Eliminating Horse Hazards: Fencing Building Tips For Equine Health And Happiness

Photographs, drawings, and paintings of horses galloping through rolling pastures with their manes and tails flying are are perennially popular as home decor, greeting cards, and marketing images. When responsible horse owners view them, however, they may see beyond the beauty and instead wonder why the horses were galloping and express concerns for whether the fences surrounding the rolling pasture are really safe and free of horse-related hazards. 

If you are a horse owner who would like to make sure that your existing fences, as well as any new ones you plan to build, are really safe for confining your horses, here are some points you should consider. 

Is it visible, even in shady or grassy fence lines? 

The first requirement for horse fencing is that it be extremely visible. When horses become startled and bolt, they may attempt to gallop right through fences that are difficult for them to see. If the fence has sharp edges, a bolting horse can be badly cut or become entangled, especially in difficult to see fencing, such as barbed wire.

Horse owners who must continue to utilize an existing barbed wire fence on a temporary basis will want to take steps to increase its visibility and safety by installing a wooden rail or an electrified wire at the top of the fence to help prevent the horse from actually coming into contact with the sharp barbs. Replacing existing barbed wire fencing with a more horse-safe option as soon as possible should always be a top priority. 

Is the fence high enough? 

Most horses can jump and some can clear some astonishingly high obstacles. Horses that are inclined to jump when playing or startled can find themselves outside the safety of your property's perimeter fence line where they may be struck by traffic or become frightened and lost. In addition, horses that attempt to jump a fence but fail to fully clear it can be seriously injured if they become impaled on a metal t-post or sharp fencing materials.

In order to restrain your horse safely and discourage them from jumping, the Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences advises that a good rule for horse fencing height is to make sure the top of the fence is level with the withers of your taller animals, or at least 54 to 60 inches tall.

Horse owners who have a goal of keeping their animals safe and secure can learn more about choosing the best fencing materials and creating the most optimal designs by consulting a reputable fencing contractor in their area. Contact a fence company to learn more.