swollen for a few days. No lasting ill-effects, though, and you can be SURE that fence was kept super tight after that!

                                      We had 5 strands of normal thick poly wire, with a thinner coated electrified polystrand on top. Most horses respected it just fine.
                                      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                                      ? Albert Einstein

                                      ~AJ~

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Can I ask a dumb question? Can you use T-posts with these tensioned products? I guess maybe if you have a perfectly straight line it is ok (and of course reinforced/braced wood end-posts at corners).

                                        Do they stay straight over the long haul?

                                        It always seems like the fences I see with t-posts end up tilting...

                                        [but I do understand and appreciate the concept of a budget too!!]
                                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                                        Comment

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