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Horse Fencing Injuries – 12 Ways to Prevent Them at Your Equine Property. 

stock and noble premium steel post and rail fencing

Ever find yourself worried about your horses getting hurt on your property? Trapped legs, lacerations and fractures are unfortunately more common on equine properties than we’d like to think. We get it – the fear of injuries, the confusion about the right choices, and the genuine care for your horses’ safety. 

 

Horses are beautiful and majestic but also unpredictable. They need and deserve the best fencing solution that can keep them well-protected and effectively contained. 

 

But does safe equals expensive?  

 

Apparently Not. In our experience, we’ve seen horses getting injured even on the most high-end properties. Building a safe space for your animals isn’t just about fences; it’s about understanding what works best. 

 

Not every horse can have a premium post and rail fences, but well-planned and thoughtful designs can still keep them safe. If you want to know the best ways to prevent fence-related injuries, then keep reading. 

 

At Stock & Noble, we provide the finest fencing solutions to property owners across Australia and New Zealand. All our horse fencing products are carefully chosen based on their high horse safety standards and once they’ve proven their worth on equine properties globally. Over the years we’ve helped numerous horse owners to build safe and stunning properties. We understand the value of these beautiful beings and the challenges that come with their behaviour. 

 

In this blog, we will discuss the most common injuries that can happen to horses due to fencing and the best ways to avoid them. You’ll learn how to keep your horses off the fence, plan your paddocks to enhance safety and which fencing, gateways and corners to choose for the most effective results.  

 

Armed with pro tips and in-depth knowledge you can make the right choices to protect your horses and enjoy your property in peace. 

 

Common Injuries Due to Horse-Fencing 

Understanding the types of injuries that can happen is crucial for implementing preventive measures. Common injuries include: 

 

1. Heel bulb laceration 

Cause: It happens when a horse paws, catches the leg in a low strand of wire and pulls back. 

 

2. Front cannon laceration or hindleg laceration 

Cause: Sometimes, a horse kicks at another horse across the fence, causing wounds in the front cannon area or, less commonly, the front of the hock. The extensor tendon can be lacerated, leading to gait abnormalities. 

 

3. Flank lacerations  

Cause: When horses are led or run through gateways swinging gates can catch the horse’s flank. 

 

4. Staking Injuries

Cause: Horses coming down on the unprotected end of a steel star post can suffer severe or fatal injuries. 

 

5. Entanglement  

Cause: Horse legs can be trapped in mesh fencing with bigger holes or the bottom strand of a fence. 

 

6. Trapped in a fencing corner 

Cause: Acute corners (less than 90 degrees) can lead to dominant horses cornering others. As the horse tries to escape, the horse is prone to injure itself on the fencing. 

 

Solutions for the Prevention of Horse Injury 

 

Here are 12 practical solutions to mitigate these risks and create a safer environment for your horses. 

 

1. Electrify the Fence Line

The most effective tool for preventing horses from impacting fences and sustaining injuries is an electric fencing unit. Installing electric fencing along the fence line acts as a deterrent, preventing horses from coming into direct contact with the fence.  

You can explore electrifying your timber or steel post and rail fence, use Horserail HotTop Plus with electric top and bottom or add EquiRope to your fence line. 

It’ll be worth finding out if electric fences can make your equine property safer. 

 

2. Assess and Modify Wire Configuration

If small animals or foals are not a concern on your equine property, consider removing the bottom wire from the fence, as it is a common point of entanglement. Alternatively, replace it with mesh featuring a 5 cm aperture and maintain a top rail for added safety. 

You can use any top rail, timber or steel. 

 

3. Create Distance Between Paddocks

Most fence injuries occur when horses in adjoining paddocks interact over a fence. To minimise this, consider creating laneways between paddocks to prevent close interactions. 

If this isn’t possible, a well-functioning electric fence should be used to keep horses apart. 

 

4. Have Curved Corners on Your Paddocks

Avoid acute corners in paddock layouts, as dominant horses can corner others, leading to potential injury. The cornered horse might look for an escape and get injured in the process.  

Curved corners are particularly effective in avoiding such situations. 

That’s why it’s ideally recommended that paddocks have corners greater than 90 degrees to prevent horses from getting trapped in corners. Find out more about how to build the best shape of a corner assembly. 

 

5. Use Post and Rail Wherever Possible

Post and rail fences are less likely to cause injuries. There are different types of post and rail fences available in Australia today. It’s a good idea to do all your research before making your final decision. 

If budget constraints exist, explore alternatives like Horserail or EquiRope. They are cost-effective and specially designed with horse safety in mind. 

 

6. Avoid Star Pickets

Star pickets may be a cost-effective fencing solution, but they pose significant safety hazards. Staking injuries can be severe, especially if a horse lands on the unprotected end of a steel star post. 

Star posts are slightly more safe with protective plastic caps. However, explore the proven and safe alternatives like plastic or timber posts. 

If you want, you can dig deeper into finding the best fence post for your property. 

 

8. Choose Horse-Specific Fencing Systems

Explore specialised horse fencing systems such as Premium Steel Post and Rail with bend, buckle, and release systems. Or consider using products like Horserail for comprehensive safety. Horserail, with its shock-absorbing qualities, flexibility, and integrated electric components, offers a complete solution for horse safety. 

 

9. Build Laneways or Offstands

Where space permits, laneways between paddocks prevent horses from getting too close. 

If laneways aren’t feasible, consider using offstands and installing electric rope at an angle. This setup can be implemented on both sides of the fence, forming a practical boundary, although it may not offer a complete physical barrier like a laneway. 

 

10. Use Mesh Fencing for Safety

Mesh fencing, designed specifically for horses, is an excellent alternative. Standard stock mesh with large holes is not suitable, as horses can put a foot through. 

So remember to choose mesh with an aperture small enough to prevent the horse from getting its foot through, ideally no larger than 5 cm. One popular and proven horse mesh is the No-climb mesh, which has a 5 cm width and is 10 cm high. 

Regular maintenance and proper straining are crucial to ensure optimum performance and safety. Loose wire strands increase the risk of entanglement. 

 

11. Use Gates with Square Ends

The rounded ends aid in legs sliding down between the gate and gate post, which can then get trapped in the gate. While square ends may prevent legs getting trapped. 

So, choose gates with square ends instead of rounded ones to prevent a horse from getting its foot trapped. You can dive further into which paddock gates are the safest for horses. 

Also, exercise caution when walking horses through gateways, ensuring clear passage. And avoid gate latch hardware protruding too far from posts. 

 

12. Avoid Chewing of Timber

Timber posts are relatively safe, however, they can pose splintering issues and horses love to chew on them. Thus, avoid using soft woods if you have a cribber as that could be harmful for their health and consider adding electrics to the fence. 

Learn about the biggest problems with timber posts and rail fences. 

 

Ready to Make Your Property Horse-Safe? 

Like every horse owner, you love your animals and want to avoid any harm that might come their way. Fencing plays an important role in keeping them safe, however wrong choice of fencing can also lead to some serious injuries. Now you know the most common fence-related injuries and also the best ways to avoid them. 

 

The blog discusses 12 practical solutions, including electrifying the fence line, assessing and modifying wire configurations, creating distance between paddocks, having curved corners, using post and rail where possible, avoiding star pickets, choosing horse-specific fencing systems, building laneways or using offstands with electrics, opting for mesh fencing, using gates with square ends, and preventing timber chewing. 

 

With these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of fence-related injuries to your horses. Prioritise safety to create an environment where your horses can thrive without compromising their well-being. 

 

As discussed, electrifying your fences is probably the ideal solution to prevent injuries. If you have an existing fencing system on your property and want to make it safer, it’ll be worth finding out if EquiRope is compatible with your horse fencing. 

 

For any more questions on horse-fencing solutions, their cost, application, safety and suitability for your animals, reach out to our fencing experts. They will guide you every step of the way to create a safe and beautiful equine property, just the way you imagined.  

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