Perimeter Fence Questions

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Perimeter Fence Questions

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    04-24-2014, 12:15 PM
Question Perimeter Fence Questions

About a year and a half ago DH and I bought property and we have been tackling 1 project at a time, turning it into our dream property. This spring/summer we are tackling the perimeter fence. We are putting up post and rail, with rails inside.
My husband is insistent that the rails are 2x but I am pretty certain all the corrals I am around (I work for USDA and am out in fields a lot) are 1x, but I could be judging wrong, it's not like I measure each board.

What are your post and rail fences like? 4x4 or 6x6? 2x or 1x boards?
Thanks all!
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    04-24-2014, 12:33 PM
Generally posts are either 4x or 6x but generally see 4x, when bigger than that in my area they are usually old rail road ties. I've never seen anything but 1x for rails, you could use 2x's if you wanted I guess.
    04-24-2014, 12:45 PM
Yeah, I'd have to agree with your husband and Darrin up there. Most rails are 1x's.
    04-24-2014, 12:49 PM
I can't even begin to explain how happy that makes me! 1x is much more I love being right ;)
We are getting some lumber donated from a family member so I am waiting to hear back what the dimensions are and how much he is giving us. I would like the fence to be somewhat uniform in appearance.
Thanks for the input.
boots likes this.
    04-24-2014, 01:02 PM
First, I found an article to help get you started:
How to Build a Horse Fence: A Step by Step Guide
You will Want 8 inch diameter, 8 foot tall posts. I have them on my property and I have 4 acres fenced in. (I bought pipe fencing.)
You will want 2 ft. X 12 ft. Horizontal boards, although I really like the look of the long posts used AS boards, too.
REMEMBER: BOARDS go on the INSIDE of your FENCE!!!
The BO bought fencing from a horse place that went under, used them to fence in the paddock that I rented, and where he put them on the outside of the posts, the horses leaned on them and they came loose.
You can break your arms using a slam in the ground and pull apart post hole digger. I much prefer an auger--sorry can't find a picture of mine, which is not electric--BUT you can rent one that runs on gas, and save yourself a LOT of labor.
You put the 8 ft. Post 3 ft. Into the ground. The gravel sounds great, but I've pulled up 60yo posts from one of the previous farmers who fenced the property in for cattle and the below ground wood wasn't rotten. I think they try to sell you this to get you to buy more stuff. The ONLY rotten posts were those set in cement. (DON'T get me started on the broken off metal fencepost supports set 3 ft in cement that I've had to remove!!!!)
Always buy treated wood, but honestly, it's about the safest material you can find.
ONE MORE THING: Something I never would have thought to do but a previous owner DID--
Fence in an area in front of your barn. Horses make a beeline for an open gate. I cannot tell you how many times in the last 15 years I've had a horse escape to that area (we call it "The Inner Sanctum") when I wasn't home, and I didn't loose him to a busy highway.
In addition, We have separate turnouts and a small (55 ft x 65 ft.) area that used to be a garden, but is now a training area. We have a rectangular 3 acre North pasture, the training area, the area in back of the barn, the Inner Sanctum, and a 3/4 acre South Pasture. It REALLY helps to not just have one big fenced in spot. My 3 horses do not NEED all of that space, so you can start much smaller, and then add on.
Hope this helps!
    04-24-2014, 01:11 PM
Originally Posted by Corporal    
You put the 8 ft. Post 3 ft. Into the ground.
HAHAHAHA, sorry, I shouldn't laugh, but this makes me giggle. I will pay someone to be able to get a post that deep where I am at. Oh, that would be awesome, but it is virtually impossible!

Seriously now, thank you for all your tips. I appreciate it all. My biggest pet peeve is people putting rails on the outside of the fence. It may look "nicer" but I have seen plenty of boards pop off from a horse just leaning on the fence.
Corporal likes this.
    04-24-2014, 01:17 PM
This is where electric comes in, string a strand along the top and they wont be leaning on the top rail. If they start pushing the bottom rail then toss another strand down there. Nothing like spending a lot of money on an expensive fence just to allow the horses to push it over trying to reach grass on the other side.
Corporal and karliejaye like this.
    04-24-2014, 01:27 PM
1X don't have the strength to hold a mini in. A 1x is actually more likely only 3/4". If someone is out there building a fence with only 1X, my guess is they aren't horse people. I would do a minimum 2x6. If this is your forever property, do it once and do it right. Your perimeter fence needs to be your best fence. I don't care as much if they get out and wander around the property but I sure don't want them out wandering the streets.

If you put in 4x4 posts when you join 2 boards, that only give you about 1 1/2" to nail to. Too easy to split the board when you nail that close to the end of the board.
    04-24-2014, 01:40 PM
I love how I am getting support to both sides of the arguement! I see both sides. Now I can't wait to see what is being given to us. I have been to the ranch the fencing is coming from (it is extra that wasn't used) and for the life of me I can't remember what was used. I am pretty sure it was 6x6 8' PT square posts and 2x6 boards. Which means a lot of $$$$ to match it, but I agree, safety is top priority. Luckily 1 side of our property already has posts (but no rails) so that helps.

Another question: If the rails are on the inside, how do you do the corners? Stagger them? Two posts? Blocks? Nail to the outside for the corners only?
    04-24-2014, 02:13 PM
I would butt them up against each other. It won't matter if you get a small inch or two gap.
karliejaye likes this.

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