Best Cheap Fencing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Washington State
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Best Cheap Fencing?

I'm moving in a few months and I'm taking a horse with me. My granddad has 300 acres, which is great -- the only problem is that it's all fenced with barbed wire... which gives me all kinds of nightmares. Depending on how long I stay there/keep my horses there, I'll likely be working on gradually replacing some of the fences with something safer. Until then, the horses will only get big-field privileges when I am somewhere in the vicinity to keep an eye on them (and only after I have painstakingly ensured that all of the wires are stretched taut with no drooping areas waiting to catch a leg). The rest of the time they'll get to spend in their paddocks -- which I'll have to construct.

So, what is the best type of fencing to construct a fairly secure, safe paddock on a budget? Would it be cheaper to construct a wire fence with a wood rail across the top using stuff like this: Welded Wire, 60 in. x 100 ft. - 3626499 | Tractor Supply Company... or to construct an all-wood paddock... or livestock panels? Other ideas?

I might use electric tape fencing to create larger grazing areas, but I don't think I can trust it to contain a horse in a paddock area -- once they graze it all down I think it'll be too tempting to barge through the electric tape.
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 12:50 PM
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For every strand of barbwire put a strand of electrical wire using a standoff insulator. This way they have to hit the electric fence before coming in contact with the barb wire.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Not a bad idea at all!!
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 12:55 PM
Green Broke
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I was going to say something to this effect. I too have barbed wire because this is a organic cow ranch first and foremost but we have hot wire so we have never had trouble with the horses getting hurt. Knock on wood. But their main turnout is the square wire fencing, that gives me the willies. Always worried if they roll too close.

We only have one strand of the hot wire and it seems to be enough. More would be better I would think.
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Last edited by nvr2many; 01-27-2013 at 12:57 PM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 12:58 PM
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I will be watching this thread with interest. Right now my horse is out in a barbed wire pasture (yeah, shoot me) but where I'm from on the West Coast, that's pretty darn normal and my horse has not yet had an issue with it. I didn't even realize so much of the horse community was so against barbed wire until coming on this forum since 90% of the horses back home are fenced in that way. Now, I'm not saying that BW is good, or that just because it's been the norm means it should be continued, but I really need to come up with some financially viable alternatives before I buy a property since every property I'd be looking at would be currently BW fencing...
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 01:08 PM
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Whatever you trust your horses in that is cost effective is your best bet.

I don't like wire fences of any kind as horses love to bend them and get legs stuck in them or blankets/halters/fly masks/boots snagged or stuck on them (had a mare clip her throatlatch snap on her halter to a wire fence. She was there for at least a few hours, we guessed. Luckily she stayed calm. Halters in paddocks are a no-no now obviously.)

I love wood fences if there are no cribbers in the vicinity. If there are, string some wire across the top. May not even need to be hot, just having a barrier could prevent cribbing.

Otherwise I would opt for well-maintenanced ribbon that is HOT. Prefer rounded corners in the event of a chase so nobody gets bullied into a corner.

Best of luck :)
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 01:13 PM
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Sharpie I agree here we have MILES of barbed wire fencing with out any issues.
Now i make sure each horse has plenty of room and they are not crowded but i cannot understand the prejudice against such fencing. Use common sense and not herd or work the animal against the barbed wire. a frightend horse or cow is going to try and escape no matter what type fence if pressured enough
I think it comes from those with small properties of under 200 acres. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to change the fencing here.
I am not willing to spend that much of this farms money and place the future of this estate at risk doing so.
I enclosed 3 acres for my stallion with pipe fencing and that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Shalom
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 01:22 PM
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Stay away from welded wire. Unless you run a couple strands of hot wire, they lean on/paw it, the welds will break, and you'll have a mess of wire for them to get caught up in.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 01:59 PM
Green Broke
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In my perfect world, the whole of our property would be done in beautiful split rail fencing copied right out of Martha Stewart's website. However, since I am not wealthy I work with what I can afford and that is wooden rails for the corrals and barb wire for the pasture. I've got about 20 acres of pasture and one acre of corrals. I use three strands of wire in the pasture (this is perimeter fencing by the way) and put the top strand as high as I could on the post and the bottom wire about two feet off the ground. I check the pasture fence with great frequency to ensure the wire is not broken or loose. I have four horses so there is plenty of space and grazing for everyone and consequently they don`t really bother the fence.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-27-2013, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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I know that horses can do just fine in a pasture with barbed wire for a long time. I don't judge people who keep their horses in barbed wire fences. Most of my neighbors in the same area will have their horses in barbed wire pastures.

Personally however, I know that I would have a very hard time forgiving myself if one of my horses was badly hurt by a barbed wire fence and I knew that I hadn't done absolutely everything in my power to minimize the risk. I like the idea of using extended insulators with electric tape/rope... it seems like it will be a relatively cheap method of putting my mind a little more at ease.
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