First time horse fencing – 5 essential tips for young equine property owners.
As a beginner in horse fencing, it’s important to prioritise safety and security for your equine friends. The vast array of fencing options can be overwhelming, but selecting the right fence largely depends on factors such as property size, climate, number and breed of horses, and budget.
If you’re new to horse ownership or seeking to upgrade your fencing, it’s important to remember that horses are large animals that require tall and sturdy fences. Also, since horses are prey animals, their instinct is to run, making safety a top priority. Different breeds and herds may have unique requirements to consider, and durability is also critical due to horses’ jumping, pawing, climbing, and chewing behaviours.
With so many factors to consider, things to remember and options to choose from finding the right horse fencing can become tedious. In this blog, we will help bring clarity to your search by focusing on the most essential tips in the simplest way possible.
At Stock & Noble, we provide the finest fencing solutions to property owners across Australia and New Zealand. Each of our products is carefully picked after proven global success and horse safety. Based on years of fence selling experience, critical insights learnt from horse owners and knowledge gained from installers, we will share five essential tips to help choose the horse fencing for your property.
We will walk you through five things that must be on the top of your checklist while fencing your property for your four-legged friends. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to assess different fencing solutions and choose the one that’s perfect for you, your horses, your budget and your vision.
TIP #1: Consider Visibility
When it comes to choosing the right fence for your horses, visibility is an important factor. If a fence isn’t easily noticeable, horses may accidentally run into it, potentially causing serious injuries. While older and more docile horses may not be as prone to this behaviour, younger and more active horses are at a greater risk of breaking through a thin wire fence.
In addition to the risk of injury, a broken fence can also allow horses to wander onto roads and other dangerous areas. Therefore, it’s essential to select a highly visible fence for horses, especially those that are more spirited or kept in groups.
TIP #2: Determine the right height
Consider both the fence’s visibility and height when selecting the appropriate fencing for your horses. Horse fences should be at least 1.3 metres to 1.5 metres tall, but for larger horses, a height of 1.8 metres may be necessary. The bottom of the fence should be 15 cm to 20 cm off the ground to prevent foals from rolling under and adult horses from grazing beyond the field.
It’s important to have several rails between the top and bottom to prevent horses from escaping. Another option is to use one rail on top with mesh, EquiRope or Border Line fencing below. When measuring a horse’s height, it’s done in hands – a unique unit of measurement in the horse industry that equates one hand to four inches.
The best fence height for most breeds ranges from 1.37 to 1.52 metres, while sports breeds used for jumping, draft breeds, and stallions may require taller fencing.
TIP #3: Safety is key
When selecting the ideal fence material for horses, it is crucial to consider their prey animal instincts. Horses tend to favour flight over fight, and they may run out of fear, leading to accidental fence contact. Such injuries can be significant enough to require veterinary attention, as evidenced by a survey showing that 27% of horse owners have treated their animals for fence-related injuries.
Since horses are more likely than other types of livestock to accidentally collide with a fence, it is essential to prioritize animal safety. To choose a horse-safe fence, consider the following tips: opt for a highly visible material, create a solid boundary that can flex upon impact, avoid sharp edges and protrusions such as barbed wire, use rounded corners where feasible, and perform routine fence maintenance.
Tip #5: Consider animal-specific needs
When it comes to horse fencing, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your animals. While there is a lot of general advice available, each animal and herd is unique.
If your horses are gentle grazers who don’t interact much, following standard fencing guidelines should suffice. However, if you have an aggressive animal, a breeding horse that experiences cyclical behaviour changes, or a particularly energetic group of horses, it’s best to take extra precautions.
One way to do this is by adding a hot strand of electric wire (such as EquiRope) above the top sighter wire or the top rail of an existing fence. This provides additional height and reinforcement to prevent horses from pushing the fence line or chewing on fence rails out of boredom. By considering your animals’ individual needs, you can ensure that your fence is both effective and safe.
TIP #5: Think of durability
To withstand the weight and speed of horses, it’s crucial to invest in durable fence options. Horses can weigh between 408 to 907 kilograms and run up to 56 kilometres per hour, making them demanding livestock to contain. Durability depends on factors such as fence material, construction, weather exposure, and maintenance.
For example, a wooden post and rail fence built with treated timber provides a solid barrier while also being flexible enough to break without causing serious harm to the animal. However, it requires regular maintenance to protect against weather exposure, wood rot, termites, and cribbing.
EquiRope and Border Line provide high durability but have lower visibility. A horserail fence could be a good solution as its rail design offers more visibility and durability, creating a solid perimeter while being a cost-effective and low-maintenance fencing option.
Are you confident to choose the right horse fence for your property?
You want to create a safe and beautiful equine property but are relatively new to the world of horse fencing.
Now you know horse fencing can be challenging, but with this checklist in your pocket, you can choose a fence that is safe, secure, and durable for your horse. Always prioritise the safety of your horse when choosing a fence and consider their specific needs. Also, remember that routine fence maintenance is necessary to ensure the safety and durability of your fence.
The right fence for your horse depends on your situation, including the size of your property, climate, number and type of horses, and your overall budget. It’s important to choose a fence that is safe and secure for your horses, but one that fits your budget as well. This is where learning about the cost of different types of post and rail fencing can be useful.
While the plethora of fence options available may seem overwhelming, following the advice of experts in the field can help simplify the process. By considering the key factors outlined in this article, you can select a fence that is both effective and affordable, ensuring the safety and well-being of your equine companions. If you are looking for further guidance, a personalised consultation with our fencing experts is recommended. They will help you every step of the way to build an equine property just the way you imagined.