Everything You Need to Know About Fencing Horses

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Feeding a horse, monitoring its health, and protecting it are just some of the tasks that come with owning one. It may be difficult to fence horses for the first time, especially if you’ve never done it before. Being bombarded with so many options can be overwhelming.

Depending on your circumstances, you’ll need to choose between the right and left fences for your horse. The size of your land, climate, number and type of horses, as well as your overall budget will all play a role in your decision.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about horses in order for them to be content, healthy, and safe.

Before You Choose a Horse Fence

When it comes to selecting the kind of fencing that is right for your horse, there are a few things you should consider.

Imagine the fence’s visibility. If the fence is not obvious enough, horses are more likely to run into it and get hurt. Young or active horses are more likely to run into a thin wire fence, but older, calm horses may not have this problem.


Consider the height of the fence in addition to visibility. All horse barriers should be 4.5 to 5 feet high in ideal conditions. You might want to raise the height to 6 feet tall if you have big horses.

To prevent foals from sliding underneath and adult horses from grazing beyond the field, the bottom of the fence should be 6-8 inches off the ground.

Between the top and the bottom, you’ll need a lot of rails. Your horse might be able to get away if your rails are too far apart.


The importance of a good gate for horse fencing cannot be overstated. Feeding, moving equipment, and seeing your horses are all made easier by a gate. Regularly monitoring your horses and removing them from the field are both difficult tasks.

You must consider how broad you want the gate to be, where to put it, and how well it supports the nearby poles when selecting a site for it. Also, select between a door that opens easily or one with a secure locking mechanism to avoid escape artists from escaping.

The width may range from simply wide enough for you and the horse to pass through to broad enough to accommodate a truck.

Next, try out different materials to see which one works best. You may construct a gate from rope or wood on the simplest level. They’re inexpensive and efficient, but they wear down quickly and are difficult to replace.

While they cost more, metal, plastic, and wood gates are more user-friendly. You may loop a chain around these gates to keep them shut, or you may lock them securely.


If your horse gets away, you’ll need to choose what the stakes are. You may not have to worry about constructing a highly secure barrier if the other side of the barrier is simply additional grass as far as the eye can see. Rope might even accomplish the task.

However, you’ll need to choose something quite secure if there’s a busy road or an unpleasant neighbor close by, or if your horse is a bit of an escape artist.

Herd Management

What kind of fence will suit your situation will be determined by your herd. Compared to two calm, senior mares that get along well, an active, constantly changing herd requires tougher fencing.

It is important to have a highly visible and sturdy barrier between horses if you want them to remain separated. Otherwise, you’ll almost certainly get caught up in injuries or escapes.

Predator Threat

Your fence can keep predators out as well as your horses. A strong barrier may assist keep coyotes, household dogs, bears, and even wolves at bay if you have a lot of visits.

Types of Horse Fences

With the numerous options available, choosing the ideal horse fencing can be overwhelming. To make a decision, you must evaluate the numerous features of distinct sorts of horse barriers to locate the best one.

Never use t-posts to secure the material to the ground, no matter which you choose. T-posts are suitable for cattle or other sluggish creatures, but horses are too active and might get impaled on them.


Since it’s inexpensive and effective, electric fencing is one of the most popular options.

It’s simple to install, and just a thin wire is all that stands between your horse and escape. Don’t be concerned if you’re afraid of zapping your hoofed buddy. When the horse touches the electric fence, it provides just a small shock. It’s more of a cautionary tale than anything else.

Electric fencing can pose a threat to horses if they rear up or run into it, causing cuts or entanglement.

An electric fence may be ineffective if there are bad weather or power outages. That’s something to consider if you’re in a rural region where power outages are common and you’re looking for an electric fence.

If the grid in your neighborhood is unreliable, there are great solar options available.


For your horse’s fencing, wood is a durable and attractive option. Wood planks that have been painted, stained, or sealed are commonly used in these. At equestrian tournaments, you frequently see this kind of fencing.

Wooden fences have the highest visibility. They’re obvious to notice, and they’ll aid horses stay within your pasture’s boundaries. The durability of wooden fences is another benefit. They may last decades if you take care of them.

You’ll need to decide to paint your fence and commit to yearly or two-year touch-up painting.

Another option is split rail wood fencing. You may construct them out of wood on your property, but they will take much longer. Split rail fences, which have been around for almost a century and need little upkeep, may be seen throughout the United States.


Woven wire fencing is cost-effective, easy to maintain, and lasts a long time. There are several styles to choose from, depending on your needs.

Installing a woven wire fence can be difficult for the inexperienced, especially if you’ve never done it before. With the right tools and instruction, or with the help of a professional, you can succeed.

Remember that this option is less well-known than others. If your horse rears up onto the wire and captures a leg or neck, it has a higher chance of injuring him. By maintaining the top rail made of wood and the lowers rails made of wire, you may have the best of both worlds. As a result, your horse has a reduced risk of being caught on the wire and can see better while they aren’t attempting to run through it.

To keep tension, you must check the tightness of all-wire fences on a regular basis. Tightening frequency is less with wire supported by wood.

Since the apertures are too tiny for horses’ noses or hooves to get stuck in, wire is safer for them. It does not need tightening nearly as often, if at all. They’re more costly than woven wire, yet they last longer. Predators, as well as smaller animals like chickens, may be kept out by wire mesh.

The cheapest option is smooth wire. The basic idea is to remove the barbs from a barbed wire fence. These are difficult to see, and getting caught on them could lead to injury in the horse. The wire is made more visible and safer when it is coated.


If you want something highly visible but cost-effective than wood or metal, plastic is a good option.

Pick out durable plastic that will hold up to sunshine and fluctuating weather situations. Polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and fiberglass are the best options.

Since plastic becomes more brittle as the weather gets colder and softer when it warms up, the climate of your region is critical when comparing fences. That may cause the material to break down and deteriorate over time.

High tensile polymer fences, which resemble wood rails but have the plastic strength, may also be found. To keep the correct tension, you must check these fences on a regular basis.


Recycled rubber is a good idea, but it’s not as prevalent as new rubber. The gentle rubber is less likely to harm a horse, and these barriers are quite visible. They do, however, begin to sag, so they need to be tightened on a regular basis.


From steel fastened to wood poles to beautifully engineered and welded wrought iron fencing, metal fencing may vary greatly. The most costly alternative available is the latter, which appears to be very nice and requires little upkeep.

Pipe steel is a durable material that will last for a long time. It’s a good idea for active horses or in cases when your horse is at risk of escape. It is vital to repaint your fences every few years, as they are not inexpensive.


A mix of the above is often chosen by many people. For instance, you may use wire mesh to fill in below the top rails of a wood frame made out of wood poles and a top rail. For the top wire and wood rails below, you can also use electric fencing.

Other Things to Consider

Not only is it about the material, but it’s also about the kind of horse you have when determining the proper fence. For example, when compared to a field full of foals, two elder horses will need something different. In comparison to a herd of athletic thoroughbreds, a draft horse needs something different.

With little fencing, an calm herd of older mares is secure. They don’t have a thing for leaping and racing about. Since they are more active and prone to try and jump or break free, young, lively horses need stronger, more visible barriers.


Of course, your pasture and turnout are important considerations when choosing a fence. Consider if you’ll utilize the area as a turnout for your horses to gallop off some energy. Consider the quantity of grass your horses require. In a full-time pasture, you should use something more secure, such as wire, while you can enclose a turnout with something lighter, like wire.

The kind of fence you may utilize is influenced by the ground. To secure a wood rail fence, you’ll need to sink deep post holes, whereas a wire fence can be strung on more delicate posts that aren’t as deep.

You may use a considerably less sturdy material to divide a pasture that has already been fenced. Horses can be kept separated or out of places where you don’t want them with rope or thin strips of plastic affixed to steel poles.

Since these obstacles are still surrounded by a fenced region, the danger is considerably lower if a horse breaks through or jumps them.

The forage on your property should also be included in the equation. You can be sure that your horse will paw and chew on the fence in an effort to get to the better stuff if the grass is lush and green on the other side.


You’ll need fencing, in addition to the type of horse and pasture you choose, to fit your budget. While a cheaper fence might be an adequate short-term option, it isn’t always less costly in the long term. You get what you pay for, usually. It may be costly to maintain a lower-budget fence.

A more expensive option may be ideal if you want something that lasts a long time and will not need to be repaired all of the time. It will pay off in the long run, even if you have to invest the money at first. Even high-quality fences require upkeep in the long term, though.

Metal fences need expensive repairs if they break, and wood fences need painting or sealing. Fence wire is more prone to breaking and must be re-seated or re-strung.


Do you provide customers with a horse property, such as riding lessons? Or do you own a horse and possess your own property?

If you choose to go with a more aesthetically appealing fence, the answer will determine if you want to do so. You might want something that looks nice, such as a painted wooden fence, if you have people coming onto your property frequently.

You may place durability above beauty if you have a lot of animals and are concerned about their safety.

Don’t Forget Maintenance

You must be knowledgeable about the expenses of maintaining the fence once it’s been established, as they may have an effect on how successful and valuable it’ll be in the future. Don’t choose wood or steel, for example, if you don’t have the time or money to repaint every few years.

As parts fail or wear out due to the weather, your horse bumping, biting, or damaging them, electric fencing will need replacing on a regular basis.

Walking the fenceline should become a regular part of your routing as well. Walk along the fence once a week, if not more often, to check for damage, maintenance concerns, and missing components.

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