Born to Ride? Your Guide to Choosing the Best Horse Pasture Fencing

March 31, 2024

The average-sized horse needs about 2 acres of grazing land to thrive. That works out to a lot of fencing per animal. So, if you're redoing your horse pasture fencing or starting from scratch, you want to get it right the first time. Find out how to make the right choice for your horse from the beginning.

Aspects That Affect Your Choice 

Several factors determine which types of horse fencing may be best for your property. These are:

  • Purpose of the enclosure
  • Horse fencing price
  • Aesthetics 
  • Space available
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Safety for the animals
  • The horses themselves

Very often, you'll use a variety of fences around your property depending on the location and terrain involved. Let's take a look at all the available options to iron out which one suits your needs best according to these criteria.

Types of Horse Pasture Fencing

Every type of livestock fencing comes with pros and cons and there's no right or wrong answer about which is best. Some people swear by post and rail type fencing, while others believe that wire does the job well enough. These are your options as well as why you should or shouldn't choose these materials as pasture fencing for horses.

Barbed Wire Fences

These types of fences are a sore point among many horse owners, and they can cause problems depending on your situation. Barbed wire cuts and tears are one of the most common types of horse injuries. However, these are most often due to negligence in maintenance than anything else. Barbed wire is a cheap horse fencing option and it can work in very few circumstances. You could choose this type of wire to enclose your animals in the following circumstances:

  • If you have huge pastures where your horses are unlikely to reach over the fence to get at the proverbial grass on the other side
  • Your horses are docile and get along well
  • You don't have any determined escape artists

The main consideration with any kind of fencing is maintenance. You'll need to check barbed wire fences regularly to ensure there are no drooping wires that could catch a leg in passing. You're asking for trouble installing barbed wire fencing if your horses push against fences, squabble often, or gallop around a lot. Likewise, if you have valuable high-performance animals, it's just not worth the risk. Some horses never recover from barbed wire injuries.

High-Tension Wire Fencing and Woven Metal Fences

Like barbed wire, economical wire fencing can hook a shoe or a leg if your horse paws at the fence. It's best suited to large paddocks housing well-behaved animals. You must check wire fences for maintenance issues frequently.

Woven metal fences designed specifically for horses are the best option. This material has smaller blocks to reduce the chances of a foot getting caught. They also prevent dogs and wild animals from harassing your horses.

A panicked horse traveling at a full gallop won't see a wire or barbed wire fence in time to stop safely. A mistimed kick at a paddock mate could also result in disaster.

Types of Electrified Fences

Most horses learn to respect electrified fences very quickly and will give them a wide berth. This makes them a great option for horses that try to escape as well as those that can't resist leaning against fences to reach the grass on the other side.

Electrical tapes look good and are highly visible to horses, but they're expensive to install and run. You'll also have more maintenance issues than with any other kind of fence. Naturally, electric fences need a source of power, so they're impractical for fences located far from your power supply. You'll need to recharge and maintain battery-powered versions frequently.

Most horses can sense when the fence is off, so they could walk straight through it when there's no power to the strands. Invariably, somebody on your property will shock themselves on an electric fence every so often. One of the biggest bonuses with electric tapes is portability. It's easy to divide your pastures and rotate paddocks with electric tapes.

Wood Horse Fences

If you're honest with yourself, this is the type of fencing that your heart craves. Post and rail, or planked horse fencing just looks fantastic in any stable yard or ranch. Wood fencing is by far the best type of fencing for all types of horses. It's sturdy, durable, and safe. It's highly visible, so horses can't run into it by mistake and there's only a slim chance they could hook themselves in it.

Maintaining your wood fences is comparatively stress-free. It's important to check for loose posts, nails, and planks regularly though. If you choose treated timber for your fence construction, it will last for many years without incident. Many horse owners like to paint their wood fences, so you'll need to spruce up your paint job every few years if you go this route. Some horses develop a taste for wood fencing which can damage your fences and cause them to look unsightly. In these cases, it's better to address the situation rather than choose alternative fencing. A crib-biting collar, dietary supplement, or strand of electric wire above the top rail of your fence usually does the trick.

Thanks to all these long-lasting benefits, wood fencing is the most expensive option. However, it's still cheaper than ongoing veterinary bills and gives you much greater peace of mind than all other types of fencing. 

Protect Your Assets

Good fences spare you from several hassles associated with keeping horses. So, don't take chances when setting up your pasture lands. 

Get in touch for all your commercial, residential, livestock, and horse pasture fencing needs. We stock all the latest fencing solutions for customers across Kentucky.