Fast Facts About Fencing

Industry experts offer some tried and true tips. Want to know more about equine enclosures? From building brace assemblies to patching holes, we've got you covered.
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Points About Posts

Today’s horse owners have more fencing options than ever—but also a lot of questions (Centaur HTP Fencing).

Today’s horse owners have more fencing options than ever—but also a lot of questions (Centaur HTP Fencing).

Proper post installation is necessary for a strong fence (ElectroBraid).

Proper post installation is necessary for a strong fence (ElectroBraid).

When installing wire perimeter fencing, you’ll ideally want to use treated wood posts. Remember the following:

  • The wider the diameter of the post, the stronger it is. For corners, ends and high-traffic areas, invest in posts 5-6" in diameter.
  • Posts that are hammered mechanically into the ground are generally sturdier than posts set into predrilled or hand-dug holes. Sink the corner, with end and brace posts four feet into the ground and line posts about three feet.
  • The closer your posts are, the sturdier your fence will be. For some fences, spacing as narrow as 6 feet may be advisable in high-traffic areas—whereas, when using coated high-tensile wire, spacing between posts can be as much as 20 feet.
  • Adding smaller posts or spacers between your main line posts can make the fence easier for your horses to see. 

Adapted from an article that appeared in Practical Horseman


UV What?

UV inhibitors keep the plastics used in fencing from degrading (Aeolian).

UV inhibitors keep the plastics used in fencing from degrading (Aeolian).

We’ve all heard about the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light. Looking through fencing literature, you might wonder: What are UV inhibitors and how do they work? Basically, there are two types of chemical UV protective additives used in plastics: light stabilizers and UV absorbers. Light stabilizers are used primarily in lighter colors, while the UV absorbers are used in the darker shades. Depending on the color of the plastic to be used, these two additives may be used in combination. As the materials used for coloring are typically quite stable, the additives’ job is to protect the plastic from degrading at the molecular chain level.

Adapted from information provided by Aeolian Enterprises Inc.

Leading a Horse to Water

Include access to water in your fencing plans (Nelson Manufacturing).

Include access to water in your fencing plans (Nelson Manufacturing).

When installing your fence, don’t forget to plan for water! Make sure a water source is not only easily accessible to your horse, but easy for you to fill and clean. Also, consider your climate and whether you need to keep the water heated. You might even decide to splurge and invest in automatic waterers.


Keeping Up Appearances

Some fencing materials, like polymer, require minimal upkeep (Centaur).

Some fencing materials, like polymer, require minimal upkeep (Centaur).

Maintenance is a major issue when it comes to fencing; most horse people would rather be riding than maintaining or fixing fence! When assessing what type of fencing you want, maintenance should be in the top four of your parameters (safety, budget, maintenance, appearance). Do you want to spend time painting wooden rails and posts, probably yearly? What about sanding off rust? Smoothing splinters and peeling and then repainting? Restretching wire and re-stapling or re-attaching it to the post? Scrubbing mold off of vinyl fencing rails and posts? Every type of fencing needs some amount of maintenance; some require more than others. Be sure to truly assess how much time you want to spend maintaining your new fence; it can be a decision maker or breaker.

Adapted from information provided by Centaur HTP Fencing Systems

Brace Yourself!

Wire barriers are easily patched if the need arises (Red Brand/Keystone).

Wire barriers are easily patched if the need arises (Red Brand/Keystone).

Brace assemblies are the foundation and anchor of a good fence. Using the proper materials and design will ensure the long life of your fence. A few rules of thumb when constructing a brace assembly:

  • If soil conditions allow, set posts 5” to 6" in diameter 3 ½' to 4' in the ground. 
  • The cross-member must be 2 to 2½ times as long as the fence is high and must be installed at three-quarters of the height of the fence. 
  • Do not cheat on expenses here, as corners and ends that fall short of expectations can be difficult to replace. Plan long-term when installing these important components, with an eye to possible future expansion of your fence.

Adapted from information provided by Ken Edwards and Keystone Steel and Wire, manufacturers of Red Brand

Quick Fixes

If a piece of your wire mesh fencing becomes damaged, a temporary replacement section can be quickly fastened on with zip ties, wire or even baling twine. Have traditional wood fencing? Keep a 12-foot tube gate handy as a quick patch for a broken panel. Tie it on with baling twine until the fence can be repaired. When dealing with plastic fence, a split post can be temporarily repaired by cutting up an extra post, bridging the gap and screwing it into the two sides.

Adapted from an article that 
appeared in Dressage Today.
If a piece of your wire mesh fencing becomes damaged, a temporary replacement section can be quickly fastened on with zip ties, wire or even baling twine. Have traditional wood fencing? Keep a 12-foot tube gate handy as a quick patch for a broken panel. Tie it on with baling twine until the fence can be repaired. When dealing with plastic fence, a split post can be temporarily repaired by cutting up an extra post, bridging the gap and screwing it into the two sides.

Adapted from an article that appeared in Dressage Today.