Why Do Horses Need Polytape Fences?
When you’re a horse owner who is planning on building a new electric fence (or replacing an old one), it’s important to consider the safety of your animals. With that in mind, you will soon discover that setting up a polytape electric fence is your best option.
What is Polytape?
Polytape is a conductor option for electric fencing. In standard electric fencing applications, the conductor is usually an aluminum wire that carries a charge (or correction) from the fence controller around the length of the fence.
Zareba® polytape is made from a nylon tape that’s woven with stainless steel conductors. Polytape is available in multiple widths – ½, 1 and 2 inches.
Why is Polytape Best for Horse Fencing?
Polytape was developed after horse specialists recognized the animal’s unique fencing needs. After that research and development, polytape is now considered the best and safest electric fencing for horses, here’s why:
- Easy to See – Because of the structure of horses’ heads, their depth perception is somewhat limited. This makes it difficult for them to see a single strand of metal conductor line. Recognizing the presence of an electric fence is necessary for the animal to associate the correction with the fence. Polytape, which is woven in widths ranging from ½ to 2 inches, presents a profile that horses can see. After training, they use this highly visible tape as a reminder of their space limitations.
- A Fence Line That Splits – A polytape fence is much more forgiving when a horse hits it in panicked flight. When a horse charges through a normal fence, it is often injured as a result. Not so with polytape. Lengths of tape are joined with splices that pull apart and are less likely to entangle or otherwise injure a panicked animal.
- Limits Cuts and Abrasions – Polytape fences do not use barbs or sharp edges, so the fence can’t cut or abrase their skin. The same cannot be said for other fence types. This is a key benefit for horse owners that show their animals.
- No More Fence Post Chewing – Some horses crib on fences as much as they do against their stalls. With a polytape fence in place, they cannot crib perimeter fence posts and rails.
- Installation is Simple – Polytape installs quickly, making it ideal for a variety of uses. Be aware that special insulators and connecting hardware are needed to properly build a sound fence.
Polytape and Perimeter Horse Fencing
Probably the most important thing to understand about horse fencing is that polytape is a psychological barrier only. NEVER use polytape (or polyrope or polywire) as the sole means of containment for your horse. It must be used in conjunction with a perimeter fence system.
So if it can’t be used on its own as a fence, then how are you supposed to use polytape for horses? It has two primary uses:
- Use polytape fencing to train horses to stay off conventional fences, which greatly extends the conventional fence’s useful life. As we mentioned earlier, horses won’t crib polytape or try to reach past it for grazing.
- Use it to limit the pasture space within a conventional fence. You can start a rotational grazing system, separate stallions from mares or contain animals while you work in the pasture.
More Help with Horse Fencing
If you want to learn more about setting up an electric fence for your horses, Zareba® has plenty of resources.
- Advice for Horse Fencing – A complete guide to designing and installing horse fencing.
- Basic Horse Care Tips – If you’re new to horse ownership, check out this quick quide.
- Get Your Horse Ready for Spring – After a cold winter, you and your horse want to get moving! Here’s what you need to do first.
- Fence Training for Horses – Your horse needs to understand the borders of its pasture.