Fencing Safety? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-25-2007, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 62
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Fencing Safety?

A week ago I tragically lost my 1/2 Arabian mare. She became tangled in the polyrope electric fencing and severly injured her back leg. I'm not sure of the details as I was out of town at the time, and my parents were there to see her and make the call of whether to euthanize her, which they did. They could not tell if it was a break or not, but she was standing directly on the fetlock joint and would not stand on the hoof even when they tried to put it on the ground for her. Also she was in such shock and immense pain that she could not be trailered to the vet clinic. My parents decided that the best option was to euthanize because no matter what the technical injury, it seemed to be irreparable and she was in a lot of pain. Also she was 22, so she would not have easily healed. Again, I am unsure of what happened in the accident as my parents did not actually see it, and also I didn't want to press for details as it was painful for all of us.

Before this happened, we were going to move my other horse, a purebred Arab gelding to this boarding facility. Of course now, I don't know if I want him to move there. I don't know if her fencing is in reality unsafe, or if it was just a freak accident. I haven't found any great evidence that the fencing is unsafe, but at the same time I would never forgive myself if I moved my other horse there, only to have the same thing happen.

The vet said that she considered the fencing to be safe, but at the same time if she's the vet on call for the facility, she's likely to be friendly with the owner and perhaps somewhat biased.

It's polyrope electrified fencing with about 5 ropes, and approximately 6 inches apart. I'd really appreciate any opinions that anyone has.
Maleficent is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-25-2007, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: some where on my farm
Posts: 1,825
• Horses: 5
first off i'm really sorry for your loss, as for the fencing isue, if the fence is in good shape ( not broken or down) and used properly (think it might be hot but not) your fencing can be your best friend or it can be your worst night mare!!.

I use 2 hot wire and 3 barb......top hot then barb 3rd wire hot last 2 barb...i know it's not the wises thing to use but it keep's abby in side our little day pasture (at one point she loved to venture out all the time.

my aunt alway swore by wood fencing and would never turn any or her horses out in a field inclosed by wire, which every year she would have to replace a few dozen bords (either chewed or broken through).

as i see if the fences are maintained, ....i.e walk the line to repair or to knock down weeds that might be interfearing with your hot wire, there should of not been a problem, call in a second vet that has nothing t od with the barn and see what they have to say
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-26-2007, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
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When I went to visit her grave, I checked out the fence carefully and it seemed to be in perfect condition, all over the property. It's so odd to me that any of this happened because she's not a spooky horse at all. I've watched her become tangled in things before, and she just freezes and then finds a way out. I guess I'll never know. Maybe when she first got stuck she came down hard on the fetlock and that's what had her so scared.

There are two horse vets that I have contact with, one from Mattie's (mare that I lost) stable, and one from my other horse's stable. I'm guessing that the other vet may also be biased because he is a friend of the stable owner, and if he says it's OK I'm more likely to move. I guess I should consult another one. I have some friends in Kansas City who are very close to their vet, so maybe I'll ask them to talk to him. I had my horses up there for training for a time, and I know that he's a good vet.
Maleficent is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 07-30-2007, 03:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 412
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I too am sorry for your loss. It is a terrible thing.

I want to say that I don't think that ANY fencing is foolproof (or should I say horseproof) There are pluses and minuses to any fencing. Personally I think that barbed wire is one of if not the most dangerous types of horse fencing. (I personally have it, but am replacing it with wood fencing.) I have seen high tensile wiring that looked safe enough, but I have heard horror stories of horses decapitating themselves from running into it. (it has no "give"). Smooth wire is better IMO but my horses tended to lean on it and stretch it, thus making it dangerous. Wood fences are pretty good, but if a horse crashes through it, it can cause damage too. Pipe fencing can be nice also, but if a horse gets its leg stuck in it, they can break their leg (same with wood) IMO one of the safest fences is the vinyl. It has give if they run into it and will "pop off" before breaking. The problem with it popping off though is that then you have a loose horse and that is dangerous too. Hot wire can be pretty safe as long as its maintained, but if not can be easily ground out and be useless. (there are also really smart horses out there that have learned how to ground out a hot fence.)

So you see. There's no such thing as a "safe" fence. All you can do is the best you can, and be sure your fence is maintained. Do not feel guilty. It most likely was a freak accident that was no ones fault.
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