After careful and strenuous maintenance including buying your horse’s feed, supplements, conditioners, flooring, etc., it is important to invest in their lodgings as well. There are several fencing options available and it might be confusing to decide which one suits your horse the most. Thus, for your assistance, listed below is a compilation of ten of the most commonly available best horse fencing options, their pros, cons, and cost patterns.
Why Is Fencing For Horses Necessary?
Horses naturally tend to gallop around. It is difficult to confine them to very limited space. Moreover, it is important to install a fence to guarantee the safety of your horse, since most horses are extremely valuable and attached to their owners. Ordinary farm wire fences have more chances of horses cutting and injuring themselves. So, a well-maintained boundary created from compatible material is very essential for your horses. The fencing saves other people from potential harm and protects your horse from being stolen.
There are a few factors to consider when deciding on a fence option. The first is that the fence should be safe for your horse; it should be durable, pleasant to look at, and thick enough to be visible to the horse since horses have peripheral vision. Horses have variable heights, so the fence should also be high enough to restrain them from jumping past the fence.
Furthermore, the fence material should be safe such that if a horse ever runs into it, there are no chances of injuries. It should be free from any openings to prevent the horses from sticking out their heads and hooves through it. Lastly, the ideal fence should be easy to clean, economical, and durable. Since most fences do not tick off all the requirements listed above, maintenance and cost-effectiveness ultimately decide which fence is most suitable.
Horse Fencing Options
Installation of fences and upgrading to a new option can be intimidating. In this article, you will find the best horse fencing options available, and their advantages and disadvantages. Fencing can be the worst and the best part of a horse facility. It should not only look good but it must be fully secure, tall, and strong.
1. Steel Fencing
Fencing using steel fences is strong and reliable and is one of the best options for fencing horses. Steel pipe can make the fencing strong and durable. It has smooth edges with no nails and joints, thus, guaranteeing safety for horses in that aspect. However, steel fences can hurt a horse badly if he runs into the fence. This can be avoided by increasing the visibility of the area. Horses like light blue or light green colors the most. Paint the boundaries in these colors to make them visible. Moreover, steel fencing can be expensive considering its labor and transportation. The readjustment and modification of this type of fence can be difficult and expensive. In case you are planning to steel fence an area, you must hire a professional team to install it.
A steel fence can cost up to $10 per foot. This includes labor and installation, however, the fence lasts decades because of steel’s durability and high tensile strength.
2. Wood Fencing
Wood fencing can provide you with a lot of benefits. Most people use oak board, spruce, or cedar for fencing. However, using wood can be expensive and needs a lot of maintenance from time to time. Wood fencing is not strong or long-lasting, and can easily scrape off of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.
Spruce is strong and requires less maintenance. It can last up to 10 years depending on the condition of the area. this material might not work in places that have frequent rainfall and wet climate. One foot of wooden fence installation will cost you $14 to $17 on average. Wood can be a good decorative material for your fence but it is not a suitable choice for horse fences. Moreover, it is more prone to damage than any other material.
3. Flex Fencing
Flex fencing also known as flexible fencing is a popular type of decorative horse fencing. This type of fencing is made by using steel wires with polymer wrapped around it.
This fencing has high visibility which makes it more secure and prevents horses from running into it. The polymer coating of the steel wire has high durability and is long-lasting. Moreover, it is flexible and needs minimum maintenance. Even if the fence is hit by a truck it will simply stretch and then will return to its normal shape. Even if it breaks, repairing it is easy with reasonable costs.
Many companies selling the installation of this fence provide you with a lifetime guarantee. Thus, this type of fencing is affordable and durable. It looks great and aesthetic and requires little maintenance after its installation.
4. Electric Horse Fencing
Electric fence contains a mild shock for horses to keep them away from pushing into, rubbing against, and damaging the fence.
Horses are gliding animals. They like to move around and need high-visibility fencing to protect them from wandering and hurting themselves. A visible electric fence will make your horse aware of its limits and discourage it from running into the fence. The electric fences can function for up to 10-25 years depending on the type of fence you are using.
There are certain factors you should keep in mind before installing the fence such as the height of the fence, the conductor you choose – Equifence, tape, and cord. Although this type of fencing seems convenient, it might be harmful to young horses who are playful and unaware of fence boundaries. Moreover, it costs around $2000 per acre. You can have a look at our top electric fence recommendations here.
5. High-Tensile Wire Fencing
A basic high tensile wire fence is made of 2 to 5 strands of wires. These wires are insulated and energized. These wires keep the horses away from them and avoid messing with the fence. The main advantage of such fencing is that it is easier to handle than barbed or woven wires.
Moreover, it has a decent appearance and needs little or no maintenance. It is affordable to purchase and the installation and repairing are less expensive. However, for horses, this type of wire fencing can be dangerous. These wires can make the horse panic and make injuries more serious if they ever come into contact with them. Horses are high-spirited and if they were to ever test their strength and brush against the boundary, they might get harmed.
High tensile fencing as mentioned above is one of the cheapest fencing used to capture horses in a place, every foot costs around $8.
6. Horse Wire Mesh Fencing
Mesh wire horse fencing is the safest option to keep the horses inside. This type of fence is closely woven and prevents the animal from stepping out of it. This is one of the oldest techniques used in horse facilities.
Wire mesh fencing is a strong, long-lasting, and safest option for horses, and affordable. There are no sharp ends that can injure the animal’s skin. Mesh wires come in two types, a diamond mesh and a square mesh.
The average cost of horse fencing can range up to $3 to $8 per linear foot, this includes the labor for installation and materials.
7. Metal T-post Fencing
Metal T-post fence is cheap to purchase, around $6 per foot, and requires less labor for installation. However, these fencings are unappealing to look at and might not be visible to your horse, making them unsafe for the horses. To make them more secure you can add electrified mesh ribbons to the metal T-posts. You can also use mushroom-shaped caps on the posts to prevent horses from getting impaled.
The metal T-post fences are easy to maintain and repair. In case they get bent by an animal push, they can be bent back. However, they do not guarantee the safety of animals because of the materials used in making them.
8. PVC Railing
The PVC railings are appealing and can make your fence look attractive. The vinyl fencing option is one of the best options you can choose to fence the facility. They provide strong and durable barriers for horses to keep them inside. If maintained well they need not betray up to 30 years which makes it long-lasting and worth your money, costing around $20 to $40 per foot.
The main disadvantage of this fence is that it might lose its color after a while. Periodic repainting of the fence is necessary to maintain its aesthetic value. Moreover, it can easily shatter if the horse tries to push it away with full force. To prevent this you can install mild shocks in it which helps to keep the horses away.
The fence posts and barriers are an important part of the fencing which makes the fencing more durable, strong, and secure. Fence posts make the foundation of any fencing, the quality of which ensures the security of the fence. The initial cost to install fence posts may be heavy, but every penny is worth the while to prevent future losses.
Install the posts after considering the type of land on which they are to be installed and the period for which the installation is necessary.
The post must be long and thick enough to do its job. Large and hefty posts for corners and gates of the fence are important. The brace posts should also be taken into consideration. Incorrect bracing can end up levering the post out of the ground instead of keeping it in.
The barriers are important and are known to be the functional part of the fence. The horses have the power to cross every barrier if they want to escape. The best plan is to build the fence to psychologically distract your horse from trying to escape the barn.
FAQs Related To Best Fencing Options For Horses
Several other questions come to mind when deciding on the best fence to install. These are:
Barbed wire fences should never be used because they are pencil-thin, which makes it difficult for horses to see.
In the unfortunate incident of the horse’s leg being stuck in the wire, it becomes very difficult to pull back, as the fencing is quite tight. The barbs dig deep into the leg tissue further injuring it. Sometimes, the barbed wire fencing is done on top of the other types of fences to keep the horses out, but then it causes injuries to the head and neck.
The cost of fencing for horse facilities depends on the area, type, and size of the land. Some fencing options are cheap and require low maintenance, for instance, Flex fencing or Metal T-posts. Other fencing options like steel or wooden fencing can cost a lot and needs proper maintenance.
A fence can be installed for as little as $1500 or as much as $3000. The cost depends on the type of fence you opt for and the area to be covered. High tensile fencing as mentioned above is one of the cheapest fencing used to hold horses in a place, every foot costs around $8 and the total costs depend on the size of your land. Similarly, one foot of wooden fence installation, on average, will cost you $14 to $17.
Fences need to be at least 60 inches in height to prevent horses from escaping. Horses generally escape when they run out of food and water, so if you regularly provide them with these needs, it is highly unlikely that your horse will escape. However, some playful horses love to experiment with their confinements.
To prevent this, make sure the horse is entertained and happy inside the fence. They should be taken out regularly and have the ability to run around the fence. There needs to be a dirt path for them to feed on the grass. Also, if you do not teach your horse to jump over obstacles, it will not try the same with fences. In extreme cases, a removable electric wire with low voltage can also be installed. After some shocks, the horse will be trained not to approach the fence.
Tornado is a company extremely reliable for fencing. Their torus horse fencing has been popular amongst horse owners for decades. This plan includes customizable fencing of barns and commercial farms. The only drawback is that it is not suitable for other livestock because of its high tensile strength. This fencing is low maintenance and the company also provides double fencing options. Furthermore, they have plans of including Centaur HTP or White Lightning to boost the visibility of these fences.
Horses can not resist eating flowers and might empty your garden in no time. To prevent this, keep them in stables fully equipped with hay and grains. Horses need exercise, so there should be a minimum of 1.5 acres of land, considering you are keeping one horse. Also, divide the pasture to prevent worms from spreading.
If you plan on keeping the horse at home, consider installing a fence boundary that is spacious enough for the horse to move and high enough for it to not escape.
To choose the best fencing option you first need to decide the requirements according to your land. The main reason for fencing your horses is that you want to keep them safe and inside a specific area. Another reason is to prevent the predators from entering the enclosures and harming your animals. Thus, choose a fence that does these two jobs in the best way.
The next thing is to decide your budget and choose accordingly. There are many options in the market to fence your horses. You can always opt for the cheaper one or the one with no maintenance.
Moreover, you need to consider the breed of horses you’re keeping. If your horses are aggressive and try escaping frequently you might consider getting an electrified wire fence. In case your horses are calm, then even a PVC railing might do the job well.