The highest read posts on my blog are always one of the barn planning posts. People are more interested in building a horse loafing shed then reading me go on about Big Name Trainers. HA! So my Cunning Plan is to always throw more farm planning information onto the blog to keep those vistation numbers up! DOUBLE HA!
The 10 acre mini-farm where Big Guy does his retirement boarding, has some awesome horse fence. It’s not expensive board fence but is serviceable, cheaper smooth wire, offset by electric. Wire has it’s major disadvantages, especially when a horse goes through it – and why I would never put it up unless you also use hot wire. However, the reality is that it is cheap and so is the no. 1 fencing material used in my area.
Where this fence is a standout is because it was done RIGHT. It is pulled tight and has proper end posts for bracing the wire. Without these the fence and gate will eventually sag.
Generally, these posts are sunk in concrete. The upright posts are braced by a cross rail, and the wire is also braced and held with a tightener.
When adding another line of fence, additional posts need to be installed and the bracing continued:
The hot wire is offset on the inside of the pasture fenceline and is powered by a solar panel. If you have too many cloudy days you can back this up with a car battery (gate panel solar kits are sold with such). The white line is the hot wire and the white circle marks the insulator which holds it.
The hot wire (seen in photo below as the black wire on the post) must be buried under the gate so the current is kept unbroken.
What I have found at many barns is people unwilling to do this step properly. Instead, they run the wire across the gate so you have to unhook it (a big pain in the ass). Inevitably, someone gets shocked, or they forget to hook the wire and the current is turned off (the horses figure this out very quickly!).
In the above photo you can also see the smooth wire wrapped around the fence post and making a Y. When installing fence, this must be done with a crank action tool or better yet, tractor, in order to pull the wire as tight as possible. If not done, the fence WILL sag.
I would prefer to have these t-posts capped. They sell plastic toppers or you can use tennis balls. At one of our boarding facilities a horse had been rearing close to the fence line, playing with another horse. He came down on top of a t-post and speared himself – I found him after the accident and miraclously he survived – but with a HUGE scar.
These three horses are seniors, pretty smart about fencing, and the 10 acres allows plenty of room for three horses to play. So far we haven’t had any issues; keep fingers crossed.