Electrified braided rope or tape fencing

Imagine your horse is standing on the edge of cliff at the Grand Canyon. Out of nowhere a hot air balloon appears behind your horse and lights its burner. Your horse goes ballistic. Are you certain four strands of rope or tape with electricity running through them is enough to prevent injury? We think not. While this is an exaggerated example, the threat of injury to newborn foals or young horses, stallion aggressiveness, or even cars on nearby roads is very real. Fencing should be secure enough to prevent the worst case flight scenario, not just contain placid animals in lush pastures. Electric fence only provides one of three very important deterrents to flight, and that is a mental barrier. Despite advertising to the contrary, our experience has shown that even multi-strand electric is usually unsuitable for permanent horse pastures because of its limited visibility and virtually no physical strength. Its easy installation and low cost are benefits; however, if the charger or electrical ground quits, so does the fence! If your budget or hilly terrain only permits electric type fencing, adding an Equi-Tee top rail above the strands of 1-1/2" wide polytape or polyrope will provide a more visible barrier and cover the T post tops. This makes a more suitable enclosure for horses, but even then there is minimal physical restraint. There is some industry discussion on whether horses can even see 1/4 inch braided rope, certainly a camera can't. We agree that there is no place in horse fencing for strands less than 1-1/2" wide unless a sight line top rail is used. If you only have a budget for electric, and expect that this alone will keep your horses safe, we believe you should be aware that you are putting your horses at risk. 

High Tension  (New Zealand) or Barbed Wire 

When we go to shows we are amazed to find how many owners have their horses contained in multi-strand (New Zealand) type or barbed wire enclosures. If these owners were in our position, and had heard the terrible stories of injuries and death that this wire causes, they wouldn't even consider putting their horses in those types of pastures. Neither should you. Fencing of this type is nearly invisible and this contributes to severe injuries. If you must use this type of fence, perhaps you could mount some form of visible top rail and also use electricity to define the perimeter. Our Equi-Tee adapter may be suitable for this purpose. Barbed wire is totally inappropriate for containing horses. According to our vet, more injuries occur from these two types of fence that all the others combined. If you use this fence style you are just asking for trouble. An alternative to new Zealand wire is the flexible rail or web style fencing. This style uses high tensile wire covered by a polymer coating. This web between the strands adds visibility and safety.  This webbed-wire fences forgiving nature is certainly a good selling point; however, we think that Equi-Fence would do the job equally well. Non-climb and the Equi-Tee adapter also has other benefits that high tension can't match. Predator control could be a big issue. All the fence strength in the world might not prevent injury from feral animals, but keeping the predator out in the first place, just might. If cost and easy installation are also important considerations then Equi-Tee has this fence beat hands down. From a strictly practical standpoint, our experience with this fence has shown that its weight and expansion qualities mean high maintenance. It sags and looks terrible when the temperature gets hot. When it cools down and the wires tighten, contraction pops out even very well-set posts. It can be expensive and time consuming to install and because this fence utilizes wood posts, they will need painting as well as replacement when they rot.

Polyvinyl  (PVC) Fencing

We can honestly say that polyvinyl is the most attractive horse fence money can buy. In fact, because of their beauty, visibility, and toughness, vinyl rails are the other key part to our Equi-Tee system. Manufacturers of vinyl point out the benefits of poly over wood, including beauty and durability. We agree. If you have an unlimited budget, this fence is tough to fault. Unfortunately, this fence must be professionally installed, and combined with its high purchase cost it is an expensive option. On our ranch we use polyvinyl in the more visible areas, such as along roadways. To keep the property from looking cluttered we installed Equi-Tee and woven wire where long distances made the look and cost of all vinyl impractical. Another problem with vinyl it that it has limited impact and bending resistance.  It quite is easy for horses to push through it by creasing or popping the rails from their posts. For this reason we developed the Hot Wire stud to mount a hot wire on the posts to prevent horse damage. Post & rail fences will not contain foals or pets and it will not keep predators out. Another consideration is that white Vinyl can be too visible. While it is a wonderful perimeter fence, installing vinyl for driveways, cross fencing, paddock and pastures can lead to white vinyl overload.  Properties with too much vinyl have a busy cluttered look. To really have a nice appearance the vinyl should be used to accent the borders, otherwise there is just white everywhere.

Pipe Panel Fencing

Pipe fencing is one of the most versatile types of fence. It is easy to install because it simply clamps to pipes driven into the ground.  One drawback is the fact that it is difficult to account for hilly terrain.  Pipe fences work best where it is flat. Another drawback to this fence is the limited strength of the pipe posts and also the width between the rails which allows horses to put their necks through.  When horses rub against it, put their heads through the rails or do all the other things that horses naturally do, the fence bends over.  At Firefly Andalusian Ranch we love the flowing manes our horses have.  Without some way to discourage them from sticking their necks through the rails to nibble at the grass on the other side we were getting bald spots in their manes! This experience lead us to develop a hot wire pipe clamp, a simple but effective way to mount a scare wire to the pipes.

Woven Wire Non-Climb Fence

Judging from the millions of miles of field fence already up, this style of fence unquestionably gets the award for most proven. Other than its rather plain look and lack of a sight line (top rail), non-climb woven wire is probably the best available pasture fence. It is modestly priced, readily available, and relatively easy to install. A well built field fence will keep just about anything in or out. In fact, no other fencing beats it as a physical barrier. However, horse owners worry about exposed T post tops, the wire has somewhat limited visibility, and horses tend to bend the top of the fence down when leaning over. The manufacturers of field fence agree that installing a top rail sight line is advisable for horse installations. It is interesting to note that until our Clip-top adapter was invented there hasn't been any way to add a sightline if T posts were used! Unless horse owners wanted a wood post and top rail fence (which most do not) there was no way to easily utilize this effective and low cost means of fencing. Non-climb woven wire is the basis for the fence style that our products transform. If you are sold on the benefits of non-climb, but were looking for a way to make it safer for your horses, we have the fencing solution for you. The best part is that you'll only need to budget an additional $1.90 per foot for your installation. Let us show you how this can become the best possible low cost, permanent horse fence.

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