Electric Fence for Horses
28 May 2017 | Admin
Electric fence For Horses
Years ago, electric fencing was not considered suitable for horses. This has now changed and electric fencing is widely used for all types of horses. Electric fences won't harm the horses at all. In fact, the whole purpose of the electric fence is to keep your horse safe. The fence will give the horse an unpleasant zap (about the equivalent of a hard slap), which should teach the horse to stay clear of the fence. If, however, the fence is put under pressure, it should 'give' a little, so it will not harm the horse.
The electric fence energiser is the most expensive and important part of the kit. It can run from the mains, or from batteries. The batteries can range from D-cells, to 6 volt to 12 volt, to batteries that are charged by the sun. The energiser wills end out a high volatage (about 6000 volts) and low ampage (about 100 milliamps) electrical charge for a very, very short amount of time every second. There are different 'strengths' of energisers. With horses, you really want to have about 6000 volts on the fence, and certainly never ever lower than 3000 volts. Horses hooves are good insulators, and many horses where rugs. You need to ensure your energiser is strong enough to give them a good shock. please do not scrimp on the energiser. The larger the fence, the more powerful the energiser you will require.
Temporary electric fencing is great for strip grazing, for moving gates around to prevent mud build up, for avoiding mud fever, for keeping your horse away from tempting grass or another horse it does not get on with. Even with permanent fences, electric fencing can be used to prevent horses from chewing the rail or from reaching to part of a field you do not want them to touch.
Electric fencing is easy to maintain, but there are a few things you must keep an eye on:
- vegetation and grass must not touch the fence. You need to strim down anything around the fence on a regular basis. Anything touching the fence (unless it is a non conductive material like plastic) will 'ground' the energy and weaken the fence or stop it working all together. It may also stress your energiser and damage your battery which may work too hard to compensate for the extra work.
- you must keep an eye on your battery, if you have a battery operated energiser. Most energisers will run on a 12 volt battery for about 3 - 4 weeks. Solar energiser work for 3 seasons of the year brilliantly in the UK - but you will need to watch the battery during the darkest winter months and may need to bring it in for a mains charge. If you let your battery completely deplete, it may be hard to get it working again. On the subject of batteries, please use a 12 volt leisure battery, rather than a 12 volt car battery (which could damage your energiser).
- you must keep an eye on the condition of your tape or rope. It should last at least a few years, but wear and tear will happen. Please do not ties knots in your electric fence tape or rope as this will reduce the flow of your electricity around the fence. please use conductive tape or rope connectors.
For horses most people select 20mm or 400mm electric tape, of 6mm electric rope. Both work. The tape is slightly easier to see, is slightly cheaper, but does not last as long. The electric rope is slightly more expensive, but wears slightly better. The quality of the tape or rope is determined by how many electric conductors it has running through it and the thickness of the conductors, plus the quality of the plastic filaments used in the tape or rope. Some tape and rope comes with a 5 year guarantee. There is quite a big difference in the quality of tape and rope and it is not always most cost effective to go for the cheapest - you need a fence that will work and that will last! Green and white tape or rope are the standard colours. Current thinking suggests that horses see green tape or rope best, but humans see white better. Some national parks insist on green fencing. Both work - so it is really a matter of taste!
If your horse wears a rug, you can get electric fencing rugs to ensure the shock carries through the rug. These are not usually necessary, but if you have a Houdini of a horse - they can be helpful!
Plastic fence posts should be placed every 10 meters or closer, depending on the contours of your land. The closer the posts, the stronger the fence. They come in 3ft or 4ft heights. Most ponies are fine with 3 ft posts. Taller horses and 'jumpers' may need the more expensive 4ft posts.
We have a range of electric fencing kits, especially designed for horses, with everything you need to get started. Strip Grazing Kits start at £119.99. Our Equine Starter Kit is great for small paddocks and our Paddock Plus Kit comes with a 7 year guarantee on the energiser, offering peace of mind.
If you have any questions, please give us a call. We specialise in fencing for horses and are always happy to help.
Electric Fencing and Horse Clipper Specialist