Calling all horse owners who have done fencing! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Calling all horse owners who have done fencing!

So, we are looking at a small farm to purchase finally! We've seen a couple now, and man I am cross eyed from the various "stories", people, and properties that we've come across We went to look at a 5.25 acre farm last weekend. The owners just put a new roof on it so we couldn't go in the house (needed a final inspection), and the 2 barns were locked as well since the owners have moved already. We're going back on Saturday to look in the house and barns.

Of course there's some maintenance issues and the barns are filled with junk (owners will empty before we would move in). The one barn has this falling apart wooden structure thing behind it that would go, and as long as the house and inside of the barns look livable, we may put in an offer.

Here's the issues:
1. There's no water out to the it that hard to just use hoses?
2. There's no fencing around the pastures.

I realize number 2 is a fairly big deal, but I think with the right man power I have come up with something. I need something cheap (I know, but all money would be for the down payment), and sturdy. My mare has gotten out of hot tape before and I refuse to use wire. I actually saw where a person used T-posts (I know someone that has quite a few that I could get for almost nothing, then buy more) and wood boards. They bolted the boards on using the holes in the T-posts that are behind the clips.

Has anyone else ever seen or done this? How would your secure the corners and do the gates? Would it even be worth it?

Here is the farm:

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 07:50 PM
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I can't even picture that kind of fencing in my head. Can you put up a couple of pipe corral runs or round pens? That way you could let them be outside part of the day and in the barn the other part. The only way I know how to do fencing is pretty permanent and I'm adamant about how I want it done for horse safety. If it can't be done that way for some reason, I haul out my pipe panels.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 08:00 PM
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I haven't run water out to our barn yet so we use 150' of hose without problem. You just have to let it drain in the winter when it freezes.
If your mares won't respect a tape or rope fence, I think you're pretty much out of luck for something cheap if you don't want to use high tensile wire.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 08:59 PM
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I dotn have an issue with properly installed high tension wire with springs. It wont cut horses if they run into it it stretches. But if you dont like it, there is the 1/4 " white rope with woven in wire. Way better than the ribbon, stays tight wont have a loose side, stronger, easier to work with. It is a bit more expensive than high tension wire and not as strong but easier to install. I buried a garden hose across the yard then ran it into a spitter then to two water troughs with float switches. I always keep it turned off at the house, havent had any problems. We dont get real long freazing weather here. Might freeze a couple days at most.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 09:06 PM
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1. I don't have water either and never had issues. I move the water bucket from next to the barn in winter (so I could attach the warmer) to all way back under the trees in summer (so it'd stay cool). We have 2 horses and fill the bucket once/day (usually in evening). They go through 1/3 to 2/3 depending on day and heat.

2. The cheapest choice will be electric fence.

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-23-2012, 09:07 PM
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Electric would be the cheapest but if your horse runs through it then you'll need something sturdier. I have ramm fencing but it wasn't cheap and I think I would have prefered just plain wood.

As for the hose... I have about 800 of hose running down to the barn from the house. It's supposed to be temporary but we're going on 5 years now...

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-24-2012, 09:16 AM
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You're painting yourself into a corner not going with a wire electric fence yet wanting to keep it cheap. Electric is by far the cheapest choice but..../shrug.

I haven't seen anyone build a fence like you are describing but it will work short term. Here's the kicker, if you don't put electric top and bottom of it your horse will push it over. T-post are not designed to be post for wood fences and as such don't have strength to resist side pressure. When your horse leans on it (and she will) it will just be pushed over. With enough T-post you could put one in at an angle and tie the two together for strength but there goes your cost again. Just so you know, I can sink a T-post in the ground then bend it over to the ground and horses are a heck of a lot stronger than me.

For corners and gates you would have to put in a wood posts for strength.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-24-2012, 10:31 AM
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If you purchase this property, spend the time and bit of extra money to build a decent fence with good posts. Makeshift fencing will only cost you more later.

If the ground is decent and posts will go in OK with a post pounder, treated wood posts are reasonably inexpensive and secure. Where I live, wood posts are no more expensive than metal T-posts. We can also rent a pounder that pulls behind the truck for a half day for about $80 and two people can easily do this job. When we fenced our property, we put in over a hundred posts around about 5 acres, plus the yard fence in about 5 hours with the pounder.

As for the fencing material itself, I agree with others that electric is a good, affordable option. I used the 3/8" nautical grade rope with electric woven into it. It has a fairly high tensile strength, conducts the charge well, looks good, was very easy to install, and was very reasonably priced. We used screw-in insulators and put up 4 strands. Only the top and the third down strand are electrified. The horses don't challenge the fence EVER. We've had it for 2 years in an area that goes from -40 with loads of snow in the winter to +30 C with sun, rain, wind, hail, and you name it, in the summer. Other than a quick 5 minute job checking the tension, we have done virtually no maintenance on the fence. I continually get compliments on how good our fence looks. I also have about 40 temporary step in posts that I use to cross fence for pasture rotation.

With water, as long as your hose will reach a faucet on the house, you will be fine. We ran our fence closer to the side of our house with the faucet (about 25 feet) and keep our trough there. As I said, winter is cold, so we have to drain and store the hose inside in winter. We use a livestock grade submersible water heater in a 120 gallon tank during the winter. With 2 horses drinking out of the water tank, we have to refill about every 3 days or so. We use the same tank in summer, but take out the heater. I think the tank cost around $100 and the heater around $50. We've had the same set-up for two years (including 2 winters) with no issues.

Good luck with your property! Choose well and put the time in to get the best quality materials you can. It will be worth it.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-24-2012, 10:40 AM
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I can understand not liking elect wire, but it honestly is the most cost effective. 20 yrs ago we put ours up. The difference w/ ours is ALL corners & places where the gates are we used wooden posts that are braced. The T-posts are 15 ft apart. The top 2 "wires" we use the 1/2" tape, & the bottom is just a wire. For an extra measure the is also a wire run w/ the tape in case it breaks, but it never has. We used to have a horse that didn't respect fencing either, but we found the larger white tape worked quite well
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