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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my barn is finished! Now I need to think about fencing. My little ranch is in the high mountain desert of Wyoming, which means very dry conditions, strong sun in summer, very cold in winter, and very, very windy (winds have been clocked to 130mph; 60mph in winter is common).

The common fencing of the area is barbed wire (ABSOLUTELY NOT) and high-tensile wire (which I also do not like). We have high tensile along two sides of our 76 acre piece.

What I want from fencing: Strong, horse safe, low maintenance, not ridiculously expensive. This is a retirement property so I don't want to be spending a lot of time fixing fence (or hiring someone else to do it). However, I'm not made of money so though I know a low-maintenance fence will mean higher initial costs, I do have to keep costs in mind. Initial fencing will likely break about 20 acres into two pastures.

One other thing I need to keep in mind is that my horse habitually leans/scratches on the fence - so I need to either run hotwire to discourage that, or build a super strong fence.

I'm looking at these types at the moment:

Some variety of no-climb. I'm thinking this'll be cheaper, but not sure about maintenance. I'd run a hotwire along the inside top to discourage leaning:

Horse Fence - SafeGuard®
Horse Fence - Non-Climb

A neighbor has Centaur fencing, and though it's white and dirty, it has been standing for 15 years (I'm told) and still looks good and tight - it's three (4?) wire polyvinyl fencing.

Flex-Fence | Flexible Fencing by JWI

Double J Fencing Products Centaur's Hot Rail Horse Fence

So, looking for experiences with the type of fences I'm considering. Are there other types of fencing I should be considering?

Appreciate any wisdom, stories or advice you can offer as I begin research on the next building project of my little dream ranch.
 

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First it depends on how much you can afford.
The wire fences would stand up to the weather better in my humble opinion
I have never seen the poly material. I would question the durability in teh cold and heat. Also would the wind be a problem with it ?
 

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From the description of your property you should very much consider barbed wire. It's not about keeping the horses in but what you are trying to keep out. Barbed wire is the only thing that has stopped moose from tearing down my fences. They go straight thro, and tear out hundreds of feet of fence. With electric I spent half a day weekly putting it back up. Insulators fly like bullets so are seldom found so there was that additional cost. I watched a large bull moose tear out 200 yards of livestock wire. He just kept hitting the fence with his chest until it gave way. I imagine he did the same to the other side. The barbed wire has been up about 20 years and that has stopped the fence damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From the description of your property you should very much consider barbed wire. It's not about keeping the horses in but what you are trying to keep out. Barbed wire is the only thing that has stopped moose from tearing down my fences. They go straight thro, and tear out hundreds of feet of fence. With electric I spent half a day weekly putting it back up. Insulators fly like bullets so are seldom found so there was that additional cost. I watched a large bull moose tear out 200 yards of livestock wire. He just kept hitting the fence with his chest until it gave way. I imagine he did the same to the other side. The barbed wire has been up about 20 years and that has stopped the fence damage.
I will NOT used barbed wire for horses. I've seen too many horrific injuries. I'd rather have a moose tear down my fence, than deal with the kinds of injuries horses can get going through barbed wire. Besides, we have no moose where I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First it depends on how much you can afford.
The wire fences would stand up to the weather better in my humble opinion
I have never seen the poly material. I would question the durability in teh cold and heat. Also would the wind be a problem with it ?
That's why I'm asking. The manufacturers may say it will be fine, but how do I know they're telling the truth? I'm looking for people who have used these products, and can provide real-life information on whether they work in my environment or not.
 

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One other thing I need to keep in mind is that my horse habitually leans/scratches on the fence - so I need to either run hotwire to discourage that, or build a super strong fence.
If you have a fence leaner, you'll want to run hot wire on any fence you put up. Over time, even the strongest fences are no match for the weight of a horse on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you have a fence leaner, you'll want to run hot wire on any fence you put up. Over time, even the strongest fences are no match for the weight of a horse on it.
That was my thought too, though the pasture he is in now has stood up remarkably well to his leanings.

Solar hot wire is my plan, since we get plenty of sunshine, and electricity is very expensive.
 

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Despite advertising to the contrary, our dept. of agriculture recommends using recommended electric wire for perimeter fencing and save the ribbon for dividing pastures. Wind can create tremendous forces on the ribbon which eventually shreds, despite the claims. Consider the economics of wire. If on a straight run that's flat, posts can be 30-50' apart altho corners must be very well built and strong with bracing and tensioners.
 

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Hi. I, too, live in WY.

The Safe-Guard and No Climb fences are nice, but deer and antelope will crawl over them and they will sag. That fence is difficult to get back up and straight once it's been crawled over.

I don't recommend going with anything wide. Boards, vinyl, tape (even when twisted). Not only is the wind hard on them, the harsh temperatures are rough on the materials. Also the frequent freezing and even slight warming of the ground makes the vinyl posts move and you have trouble keeping the vinyl "boards" in place.

If you don't like high tensile, what about cable? Easy for the migrating animals to pass through (even elk - though they more often go over), and if it does sag, it is easy to tighten. Put some effort into good corners as you build and it will last you a very long time.

I wouldn't use barbed wire, either, in a small pasture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi. I, too, live in WY.

The Safe-Guard and No Climb fences are nice, but deer and antelope will crawl over them and they will sag. That fence is difficult to get back up and straight once it's been crawled over.

I don't recommend going with anything wide. Boards, vinyl, tape (even when twisted). Not only is the wind hard on them, the harsh temperatures are rough on the materials. Also the frequent freezing and even slight warming of the ground makes the vinyl posts move and you have trouble keeping the vinyl "boards" in place.

If you don't like high tensile, what about cable? Easy for the migrating animals to pass through (even elk - though they more often go over), and if it does sag, it is easy to tighten. Put some effort into good corners as you build and it will last you a very long time.

I wouldn't use barbed wire, either, in a small pasture.
Thanks. Do you have an example of the cable you're talking about? Not heard of it for fencing - or is this the "braided" electric tape?

With the no climb, I was considering having 'gaps' installed at ground level at some interval (at the recommended 16" height, with a pole or board above to hold the fence), to allow pronghorn, anyway, to go under. Not sure if the mulies (we have some, not a lot) would use those as well, or if this has ever been tried before.
 

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Thanks. Do you have an example of the cable you're talking about? Not heard of it for fencing - or is this the "braided" electric tape?

With the no climb, I was considering having 'gaps' installed at ground level at some interval (at the recommended 16" height, with a pole or board above to hold the fence), to allow pronghorn, anyway, to go under. Not sure if the mulies (we have some, not a lot) would use those as well, or if this has ever been tried before.
Thought to add that the No Climb and Safe Guard fences will catch every weed, cornstalk, grocery sack, etc. that blows your way. Unsightly, sure, but once snow comes, the snow will pile up on the debris and push the fence over. Those fences come with a bit of maintenance. Some people think it's worth it. Others don't.

Here is a link to one supplier down in LaSalle, CO. There are many. Sometimes you can even get it at auction or from other industrial companies. They are often less expensive than a fence company.

Cable and Fencing Supplies / Ackerman Distributing 800-726-9091

You can search for "livestock cable fencing" under images in whatever search engine you use and get lots of ideas. You don't have to use pipe. Some people use wood, and there are also various types of pipe.
 

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I used 3/8" nautical grade electrified rope (made for livestock) on our property and it works very well. We live in a climate where temperatures dip below -40 in winter, with heavy wind and snow loads and can climb to +30 C in the summer. This fence has withstood everything. The rope is easy to maintain, safe and keeps the horses from leaning or rubbing on the fence. We do have the occasional deer and moose travelling through our property and have had no issues with other animals tearing down the fence. I have never had the rope break and have had minimal maintenance.

We use 4 strands on wood posts placed about 20' apart. The insulators are screwed in instead of nailed, so they stay put. I electrify the top and third strand to prevent pawing or leaning on the fence. I use a simple electric fencer that plugs into an outdoor outlet and get a good zap in any weather. Even with the third wire buried in the snow, it carries a current that I (and my horses) respect. I do have to tighten the fence some in the winter as it seems to stretch more in the cold, but the connectors are simple and easy to use with a basic flat headed screwdriver. No additional tensioners or tools are required.
 

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I used 3/8" nautical grade electrified rope (made for livestock) on our property and it works very well. We live in a climate where temperatures dip below -40 in winter, with heavy wind and snow loads and can climb to +30 C in the summer. This fence has withstood everything. The rope is easy to maintain, safe and keeps the horses from leaning or rubbing on the fence. We do have the occasional deer and moose travelling through our property and have had no issues with other animals tearing down the fence. I have never had the rope break and have had minimal maintenance.

We use 4 strands on wood posts placed about 20' apart. The insulators are screwed in instead of nailed, so they stay put. I electrify the top and third strand to prevent pawing or leaning on the fence. I use a simple electric fencer that plugs into an outdoor outlet and get a good zap in any weather. Even with the third wire buried in the snow, it carries a current that I (and my horses) respect. I do have to tighten the fence some in the winter as it seems to stretch more in the cold, but the connectors are simple and easy to use with a basic flat headed screwdriver. No additional tensioners or tools are required.
Good recommendation, Koolio!
 
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