The type of fencing that’s best for a horse depends on the type of horse, its stage of life and its requirements. The number of horses on a property also affect the type of fence. Mares and foals have different requirements than stallions and geldings, and a herd of horses has different needs from a single horse and its companion goat.
The first requirement of a fence is to enclose the horse safely. To this end, any kind of fence that is built needs to be seen clearly by the horse. A fence should also bear up if a horse runs into while not injuring the horse. Because of this, barbed wire and large mesh fencing should never be used for horse fencing.
Before the first post hole is dug, the horse owner needs to plan the fenced in area. This not only includes where the fence will be placed, but the material it will be made out of, the positioning of equipment, sheds, barns, feeding and water areas and other aspects. The terrain of the area must be taken into account, including whether the fence has to pass over a body of water or cross a road. Of course, the horse owner needs to know how much all of this will cost.
No matter what the fence is made of, it should be at least four and one-half feet tall and about eight inches up from the ground. This discourages the horse from sticking its head under the fence get at a patch of grass and prevents its hoof from getting caught. Fences to consider include:
This type of fence is best used with another type such as wood, because it can be difficult for the horse to see from a distance. It is inexpensive to install and very effective at keeping a horse away from it. However, some owners might not like the idea that contact with an electric fence gives a horse a shock, mild though it may be.
Wooden fences are esthetically pleasing, easy to see and strong. However, wooden fences are expensive and need a lot of care, including regular replacement of the boards. One of the reasons for that is horses like to chew on them.
This type of wire needs to have visible posts and top boards, for it is nearly invisible at a distance. Some owners add electrified tape to keep the horses at a distance. Horse owners still consider V-mesh wire one of the best types of horse fencing for they not only keep the horses in but keep predators out. There are still lots of places where wolves or coyotes will try to make a meal out of a newborn foal or an aged or sick horse. Even a playfully barking dog can stress a horse.
PVC fences are good looking but very expensive to install and actually made to break when enough pressure is applied. They are best used with docile animals and need to be electrified.