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Chele11 12-28-2010 04:00 AM

Fencing and Barn Doors for an Escape Artist
I keep Chili at a friend's barn about 20-30 minutes (depending on weather and road conditions) from my house (in town). The barn is not a show barn and neither is the pasture. I'd chalk it up to a typical older barn and field.

Her horse is an escape artist. He pushes through stall doors & fences (doesn't kick them). This last time, he broke his door frame and the stall door. We're fixing it this weekend and putting Chili in there because her stall is so dark (no electricity).

My friend said her horse has always done this - and the fencing is evidence of such antics.

The fencing is mainly board fencing. There is some wire rope (not sure which tbh or it could be a mix of each) but it's mostly boards. I'm not afraid of her horse busting out so much as I am about Chili busting out! I don't know if she'll take off or stick around the barn/house. We're going out there this weekend to work on the barn itself and my friend is supposed to work on the fence. While I don't want to tell her what to do, I would like some suggestions on how to keep her horse from breaking down the fence - which will present a danger to my own horse.

The upside AND down to this situation is my friend is providing this to me for free. NO strings attached. Just help out when they need it. (We've volunteered but she's declined each time already, including fixing the fence). She mentioned using barb wire (one strand) which I made sure to let her know I wasn't comfortable with - but she assured me one strand wasn't going to cause the damage I thought it would cause. :deep breath: I hope like hell not!!!!!

ANY suggestions would be appreciated. Please, don't start with finding another place for Chili. While free may not be the best option for other people, it is the ONLY option for me right now.

PaintHorseMares 12-28-2010 05:24 AM

Barb wire is cheap, but I would never use it around a horse. I would run a strand of electrified high tensile wire at the top of the board fence....your biggest expense will be the fence charger. In my experience, touching the hot wire a couple times makes even escape artists respect the fence.

mbender 12-28-2010 06:57 AM

Looks like hotwire is the only option you have. Her horse will Never respect the fencing because he's won every attempt! Unfortunately you have no choices in this matter.
If she wants to put barb wire up, that's her prerogative. If you aren't paying for board and are there free and its her property, you kinda don't have a say. Sorry.
Of course I would be concerned about the safety of my horse. Has her horse ever gotten out of the pasture/paddock because of breaking the fence? Has your horse tried getting out? I would say that if your horse found an escape route, he'd stay near if the other horse was still there.

I would suggest to your friend or even ask her if she thinks her horse would get hurt on the barbed wire? Sometimes, horses don't feel that poking sensation and will go through but end up getting severely cut up afterwards.

My only other suggestion is to go in halves and get hotwire. But you may have to pay a little for the electric bill or get a solar fencer. That's what we went with.
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Jacksmama 12-28-2010 08:45 AM

I was going to suggest something very similar mbender! If you're not paying board, you could spring for the charger and hot wire. It really would be much safer than the barbed wire. The chargers aren't cheap depending on how big the field is, but neither are vet bills and I am betting a bad run in with barbed wire will cost a heck of a lot more than a charger. I don't want to freak you out but maybe this story will help change your friends mind.

A good friend of mine breeds RMH, and a few years before I met her she had a yearling that was chased by a coyote through the fence. There was only one strand on the fence but it sliced him badly, it wrapped around one of his legs, and though she tried for almost two weeks to bring him through it he had to be put down. Needless to say there is NO barbed wire on her property anywhere now.

Alwaysbehind 12-28-2010 08:54 AM

I would not recommend barbed wire for a small horse enclosure with a horse who has a history of pushing through the fence. It is just asking for issues.

Curious, why does the friend's horse break out? Is it trying to get to better grass? Other horses? Or just bored?

I agree with the plan for hot something. Very hot. Make sure the charger is correctly installed and the fencing is installed in a manner to give a nice good bite. Then the trick is, making sure the charger is on. All this horse has to do is learn that it can push the fence down when the charger is off and the lesson of breaking down fences will be one notch further ingrained.

It is hard to get a horse to unlearn something that has been self rewarding. Good luck to you and your friend.

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