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cissysmom 08-25-2008 06:57 PM

how to keep horses from crossing cattle guard
(cross-posted) I live on a cattle ranch and have 15 horses. We have a great 25 acre pasture that is available for horses. A driveway bisects it, and another driveway goes off to the left, to our house. There is a cattle guard between the 25 acre pasture and the adjacent pasture where our house is, designed to allow us to drive to our house while keeping cattle in the 25 acre pasture, but It's no longer used for cattle. Two of my horses have gone from the 25 acre pasture, over the cattle guard to the pasture in front of our house. One mare got her leg stuck and injured her fetlock and coronary band. My stallion easily jumps or walks across it and so far hasn't gotten injured. Basically, I can't use the pasture at this point b/c I'm afraid of injury.

I've seen electric fences and bump gates. Does anyone know of any other ideas? I'm reluctant to use bump gates because I can see them stop working after being bumped over and over by our cars.

Has anyone heard of flags on springs that you can drive over? I have but can't find them on the net.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Dumas'_Grrrl 08-25-2008 08:37 PM

My idea isn't convienent or car friendly but its what we do...we live on a large cattle ranch too. What I have always done when we had the horses in a pasture with cattle guards was to put up a strand of poly rope...the yellow cheap rope...and tied a bandana onto it. Its highly visible to the horses and the rope keeps them from wanting to jump the cattle guard. I usually tie it fast to one side then make a loop on the other end of the rope and just put it over the end post on the cattle guard. Its kind of a pain as you have to open and shut it like a regular gate. But it keeps the horses from seeing it as a viable escape route. I'd rather have it be a pain in the tush than risk injury.

Anyways...that's my extremely low tech answer :lol:

I have seen the poop up flags you mentioned but I don't know where to get'em. sorry.

cissysmom 08-25-2008 09:28 PM

Thanks for the idea. I'm thinking once they get out of the habit we might be able to take it down.

FutureVetGirl 08-26-2008 01:48 AM

Ok... I have a question... is a fence in between your land and the pasture? If so... why don't you have a fence in addition to a cattle guard?

Both of my grandparents had pastures with cattle guards... and both had cattle and horses. And both had a gate that closed over on top of the cattle guard. The horses respected the fence more than they ever would the cattle guard.

Why not put up a gate? Not electric, not a "bumper" gate... but a real... heavy-duty gate?

cissysmom 08-26-2008 08:54 AM

Yes, there's a fence, but we're trying to avoid having to get out of the car to open and close it every time we go anywhere.

Dumas'_Grrrl 08-26-2008 09:09 AM

I think that eventually the horses will respect the rope gate and not cross there. Where we live our yard is fenced on 3 sides from the cattle fencing and then it narrows at our driveway so that with a gate our yard would be totally fenced in. We use a rope gate on our driveway so that we can let the horses loose in the yard. At first the horses wanted to go there. We used white rope that looks like their hot wire. They (2 of em) don't even go up by the gate anymore.

I see your point is a pain in the tushie to have to open and close it everytime we leave the house.

Good Luck and Happy hunting....I search for the pop up flags on the net last night and for the life of me I can't seem to find them.

Perhaps you will have to think out of the box and create your own..

Vidaloco 08-26-2008 09:49 AM

When our horses are in the pasture we have to open 2 gates to get down the driveway. I much prefer it to having horses injured by a cattle guard.
They make solar powered automatic gate openers that cost about the same as a vet bill to put a horse down with a broken leg.

cissysmom 08-26-2008 05:14 PM

I completely agree that safety for my sweeties is the first priority. My husband uses a cane and has trouble getting in and out of the car so that's a consideration.

I thought about a solar gate but wonder if it would stand up to the traffic. Still thinking about it.

Still can't find the spring up flags after about 3 hours of looking.

My latest idea is putting up a pvc "carwash" over the entrance for a while--long and shiny streamers hanging down. We could drive under it. Don't know but it's worth a try maybe.

Thanks for you input.

Dumas'_Grrrl 08-26-2008 05:22 PM

I've seen it work before!!! My neighbor down the road uses that!!! I haven't seen any of his horses out for a very long time...the thing is that if you have a horse that likes to won't take long for them to go on thru...tho...with having to cross the cattle guard AND the car would have to be a brave horse!!

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