Wire Fencing... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-29-2010, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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It wasn't the thread itself that got me thinking - more a few posts that seemed to say wire wasn't appropriate for any horses (any kind of wire).
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post #12 of 16 Old 10-29-2010, 08:37 AM
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We've always kept our horses in wire, electric and barb, except for our sacrafice paddock which was wood for awhile. I recently changed it over to electrified white tape/rope.

Our Walkers were kept in without incident for 15 years or so in a single strand of barbwire. The only time we had a barb wire problem was when they dug up the previous owner's wire in the paddock unbeknownst to us. One of our mares got it wrapped around her leg, but it healed up quickly and without major injury.

As W_S said there are some very important factors with any type of fencing and wire in particular.

1. Space. Horses need a decent amount of space. My sacrifice paddock is 3/4 of an acre. I have 2 horses in it. I would only put another horse in there IF it was a correct personality type. Horses need to be able to get away from each other without going through the fence. Our pasture is about 2 acres and was fenced in barb wire. The sacrifice paddock was wood when we had 3 horses, now it's 2 strand electric rope and I have 2 horses in it.


2. Food. Do the horses have enough food? If they don't, you're asking for them to test the fence.

3. Herd dynamics and stability. If you have a very stable herd with non-aggressive horses you can more easily keep them in "lighter" fencing. If you have any aggressive horses or changing dynamics (young/new horse figuring out it's place) you either need a lot more space or you need heavier duty fencing.

Others made valid points too, sight lines, fencing shape, shared fences, etc are all extremely important with ANY type of fencing.
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post #13 of 16 Old 10-29-2010, 09:08 AM
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Good topic Wild Spot, we live in the rural area and use a twisted pair barbless wire. I can't speak for others but I know I dont have thousands of dollars to surround my property with fancy wood of pipe style fences. Where I live most people use wire due to the cost, but I will say I had a dog that spooked one of the horses and he did get into the pre existing barb wire and sustained minor cuts. I since replaced with smooth wire and the incident happend a week after we moved here and the horses have since then learned their boundries. I would also say the more room to run the less chance of entanglement.
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post #14 of 16 Old 10-29-2010, 09:19 AM
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We use barb wire and electric fence and yet to have an accident in 11years with it. How you introduce your horse to it makes all the difference

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-29-2010, 06:47 PM
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It drives me nuts when people act like barbed wire makes you an abusive horse owner. No, it's not an ideal fence, but if you're fencing off 200 acres it's practical and the odds of your horse getting hurt in it are a LOT less then a horse kept in a cramped wood paddock. I saw more injuries at a boarding barn I was at from splintered wood then I ever saw on my grandpa's 80 acres of always tight and maintained barbed wire.

I will agree you're not very smart if you're using barbed wire for a paddock, but for massive pastures, the horses simply never test it because they never have a NEED to. They have plenty of room to get away from a dominant horse and plenty of space to feed freely!

Really, no fence is 100% safe - I've seen grotesque and deadly injuries from every single type of fence known to man. My Arab mare leaned on a board fence that broke and tore a strip right down her face. When I boarded my Arab gelding, they used to smash the wood fence to escape and every single time one of the horses ended up with stitches. I had an Arab mare go through our plain wire hot fence, cut herself up (no vet required, mild). I had to watch a gelding be put to sleep after he kicked a horse through a big metal gate (like someone said Fugly promotes) and ******ed his leg up beyond repair.

In an absolutely perfect world, my dream fence would be railroad tie posts with two rows of boards and three strands of hot wire! And I'd STILL have someone injure their dang selves on it!

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post #16 of 16 Old 10-29-2010, 07:22 PM
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As long as barb wire is tight all it does is scratch but when it is loose it can cause extreme damage. The key to having any safe enclosure regardless of materials is maintenance. If you keep them in good condition and functioning properly then your horse is much less likely to get hurt.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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