4 Best Fencing Options for Horses
Finding the best fence options for your horses in Alberta can be a difficult task.
The fence should be able to keep your horses safe and secure, while still offering them the opportunity to graze and exercise.
Although there are many farm fencing options available, only some are truly suitable for horses.
Some might work wonders for cows and livestock but can pose a potential danger to horses.
A good horse fence should be safe, durable, cost-effective, and highly visible (for both you and your horses).
Preferably, it should be a heavy-duty fence that can offer support and is not prone to breakage when a horse runs into it.
More importantly, it should not injure the horse.
So, what are the best fencing options for your horses in Alberta?
Wood Horse Fence
Wood is the most traditional fence material and has been the top choice in Alberta for many years. A wooden fence is a great option to add more visual appeal to your property and contain your horses secured in their pastures.
A wood horse fence comes in a variety of styles but is usually constructed of vertical wooden posts with a round horizontal rail.
You can choose from a diverse line of designs, including:
Post and Rail Fence
Post and rail fences are the most common option.
It typically features three rails or planks running the length of the fence, with horizontal posts added for stability every 8 or 10 feet.
Post and rail fencing is a smart choice for livestock and agricultural fencing.
It offers a rustic and classic prairie look that many horse owners love.
Top Rail Fence
The top rail fence consists of one horizontal wooden top rail with vertical wooden posts for stability.
Wires are added in between the posts.
The wood used to build this fence brings a rustic feel that goes well with any farmstead, while still offering a clear view of the landscape.
There is also a wide range of stain and paint options so you can paint your fence any colour of your choice.
Wood fence is a durable option that can withstand the toughest weather conditions.
However, given Alberta’s winters, wood may become discoloured or show other signs of wear and tear.
With proper maintenance, you can prevent the wood from breakage, moisture and hungry termites from being able to chew into the wood’s surface.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to maintaining your wood fence in Alberta.
The wood used for post and rail is pressure treated.
Pressure treatment means that the wood is chemically enhanced to ensure more durability.
It requires low to no maintenance with no painting required.
While this is still a great option, maintenance should still be carried out routinely.
If your fence consists of wire, be sure to check up on the wire to tighten them once in a while to prevent any sagging.
All corners should be smoothed out to prevent any sharp object or wire from sticking out that can scratch or cause unexpected injuries.
Horse owners have moved away from barbed wire to other alternatives that are safer.
Due to its durable characteristics, wood fencing is a solid option to offer your horses a safe and secure sanctuary.
When properly constructed and maintained, wood fencing can protect your animals and can be great for farms that are close to roadways or highways.
Without proper construction or maintenance, a few things can happen that can pose a potential hazard to your horses, including:
- Your horse can run into a nail that sticks out
- A rail can pop out if not properly installed
- Thinner rails can be weak and more prone to breakage
Wood fencing is considered one of the more expensive fencing options for your horses.
However, with proper maintenance, the fence can last for a long time.
Post and Plank Fence
The traditional post and plank fence is made up of three horizontal wood planks running the length of the fence with vertical wooden posts for added stability.
A classic post and plank fence adds rural charm to any piece of land.
This fence option goes especially well with country landscapes.
A post and plank fence is one of the more durable fence options available if treated properly.
The harsh winters in Alberta can damage a wooden fence, so be sure to check on the durability of your fence often.
A wooden post and plank fence is very durable.
It is one of the safer options for horses because the plank used on here is extremely smooth with a low to zero chance of produce rough edges or slivers that might hurt your horses.
However, improper spacing can create a weaker fence that a horse could more easily kick down.
A post and plank wooden fencing is one of the more expensive fencing options but it is cheaper than post and rail.
High Tensile Fence for Horses
A high tensile fence is made of sturdy metal wire and wooden posts.
Many horse owners use high tensile wire fencing for their horse paddocks and pastures as it is a safe option.
It also comes in a variety of vinyl colours for good visibility.
Homeowners often use wire fence in applications where aesthetics take a backseat to functionality.
Vinyl coated high tensile wire fence offers a better aesthetic value than plain wire.
This option is preferred by owners who like the clean look to the landscape and their views.
High tensile fence stays durable for up to 40 years.
It does not need a lot of maintenance aside from the occasional retightening.
It is difficult for a high tensile wire fence to break unless the animals repetitively push on the fence.
We recommend adding a few electrical wires in the fence system to create an effective physiological barrier to help reduce wear and tear.
A plain wire can be unsafe since it blends into the landscape making the fence not clearly visible to the horses.
Not only that vinyl coated high tensile wire offers a better aesthetic value, but it is also more visibility to your horses and making it much safer.
It uses smooth wire that is pulled at high tension and supported by heavy posts to provide incredible strength and durability.
A high tensile wire is a low-cost option in comparison to wood and vinyl.
Some additional costs such as wire casing or electrified wires can be expected with the initial installation cost.
Farm fence is a shorter version of game fence.
It is essentially a 48” game fence, while a regular game fence is usually at least 6 feet tall.
Game fence is a high-tensile fence that includes a fixed knot, which works to hold the other vertical stay wires in place.
Farm fence, like a standard high-tensile fence, is used when functionality becomes more important than aesthetic.
Page wire fencing is a type of farm fence. It is constructed of galvanized wire that is knotted or welded into rectangles to create a continuous mesh, connected to wooden or steel posts.
The sizes of the mesh squares within the fence come in various sizes depending on the application and your specific needs.
Farm fence requires very little maintenance, except for the occasional retightening of the wires.
Farm fence can stay durable for several decades.
It is also very difficult for farm fence to break unless it is repeatedly hit by your horses.
While line posts can be made of either wood or steel, heavy wooden posts work best for anchor and corner posts.
Using pressure treated wood and galvanized steel wire will ensure your fence lasts for years to come.
Compared to other fence materials, such as wood, farm fence is a relatively inexpensive choice.
What’s the Right Horse Fence for You?
It can be tricky to find the right horse fence in Alberta with all the available choices.
By checking and comparing the qualities of these best horse fencing options based on safety, aesthetic, maintenance, and cost, it will be easier and faster for you to take your pick.