Need help planning a horse fence/pasture - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Need help planning a horse fence/pasture

Hi,

The attached photo is a Google map of my house. We want to fence in the area outlined for our two horses that we currently board, a pony and a quarter horse. I am new to horses and fence building...can anyone suggest materials that are somewhat inexpensive? I should probably have a divider somewhere in the middle as well. The run out will be located next to the driveway near the "top" of the enclosed area, there is water and electric already there from a previous barn. How far apart should posts be used? I will likely buy a post hole auger for this. The entire length of the perimeter fence is 950 feet (going by the Google maps distance tool).

Thanks!
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 02:01 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by a "run out", did you mean a run in shelter?
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 02:12 PM
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That's not a very big area for 2 horses to have access to 24/7. It will quickly become an eye sore and create a ton of dust in the house. You would be better sectioning off the first 50 feet where the shed will be. Build a solid fence. What you choose is going to depend upon where you live, how much $$ you can spend and the horses themselves. If you would prefer to look at a wood fence when you first drive in than by all means do that. You have to look at that fence every single time you walk outside. I would do 10-12' max boards. Hot wire is a must to keep them off the fence and looking nice. Metal panels go up quickly and are going to cost a bit more than a wood fence but they are a nice investment and you can always move them and use them elsewhere down the road. (you've got a lot of land that you might want to temporarily graze instead of mowing and panels allow you to provide a solid enclosure that you can erect anywhere in about an hour), Panels will look a little doggy over time. If you have farm auctions around you, you can often pick up panels for 25-50% of new.

The larger pasture area you can fence off with just wire and t posts. I will do 20' runs between posts and my top wire is 4 1/2'. Gates! Give yourself plenty of room to get a truck and trailer into that area. 12' minimum for the truck and 4' for a people gate. Don't make one gate do both. Put the gates at the highest point in the pasture or they fill with water and become insufferable mud pits. Horses will also tend to congregate at the gate watching and waiting for you to come feed so don't put it in a direct line to the house. Include that nice clump of trees in the lower corner into the pasture. Your horses will enjoy spending the hottest part of the day snoozing under a tree. (more air flow and cooler than the shed).
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 03:04 PM
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Ideally, you should have 2 acres per horse if you don't want to end up feeding for most of the year. Another way is to diet them by building a smaller pen up where the water and shelter are and lock them in for most of the day. Some people who are really dedicated let their horses out for 5-6 hours a day but only 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. I let mine out for the night and bring them in in the morning before I go to work. That way they are fed and up front if I wish to use them. It keeps their weight down (which you will definitely want to do with a pony to prevent founder) and saves your pasture.
As for post spacing, I would say no more than 14 feet and that is pushing it in my opinion. 10 feet is best when using wire. Many people just run 3 strands of wire but I go with 4 strands minimum to prevent reaching (unless you hook up electric wire). My one mare is terrible with fences, so I needed the extra security to make sure she stays in!
Also, depending on the size of your pony, you may want a few more lower down ;)
Barbed wire is not too badly priced and does help to keep the horses from leaning hard on the fence as well as rubbing on it, which weakens the fence, so long as you don't mind taking the chance that they may/will cut themselves on it.
We have "barbless barbed wire". Basically it is the nice thick double-stranded wire but without the barbs. If you go this rout, you can also fit fence-tighteners to the strands to pull them tight again if they loosen up.
Wood fences are nice and decorative, but sometimes horses, especially when bored or in the winter will chew them up. Buying from a hardware store will also break-the-bank so if you want wood in certain areas, try looking for someone in your area who supplies rough-cut lumber. It's usually half as much as the hardware store, though not treated.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
Include that nice clump of trees in the lower corner into the pasture. Your horses will enjoy spending the hottest part of the day snoozing under a tree. (more air flow and cooler than the shed).
This is a really good idea if the trees are in good shape.
Get some tight wove cattle wire around base of trees.
Horses may chew at the bark.



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post #6 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 03:34 PM
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CIR851/AE017: Construction of High Tensile Wire Fences

High Tensile < About Electric Fencing | Zareba

High tensile fencing will offer best bang for the buck.
If you want better appearance from the road build a façade type wood fence in front of wire.

I use 5 strands of wire for horses.
Top wire @ 52" and 10" between runs.
I electrify top and middle & ground second and fourth strand.
If they touch two wires simultaneously they get shocked.
During summer drought times the ground may not conduct electricity as well as damp times.

Hope this helps.



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post #7 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EponaLynn View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by a "run out", did you mean a run in shelter?
Yep, that's it, sorry.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 04:38 PM
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Fencing, you could pretty much go with anything. Wood, vinyl (?), electric which most people recommend. That space looks big enough for a horse and pony. Honestly I've seen a much smaller space with a pony and horse, maybe a yearling horse, on it (now they have two young horses on it, and no pony as far as I know).

Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 05:44 PM
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You'll need to fence of a sacrifice area where you feed during the winter. This is the area that will get the most traffic. Put a gate between it and the larger area so you can let them out for a run. Keep in mind how far you are willing to walk if you have to trudge thro snow for months carrying feed and water. If that's your house in the pic. then you might consider bringing the fence to that big line of bush to the left.



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post #10 of 19 Old 09-01-2014, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks for the great ideas! I like the high tension wire idea so far, with facade in front of it out by the road. It looks like for that I will need those round wood posts. From what I have read, one of the post pounders works the best. Is that something I might be able to hire out on Craigslist, and then string the wire myself? Also, for the run in shelter, should it face the south for sunlight in the winter? My wife wants it to face the house (west) so that she can see them in the shelter from the house. Perhaps tucking it between those scattered evergreens for a bit of a windbreak. Our horses are a 15 year old Welsh pony and 30 year old quarter horse. Thanks!
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