Horse Fencing Tips

The kind of fencing a horse requires to keep it in an area depends on the horse. Some horses are so respectful of a fence that they will stay in an area surrounded by a single hot wire. Some horses that like to jump won't stay in anything but a seven foot hard fence.

My horses which are about 15 hands high will stay in a 4 foot fence with a hot wire on top. Woven wire field fencing should be 6 inches or more above the ground. If the bottom wire is on the ground, the horse will step on the bottom of the fence and eventually pull it down. If there is no hot wire 6 inches above the fence, the horse will lean over the fence and pull it down.

Some of my horses are in one hot wire at nose height and a yellow string about knee height. The yellow string (baling twine) is so they can see where the hot wire is because the hot wire is practically invisible. Some of my fencing is a hot wire at wither height and a hot wire at chest height and a yellow string between the two hot wires and a yellow string at knee height.

The stallions are in field fencing with hot wire at the top. Between the stallions is no climb woven wire horse fencing (two by four inch space between wires) so they won't get a foot stuck in the fence when they mess with each other. Or 5 foot tall steel rail panels with 2 hot wires strung to keep them off the fence. Stallions must be 2 fences away from other horses to keep them from sniffing noses with mares which gets them all excited. The second fence must be least 6 feet away from the stallion fence.

When constructing a woven wire field fence it is necessary that the fence be pulled taunt with a come along. (Hand tightening is not enough, the fence will be loose and sag.) That means that the corners have to be strong and there needs to be strong posts in the middle of long runs of fence. Look at professionally constructed fencing. You will see a solid wood post at the corner with solid wood posts at right angles and H rails connecting the corner post to the other posts and diagonal wires bracing the posts. This is a strong corner. A single corner post with diagonal brace is not strong and the diagonal brace will pull the post out of the ground when the fence is tightened. The posts have to be wood that resists rot -- either treated wood or rot resistant wood. I have seen fences fall over after a few years when the wood rotted out. All the work to put up a fence was wasted.

I have constructed wood fence with split telephone poles for posts. Old telephone poles cut seven feet long split easy. Then nail 2x6 inch wood rails on the horse side of the post. If the rails are nailed on the other side of the posts, the horse can push the board off the posts. Two rails was enough for my horses. Make sure there are no defects in the rails so they don't break with a horse leaning on them.

Horses need space to run. A 60 foot round pen is the minimum amount of space a horse needs.

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