This is our guide on electric fences for horses giving you information on the safest and most cost effective to fence your horses with electric fencing.
Electric fencing is ideal for containing horses:
Horses are easy to contain with electric fencing. They will quickly learn to respect the an electric fence as they are intelligent animals. Horses usually have thin hides and wear metal horse shoes which make an excellent earth connection to close the circuit. A well groomed horse wearing metal shoes will feel a much larger shock than a horse with longer hair without metal shoes.
Horses regularly rub themselves and uses conventional as stratching posts. This weakens and damages the fence. They may also develop a habit of 'cribbing' or chewing the fence due to boredom. Electric fences prevent both of these habits which results in protecting the fence and saving the horse from harm.
Another safety feature of electric fencing is preventing injury to the horse when they run through the fence if they are spooked. Harm is less likely with an electric fence made with poly material than a conventional fence of metal wire.
To effectively contain horses you need an electric fence energiser that mantains a minimum of 3,000 volts at the end of the fence line. The longer the fence the more powerful energiser you will need to do this. On very short fences of around 200m long you will only need an energiser with 0.05 Joules. Voltage levels and also the shock strength are affected by a number of things including vegetation on the fence line, fence length and the type and also quality of the electric fence tape or rope used.
When choosing electric fencing for horses wire and post spacing is important when installing a horse electric fence. There is a couple options when thinking about the type of electric fence posts you are going to use. For temporary fences or fences you are likely to move it best to poly posts. For more permanent fencing it better to use wooden posts. You also have to decide on the height of the posts needed. Fence posts should be high enough to ensure good visibility for the horse of the fence line conductor. A 18-19 hands horse should be fenced with 150cm of 5ft posts, a 16-17 hands horse would be best contained using posts around 122cm or 4ft off the ground. A 14 hands pony can be contained with around 96cm or 3ft posts. Posts can be spaced for permanent can be 12-15 metres aparts and temporary fencing 7-10 metres apart. In both cases this depends on the terrain and weather. Please ensure that the ends of the fence well strained and anchored. Please find below a diagram of the different vertical spacing of wire fencing:
The fence lines recommended for use with electric fences for horses is poly tape and poly rope. Two strands of tape or rope provide great visibility with one at about lower chest height and the top one at upper chest level. To contain foals or much smaller ponies please ensure to have a line close to nose level.
Electrifying an Existing Fence
You can easily adapt or convert an existing conventional fence into an electric fence. This can prevent the horse rubbing or chewing the fencing. You can either use the wooden posts already installed and put in insulators and electric tape or rope. There are also many types of offset screw in and post top insulators for mounting on an existing fence.
For fences that are permanent or if a mains supply is available using a mains energiser is the best option. A mains system works by plugging the energiser into the supply inside and running lead out cable to a 2m earth stake and to the fence to power it. For remote areas or places you cannot get a mains supply to, 12v, 9v or solar energisers should be used. 12v battery energisers are usually used and we would recommend using these as they are more reliable and cost effective. If you are likely to use the electric fence energiser just for strip grazing and will be moving it around alot than 9v energiser are better as they are lighter and easier to move.
Fence Line Conductor
We would recommend only using poly tape or poly rope for use with electric fences for horses. Electric poly tape gives great visibility, if you in an open and windy area 6mm poly rope should be used at it is more weather resistant. There is different quality of conductors lines available. A quality of a line is dependent on the number of conductors, diameter of conductors, level of resitance and breaking strain. A tape or rope with alot of large conductor wires with low resistance and a high breaking strain has the best quality. For longer electric horse fences you will need a better quality line but if it is just a short fence the cheapest lowest quality will be fine.
Horse Fencing Kits
We have a wide selection of horse fencing kits that offer a variety of types of energisers, posts and fence lines. If however you do not see a kit that contains what you need, we can make one for you. All electric fencing kits suitable for horses contain an energiser, earth stake, posts, tape, gate handles and a selection of insulators. You want to look through the different kits available to see which electric fence is most suitable for your horse.