Electric Fencing for Horses
Electric fencing for horses has a variety of uses. The most common reason for installing such fencing is as a method of dividing your paddock into grazing strips or into smaller paddocks.
We offer a number of small simple Paddock Divider Kits for just such a purpose. This method is particularly useful in Spring to prevent laminitis.
Other kits, or the components necessary, can be used to make a boundary fence to contain horses within a specific area or, it can also be used to protect existing wooden post and rail fencing from cribbing damage. This is very common and we offer extended length Hotline P64/10 insulators for attaching to the tops of posts.
Electric fencing can be installed on an existing post and rail paddock fence using plastic screw in ring insulators, which can simply be screwed into the fence posts to carry the horse tape. Usually one or two lines of fencing is sufficient for horse fencing.
If making a more portable fencing system then using moveable plastic fence posts is a very good option. This happens to be the preferred option for most horse owners because of the versatility this system offers. The fencing can quickly and easily be moved as often as required and it can be dismantled and stored away when not in use.
In the interests of safety, when electric fencing is used for horses, it is best to use electric horse tape. This comes in various widths from 10mm to 40mm, and is available in different colours, white is most visible for the horses, green or brown is perhaps less obtrusive. You can also use a thick electro-rope or poly braid which is normally white, again for visibility.
Deciding which to use depends on how long or permanent you wish your fence to be e.g. longer permanent fences would probably use rope as it is less likely to blow in the wind and become damaged. Tape would be used on shorter temporary fences as it is easier to handle and more visible for the horse.
Galvanised wire or polywire shouldn't be used for horse fencing as it is almost impossible for the horse to see and they can become entangled and injured if spooked.
Energisers for Horse Fencing
When choosing an energiser you must remember that, unlike cattle who have thick hides and are not so easily spooked, horses do not need much voltage to train them very quickly that the fence will 'bite' them. Therefore it is not necessary to use powerful energisers for horse fencing - generally speaking.
For temporary short, or portable, fences a simple 3v energiser like the Hotline Shrike, or the 9v Centaur, will do the job very well. 3v, 6v or 9v energisers usually put 1000 volts or less through a fence.
For longer semi-permanent or permanent electric fences, using a 12v battery system, the Hotline Hobby would be a good choice. Or perhaps the B180 from Gallagher as this has 3 power settings. If using an energiser with settings options, you can start the fence off at the higher voltage level and then once your horse is used to the fence the power level can be reduced.
A Mains energiser would be advised only for semi-permanent or permanent systems as the voltage is generally higher and it is less flexible or portable. Mains powered energisers are more reliable though because you don't have to remember about recharging or changing the batteries.