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Why barbed wire and horses don't mix

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  • Original Poster

    #41
    Sorry folks- been out here a couple weeks and heard more barbed wire horror stories but at least many people converting away from it. Pastures here are many many acres in size- not like in So Cal aka small dry lot paddocks.

    You will never convince me that barb wire is acceptable. Just like I believe people who ride should wear helmets. Tensile wire is most defin. better than barbed.

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    • Original Poster

      #42
      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
      Oh heavens, nothing says inexperienced diva more to me than the barbed wire vapors.
      I don't think you want to go down this road...

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      • #43
        I have a question about barbed wire actually-

        Around here, when used for cattle, it is electric. My understanding is that cattle need a hot fence (at least around here- not a lot of open land) or they continually test it.

        Is barbed wire out there hot? Seems like making miles of barbed wire hot could be quite expensive and not especially logical.

        And is there a benefit to using barbed wire over plain wire? Seems like the plain wire would be cheaper.

        I have 3 horses out for summer day-time turnout on about a 10 acre pasture. It used to be used a cattle pasture, so there are some sections of wire, mostly in the woods, that are barbed wire. Never had a problem. The pasture is so big- why would they even go in the woods near the fence?

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        • #44
          Originally posted by SuperSTB View Post
          Sorry folks- been out here a couple weeks and heard more barbed wire horror stories but at least many people converting away from it. Pastures here are many many acres in size- not like in So Cal aka small dry lot paddocks.

          You will never convince me that barb wire is acceptable. Just like I believe people who ride should wear helmets. Tensile wire is most defin. better than barbed.
          According to our vets, that get to put the horses back together after they run thru fences, tensile is one of the worst for injuries.

          Any time a horse goes thru a fence, or tries to, no matter what kind of fence, he can have some serious injuries from it, it is the nature of horses hitting fences.
          I know of a horse that degloved his whole front leg from the knee up to thru his shoulder on a board fence and didn't get killed when he fell on the other side because he fell into a snow drift, that broke his fall.
          Took months and grafts to get that leg and shoulder injury to close up.
          Just like this mare here, that will take long time to heal.

          Barbed wire is not ideal, but it works fine when well managed, accidents no more common with it than with any other kind of fencing.
          Millions of horses behind barbed wire without a scratch attest to it.

          Some five wire barbed wire fences have hot wires also, to teach the cattle and horses to stay off the fence, not rub on it.
          The trouble with hot wire fences in the SW and W is that in a drought, your fence is not hot enough, easy to ground out and so not that much of a deterrent.

          We have part of our five wire barbed wire fences, in the smaller traps in the horse pastures, with caps on the steel post and hot wire on top.
          Proper management helps teach new horses to respect the fence.

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          • #45
            Smooth wire can cut horse flesh like a cheese slicer.
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

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

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            • #46
              Horses in close quarters should be behind fences they cannot get hung in. Diamond mesh, pipe, or the like. That fence is ideally 'reinforced' with a hot top wire and one about chest height to further encourage them to stay off of it.

              Hog wire, smooth high tensile, coated high tensile, barbless twisted wire, or barbed wire- in close quarters they are dangerous. Horses kick, they paw at fences when they are hungry, they strike at fences when meeting new neighbors over the fenceline. Any fence a horse can get hung up in, used in close quarters, is a pretty bad idea.

              I don't like board fences because they don't age well- when they reach a certain age they are brittle and will shatter when kicked. I have some, but the older ones are getting brittle. No fence is perfect.

              I have my horses on a borrowed field surrounded by barbed wire. Any trappy corners I've shut them out of with a fence across that corner. I keep them away from the gate area with a strip of hot fence and a solar charger. There are no horses over the fence- there's nothing but country roads on three sides, and woods on the fourth. They have no reason to even think about putting a leg in that fence, and I don't worry about them getting hurt. If there were horses on the other side of the fence, in small lots, with shared fencelines- yeah, I'd worry.

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              • #47
                Today, in our five barbwire fenced horse pastures, we have pipe gates and in the corners pipe panels.
                That is in case one horse may corner another there.
                Years ago we didn't have pipe panels and few pipe gates for pasture gates.

                We had new horses here from the track, TBs and qhs that, after let down for a few days and getting to know other horses across the safe pipe and/or mesh fences, we would turn out in the large horse pastures.
                We never had one run into a fence and those I would say are some of the horses that are more apt to be a bit brainless about fences.

                I wonder some times if the horses already there were showing them how to graze, find water holes, salt licks, where the fences were and to stay away from them.

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                  Smooth wire can cut horse flesh like a cheese slicer.
                  Yeah, that's been my experience as well

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
                    Agreed, barbed wire would not be my 1st choice but having just spent $11k on doing 3 sides of our property in no-climb horse mesh, the 4th side - barbed wire, will just have to wait a while.

                    There is the simple economics that comes into everything - if you have a 50 acres field which has roughly 7,200 feet of fence plus gates, around here you would be looking at about $35k to fence it with no-climb horse mesh. For most people that is going to be out of reach, no matter how much you might want to do it.

                    Like others, I turn my guys out on a 50 acres cattle field that is tight, well maintained barbed wire the whole way around. When you have a massive field like that, with no animals on adjacent sides, the chances of the horses going up to the fence anyway are considerably reduced, unlike if you have them in a one acre pasture immediately adjacent to another pasture.

                    My worst accident ever has been with a mesh cattle panel - I will never, ever use those again, tore the horse's leg right to the bone.

                    Having just got back from the UK (and just finished spending all that money fencing here) I was very cognizant of the fact that virtually every horse fence I saw, in boarding facilities and private facilities had 3 strand straight wire and 2 strand barbed wire - damn Brits - they obviously need to be informed how they are all doing it wrong!
                    Really? Where did you visit? I've never seen a horse behind barbed wire in my area. My fields have a mix of hedges, electric fencing and post and rail.

                    (Honest question- not intended as nasty. )
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                    • #50
                      Many ranches put their equine string (sans mares with foals and stallions) out with the cattle.

                      In states where land tracts are hard to purchase maybe 10 acres for a "cattle" ranch is the norm. In Montana, Wyoming, Idaho Colorado, Texas, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan ranches of 3500 acres or more are the norm for large operations. 1 section is 640 acres.

                      Cattle have no respect for smooth wire, mesh nor board..why do you think you see a calf, or cow, on the road side instead of with the herd in the pasture?

                      Cost and time dictate what product will be used. Is barbwire the best? For cattle...absolutely AND when horses are out in a "pasture" of 100 plus acres the barbwire encounters will be few and far between.

                      Again, there is a disconnect for the one horse owner where a 10 acre ranch is the norm.

                      If we could keep 6000 cows on 10 acres we would be in heaven...

                      work corrals are 2 by 6 by 10 and they are 8-10 feet high. Other corrals are welded pipe as cattle need to be run into shoots, ear tagged, vaccinated and put into a tilt and have the "hoof nipper" do his/her (yes..we have had women) magic.

                      If horse herds consisted of 5-10 horses that would be one opportunity for something other than barb wire...when one has 100 plus head it is different
                      The Elephant in the room

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by axl View Post
                        Please don't feed this Horsie. While perhaps not a complete troll, Horsie primarily posts to pick fights or cause controversy.
                        Right, you've got me all figured out...I just love a good fight so I decided to suggest the absolutely unheard of idea that barbed wire is not considered the best fencing for horses. Ooh, the controversy!!

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Fairfax View Post
                          Many ranches put their equine string (sans mares with foals and stallions) out with the cattle.

                          In states where land tracts are hard to purchase maybe 10 acres for a "cattle" ranch is the norm. In Montana, Wyoming, Idaho Colorado, Texas, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan ranches of 3500 acres or more are the norm for large operations. 1 section is 640 acres.

                          Cattle have no respect for smooth wire, mesh nor board..why do you think you see a calf, or cow, on the road side instead of with the herd in the pasture?

                          Cost and time dictate what product will be used. Is barbwire the best? For cattle...absolutely AND when horses are out in a "pasture" of 100 plus acres the barbwire encounters will be few and far between.

                          Again, there is a disconnect for the one horse owner where a 10 acre ranch is the norm.

                          If we could keep 6000 cows on 10 acres we would be in heaven...

                          work corrals are 2 by 6 by 10 and they are 8-10 feet high. Other corrals are welded pipe as cattle need to be run into shoots, ear tagged, vaccinated and put into a tilt and have the "hoof nipper" do his/her (yes..we have had women) magic.

                          If horse herds consisted of 5-10 horses that would be one opportunity for something other than barb wire...when one has 100 plus head it is different
                          I think that's the point though- what is safe on hundreds of acres might not be safe on one acre.
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                          • #53
                            Well, shoot, let's make some fences out of razor blades and glass shards, too.

                            The chances for injuries are just higher. Yes, we all know that horses can hurt themselves on just about anything, but why put something in their environment that already has sharp points all over it?

                            I just moved to a new farm, and all the stalls have little runs or big paddocks off them. The barn on the left side has a single strand of barbed wire on top, the barn on the right side does not. Guess which barn my horse is living in? I could just see him rubbing his face on the fence and gouging his eye out. To me, the choice was a no-brainer.
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                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Frizzle View Post
                              Well, shoot, let's make some fences out of razor blades and glass shards, too.

                              The chances for injuries are just higher. Yes, we all know that horses can hurt themselves on just about anything, but why put something in their environment that already has sharp points all over it?

                              I just moved to a new farm, and all the stalls have little runs or big paddocks off them. The barn on the left side has a single strand of barbed wire on top, the barn on the right side does not. Guess which barn my horse is living in? I could just see him rubbing his face on the fence and gouging his eye out. To me, the choice was a no-brainer.
                              Why would anyone put a single strand of barbed wire over a fence and think that makes sense?

                              Again, you are comparing apples to bananas when you say barbed wire is bad, look how some misuse it.

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by SuperSTB View Post
                                Tensile wire is most defin. better than barbed.
                                That's a crock. Sorry, but it is. Even if its hot, I've seen far more injuries that included tensile wire than barbed, hands down. Including the gelding who tried to saw off his leg that I posted about. Plain wire is far, far more dangerous, IMO, than well-maintained barb wire.
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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by runNjump86 View Post
                                  That's a crock. Sorry, but it is. Even if its hot, I've seen far more injuries that included tensile wire than barbed, hands down. Including the gelding who tried to saw off his leg that I posted about. Plain wire is far, far more dangerous, IMO, than well-maintained barb wire.
                                  Our vet thought that is because with barbed wire, the horses feel it and don't fight it so bad, while smoother wires they don't feel it hardly cutting into them, just that something is holding them and trash against it.

                                  Tangling with any fence is bad, with barbed wire can be terrible, but it is a bit more of a deterrent than any smooth wire when a horse is hitting a fence, other than in sheer panic, when nothing will stop a horse from going thru any fence.

                                  My guess, if this mare had kicked across smooth wire, she would have kept kicking and sliced her legs practically off.
                                  As it is now, it is bad enough, I hope she will heal ok.

                                  Of course, if you can have something like V mesh every place, like in some high end breeding farms with millions, they can afford that and padded stalls too.
                                  Still, even they have accidents regularly, horses being horses.

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                                  • #57
                                    My mare has horrible scars where barbed wire wrapped around both of her back legs. Happened when she ran through a barbed wire fence. A friends horse has scars from running through a barbed wire fence, and probably 10 or so other horses I know personally have scars from being tangled up or running through. Another friend had his horse get tangled in a barbed wire fence on a 200 acre pasture, took 117 stitches to close him up. Barbed wire is for COWS not for horses, its only a matter of time before something happens. I would also never keep a horse in a pasture without t-post caps. Saw a horse get impaled on one of those, not fun stuff. I guess it really boils down to the value that an owner places on their stock. If you can deal with losses here and there, whatever. But I would never even keep the cheapest of animals in that junk, and honestly it looks gross to have around, would rather have plain wire or in a perfect world, that white board fence.

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                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by SuperSTB View Post
                                      You will never convince me that barb wire is acceptable.
                                      Me either. Seen what it can do. Horrifying. We were also told by the owner (50 + acres) it wasn't a problem and as a newbie at the time, I believed them.

                                      Wasn't there 6 months when a gawd awful injury happened to a sweet, little Arab mare (not mine) that had been at this barn for 6 years. Of course, the owners denied all responsibility and I'm sure never mention the injuries that happen to any potential boarders.

                                      Never again would I keep a horse at a farm with barb wire. Never!

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                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                                        Me either. Seen what it can do. Horrifying. We were also told by the owner (50 + acres) it wasn't a problem and as a newbie at the time, I believed them.

                                        Wasn't there 6 months when a gawd awful injury happened to a sweet, little Arab mare (not mine) that had been at this barn for 6 years. Of course, the owners denied all responsibility and I'm sure never mention the injuries that happen to any potential boarders.

                                        Never again would I keep a horse at a farm with barb wire. Never!
                                        That makes as much sense as my friend saying he will never again put a colt in a pen he may also try to jump the gate, flip and break his neck, but keep them all in his barbed wire pasture, he never had an injury out there.
                                        He would be forgetting that the pens have been in use since 1961, as the barbed wire fences have been, when his father built them and that is the first horse that got killed in there.

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                                          Really? Where did you visit? I've never seen a horse behind barbed wire in my area. My fields have a mix of hedges, electric fencing and post and rail.

                                          (Honest question- not intended as nasty. )
                                          I was up north near Inverness and Aberdeen. Didn't see a single horse behind a fence that didn't contain some barbed wire, including a couple of decent looking boarding barns. Happy, fat horses in large fields.

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