Electric Fencing for Horses and Other Equine
Many fencing options are available for horses. The type chosen will depend on your horses, location, situation and budget. You will also want to consider horse safety, maintenance, and aesthetics. Many farms and ranches use a variety of fencing types and combinations such as wood, PVC/vinyl, pipe, and electric.
Electric fencing can be ideal for horses for many reasons. Safety for the horse, as well as low cost and ease of installation, make electric fencing one of the best options for equine containment. Horses are easy to control with electric fencing. They are intelligent animals and quickly learn to respect an electric fence.
Horses have thin hides and are usually well-groomed and shod. When shod, the metal horse shoes make an excellent earth connection, effectively grounding the horse. A well-grounded, well-groomed horse will feel a safe, more intense shock.
Horses tend to use traditional fences as scratching posts, causing the fence to weaken or sag over time (animal pressure). They may also fall into the habit of “cribbing” or chewing fences. An electric fence prevents both of these behaviors, protecting the horse from harm and prolonging the life of the fence.
If a horse is spooked and runs through traditional wire or wooden fencing, injury is more likely to occur than with an electric fence made of poly tape, poly wire or poly rope. Risk of injury is especially high with conventional fencings like woven "field fence" systems and barbed wire.
We recommend posts extend at least 5 feet above ground, spaced about 12 feet apart on level ground. Four equally spaced strands of polytape or ployrope provide optimum visibility and safety. Mares and geldings may require only three strands, while stallions and colts may need up to five strands. To contain foals, be sure to have a strand of electrified poly tape/rope close to its nose level.
To add electric fencing to an existing fence such as wood, place 1 strand of 2 inch polytape across the top to deter horses from leaning on the wooden boards.
A fence charger that maintains a minimum of 2,000 – 3,000 volts on the fence line is needed to safely contain horses. Voltage levels are impacted by vegetation on the fence line, length of fence and type of poly tape or rope. We recommend a low impedance fence charger for energizing poly tape and poly rope.