Choose the Right Electric Horse Fence for the Job
Electric fencing is one of the most effective methods of keeping horses safely in their paddocks or fields. Article by Karen Elizabeth Baril
The shock a horse receives from the electric fence perfectly mimics the shock an alpha horse might give him if he got a bit too close
or tested personal boundaries. As a horse owner, I love electric fencing because it’s one of the most economical and least labor intensive fences to install.
Sounds good, right? There’s only one hitch: not all styles work well in every situation. Perimeter fencing should be highly visible and
carry a good charge, for instance. Temporary fencing should be easy to dismantle and move to another location. Even weather
patterns factor in---for example, tape fencing is not always the best choice for areas prone to high winds.
Of course, the right fence is more than just a practicality, the right fence can protect you from liability. When horses get loose, the
potential for injury is pretty high, even if you live in a rural area. Frightened or spooked horses can run into traffic or cause extensive property damage.
Last June, our neighbor’s horses jumped over a sagging gate and ran along our driveway. We were able to secure both horses and
return them safely to their field, but I cringe to think of what might have happened had we not been home that day.
Liability cases revolve around negligence---and inadequate fencing is considered negligent in many livestock injury cases. Electric
fencing that is not turned on, gates that are sagging, fences that are not up to the task---these are all red flags to the judge.
But, there’s no need to worry---choosing the best electric fence for the job doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few situations you
might encounter and some suggestions on what works best:
To prevent chewing or leaning on an existing fence. We own a pair of Haflingers that have discovered the one truth you never want
your horses to know: the grass really is greener on the other side.
It’s quite the challenge to keep a determined grass nibbler from leaning on the fence, but when horses lean or poke their heads
through rails, they not only compromise the integrity of the fence, they put themselves at risk of eye and facial injuries. I should know.
One of our Haflinger geldings, Mighty, injured his lower eyelid doing just that a year or so ago. It cost us a few hundred dollars in
treatment, but we were fortunate that our horse made a full recovery with no damage to his vision.
To eliminate all risk of it happening again, we added electric coated wire as a top rail and then strung the same wire between each rail
. Just one sharp reprimand from the fence put an end to Mighty’s antics. We chose a 12.5 Gauge wire with a polyethylene coating for safety. This
fence offered a 1400lb. break strength. Fencing that offers conductive carbon strips ensure your horses receive a strong, but safe shock.
Another great use for electric coated wire is to keep horses from playing a game of face-tag over shared fence lines. Of course, a lane between
paddocks is ideal, but not all of us have the space or finances required to create that perfect layout. Consider installing electric coated wire along a
shared fence-line to discourage horses in separate paddocks from playing dominance games.
Perimeter fencing for fields and paddocks. Perimeter fencing must be
highly visible, effective, and properly installed. As a farm owner, I also want my perimeter fence to be attractive. Fortunately, today’s electric
tape fencing is available in wide widths and a choice of pretty colors.
Shop for electric tape in 1.5” widths with stainless steel wire construction
as opposed to copper for superior conduction and longevity. Avoid farm store or hardware store tape which is often of lesser quality. Be sure the
tape has Ultra-Violet protection from the damaging rays of the sun.
Keep in mind other weather-related challenges like wind. Wide electric tape has a tendency to flap in the wind, which can eventually
cause a sag or twist. If you live in an area exposed to frequent winds, electric braid might be a better choice. Alternatively, if you love
the look of tape, talk to your fence company about whether decreasing the distance between posts might solve the problem.
A reputable company will help you choose the right accessories to tension your fence as well as suggest ideal post distance and positioning.
Temporary fencing for rotational grazing. Electric tape or electric braid fencing works well for rotational grazing and temporary
fencing. It’s easy to install and easy to move. Remember to choose a fence that is highly visible. Other uses include fencing off ponds,
wet areas, root stems of trees, and other areas that tend to suffer damage from trampling.
RAMM Stalls & Horse Fencing has all your electric fence needs under one roof. Here’s a sampling of our products:
Shockline Electric Coated Wire:
This is RAMM's newest 5/16" Electric coated wire, a versatile solution for high traffic areas or as a top sight rail, with a polymer coating that protects your horse
against injury. RAMM’s Shockline boasts a 1400lb. break strength per rail, 12.5” gauge pre-straightened high tensile steel wire with a polyethylene coating and
three conductive carbon strips. Customer feedback on this product has been excellent. High visibility makes this a great combination fence or on its own as a
three or four rail fence. We offer Shockline Electric Coated Wire with a 20-year Limited Manufacturing Warranty.
Pro-Tek Electric Fence Tape:
Pro-Tek Electric Fence Tape is a favorite with horse owners and for
good reason. It looks gorgeous and is one of the strongest, most durable tapes on the market. Pro-Tek boasts 15 strands of 12 mil stainless steel
wire and 33 strands of 20 mil UV stabilized polyethylene monofilament to ensure durability and resistance to fading. It offers a 750lb. break
strength and is highly visible so makes a good perimeter fence or top rail. Pro-Tek Electric Fence is also backed by a 20-year Limited Manufacturing Warranty.
Pro-Tek Electric Braid Fence is the newest addition to our line-up. Our Pro-Tek Electric Braid Fence offers 9 stainless steel wires for superior
conductivity and offers a 1400lb. break strength, one of the strongest on the market. It’s so easy to install with hand tensioners and it will never
stain or discolor your fence line. We back it with a 10-year Limited Manufacturing Warranty. It’s easily installed on any type of fence post.