A fence that is sure to keep horses IN. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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A fence that is sure to keep horses IN.

My BO asked me for a favour to post her problem here. We have a herd of 12 horses, 5 of which are the BO's horses, and the rest - private. They live 24/7 pasture boarded in huuuuge pastures, that are fenced with an electric fence. The electric tape goes in three cords, is powerful and the horses respect it. However, two of the BO's horses keep escaping - a young gelding and the lead mare of the herd - by breaking the insulators and then slipping through the cords. The worst part - as the main escaper is the lead mare, the rest of the herd often follows her, and it might end up dangerously, as there is a busy road not far away.

We need ideas, how to keep them in, and there aren't many. Making a metal or wood fence is too expensive for how large the pastures are, so making a seperate paddock for the escapers is an option - still, money is tight so the paddock would have to be just electric fencing, which they go through with no problems. There was an idea to use barbed wire, but it is very risky to start with, or keep the two horses in a chain during day and in the stall during night, but we'd really like to keep them outside - just not escaping.

Any ideas and input how to cope with such situations without extremely high expenses are welcome.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 05:42 AM
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properly installed 4 strand high tension cable. Electric and they wont break it.
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 07:05 AM
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I find electric tape not a good fencing for horses as its primary use is for temperary fencing. It tends to stretch sag and the threads in the tape break causing weak pulses. I would switch atleast two strands with electric rope or the plastic covered wire ( seen on RAMM web site ) www.rammfence.com
They also give helpful tips and ideas.
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 07:10 AM
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I would say to get a more powerful fencer. The zap they get now doesn't phase them. Up the zap and they will learn to stay away quickly.
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips, everyone. I really like the wire idea.
The fencer is currently the most powerful around here - meant for bushy areas and to keep deer, wild hogs and moose away.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 07:25 AM
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How is the grounding for the fence? If you don't have a good ground, it doesn't matter how powerful the fencer is. How about having one of the wires getting change from a hot wire to a ground wire. If they touch both, they would get zapped.
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-28-2012, 07:44 PM
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Electric tape has a whole host of issues so you need to run solid wire. But, once a horse learns to bust an electric fence they'll keep doing it unless you knock them on their asses.

What I would do is disconnect everything but the one run they keep breaking. Replace the tape with two runs of solid wire, not a bad idea to leave a non energized tape as a marker. Now, also run a well grounded wire between the two hot wires to ensure a good hot zap. Test it with a tester, that baby should be snapping hard.

Next, you say one horse is the main problem (lead horse). Take that horse out and make sure they get hit hard by it. I like to try suckering them, some you can and some you can't. If you can't, make sure you are not in a position to be jumped on and push them into it. This should instill some serious respect of your new fence. If you don't do it, they may break it without getting a serioius shock so learn nothing.
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-29-2012, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Darrin, that seems like an excellent advice. I've already sent to the BO and it seems like a plan we'll be doing.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #9 of 22 Old 03-29-2012, 03:14 AM
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Whats more expensive? A good fence or paying massive vet bills or law suits because the horses keep getting out? Repeated escapes scream negligence in a suit. T-posts and 4 strand barbless wire with a top electric wire isn't that expensive especially when you can find used t-posts on craigslist frequently. If it were me, I would sell a horse to pay for it. Actually that's exactly what I did when I had to completely replace 52 acres of fencing (on property I lease). Part of our pasture faces a busy road and we check it weekly. Some parts are double fenced. There also used to be a lot of rocks in our pasture that over time were picked up and placed along side the fences.. its a natural barrier that keeps them off the fence. In fact, the parts with rocks are the only parts we haven't had to tighten or fix in some way.

If replacing the whole fence isn't an option, doing it in sections (starting with the high traffic areas first) should be a consideration too. Good luck! :o)

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-29-2012, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, starlinestables. :)

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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