If you plan to get a horse for the first time, you need to prepare your property and install a good fence. Some types of fences are not suitable for horses, even if the fence is a good choice for other farm animals.
A horse fence should be attractive and durable, but above all, safe for your horse. Here are three factors to consider when choosing the right fence for your horse and property.
1. Your Horse's Safety
When you think of your horse's safety, consider how the horse will be affected when it kicks the fence or gets tangled in the fencing. Barbed wire cuts flesh and is dangerous around horses. Even non-barbed wire can be dangerous if it is tight enough to slice flesh. However, slack wire fencing is not a safe choice either since the horse could get tangled in it.
A good choice in wire fencing might be an electric fence because the mild electric shock teaches your horse to stay away from the fence. Use electric fencing alone or combine it with wood and vinyl fencing as a way to protect the horse from injury and the fence from damage. However, keep in mind that electric fencing is less visible to horses.
Wood is a popular horse fencing material, but it has a few potential safety issues. Your horse might chew the wood and get injured by splinters. Wood gives way when a horse kicks it, which could create wood shards. However, the flexibility of wood is better than a hard pipe fence that remains strong and could cause the horse to get hurt.
Vinyl is a good option since your horse probably won't chew on it, and if you choose flexible vinyl, the fence will give when kicked so your horse won't get injured.
2. The Amount of Maintenance
Regular maintenance is important for a horse fence because the fence must always stay upright and strong to keep the horse on your property. A strong fence is especially vital if your property is near a highway or other dangerous area.
Wood is a good option for a horse fence, but it does require a lot of maintenance. The fence needs stain or paint every few years to keep the wood from deteriorating quickly. Plus, chewed areas and weak boards need repairs to keep the fence strong and to prevent splinters.
Another option is vinyl because it needs much less maintenance. You don't need to paint vinyl, which cuts down on the amount of work you have to do, plus vinyl doesn't decay or succumb to the weather and UV rays the same as wood.
3. The Appearance of the Fence
A traditional rail horse fence is an attractive addition to your land whether the fence is around a large pasture or a small lot. Appearance could be a deciding factor in your choice for a new fence unless the fence is hidden in the back of your property.
Both wood and vinyl fences are attractive, and they are available in similar designs. White vinyl fences are visible from a distance so they're easy for your horse to see, and passersby will appreciate the aesthetic. You can paint a wood fence white or stain it to have a natural wood appearance, and both are attractive options.
When you shop for a new horse fence, consider how your horse will behave. Your horse may lean on the fence, scratch against it, kick it, chew on it, and push against it to nibble grass on the other side. Fence strength and proper installation are vital; otherwise, your horse might push against the fence and work boards loose.
Call Duke Fence Co., Inc., and we'll help you choose the right horse fence and install it properly so your animal stays contained and safe on your property.