(Updated Sept. 24, 2020)
Owning or boarding horses requires planning, space, and a firm commitment. When it comes to horse fencing ideas, there are several factors to take into consideration.
The terrain over and through which your fence will run plays a big factor in determining the type of horse fencing system you need. The type of fencing and fence materials for flat terrain may differ significantly from fence lines that need to cover rough or uneven ground.
It usually helps to have an idea of what kind of horse fencing you think you need; that way, you can determine if the fence you have in mind fits within your budget. Remember to consider not just the initial cost of the fence and its proper installation but also whether or not a particular fence requires continual maintenance and upkeep in the often rough and wild Pacific Northwest climate.
As we mentioned in the above section on budget, determining your ability to maintain a fence is crucial in figuring out the type of fencing you’ll need. Maintenance varies depending on the fence type. So think twice before you commit to a certain type of fence, whether it be an electric fence, a woven wire fence, barbed wire tops, rail fencing, board fences, wire mesh, high tensile wire, etc.
This category of concern is perhaps the most fun and engaging. Imagining a winding field fence surrounding the green hills of your property. Imagine fence posts all along the fence, adding to the aesthetic appeal. What kind of design appeals most to you? That’s an important question.
At Pacific Fence & Wire Co., we encourage horse owners to do their research to ensure that their equestrian fencing is built with the right materials and to the proper height. Here are our suggestions for the best fencing options for horses.
Fencing Options for Horses
Wood is a durable, classic, and long-lasting option for agricultural properties. Posts and rails made from this material can be stained, painted, and customized to your preferences.
Keep in mind, however, that wood deteriorates over time and under constant exposure to the elements. To extend the life of a wood fence, use quality paints or stains. Furthermore, expect some regular maintenance.
If you’re after a clean look with long-lasting durability, consider installing a vinyl fence. This option doesn’t require as much maintenance as wood. Nonetheless, you still have a lot of room for customization.
Many ranchers even choose to supplement vinyl with an interior electric barrier to provide increased security for curious horses. Of course, this may require the addition of electric tape and electric wire, increasing the costs associated with this type of fence.
High-strength galvanized wire works great for large and small enclosures, such as corrals and feeding areas. It’s durable, weather-resistant, and visually subtle. Here are the three most popular variations:
- Woven wire: This inexpensive option is easy to install on both flat and hilly terrain and lacks sharp edges, a feature that minimizes injury to your livestock. In an effort to increase visibility, many ranchers choose to include a top board on these types of wire enclosures. This prevents your horses from leaning too much on the fence.
- V-mesh: One of the safest methods for enclosing horses, V-mesh incorporates a diamond pattern that keeps your animals in and other animals out. This type is often called a “no-climb” fence due to the smaller spaces in between the wires.
- Smooth wire: This versatile choice contains your horses with sleek, unintrusive wires. However, smooth wire is also one of the most difficult fencing styles for horses to see. Remember: “Perfect” horse fences are those which the animals can easily see. Therefore, you may want to run white poly tape between your posts to give your animals a reference and avoid unnecessary damage. As HorseJournals.com reminds us, “A safe horse fence is strong, highly visible, durable, and free of hazards. Ideally, a fence should appear as a solid barrier so the horse will be less likely to challenge it or run into it. If a horse does run into the fence, the fence should not cause injury.”
Fencing is one of the most important elements of any equestrian farm. At Pacific Fence & Wire Co., we specialize in rural solutions and are happy to answer any questions you may have or customize an option to suit your specific needs.