Fences keep horses safe and secure while giving them the opportunity to exercise, graze, and socialize.There are a wide variety of fencing types available, but only some of them are suitable for horses. What works for a cow, goat, or sheep, may be dangerous to a horse. Below are some of the most common fences for horses and their advantages.
A horse-appropriate fence should be highly visible to the animal, durable, and free of hazards. Ideally, it should appear as a solid barrier, so the horse will be less likely to challenge it or run into it. However, the fence should be flexible enough to prevent injury should the horse run into it.
When selecting a fence for a horse, it’s important to never compromise on safety for a decreased cost. The health of your horse is more important than the fence’s cost and overall appearance—and if it does its job, you will save on repairs and maintenance (and vet bills) in the long run.
Wood is the most traditional fencing material for horses. Wooden fencing is attractive, highly visible, and, provided it is properly installed and maintained, safe. However, horses may chew on it, so it’s advisable to add a string of electric wire to protect the fence.
Horses may also injure themselves on nails which pop out over time, so if you choose a wooden fence for your horse, it is important to keep up with regular fence maintenance. You should also make sure to ask your fence installer to nail boards to the inside of the fence posts, so that horses can not damage them by leaning on them.
A relatively new type of fencing, PVC vinyl fencing has the good looks and visibility of traditional wood without many of wood’s drawbacks (rotting, warping, and so on.) No painting or staining is required for a vinyl fence, as it will usually keep its color over time. Vinyl fences are great for horse owners because, first of all, they are easy to clean with a quick spray from a hose; and secondly, because they can withstand a severe blow, like a horse kick or tractor collision. Horses don’t chew on vinyl, either. The only downside is that some might not like the aesthetic of what is essentially plastic, and most vinyl fences are not as strong as wood.
Galvanized steel tubing is often used for horse gates, but can it also be used for the entire fence. Steel fencing is strong, visible, and durable, and typically requires little maintenance if property galvanized and powder-coated. However, due to its unforgiving nature, steel fences can be a bit of a hazard to horses. The animals can also sometimes get their heads or legs caught in them, and have difficulty getting themselves free.
On the other hand, unlike other types of fencing, a steel fence has no sharp edges to cut or bruise the animal. If you choose a steel fence, you can further ensure the safety of your animal by asking your fence installer to add welded wire mesh panels, if possible. No-climb wire is not only good for keeping horses secure, but also keeps out small predators, dogs, and other pests.
If you’re looking for a fence installation, repair or replacement in the Charlotte NC area, the experts at James Fence & Gate can help. With over 20 years of industry experience, we offer the best custom fencing in the Charlotte area. No matter where your farm, pasture or paddock is, we can come out and help you install a secure, sturdy fence! Call us here and be sure to check out our residential fence options.