Property owners select materials from an array of options when they have horse fencing installed. Wooden board, metal pipe, high-tensile wire, vinyl board, and woven wire are some of the material choices available to horse owners.
Each type of fencing has its pros and cons when combined with the strength, wile, and fragility of horses. However, there are important reasons why professional equine barns choose wood-board fencing for their animals. Here are four of those reasons.
- Consistent Confinement of Your Horse
All fencing types are considered barriers to movement. The barrier stops the horse from escaping a confined area, which may be a paddock, round pen, or large pasture. Some styles of fencing are physical barriers, while other fencing types are considered to be psychological barriers.
A wooden fence is a physical barrier. When properly installed, post-and-board fencing has the strength and durability to stand up to normal horse abuse. Horses can lean against the fencing without easily toppling the fence over. Vinyl board fencing may collapse under the strain.
Wood fencing also has the visibility horses need to define their grazing areas. Most horses don’t want to run into the hardwood boards or posts, so they respect the fence boundaries.
If you have heavy draft horses or rambunctious smaller horses that don’t respect the board fence, you can enhance the wooden fence with a top strand of electric fencing that delivers a shock. The electric wire is considered a psychological barrier.
You may think you can skip the wooden boards and just use electrified wire or tape to confine your horses. However, electric fencing has its downsides. Your wooden fence is always working, but your electric fence loses its psychological advantage during power outages. Smart horses figure out when the fencing tape or wire is not working.
- The Safety of Horses
All fencing can result in injury to valuable and beloved horses. Metal pipe fencing is a durable product, but fighting or panicked horses can be severely injured when they make impact with the metal.
High-tensile wire is kinder to horses but requires well-anchored corner posts to snap back in place after impact. Some high-tensile wires break easily upon impact. If your horse then escapes to a public roadway or another unsafe area, your horse can suffer serious injuries.
If you have a pasture containing weaker horses or horses prone to skirmishes, you don’t want sharp corners where a vulnerable horse can get trapped. It’s hard to create rounded corners using wire fencing, but it’s easy with wood posts and boards.
Post and board fencing also has some give when horses hit the fencing. Boards occasionally pop off or break on impact, and there is a risk of splintering. However, the same risks of wood-related injuries exist when there are trees and shrubs in the pasture.
- The Safety of Children
When small children share property with equines, their safety must be considered. Fences must be as escape-proof as possible to avoid child-horse mishaps.
It’s easy for a child standing on pipe fencing to lose their footing and fall while petting or observing horses. Wire fencing is often invisible to distracted children. Little ones can get tangled in the wire or fearfully shocked.
Improperly installed mesh fencing, welded wire panels (also called page wire), or woven-wire fences are easily trampled and bent down by horses and children. However, if these fences are well intact, it can be harder for children to escape an aggressive horse.
Children are not likely to damage wooden fencing with normal climbing and use. The gaps between boards allow children to easily duck through and get away from biting or runaway horses.
- A Better-Looking Fence for the Investment
Property owners may brag about how little maintenance they perform on their wire or pipe fencing, but their fences will never look as sharp and attractive as a wood-board fence. If you enjoy having a property with curb appeal, or you plan to sell your property in the near future, post-and-board fencing is the obvious choice.
The truth is, every fence system requires regular maintenance. All horse owners must routinely inspect their fence lines for damage and breaches. Some problems encountered with wire fences include:
- Corroded or loosened wires
- Bent or dislodged metal t-posts
- Fallen wire mesh from thick vines
- Cut wires due to trespassers
- Shorted electric wires from vegetation
A wood fence sometimes requires replacing or re-attaching a board. This task takes far less time than replacing or re-tightening an entire string of wire or roll of woven mesh.
Small fallen trees don’t normally damage wood boards. If a fallen tree does break a board or two, the boards are more easily replaced than a long wire fence section damaged by a dead tree trunk.
Cedar posts and boards are among the longest lasting wood choices for equine fencing. While other woods are used to create horse fences, an investment in cedar is an assurance of a reliable, strong fence for years to come.
Contact Town and Country Fence to schedule installation of your new three-board, four-board, or five-board horse fencing. We use aromatic and rot-resistant cedar to create durable, safe, and beautiful horse fencing for equine farms and property owners across the Pacific Northwest.