A horse's instinct to fly is sometimes stronger than his common sense, making him more prone to fence-related injury than other animals. For this reason, not all fences are appropriate for a horse. This guide will help you select the best fence to serve your needs as a horse owner.
Selecting a Horse Fence
The best horse fence is constructed with mesh. Mesh fencing is created by weaving wire into uniform patterns. Horizontal wires are called line wires, while vertical wires are called stay wires. Pullout is the measure, in inches, of the distance between stay wires. Wire gauge (abbreviated Ga.) describes the weight and size of the wire. The larger the number, the smaller the wire.
Tractor Supply offers two types of horse fence to meet your needs as a horse owner.
- Keepsaf Horse Fence has unequalled linear strength and a springy texture. The vertical wires run diagonally to form the strongest possible 2"x4" diamond mesh. The galvanized wire is made in the U.S. with 100% American steel.
- Square Deal Non-Climb Fence features 12 1/2-gauge, galvanized steel line wires, and 10-gauge top-and-bottom wires. Its strong, flexible 2"x4"Â?rectangular mesh resists being broken or eaten. The Square Deal knot prevents fences from buckling or sagging by providing extra vertical strength and rigidity. At the same time, its flexibility makes it ideal for installation over hilly or uneven terrain. When properly installed with the smooth side inward, Square Deal knots won't cut or damage animals.
How to Read the Style Number
When choosing Square Deal Non-Climb Fence, use the style number to determine the important dimensions of the fence.
How Much Do I Need?
Fence is measured in rods. A rod equals 16-1/2 feet. Measure the perimeter in feet of the area you want to fence, and then divide the total number of feet by 16 1/2. This will equal the number of rods you need.
Q and A: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Horse Fencing
Question: Can I use field fence or stockade panels for horses?
Answer: Only as a short-term solution. Horses often injure themselves by stepping through or walking down field fence. Stockade panels are welded products that have no "give" when the horse makes contact with the fence, which can result in serious injury. Bumping, leaning, and kicking can break the welds, exposing sharp edges that cause serious cuts or abrasions.
Question: But isn't welded wire fencing stronger than woven wire?
Answer: No. Woven wire fencing is just as strong, or stronger, than welded wire.
Question: Can I use a barbed wire fence for horses?
Answer: No. The barbs will cause serious damage to your horse with even minimal contact.
Question: How high should my horse fence be?
Answer: For mares and foals, make your fence at least 4-1/2 feet tall to discourage jumping and reaching over. Use a 5-foot top wire. For stallion pens, breaking pens, and cool-down pens, use 5 to 6 feet of fence. Read more about how to build a horse fence here.
Question: How high off the ground should my fence be?
Answer: Make the bottom at least 1 to 6 inches from the ground, depending upon predator concerns. Make sure there are no places where a foal can put his head through or roll under.
Question: What about side-by-side paddocks?
Answer: For mares, 5 to 6 feet of fence will discourage reaching over. Don't let stallion paddocks share a fence line. Create alley ways between paddocks to prevent fighting and excessive wear-and-tear.
Question: How strong should my horse fence be?
Answer: Design your fence strong and high enough to contain your most difficult animal.
Question: Is horse fence pre-stretched?
Answer: No. To prevent sagging and buckling, you will need to stretch most fences slowly and carefully with a tractor-adaptable stretcher or hand stretcher.