Electric or wooden fencing? Many horse owners are facing this choice when planning for a new fence. Electric fencings tend to be a privileged election, as they are less expensive than the traditional wooden fence. However, wooden fences have a lot of advantages, including their stability. Therefore, combining the two types of fences might be the best option.
Electric fences are not always reliable
- A battery discharging upon contact with the grass;
- A wire getting out of the insulators because of the wind;
- A battery out of order or broken wires;
Many a horse owner went through that kind of misfortunes. Despite regular inspections and adequate maintenance, those problems can happen at any time, and horses have a particular gift to sense them. Unlike wooden fencing, which offers an almost infallible protection, electric fences are not entirely reliable.
The risk of escaping is real
It is much easier for horses to break through an electric fence than through a wooden one. An electric fence is not an impressive visual obstacle, it is almost invisible to their eyes. If a horse escapes or tries to, it could be hurt or remain hung up in the wires. That risk increases by hot weather conditions when the wires loosen. Not to mention that the owner will be held responsible in case of damages and will have to pay all the costs caused by his horse. Obviously, there is no such thing as zero risk, even with wooden fences. Some horses would try, for instance, to push the rails to get out of the paddock.
Avoiding vandalism and thefts with a wooden fence
An electric fence will not stop ill-intentioned people or vandals. To destroy it, they only need some basic and easy transportable tools. On the other hand, a wooden fence is much more resistant. Given the price of some competition horses the type of fencing should be chosen carefully.
Your best option: combining both electric and wooden fences
An electric fence is less expensive than a wooden one, but it is less reliable and needs more maintenance. Despite those disadvantages, it can be very useful when combined with a wooden fence. It prevents horses from biting the salt-impregnated fences and from pushing the rails. And in case of an electric breakdown, the animals will still be protected.
One electric tape or wire is enough to dissuade horses from escaping. It needs to be as high as the highest wooden fence rail. There are various options regarding which wire to choose:
- Tapes are more noticeable, but because of their higher wind load, they easily get out of the isolators. They are more easily affected by snow, too. Various width and colors are available.
- Ropes are easier to install, but less noticeable. There are various diameters, the smaller being 6mm. Ropes are more affordable and more resistant, which can be a disadvantage since they will not break if the horse tangles in them.
Isolators and energizers, what to choose?
Isolators are to be fixed directly on the posts. Go for a sliding and readjustable system, since electric wires stretch and loosen according to the weather. If the paddock is near a house, the energizer can be directly mains powered. If not, a battery energizer system, regularly checked, will be needed. There are two types of battery energizer systems:
- Rechargeable energizers, which sometimes have a solar panel. They are much more powerful than battery energizers and can supply longer fences.
- Energizers with internal battery (12V) are not rechargeable. They have a limited lifespan (around 150 days). They are less powerful than the rechargeable energizers. The fence supplied will thus be smaller. In addition, battery energizers discharge very quickly upon contact with plants.
There is a wide range of possibilities regarding your fence design. That is why we pay a visit on the site of the future fence to be able to advise you for the best.
You have more questions? Contact us without obligation.