When choosing the right horse fencing for your barn or land, there are many factors that can affect your final selection. You will need to consider things like the layout, needs and ruggedness of your land, the budget you’ll be working with, and the style that you are going for. While all of these things are very important, the top priority above all others, should be the safety of your team. Horses are crafty, clever beasts that have a way of sniffing out any weak link in a fence line. This curious nature may end up getting them injured, loose, or caught up. Fortunately, there are many excellent choices in today’s market that fit both the horse’s need for safety and the owner’s sense of style.
Here are 7 important factors to consider before buying your ideal horse fencing.
- Material – Choosing the fence material is one of the most important initial steps and it will help you determine many of the next topics so let’s start here. There are both pros and cons to most of the common horse fence materials but ultimately, safe horse fences should give but not break on impact, be highly visible, and not ensnare your horses. Horse fence material options include Wood Fencing, Vinyl Fencing, Flex Fence, Tape Fence, Electric Fence, Coated Wire and many more. Barbed Wire is never a good option for horses and should be replaced with a safer option as quickly as possible.
- Height – To safely contain your team, most fences should be at least 5 ft, with a 5 ft top wire if possible. This will prevent horse from grazing over and jumping out when spooked. There should be 3 to 5 rows of rail or wire, depending on the width and material being used. Any pens that see more energy, such as cool down, stallion or breaking pens, should have 5 to 6 ft fencing. The bottom rail or wire of a safe horse fence should be ideally be 6 to 8 inches off the ground to prevent horses from grazing under the fence, help prevent some predators from entering the area and keep foals safely contained.
- Visibility – A good horse fence is highly visible, which sets clear boundaries and receives respect from your horses. If you are using a low visibility wire or fence that blends with your environment, tie colorful streamers to the fence and walk your horses around the lines a few times so they get a sense of its boundaries. This may buy you time to replace the fences while keeping your horses as safe as possible.
Durability – Most horse owners want a durable horse fence, one that will stand the test of time and continue to be safe and attractive. When looking into the durability of your horse fence, consider your local weather and terrain. Some fence works well in all climates where as others shine only in moderate temperatures.
- Beauty – Is your version of beauty found in the appearance or the functionality of a fence? The idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder works for many areas of life, including horse fencing. One horse lover may look at a traditional wooden fence that’s newly installed and sigh with envy at the beauty while another may grimace, only seeing ugly maintenance needs and future expense of wooden fences. Your version of beauty will determine if look or functionality is more important. Luckily, nowadays, you can get both in the same investment!
- Budget – Ultimately, your budget will determine the horse fencing you are able to dress your land with. Fencing is such an important safety consideration, however, if you can’t afford what you feel is safe for your land, consider cutting back in other areas so you can afford to keep your team safe. Keep in mind that barbed wire is not a good option for horses and should be replaced as soon as possible. It doesn’t make sense to buy more horses or non-essential gear when the paddocks need their fences updated for safety.
- Warranty – Don’t forget to protect yourself and your pastures by only buying products that have healthy warranty attached to them. Do your research and shop smart!
Horse fencing is a major investment that needs extensive thought and planning before the final purchase. If you have questions about your area, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Additionally, keep in mind that your local county extension office is a great. Ultimately, you will need to come to a middle ground between budget and personal preferences, but should always keep your horses safety in mind as top priority.
Do you have thoughts or advice about choosing safe fencing for horses? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comment section below.
Saratoga Stalls is a premium national supplier of horse and barn products. For more information on custom barns or horse stalls please contact Curtis Gardner, CEO, at (800) 918-6765.