Need material ideas/opinions for permenant turnouts
I am needing ideas and opinions for permenant fence for side by side turnouts. We had a 3 rail wood fence and in 6 months the horses destroyed them. I have about 2 months to collect materials before the ground thaws.
- The panels are $75 a piece and would cost me $3000 so that option is out.
- I rather not use guardrail as they have sharp edges.
- Smooth hot wire is also out, too high of a chance of cuts from horses kicking at each other.
- I do not like the look of cattle panels, safety is also an issue with hooves getting stuck in them.
I do have unlimited railroad ties to use as posts.
I was thinking of getting the wide electric tape. Putting up 4 strands and making the top and third line hot. Is anyone currently using this type of fence for side by side turnouts? How well are they holding up? Does anyone have photos?
Smooth electric wire is the best way to go and has the least amount of maintanance. I've tried the all. Ribbon eventually shreds in the wind plus it puts more pressure on the poles. The horses won't cut themselves on the wire but one snap and even if squabbling will stay clear of it. For perimeter fencing you should install 3 strands, the top and bottom are hot while the middle is a ground. If dividing paddocks one hot wire and one ground is usually enough. Wire is also much cheaper than ribbon. If you are worried about the horses not seeing it initially just tie foot long lengths of hot pink survey ribbon to it. After a day the horses will be familiar with every square inch of the fence.
We use the 1 & 1/2 inch white ribbon... I love it, but dreeaaaad taking it down! Putting it up was okay, but we are going to transition to vinyl fencing with a hot wire strand. To me, Electric is just way easier and cost efficient too.
When I was wanting new fencing to replace the 4 acred cattle fencing (40 years old) on my property, my first choice was the old, welding metal fencing. You still see some of this fencing standing up, and pushing 50yo. The expense for THAT was impossible bc nobody will weld metal affordably at that volume. The next choice was what I have seen in the last decade on Amish farms about an hour from my house. They are putting in 8" diameter fence posts and they bracket metal poles to them. Your RR ties would be just that much stronger. The metal poles are about 3-4" in diameter. I found a fencing company that put in 10' (5' high) panels of metal fencing--hard to explain, so here are some pictures~
THIS picture shows the brackets--
And that has been great for me. Above is the view from my Bedroom window. =D I know what you mean about wooden horizontal planks. It's as if you're playing a game with your horses and they win every time you have to put a plank back or replace it. There are 2 farms close to me that use them--one is a well-healed TB broodmare farm--and I see as I drive by them about 8 sections of fence/summer that have to be repaired.
You might price heavy metal (plumbing type) poles and see if that is affordable. You could buy ALL of your materials, the metal poles and the brackets at the hardware store, and do one section at a time.
It's ALWAYS good to have a small section of electric fencing. If you buy that, too, your horses can have turnout while you work on the fencing.
One more thing...
DON'T use one of those post-hole diggers that you slam down and pull apart. You won't have arms left after putting in a fence. I have an "auger" which looks like a giant wine corkscrew and the width is adjustable. A child could dig a 3' hole with this. I just used it put in a 8' recycled fence post to secure the manger I built last November in my shelter.
This is an 8' (8" diameter) post that I dig a 3' hole to put in. Here's the manger~
Hope this helps! Let us know what you end up doing. =D
I use one strand of electric twine (thin electric rope) for most of my pastures, but one of them has the thicker rope, I like the thinner stuff because it breaks a lot easier, meaning if Casey was to run into it, and got tangled in it, it would break a lot easier.. I also use the pigtail posts (about 3.5 feet tall) inside our 8 foot woven wire fence, which has every three t-posts a big wide wood post, and a 4.5 foot tall plastic t-post outside that fence (Casey is a 13.3 pony). Sorry about the terrible picture, I took this a while ago, this shows the electric twine and pigtail post.
In your case I would look into some electric twine/rope, the tape isn't as sturdy, it falls apart easier.
Have you considered using an electric rope (3/8")? It is nautical grade rope with multiple strands of thin wire wound through it. The rope doesn't fray easily, it is weather tolerant and is durable and strong. Wind, snow, freezing, melting, etc are no problem. It is easily visible, inexpensive, easy to install and easy to maintain. When installed properly, it looks good too.
I have two up right now... a three strand 1 1/2 tape and a 3 strand woven wire with a 1 1/2 tape top. I prefer the second one. The tape is more visible but the current doesn't move through it as well. Its also a pain to repair and I've spent more on the stupid connectors than I care for but you can tie it together though it doesn't look very nice. The babies do better in second one also. It is more likely to give a zap quicker than the tape. I used Gallagher turbo wire... not the horse braid. The turbo wire works much better over distance and has a good shock.
I'm moving back to smooth wire though both for cost and efficiency in my new field I'm fencing in especially as I have to use a solar powered battery there.